In Retrospect: Furnace Creek CA

Gallery

Mining Wagon
Furnace Creek CA
March 1, 2014

Furnace Creek is appropriately named, as it holds the record for the highest ever recorded temperature in the United States, as well as one of the highest ever worldwide, reaching 134 °F (57 °C) on July 10, 1913. It is 190 feet below sea level. Badwater, just down the road, holds the distinction of being the lowest elevation in the United States at 280 feet below sea level.

Rear View Mining Wagon
Furnace Creek CA
March 1, 2014

There are so many ghost towns in Death Valley due to the mining of precious metals that began in 1849. But it wasn’t only gold and silver that drew the people here. Borax is still mined and is still used in any number of products, a mineral so common that it is used in cleaning and beauty products as well as enamel glazes.

Vintage Steam Engine
Furnace Creek CA
March 1, 2014

Furnace Creek has become a favorite stop for tourists as it boasts a general store, motel, diner and bar, and golf course and is a short distance from Badwater, Dante’s View, Artist’s Drive, and Zabriskie Point. And lots of ghost towns for me!

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Seven Day Photo Challenge, Day 5

Gallery, Prompts and Challenges

Day 5:

Nipton Motel
Nipton CA
February 28, 2015

I have been invited to participate in Judy Dykstra-Brown’s Seven Day Photo Challenge. Actually I wasn’t really invited, but had to beg Marilyn and shame her into extending an invitation to me. She is too much like me in that she does not like to impose so I, too, will not invite anybody to participate unless they tell me they want to join in. Anyway, the rules, which I’ve already violated, are as follows: “The challenge is one black and white photo from your own life each day for seven days. No people depicted, no words of explanation. Invite one other person to join each day.”
canvas art prints for sale

 

 

PAULA’S BLACK & WHITE SUNDAY: AFTER AND BEFORE

Gallery, Prompts and Challenges

Vintage Cart
Goldfield NV
May 15, 2016

Paula, at Lost In Translation, has a once a month Sunday challenge where she asks you to post the same image both in black and white and in color. And I just happen to have an image I was playing around with last night.

For me, black and white needs high contrast. If you’re shooting in the middle of the day, think about converting your image to black and white. Two other considerations for me are, one; if the sky is bland, and two; if the colors within the image itself are not too exciting. Of course, most times I don’t follow my own rules. But then again, they’re my rules that I acquired from years of experience (and loads of youtube videos)!

Vintage Cart – B & W
Goldfield NV
May 15, 2016

 

Textures

Prompts and Challenges

On one of our spontaneous day trips when neither of us have a clue where we are going or where we might end up, Lynn and I came upon this rock house named, coincidentally, Rock House, out in the middle of the Mojave National Preserve in California.

Rock House
Mojave National Preserve
July 2, 2017

 

Maybe too easy for The Daily Post Photo Challenge: Textures.

But, whatever works!

 

Rock House
Mojave National Preserve
July 2, 2017

 

If you were wondering how anyone could-or would want to-live in the remote desert that is now Mojave National Preserve, take a walk along the Rock Spring Loop to find some answers.

The Rock House was constructed by Bert Smith in 1929. He came to this area to recover from poison gas exposure suffered during World War I. Doctors told him he didn’t have long to live, but the dry desert air proved so beneficial to Smith’s health that he lived here for 25 more years! The second long-term resident was artist Carl Faber, who lived and worked at the rock house in the 1980s, selling his artwork to passing travelers.

Christina Mills
Park Ranger 

nps.gov

 

Share Your World – July 17, 2017

Prompts and Challenges

Mojave National Preserve
July 2, 2017

This week, Cee Neuner asks:

What is your favorite cheese? My favorite cheese? I’m Italian! OK, maybe only half. And the other half is vegetarian so there’s a constant battle going on with my taste buds over cheese. I probably shouldn’t eat dairy and call myself vegetarian, but then I shouldn’t eat fish, either. And yet, guilty. Favorite cheese? You name it, I love it. And if you happen to name one I haven’t yet tried, I will search it out. I have heard that limburger cheese smells like feet. Maybe that’s why some people have a foot fetish? I would prefer the limburger!

Are you left or right handed? My left hand is basically useless. It does nothing. I envy people who are ambidextrous as they can do twice as much as the rest of us. I have two left feet. Why can’t I have two right hands?

Do you prefer exercising your mind or your body? How frequently do you do either? I was always tall and lanky and used to take for granted that I would always remain the same. So I exercised my mind. And now that my belly has finally caught up to my lazy lifestyle, I have begun to exercise three times a week for the last two years. Unfortunately, the belly is still there. But I enjoy going to the gym.

Complete this sentence: Hot days are … all relative. We here in the desert love to talk about the weather. But seriously, once you hit 110, every other degree is superfluous. Hot is hot. Except when it’s not. Yesterday was 109 in Las Vegas so we went north to Caliente (“hot” in Spanish) which was almost frio (“cold”) at only 95 degrees.

Optional Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up? Last weekend we were more than an hour north of our home when the air conditioner in my car died. I’m just glad we made it back without the dog dying. Or my wife. Or me. The repair cost me $500. I’m just grateful we weren’t further away and were able to make it home. This week I am painting and moving my desktop computer into the den. I am looking forward to completing the task by next week.

In Retrospect: Cima CA

Gallery

Just off Cima Road, where it intersects with the Cima Kelso Road, we found this railroad spur line. Littered around the area were old creosote railroad ties and spikes. Across the way is the shell of an old country store. Out in front is this ancient relic:

It no longer works. There is no coin slot, no dial tone. Behind the store is an area that resembles a graveyard for old cars and trucks:

But the photo is deceptive as the property behind the store is not quite as neat, more of a dumping ground:

And it seems like the old store has been boarded up by whatever random wood could be found lying around.

