Thursday, November 27, 2014

Death Valley Day. 11-27-14


Happy Thanksgiving!!

We planned to leave for Death Valley yesterday around 8:00am.
I planned to get up at 6:00 so I would have time to work on the blog before we left on the ride.
As it turned out our clock in the bedroom was still set for mountain time so when I woke up and saw that it read 6:25. I jumped out of bed and hurriedly took care of my morning routine. When I walked into the kitchen I noticed the clock on the wall and it read 5:45.
Oh well, I will at least have plenty of time to work on the blog from the previous days drive.

Around 8:00 we left the RV park and headed north from Pahrump.


We turned west on State Line Road. We saw this pretty cool house built against the side of a huge rock outcrop. The builder did a pretty good job of blending in but I think he blew it on the roof. The effect would have been better if he had used some grey roofing.


We followed State Line Rd. until we came to Death Valley Jct. At the intersection we saw this building. I don’t know if they have opera here.


We turned right on 127 then left on 190 toward Furnace Creek.


The drive is very scenic with lots of colorful mountains in the distance


and along the road.


We stopped at the Visitors center to pay the fee (it’s free for senior pass holders) and get some maps.


From the visitors center we drove north through the valley until we came to the turn off to Stovepipe Wells. As you drive through the valley you drop to an elevation of – 266 ft. We passed a sign that read Sea Level


then started down hill.


We turned left at Stovepipe Wells and followed this road until we came to Emigrant where we turned left on Emigrant Canyon Rd.


We stopped to check out an abandoned mining operation just off the Emigrant Pass Road.


There wasn’t much there just some cement foundations and these tanks and a hopper of some kind.


We went over Emigrant Pass, 5318 ft.

Our destination is the Charcoal Kilns in Wild Rose canyon. So far we have been driving on pavement all the way to the wild Rose Campground. Past there the road turns to dirt and rock.

The kilns were built in 1879 by a Swiss engineer using Chinese labor.


They burned Pinion Pine in the air tight Kilns and the resulting charcoal was hauled to The Modoc Mine where it was used to melt lead from the rich ore of the mine.

We wandered around the Kilns for a while


taking pictures from the outside


and the inside.

Below is the rear exhaust port of the kiln. 


This is looking straight up.


The Kilns have a great echo inside so a few “OHM’S” were called for, “Ohmmm” I couldn’t resist.
After a short consultation


we decided to have lunch at the Kiln’s.


From here it is a bumpy, dusty dirt road to  Mahogany Flat Camp Ground at 8,133 feet in elevation. 


We passed some snow on the ground as we drove higher into the mountains.


The newer jeeps were experiencing transmission heat temperature issues so we had to stop a couple of times to let the transmissions cool down.


At Mahogany Flat there is a trail head for Telescope Peak (11049 ft.) it is an 8 mile hike.
About Forty years ago I camped at Mahogany Flat and hiked to the peak. But that was forty years ago, not now.

We hung around Mahogany Flat for a short time and then headed down the mountain. When we got back to Emigrant Canyon Road we turned right and headed back toward the junction at Emigrant.

On the way we took the turn off to Aguereberry Point.
We passed the Eureka gold mine and decided to check it out on the way back.

The view from Aguereberry point was pretty spectacular as you can see the whole Valley spread out before you.


We walked around the point for a while enjoying the views.


After a while we headed back down the road and stopped to check out the Eureka Gold Mine. We took the turnoff and drove to a parking area where we could see some structures


and a tunnel.  We walked to the tunnel but of course it was closed off.


We wandered around the area for a while taking some pictures.
I think this was the powder magazine.


We worked our way around the hill and came to the large structure that we could see from the parking area. It turned out to be the old stamp mill.


From the Eureka Mine we started our trek home. We had driven so far that all of our jeeps gas tanks were getting low. Clifford was down to a quarter of a tank. We stopped at the Gas station at Stove Pipe Wells. I poured the three gallons from my gas can into the tank. Even though Denis’s Jeep was also down to 1/4 tank he decided to try and make it home without getting any gas.
I left a little gas in the gas can just incase he didn’t make it. When we got to Death Valley Junction he radioed us saying that his low fuel indicator light came on. We pulled over and added what little gas I had into his tank. It was only about a quart.
Back on the road again we headed for home. About 25 miles later we came to a gas station so Denis and Roy filled up there jeeps. I still had plenty of fuel to get us home so we continued on. We stopped at Carl’s Jr. for a quick bite to eat.

It was a fun but long day. Patti had only been to Death Valley once many years ago with me in my van (Pig Pen). We only saw the Titus Canyon and Scotties Castel on that trip so it was great to do more driving around the valley so she could appreciate the scenery.    


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