Saturday, February 1, 2014

Goodbye to Death Valley National Park


Our last few weeks in Death Valley were filled with a myriad of things.

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First, there was the hike to a spring just behind our camp.

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We’ll never get used to seeing water flow out of the mountains… in the desert.

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               It creates these shimmering streams.

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           It washes over pretty little pebbles like a proper creek would.

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   And then it peters out.  Yes, it just disappears… back down into the earth.

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If you ever come to Death Valley look for the white.  It is there that you will find water flowing out of the mountain sides or leaching from the ground.  Sometimes just a trickle.  Sometimes more.  Either way, it’s a pretty neat find and something you wouldn’t expect in a placed such as this.

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For the last month or so we’ve spent the bulk of our time at Scotty’s Castle making sense of some pretty nonsensical photo cataloging data.  Put it this way, in the category of ‘Other Numbers’, the other numbers have other numbers!  We are happy to report that we succeeded and the catalog is slightly less tricky to interpret now.  As a result, we returned to our dust masks, paint brushes and fancy vacuum.  This time we were cleaning…


Oh yeah, that’s how we roll.  The best thing about volunteering is the very wide variety of experiences that you get.  Admittedly, even in our wildest dreams, we never thought we’d be cleaning dirt off of (compacted) dirt.  It is what it is though and what it actually is is… Groundstones, Mortars and Pestles (otherwise known as Native American Artifacts).  Or you could just call them rocks as we did for most of the day because, well, it just made it fun.

   When we finished with our rock-i-facts we worked on some pack saddles.

  You’d be surprised how much dust and dirt can hide down inside that wood.

     And, for our last week of volunteering we went behind the iron gates…

to complete a scavenger hunt (of sorts) inside the castle.  Essentially, we went from room to room trying to track down the location of certain objects that were left without descriptions in our database.  Happily, we had a fair amount of success.  It was also nice to spend some time inside the castle; sort of a final goodbye.

   Let’s see, third on our list of things we did before we left Death Valley is…

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                        We had a visit from Lou, Dale and Bonnie!

It has been a year since we’ve seen them so we were pretty stoked.  We took them to places we’ve been before and to some we hadn’t seen yet.

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                            We made it to Dante’s View in the nick of sunset-time.

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               The next day we checked out the ghost town of Rhyolite

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                               and visited the Open Air Museum.

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                                             We drove Titus Canyon Road,

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                       saw another ghost town called Leadfield

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                                    and enjoyed the many spectacular views.

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When we weren’t out and about we entertained the neighbors with our musical styling until the wee hours of eight or eight thirty (p.m.).

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                                    It was an awesome visit!

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     Well, we’ve got to wrap up both this post and our little home on wheels.

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As our time in the world of DEVA comes to an end we find ourselves slightly conflicted.  What a wonderful two months we’ve had in a beautiful location with some really great people.  We learned a good deal about curatorial work.  Weather wise you’ll hear no complaints from us about spending two winter months in Death Valley, that’s for sure.

              A shot of our home location at Sims Circle in Park Village.

All things considered, staying longer would not be a hardship in any way and the offer was extended to us many times over.  But, hitch or not, we’ve got the itch. 


Our nomadic spirits are calling us and if we don’t answer they may take more aggressive measures.


So, we depart this beautiful area and head toward yet another grand adventure on this road that we call ‘our life’.


                                        “I'm a travelin' circus train.    A spinnin' weather vane.
                                                          Goin' where the wind blows.
I was born to chase the sun.    Some horses gotta run.

                                                          Yeah, I'm always
gonna be

                                                              a little bit Gypsy.”