 

All photos were taken in Cima CA, part of the Mojave National Preserve , on February 28, 2015 and processed on July 12, 2017

In Retrospect: Sloan NV

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Let me just say right now, these photos were not taken in Sloan NV. The factory was nestled into the foothills somewhat southeast of the town of Sloan. There is no town or city nearby. We went off road in our (now quite dead) 2006 Hyundai Sonata and saw metal shining up in the hills so went to discover the remains of a blacktopped road washed out in spots, and a metal gate preventing us from driving any further. If you know my wife at all by now, that inconsequential gate did little to deter her. She climbed over it and I followed behind, a lamb to the slaughter. See, I always imagine that a gate means “do not enter” or “go no further” and that 300 pound rednecks with guns- gender is as inconsequential as the gate- with rifles will instantly appear. They did not. The place was deserted.

So I am enjoying rediscovering older photos of mine and reprocessing them “in retrospect”. Hope you are, too.

“The undiscovered places that are interesting to me are these places that contain bits of our disappearing history, like a ghost town.”

Ransom Riggs

Cee’s Share Your World – February 27, 2017

Gallery, Prompts and Challenges
Newberry Springs CA February 25, 2017

Newberry Springs CA
February 25, 2017

Ever ran out of gas in your vehicle? Are you kidding? Lynn and I are always at odds with filling up the gas tank. She laughs at my anal-ness (is that a word?) of filling up no later than at a quarter tank. She will wait for the warning light to go on before she even thinks about stopping for gas. But no, we’ve never actually run out of gas.

Which are better: black or green olives? Kalamata olives in a salad or on a pizza, green olives in a martini!

If you were a great explorer, what would you explore? I’m pretty much a virgin when it comes to travel so I would love to visit and explore other cultures.

Quotes List: At least three of your favorite quotes? This is tough because my favorites are not inspirational and there are so many. “Don’t let schooling interfere with your education” – Mark Twain, “Any girl can be glamorous. All you have to do is stand still and look stupid” – Hedy Lamarr, and “Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. Inside of a dog it’s too dark to read” – Groucho Marx.

Optional Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up? I’ve been cutting back on my work hours and spending Tuesdays and Thursdays in the library working on a coffee table book. Last week was the first week and now I don’t want to go back to work-work. Ever! Next week? Just endless possibilities,

Thanks, as always, to Cee of Cee’s Share Your World.

Go.

Look.

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Shoshone

Gallery, Prompts and Challenges

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The town of Shoshone California, on the southeast edge of Death Valley, is one block long, if that. On one side of the road is a post office, a gas station, and a motel. On the other is a local museum, a cafe, and the Sheriff’s office. I’m not sure whether or not it’s a real sheriff’s office as the town looks a little too small to have a dedicated officer of the peace. It doesn’t even have its own fire department, for cryin’ out loud.

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I became aware of Shoshone one weekend last year as I was out driving on my own towards Death Valley and ended up in Tecopa with less than a quarter tank of gas. Tecopa is known for its hot springs and that’s it. There’s a small craft beer brewery on the outskirts of Tecopa where I stopped to ask directions to the nearest gas station. They said I could go on up the road about ten miles to Shoshone, where the gas would be about $5 a gallon, or go back to where I came from and stop in Pahrump, which was more than 3 times as far but the gas would be less than half as much. I didn’t think I’d make it back, though, so off I went to Shoshone.

And I fell in love.

The original “man cave” that kicks off this post is where the miners lived during the years the community was active. It is NOT the local motel. I actually met two travelers who were staying at the motel and they had come all the way from France. Everyone in Shoshone was friendly once you smiled. But maybe that’s true for everywhere you go. Those French people sure were nice!

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Anyway, behind the local diner, The Crowbar, was an old abandoned shack that I could only imagine belonged to the mine boss. No cave for him. His one room shack had all the comforts of home; a bed, a wood burning stove, a kitchen table and a chair. What it didn’t have was indoor plumbing. But the outhouse was only a few short steps from the front door.

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The train tracks were pulled up, melted down and recycled during WWII. The old train station no longer exists, either, but a mockup of what it looked like stands exactly where the old one did.

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Up on the hill, across from the miner’s homes, is the old cemetery.

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If, one day you decide to head on out to Shoshone or Tecopah or any part of Death Valley, please don’t go in the middle of summer. The hottest recorded temperature was 134 °F (56.7 °C) on July 10, 1913, at Furnace Creek, which is the hottest atmospheric temperature ever recorded on earth. In a typical year, the park experiences about 140 days of triple-digit temperatures, including 89 days at 110 degrees or hotter, 18 days above 120 and three days above 125. Last June, the high one day was 129.

And let me tell you, once the temperature hits anywhere above 115, there’s not much difference between that and 134.

Hot is hot!

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52 WEEKS PHOTO CHALLENGE: WEEK 22 : NATURE

Gallery, Prompts and Challenges
Glendale NV January 8, 2017

Glendale NV
January 8, 2017

We took a ride yesterday just to get out of the house. Lynn had just had another operation on her foot (the 4th in 7 years) and was going stir crazy. So I packed her and the dog into the car and, with no particular destination, we ended up in Glendale NV, which has it’s own exit off the freeway, one gas station, one permanent home, and several mobile homes. That’s about it. But, of course, I had my camera with me and did find something to shoot! 🙂

The Girl That Dreams Awake has offered the word prompt “nature” this week. I offer this image in return! Such is nature in our part of the woods- or desert, as the case may be.