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Published: February 6th 2014
Death Valley National Park
This morning's wake up call compliments of one of these ravens.
Wednesday, 5 February, 2014
We had a new kind of alarm clock this morning, a shiny black one with feathers. A raven hopping around on the roof of the camper makes a surprising amount of noise.
After moving to a different campsite (we were lucky to reserve 2 consecutive days, forget about one site,) we got on the road to head north in Death Valley to the famous Scotty’s Castle. There are two lies in that one title; it didn’t belong to Scotty and it isn’t a castle. Scotty was an entertainer/con-man who liked to tell people that the gold from his mine in Death Valley paid for his castle. But in reality it belonged to a rich friend who found Scotty amusing. The house is pretty fancy for the desert and has ambitions of castleness, but alas, no. It is, however, pretty interesting to see. It has a huge swimming pool, its own power plant (hydroelectric and built in the 1920’s, that’s impressive,) underground tunnels, and a spring of good water pouring out 200 gallons/minute. Scotty lived in a little house on the grounds and is buried on a hill above the power plant. The park is having
Death Valley NP
road work done on the road to Scotty’s Castle, actually the last 3 miles before SC. It was 55 miles to Scotty’s Castle from our campground and it seems a bit cruel to save the rough (bone-shaking rough) road for the last 3 miles when you are really looking forward to finding a restroom. Lucky for us, the possible 30 minute delays they warned about turned out to be on the road beyond the castle.
From Scotty’s we drove to Ubehebe Crater, caused by a massive volcanic explosion about 2,000 years ago. The main crater is about 500 feet deep, a half mile across and there are several lesser craters around it. The shattered rock was scattered over an area of 6 square miles.
After coming back to the camper for ice cream, we drove to Artist’s Drive, a 9 mile drive through beautiful rock formations with more amazing colors and shapes.
We stopped at Golden Canyon and walked just a little ways into the canyon.
We realize that when we just drove through on our previous visits, we were cheating ourselves. There is so much to see in Death Valley if you get off the
Death Valley NP
Courtyard at Scotty's Castle
main path. It’s another of our favorite national parks.
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