On Byron and Anne's (fiberglass RV friends from Oregon) recommendation, I made a day trip over to Rhyolite, a ghost town and old mining operation just a few miles SW of Beatty, Nevada. Rhyolite has few standing buildings (most of the jail, a casino, parts of a general store, school are still standing), but lots of foundations, local history and rusty stuff.
Fascinating to wander through what used to be a substantial settlement. It also specializes in "quirky", including a house built entirely of bottles, a gravesite behind the jail for a 'lady of the evening' (local churchgoers objected to her being buried in the regular cemetery). To this day, folks come and decorate her grave.
Another quirky must-see is the free museum just outside the entry to Rhyolite. Artists have been invited to install art and the result is really fun. The curator of the museum has a lovely collection of Native American Flutes, which he'll play for you.
|Giant Lego Lady|
|The entire Last Supper, made by draping fabric/plaster over live models and then making them stand absolutely still for a half hour or so until it dried.|
Gas, Groceries, and cell phones
Unless you can subsist on chips, beans, and marshmallows, don't plan on buying groceries in DV Park. The closest real grocery store is in Pahrump, Nevada. Gas in the park was running between $4.50 at Stovepipe Wells, and over $5.00 at Furnace Creek. In Beatty, Nevada (about 35 miles from Furnace Creek), gas was a more reasonable $3.29. One surprising, but totally understandable, observation I had was how much shelf space in all mini-marts, gas stations, and grocery stores was devoted to water. Yup, just plain water, in cases, in big bottles, in gallon jugs – lots and lots of water. I refer you back to my previous post on monitoring dehydration. Folks down here take it very seriously.
Cell phone coverage is non-existent over much of the park (at least for Verizon), but there is limited access and some wi-fi at Stovepipe Wells and Furnace Creek. Mostly, the wi-fi is for paying hotel/motel guests but at Furnace Creek it seemed that it was open to the public for some time during the day.
|On of these palm trees could be a cell tower, I'm told that the tower here in Furnace Creek is disguised as a tree.|
Zabriskie View point
Just a few miles south of Furnace Creek in Death Valley Park, the view is spectacular. Words fail me so I'll just include a few pictures.
|The little black dot is a hiker!|
There are many more colorful and exotic sights to see in Death Valley, I'll definitely be back to spend more time here.
Fay Wray is becoming more comfortable in the trailer. Which means that she's into every cabinet and cupboard that I open and, unfortunately, on the counter and stove. Yesterday, before I noticed, she was sitting on the stove next to a kettle of water that I was heating. I saw her at the same time I smelled burning fur! Aaccckkk!! I grabbed her up before too much damage was done – but she does have 4 little tan scorch marks on her tail. She's also beginning to eye the car doors for escape when we're driving so I may have to start stuffing her into the cat carrier when I know I'm going to be in-and-out of the car.
|What's the big deal!|