Mondays are for Memories – Death Valley, CA

I thought I’d move over to California for some warm memories today!
March 31, 2010
Death Valley – Second Day

OK, dinner’s over – back to the memories.
I forgot to mention one other stop that we made on our first day –
The Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes
Mesquite Flat Dunes-1
We didn’t actually get out and climb those big ol’ dunes, but there were others who did –
Mesquite Flat Dunes-2
Mesquite Flat Dunes-6
Mesquite Flat Dunes-5Mesquite Flat Dunes-4
They were pretty amazing!
But, back to Day Two –
Remember how this is the largest park in the lower 48? Well, we were camped close to the middle of the park, and we still had a forty mile drive to our first stop –
Scotty’s Castle
Scotty's Castle-3
We splurged and did a “combo tour”, so we got to enjoy both an Inside Tour (along with lots of stories about the castle and its builders), and the Underground Tour, which included details on the mechanics of the castle, which was quite an engineering feat.
Scotty's Castle-35
As you can see, it is pretty remote and in the desert after all, but it did have access to an underground spring that produced 300 gallons of water per minute, so they had that going for them. Can you see the big hole in the ground in the front of castle?
Here are some close-ups –
Scotty's Castle-24
Scotty's Castle-25
That was going to be the swimming pool!!!! Check out the viewing windows in the deep end – how crazy was that?
Scotty's Castle-29
I was standing on that center bridge when I took the pictures of the deep and shallow ends. I can’t imagine how over-the-top this pool would have been (not to mention how quickly the water would have been evaporating there in the desert) had not the owner run out of money. It was a facinating tour – and I took lots of pictures. Here are just a couple –
Scotty's Castle-6
Scotty's Castle-7
Scotty's Castle-16
and plenty more HERE!
Next Stop -(down a 20 mile dirt road) – The Racetrack, home of the mysterious moving rocks.
Racetrack-1
The Racetrack is a large dry lake bed called a playa. It was pretty facinating just to look at-
from a distance
Racetrack-5
and close up –
Racetrack-6
and very close up –
Racetrack-8
But what really draws people to this remote spot are these rocks
Racetrack-9
that move across the lakebed
Racetrack-10
leaving trails behind them.
Racetrack Rock
I haven’t a clue how this actually happens, but I’m glad we got to see them. Quite an interesting phenomenon, don’t you think?
After the Racetrack (and back that 20 miles of dirt road), we took a quick stop at the Ubehebe Crater
Ubehebe Crater-2
and then we were on our way back to Lizzie,
Death Valley Road
and a beautiful sunset.
DV Sunset
Another good day in the valley!

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