Archive | March, 2020

Death Valley – February 2020

1 Mar

The family’s annual trek to Death Valley began on Valentine’s Day when the Biddles and Tristaos headed toward Death Valley after school was released.  They camped in Beatty and Goldfield respectively before heading into the Valley Saturday morning.  I drove down to the Valley as soon as I finished making my selections in the early Nevada caucus.

After one goes south on US 95 from Hawthorne, the view is pretty much the same for several hours.  Desert and sagebrush along with a few wild burros and horses, free range cattle and a solar farm or two are the highlights to see.  Still, I find it calming as it gives me lots of time to listen to music, radio classics (The Whistler, Boston Blackie and other programs I listened to when I was a kid) and just time to contemplate the world.  Many folks listen to audio books but I find that they make me sleepy.

I arrived just in time for dinner and was glad that Jerri had everything in hand and all I had to do was sit and chow down.   This was the first sunset I saw in Death Valley.  Jerri and I love to see the different cloud formations and the colors therein.

We checked out the pool the next morning and were somewhat disappointed in it.  The pool seemed cooler even though it’s fed by a warm spring.  Ever since we’ve been going there, the water has been changed out every 24 hours (then the water is recycled onto the golf course) and it’s always warm and fresh.  But this year, Xanterra, the company that has the concession for Furnace Creek has opted to chlorinate the pool.  This is not good for Megan and Jolee as they get rashes from the chlorine.  Xanterra should have used the chlorine and tons of bleach to clean the shower facilities as they were not clean.  But that’s another issue.  Here we are relaxing by the pool before we found out about the showers.

It is a nice-looking pool and fun to swim in unless you’re allergic to chlorine.

Scott, Jason and I hit the golf course that afternoon and ended up doing four rounds during the week.  The three of us have a lot of fun with lots of kidding and laughing as well as saying some bad things when we blow a shot.

We were amazed at the coyotes that like to roam the course in search of coots and other wildlife.  These coyotes are beautiful and well fed as they eat quite often unlike their cousins who live in the wilds of the valley.  They look like Wiley Coyote from the Roadrunner cartoons.  We saw quite a few and they didn’t seem afraid of us.

Megan’s friend, Jesslyn, had never been to Death Valley, so we took her to see Badwater.

The next stop was Artist’s Palette.  We would have seen more vibrant colors had we visited in early morning or at dusk.

We also hiked to the Natural Bridge.

Megan is taking a picture of Jesslyn posing in front of a chimney type erosion.  I don’t know what the official name is, but I think it’s cool.

Of course, the dogs need to be walked several times a day.

Gus, Jerri’s new black dog, isn’t a year old yet and he’s just full of energy.  This is during one of his non-hyper moments. All I can say is that it’s a good thing he has a big yard in which to run.

Max is always on duty

Who’s there?

Bia, Jolee’s dog, is so special that she has her own chair much to the chagrin of Megan who thinks Bia has a better chair than she does.

Living the good life!

Back on the golf course, Scott’s teeing off.

Cora made the green on this par 3.

Sometimes golf isn’t always what happens on the golf course.  

Jerri preparing dinner.

Allan cooking some pretty good steaks.  We all enjoyed dinner a lot that night.

Allan wasn’t able to get reservations for the entire week at the same site.  We began our week with no hookups (which means no showers and why we had a pool pass to get to use the showers and why we were not happy with the dirty showers)  He moved our camp three times and set up everything just right.

I visited the Visitor’s Center that has some good displays on why Death Valley is like it is and why people originally came there.

We have visited the Wonder mine in DV as well as most of the other sites.  The gold, borax and talc mines are amazing to me when I think of the hardships the miners and their animals had to endure.

Jerri, Allan and I visited the Furnace Creek Inn at dusk one evening.  It’s always fun to go there to watch the sunset even if it’s not very colorful.

Sunset looking toward Badwater from the Furnace Creek Inn.

One more pose from Jason, the golf stud of our threesome (although, Scott and I each had some good shots and even made some pars).

It was raining the morning we left.  Max doesn’t look very happy.  Death Valley had more rain in February than we did in Northern Nevada… a sad state of affairs.

I was the first to leave and almost literally ran into a herd of 7 feral burros in Beatty.  This was a mama and youngin’.

The little one walked across the highway and poked his nose into my car. I couldn’t get the camera focused fast enough to get that shot. He walked away when I didn’t give him any food.

Death Valley is always fun and a great get away to disconnect somewhat.  It’s ALWAYS great to be with family and enjoy each other.