The weather report for Friday was 20-30 mph winds, gusting to 40, and a 50% chance of rain. Our three night reservation was up, so I went to the office when they opened and was able to get another site for one night just a few sites down from the original. We managed to get moved before the wind and blowing dust really got bad.
I saw that there was a ranger-led tour of the Furnace Creek Inn at 11, just down the road, so we decided that would be a good indoor activity. We found about a dozen others waiting for the tour, but no ranger. At ten past the hour a woman decided to call the visitor center, and was told the ranger was sick so the tour had been cancelled. It would have been nice if someone had put up a sign or something. So we wandered around and took our own little tour.
Here’s a very short history of the inn I borrowed from the internet.
1926: The Pacific Coast Borax Company decides to enter the tourism business by beginning construction on a magnificent Inn for guests to enjoy the beauty of the valley.
1927: The Furnace Creek Inn opens February 1, 1927 with 12 guestrooms.
1928: Ten rooms are added to the Furnace Creek Inn, completing the U Shaped Terrace level.
1929: A lounge and recreation room is constructed at the Inn between the Terrace rooms and the pool.
1930: Twenty one rooms, each with private balconies and fireplaces, are added with the construction of the North Wing. This year also sees the start of the popular Death Valley Days radio show.
1930: The Furnace Creek Golf Course opens. It is the world’s lowest grass golf course and the first grass course built in the California desert region.
After walking around a bit we sat down in the lobby and took advantage of their free wifi to check email on our phones.. The rest of the day was spent inside rocking from the wind, and watching the blowing dust and rain. Yes, we actually got to witness rain in the driest place in North America. It wasn’t very heavy, but continued off and on for several hours.
On Saturday morning I went back to the office and was able to get another site for one night, which meant moving once again. This time we were on the other side of our original Airstream neighbors from our first site, which made us happy since we got to spend more time with our new favorite dog, Otto. We also enjoyed the company of Otto’s owners, Jerry and Jimbo, but only took photos of the dog.
Isn’t that the cutest face? He’s a 7 month old miniature wire haired dachshund, and a real sweetheart.
That afternoon we did one last hike in Death Valley, this time in beautiful Mosaic Canyon.
I would definitely recommend this hike for it’s dramatic scenery and fun factor, as there is quite a bit of rock scrambling trying to find routes over and around boulders and dry falls.
We were both a little concerned about getting back down some of the climbs, but like I told Jim, that’s what butts are for!
After two miles the trail ended for us. There was no getting around this dry fall, although Jim gave it his best shot.
I was tired of playing the changing campsites game, so on Sunday we headed off for Pahrump, Nevada. We really enjoyed our stay in Death Valley, and although we’ve been there twice now, it is so vast we’ve still only explored a small portion of the park. Next time…