So, one of the problems with blogging while travelling is having to deal with crappy connections to the Inner-Net. I sit here at the Furnace Creek Campground in Death Valley. It’s the Day-After-Thanksgiving Day and I am thankful for being here with Dee Dee and our crazy friend, Gary (whose back has gone out – he is really suffering, poor guy.) What I am not thankful for is the fact that every man, woman and child in the western United States is emailing, texting, browsing on their phones, most using Verizon. Access to the Inner-Net is non-existent…the Personal Hot Spot on my iPhone has puked… And, the camp ground here is packed with Thanksgiving visitors.
OK, enough whining!
I actually started writing this chapter two days ago, but suffered a brain-fart, probably due to that Bloody Mary I decided was an important element of the creative writing process. Maybe I can become a vegan and live solely on BM’s? Or not.
I have posted a few more photos of our Farabee jeep-rental travels; Titus Canyon (this was our 3rd trip through…that’s enough for a long while), Cottonwood Canyon (out of Stove Pipe Wells) and up Telegraph Canyon (near the Mesquite Dunes). Lots of fun…but made for a loooong day. I think everyone had a good time. BTW, John, Gary told me I had to mention your name in this post…so I did.)
We continue to delight in the wonders of Death Valley, sometimes travelling around, sometimes just sit’n and think’n. Except for Gary, who is always moving, moving, moving – we keep telling him his is now RETIRED and to lighten up. I think he is trying…but it’s a slow process for him. He keeps us on our toes, that’s for sure. We encourage him to relax, but our advice falls on deaf ears.
Last Sunday, we ventured over to Pahrump (sometimes pronounced ‘Pa-Dump’) where we blew in for shopping at their Super Walmart – mainly to buy ice and vodka for our Bloody Mary’s. I swear that this is the store where all those Inner-Net Walmart photographs come from! It was a visual wonderland. Gas in Pahrump was $2/gallon for regular, so we were happy about that.
I have enjoyed playing crappy golf at the Furnace Creek Golf Course. The course is good…I am not. Both times I have played I have been by myself, which is sorta fun. I have seen the occasional other hacker out there, but not many. No coyotes, either…which is unusual. Maybe they all headed up to Pahrump to visit their relatives for Thanksgiving.
On Tuesday (November 24th) we headed up over Towne’s Pass, across the Panamint Valley, up the other side towards the Owens Valley. It was a beautiful drive. We stopped off at Father Crowley Point, which has one of the more spectacular views of the Panamint Valley. Lots of tourists…just like us, I guess. While we were there, the United States Government (‘your tax dollars at work’) treated us to an absolutely spectacular air show. The mountainous terrain here is a training ground for fighter pilots. A couple of jets came blasting up the canyon in front of us, at a very low altitude, several times. On their last pass they exited the canyon right in front of us and climbed straight up doing spins and wing-overs, and flying upside down. Wow! The noise literally shook your rib cage. We had the feeling the show was just for us…and I bet it was. What a thrill.
On the way back from Fr. Crowley Point we stopped off at the Panamint Springs Diner for a beer and lunch. Still the great place we remember from our past 3-4 visits there. Panamint Springs Resort is in Death Valley National Park, but it’s an ‘island’ of private land, family owned. There is the restaurant, an RV park and a gas station ($5.50 for regular, but it’s the only gas for about 100 miles in either direction, so they sorta gotcha.).
As we departed Panamint Springs, the wind really started to howl. It was blowing so hard across the Panamint Valley that visibility dropped to zero and the road was almost impossible to see. The cross-winds were at least 60 MPH, and we were worried that the blowing sand and pebbles were going to pit the paint on the car. (Not the case, fortunately.) Once we started ascending Towne’s Pass again, the wind seemed to abate, but by the time we got back to Furnace Creek it was still blowing like Hell. Tents flying through the air. People running around trying to find all of their stuff that had taken flight. We had packed up pretty good before we left, but even so, a lot of our stuff was scattered around. We managed to find all of it…some was 3 campsites over.
The high winds lasted until about 4 the next morning and pretty much cleared out about 50% of the campground. We don’t know where they all went at 10 PM, but we assume either Pahrump or Las Vegas motels/hotels as all the lodging here was pretty full. And once again, we had to pull in our slide-outs as it was blowing so hard. Charlie and Marshall Dylan were pretty freaked out by all the noise.
We had a nice visit with our good friend, Shellye, who is a Ranger here in the Park. She is the one who hired us back in 2010 when we worked as Campground Hosts in Stove Pipe Wells. Shellye is a real hoot and fun to be around…and extremely knowledgeable about Death Valley. We always look forward to these visits with her.
So, there ya go, folks. A lot less words than last time. Enjoy the pictures. We are here for a few more daze, then off to Sam’s Town in Las Vegas for a week. One of our favorite spots. But all that is the next chapter…
Happy Thanksgiving to all of you!