Not all of Death Valley is the natural world here. A lot of it's history, and that of the area around it is man made. The struggles of people here today, seems tough enough for some folks.
Think about being and working here when the only way in was by foot or by horse... or by mule train.
You think you're working hard pullin' outa this sandy oven worryin' about your radiator? Try a ten day trip drivin' a 100' long mule train and having to drag along 1200 gallons of water to keep those Mules from turning to dust!
I'm not so sure today's people could cut the mustard and hang with the folks that squeezed a living out of these dry hills a hundred years ago. "What do you mean a buck and a quarter a day? AND I gotta pay you to sleep in that scorpion infested tent? and buy my food at your company store?"
I guess the good news was that they had to shut the borax works down during the summer... It got too hot for the Borax to crystallize in the vats!
We got here a little too late for some flowers... and about a week too early it appears for others...but we did manage to find a couple blooms fighting for life in these dry canyons.
One of the entertainments was also a mite more modern. Just outside park boundaries are several military installations. I sat in camp one afternoon watching F-18's swirling and tumbling overhead at probably 15,000 feet or so. I don't know if they were some of the Top Gun boys... but they were doing a pretty good imitation of it.
You may have heard of "Scotty's Castle" and wondered about it. It's the1930's mansion of an eastern insurance executive. Parts of it never got completed when he lost his money or at least a lot of it in the depression. Kinda sad really. There's a humongous,awesome swimming pool that never got completed and never filled. I think the park should do the construction and finish it, 'cause the thing is an awesome design.
This place really touches a nerve with some people I think. That and deserts in general. Something about how stark and hard everything is. It's more honest in a way. What you see is what it is. No games.
That's a subject I hold close. I'll share more in a few days.
And then I've got a gob of Pics of the Alabama Hills country to post up. You've probably already seen quite a bit of it... if you've ever watched Roy Rodgers, The Lone Ranger, much of John Wayne, the movie tremors... Gunga Din... and even that Iron Man flick saw filming in the area.
So stay tuned!
Anyhoo... here's the last of the video photo collections of the last few days of Death Valley National Park...
One benefit of being boondocked in a signal-less situation is the 10,000 words+ that've been strung together in the past few days of Book Writing! ;)
Parked in the Dark at a Roadside... Where the "Force is Strong!"
Working the Keyboard