Thursday, December 19, 2013

DEVA NP – Part 3


While we are in Death Valley we'll be working with the museum curators at both Scotty's Castle (pictured below) and another location down south near our housing area.


Having already toured areas of the castle not open to the public and seen some of the storage locations for the historical artifacts, all that we can say is that the museum and conservation side of such an endeavor is way more involved than we had ever imagined.

No, there is not a mirror in this photo. This is one of many storage areas for artifacts in Death Valley National Park. The total number is (drum roll please) 1.4 million artifacts!

     Can you see the old wagon behind the fence? That's good, because our camera did not.

Upon arrival at the castle we were due to spend five weeks cleaning all of the exterior lighting and changing out the bulbs to ones more conducive to the night sky program.

ere's a different angle of the grounds taken from the clock tower. The stables are in the far distance and off to the left on the near hillside is the solar (Yes, solar in the 1920's!) water heater.

The iron, wood and other work throughout the castle is unique and very detail oriented.

The iron work on this door for the swimming pool changing area is Nicole's favorite. Each hinge is different. You can probably see the seabirds and cloud in the top hinge and the small starfish and waves on the middle one.

  How about the seahorse with seashells door handle.

                                Or the dolphins on the bottom hinge.

The hinges on this door are like spring flowers blooming (hint: lay your head to the left).

Wood shutters on the windows are also decorative and allow light through even when closed.

We've had some beautiful weather where we live (at only a few feet above sea level). To get to the castle, however, we hop on the employee shuttle van and ride one hour north and ascend 3000 feet.  Alas, the weather turned too cold to work outside with water cleaning lights (highs of 40) so instead we became involved with the indoor activity of cataloging historical photos of the castle's construction.

The photos in this album are from the late 1920's. They document not only the construction of the castle and the people involved but also cover local historical events such as the last train to leave the Bonnie Claire Flats. In yet another album we found photos of local prospectors know by names like The Guardian Angel of Death Valley or Old Man Gillian of Ballarat. Awesome! We sure are getting a kick out of going through them.

We try to make a point of going on walkabouts as often as possible.

f you know anything about us, and our “It's the journey not the destination.... Hey, look at that neat grain of sand!” kind of foot travel, you know that we do not cover a large amount of ground each time.

                 Still, we see a lot of very amazing and beautiful things on these walks.

     Especially coyotes. Lots of them. Actually, we typically see more coyotes than people.

              Mostly we are taken by the constantly changing scenery.

                         Every angle of view is completely different from the next.

                         And the light changes things here almost minute to minute.


                          Alas, there is still more. Continue on to DEVA NP – Part 4...