The second batch of Death Valley photos. We wake up in Beatty, Nevada and then scour Death Valley for at least a little while before realizing that our vehicle is simply not up to the challenge presented by the terrain. Oh noes! We then run for dear life, as we notice the tire pressure slowly sinking, while Jeff’s plane is not catching itself.
Our first stop is the abandoned town of Rhyolite – just west of Beatty, this was once a mining town with a population of over 5000 people.
The sign find of the day: a 1949 historical marker, complete with the Auto Club of Southern California and the National Park Service logos. There are two: the other one is on the other side of the post. Interestingly, the post is much newer than the signs … someone must want to keep them here. We obliged by not borrowing them.
A bighorn sheep. A helpful park ranger pointed this one out, as we would’ve never noticed it high up on the cliff wall. In fact, he told us there were fourteen of them to be spotted!
Moonrise over the Panamint range.
Getting an early start on things. Down we go from Beatty to Death Valley.
Ghosts of Rhyolite. How I managed to make this look like a 1950s Kodachrome print that’s been sitting in the sun for too long, I will never know.
Jeff makes a new friend.
Strange artifacts abound in Rhyolite.
An inert truck.
At one point, this was the main bank of Rhyolite.
Another somewhat derelict old building.
We’re suddenly hit by direct rays.
The old railroad station. And yes, that is a barbed-wire fence around it. The TSA must’ve been here.
A lucky shot with the flash – right out the window as I had to make the decision on which 190 we wanted to get to. (We chose wrong.)
The idea that the California route marker is supposed to be a miner’s spade was apparently lost on whomever put this sign together.
This historical marker dates to 1962.
The Furnace Creek visitors’ center.
This may very well be the original post that this sign once hung on! (If not this exact spot, then within a couple dozen feet for sure.) Now the sign is in Jeff’s collection.
A 1955 example of a historical marker. Note the Division of Highways logo at the bottom. They dropped that midway through 1956.
A fairly typical view of the eastern rim of Badwaster Basin.
And the western rim. This is one of the many dirt roads we didn’t travel on. Really, we didn’t – we didn’t have a good enough vehicle. It is impossible to ask for a high-clearance 4×4 vehicle when renting, because then they know you’re planning to break the contract. If one is lucky, they can end up with one. Not this time.
All that’s left of the Eagle Borax Works is this … information kiosk?? Jeff wonders “wtf, where did it go?”
The other Bennett’s Long Camp sign.
Guess what time it is? Yep, it’s time for another installment of Oddly Shaped Tree!
Abandoned equipment in Badwater Basin. Back in the day, this was one serious mining area!
Perfect day for clouds.
An old geological survey marker. It dates back to 1943.
Too bad the elevation is not filled in – it would be well below sea level.
Those dang meddlesome Hungarians…
Fun with shapes at Ashford Mill.
A coyote appears.
Spot the sheep. There are eight bighorn sheep in this picture.
And four here.
And finally three, for a total of … fifteen!
Heading up the eastern basin road.
Old Dinah is now parked at Furnace Creek.
Looking back east, as we head towards Stovepipe Wells.
And one more of these. Plenty in Death Valley.
Top of the world. Well, at the very least, a local maximum. This is the Skidoo road, which leads to an old mining town. Alas, the truck couldn’t make it up the incline, so we hiked the last several hundred feet. This view is southeast, with Badwater Basin visible.
Pete Aguereberry’s mine, in the Panamint Range, to the west of Death Valley.
Fun with shapes at Pete Aguereberry’s old mine.
Pete’s Buick? Not quite – Pete died in 1945, and this is a 1951 Roadmaster.
As you can see, the car is in perfectly serviceable shape, and ready to be driven off the lot.
The road to Ballarat. This was our last dirt road of the day, because our tire was deflating at an alarming rate…
One last moonshot, and then it’s full speed to the airport. We ended up making it, despite having to stop every 20 miles to re-inflate the tire. We figured that it would take over an hour to figure out how to change the tire, and that would cause Jeff to miss his plane.
After the dropoff, I change the tire, and … I was right! It took me an hour and 15 minutes at a gas station in Jean, Nevada, mainly because the spare tire was held on by some esoteric contraption, and the instruction manual may as well have been in Japanese. But hey, all’s well that ends well, and next time we’re securing a real 4×4 and going down some real roads!
Dale, can I borrow your International??