Saturday, January 24, 2009


I've been bad about putting up pictures. I could whine and tell you that computer issues have made editing challenging, but I won't, even though it's true. I'm so far behind, I'll try to get a few up anyway.

To start off, the annual Thanksgiving trip to Death Valley. We've done it twice now, so I think it's officially a tradition. First stop, the Mesquite sand dunes near Stovepipe Wells. These turned out better than I'd hoped, I think. It had rained quite a bit the day before we got there, and I was afraid the dunes would turn out muddy-looking. Sunset light does amazing things, though. Unfortunately, it couldn't get rid of all the people and footprints, but at least you can see the colors.

Next day, Scotty's Castle. This is a truly impressive bit of construction. It's not difficult to get to today, but it is in the middle of nowhere and that would have been even more true when it was built.

"Scotty" was Walter Scott, a colorful character and a con man. Around the early 1900s, he began to make his living by claiming he'd found a huge gold deposit in Death Valley and convincing investors to fund his "mine". Needless to say, this had it's ups and downs as a profession, but Albert Johnson, one of the men duped into investing in the nonexistent mine, seems to have decided it was all in good fun and forgave Scotty. Despite his claims, "Scotty's" Castle never belonged to Scotty at all, it was built by Albert Johnson and his wife, Bessie, as a vacation home. They allowed Scotty free run of the place, though, and he entertained the Johnsons and their visitors with his stories for years. I guess the lesson here is it's not really a lie if it's interesting.

And last but not least, Ubehebe Crater. I'm not thrilled with how these pictures turned out, just kind of meh in my opinion. But here's one at least, to give you an idea of the place. If you look closely you can see little black dots on the path into the crater. Those are people. This is one big honkin' hole.

So there's a quick start, I've got some more I will try to get up in the next day or two.


Carey said...

Now this brings back memories!! We used to do a family trip with mom's side of the family - for Thanksgiving!! There are so many great things to do and see!!

Mrs. Wakeandahalf said...

Beautiful time of year to go there! We'd live here way too long when we discovered it's so close. I could spend a lot more time there without getting bored.