Do you know what the outskirts of a once-bustling ghost town needs? In the middle of stark desert beauty and mountain ranges, with crumbling facades of a once vibrant life?
It's called the Goldwell Open Air Museum, but as far as we could tell, someone just plunked down some wacky art on the edges of a Social Cemetery.
Here's a Ghost Town version of The Last Supper.
..and "Ghost Rider" from the same artist.
...but you know, that's just not WEIRD enough. How about a giant blonde naked Lego woman on her knees, looking like she's waiting to Pleasure the Jolly Green Giant?
I actually prefer her from the back, honestly, looking out over the emptiness. It's more profound and less weird.
"Someday my prince will come striding over those mountains. And won't he be pleased that I was bright enough to already be on my knees?"
I mean, WTF?? This is why unless I actually make a decent living off of real paintings I will NEVER call myself an artist. Because people like this call themselves artists.
I actually didn't like this stone couch at first. But when you sit on it, you notice all the cool little details and how different each area is. It's pretty nice, actually...
There's nothing quite as beautiful as a miner, his penguin, and his Martin.
After reading up at the web site, I found out this next one is supposed to be like a Female Icarus, but it came across differently to me. I thought it was a martyred Hot Chick with giant katanas on her back in the middle of the desert and I thought "Jason would totally dig her."
After the artiness, we drove through Titus Canyon. I have a shot or two of the trip for you, but if you're at all interested in what it was like, there's a video here that is pretty much exactly what the next few hours were like, barring the stay in Beatty beforehand. There's also a map of the trail.
This is my favorite shot of Leadfield, a town that once had a post office but died almost as soon as it was set up.
If you are at all interested in geology, you should try to get to Death Valley at some point. The place is DROWNING in geology. There's interesting bits of it all OVER the place. Check out this bit...
I wish I could accurately get across the scale of this shot...
After the trip through the canyon, we were well situated to head over to Scotty's Castle, the only mansion in Death Valley. I highly suggest at least scanning the wiki link there, there's a lot of interesting information in it about the place. Hell, I'd recommend reading a book about it, but I'll be happy if y'all check out the wiki.
There are wallpaper versions of that last pic, if anyone's interested.
This is the power plant area behind the main building.
Just a shot I liked...
The courtyard between the two main buildings...
Martin, and the real name of the place, Death Valley Ranch.
A representative room. There were a LOT of rooms, being a mansion and all, and most of the shots are sort of dull, but I want y'all to have an idea what the interior is like, so I tried to keep these to a minimum.
They have a real carillon at the place, which is sadly out of order. Apparently they would play a visitor's favorite song on it as they approached the castle and it would ring out over the whole area. You never know how much you need a carillon in your house until you hear stuff like that.
Shot from above of the same room.
A shot over the courtyard towards the power house.
A little frog fountain on the second floor of the building across the courtyard.
Don't worry, this is just for you to breeze over for general info, I'm not expecting anyone to comment on the interior shots.
And back outside. Another cool shot I found.
So, what did we do after seeing the sand dunes, the Devil's Cornfield, checking out wildflowers, visiting Rhyolite and the museum thingy and then Titus Canyon and Scotty's Castle?
Went to see Ubehebe Crater of course!
Pictures are difficult to really use to see this sort of thing, so I got a movie, too.
After all this hubbub we settled down and headed for Furnace Creek for dinner. On the way I got this cool shot, though.
Furnace Creek had way better dinner options, the bar was open (we waited for a place there) and it was also positively OVERRUN with ravens. I wish I had a better shot. The sun was setting and it was beginning to look like a scene from Hitchcock's Birds.
On the drive home after dark we saw TWO different coyotes ^_^
And for those, like me, who like maps, here's a grab from WikiTravel to show the basic areas we hit...