Thursday, February 25, 2016

Another day in Death Valley

Dear Family & Friends,

We had wonderful day today just riding around Death Valley site seeing on a beautiful clear day. Who could ask for more?
After a good nights sleep we went out to breakfast . After three days riding together I finally remembered everyone's names, Duane, Brian, John, Mark, and Don. At breakfast one of the guys said he didn't sleep well because he missed the sound of his wife snoring..... I'm not going to say who since most of the wives read this blog. I'm going to keep them guessing☺️. All I'll say is it's not me. My wife does not snore. When she sleeps she makes a sound similar to the most beautiful exotic bird you can imagine....😉
After breakfast we rode down to a ghost town and took a few more photos.
From we rode to the Furnace Creek museum and visitor's center where we saw the most amazing collection of refrigerator magnets, stickers, and T shirts.
From there we rode about 40 minutes south to Bad Water, named after the brackish marsh there. It is also the lowest spot of the valley. 285 feet below sea level! Very dramatic.
As we rode along the valley you see such varied geological formations and some areas have so much mineral in the ground and no water so absolutely nothing grows. The ground really looks like photos of the Moon's or Mar's surface. As I looked at the ground it really struck me how similar and interconnected the entire Universe must be. It is all made from the same basic atomic building blocks. In a way an all uniting force such as in Star Wars. I have no doubt that some day mankind will find life through out the universe and it will be as commonly accepted as we accept the earth is round today.  I hope to live long enough to see it.
From Bad Water we rode to Dante's Peak, about 4000ft above the valley floor. Amazing views but with shear cliffs down and my inerrant fear of heights I was getting shaky knees and cold sweats. I was happy to get on my motorcycle and ride down the mountain!
From there we rode to the Amargosa Opera house. With my general dislike for opera I was not expecting to like it but when we got there it turned out to be one of the high points of the trip! The story behind it was so fascinating...
In the early 70s a woman named Marta Becket was traveling through the area with her husband. They stayed at this old oil company motel that was about to close down. Marta fell in love with the place and talked her husband into buying it.. In the absolute middle of no where..
They built an opera house as an add on. Inside the theater are beautiful frescos all over all hand done but Marta. Even the chandeliers, made from old coffee cans and crystals, were hand made by Marta. When the opera house was done Marta danced opera there three nights a week to sell out crowds up into her 80s!  When she could no longer dance she was befriended by a young girl who loved ballet but had never danced. Marta trained her and to this day she dances three nights a week. And at least one night a week the performance is still attended by 96 year old Marta!! Marta's husband left her many years ago so now it is just Marta and the young woman named Jenna that run the entire place. Jenna was even our tour guide inside the theater. Sadly they really don't generate enough income to maintain the place which appears to be crumbling and in desperate need of paint. I hope something happens to keep these two women's dreams alive..
It would really be worth going to my blog link below to see lots of good photos of today..
Tonight we are just relaxing. The group of guys have decided to head home tomorrow so we have a long 400+mile ride tomorrow.
One of the things I like about motorcycling is even though you have to concentrate you still have plenty of time to think..... So here is my "Zen" thought for the day......
When I was young I could ride all day without stopping but in those days motorcycles had small tanks and could only go barely over a 100 miles without stopping for fuel.  Today motorcycles can go up to 350 miles on a tank full but I can't go much more that a 100miles without a bladder break..... Is this some cosmic force keeping everything in balance? Is there some existential meaning to all this? Maybe I'm not the philosopher to ask... I'll report and you decide..
That's all folks !

A beautiful old abandon hotel from the 1800s.

Just a cute young cowgirl hanging out,

I don't think anyone has entered in a long, long time.

Lots of wild flowers.

People were everywhere photographing fliers. Some we taking photos inches away from the flower. I wonder if they thought about with the context of seeing the fliers in Death Valley it's just a yellow flower? 😟
Way up on that mountain is a tiny sign saying " Sea Level". We were standing 282' below...

Bad Water

Looking down from Dantes Peak. You could see a large part of Death Valley below.

I hate heights and just watching John takes this photo so close to the edge made my legs shake and gave me cold sweats...😢
Armagosa Hotel
The Honey Moon suite?

Our guide Jenna and star ballet dancer. You could tell this young woman loved what she does..

All the art work was hand painted by Marta Becket.

Lots of old west style buildings in and around Death Valley. This town is Beatty, NV.

Brian makes friends where ever we go.. No wonder I like him, a very friendly guy!

Visiting Furnace Creek, DV.. The heart of DV.

We hit the perfect season for the weather.. In the summer this thermometer can easily ready 120+ degrees. Not good motorcycling weather then..

Lots of old machinery laying around the area from all the mining and ranching.

We left Beatty, NV at 7am and rode for 2 hours in cold weather so it took a hearty meal to fuel up for the rest of the trip home today.

Leaving early we got to see the sun come up over the desert... When we left the temperature was in the 30s, by the end of the day it was in the 80s.. a BIG swing for one day.

The nice think about early riding in the desert is absolutely NO traffic. Very relaxing riding.

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