Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Flowers at Nevada Treasure - 9/30/14

Today when we took our dog, Sadie, for a walk, I snapped some pics of the beautiful plants here at Nevada Treasure RV Resort. I have been meaning to do this since we got here and finally got around to it.

There's nothing that special here, just some photos I liked of beautiful flowers and plants.


Cat tails.
In the goldfish pond.

And, of course, a palm tree. They are everywhere...large and small.

Ahhh, the simple pleasures in life!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Death Valley, Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes - 9/27/14

After seeing the Harmony Borax Company ruins, we continued north on 190 toward Stovepipe Wells Village. Prior to reaching the Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes, we saw a sign for Devils Cornfield.

Devils Cornfield: A salt-tolerant, desert shrub called Arrowweed (pluchea sericea) grows here. Windblown soil gathers around the base of the shrub. As the shrub grows higher and higher, more soil accumulates. This results in the following appearance.

Arrowweed grows in abundance here and can be seen for miles.

Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes: Continuing on 190, we came upon the the sand dunes a couple of miles before Stovepipe Wells Village. What a sight!

While sand is everywhere in the desert, sand dunes are created by the presence of three things: a large supply of sand, strong winds, and something to slow down the wind (the Tucki Mountain in this location). The sand is trapped here and while the sand dunes are frequently rearranged by storms, they remain.

Moisture just below the surface supports clumps of creosote bushes and mesquite trees. With surface temperatures of 200 degrees, nocturnal desert animals (kit fox and kangaroo rats) build dens that the the root systems protect from cave ins.

Like sands through the hourglass, so are the days of our lives...

Walking on these sand dunes was like being at the beach. Incredible!

Admission to Death Valley National Park is $20/vehicle for a 7-day pass. John's senior pass gets us in for free.

Website:  www.nps.gov/deva

Death Valley, Harmony Borax Company - 9/27/14

Our first stop today during our visit to Death Valley, was the Harmony Borax Works. There is a short (1/4 mile) Interpretive Trail (meaning they have signs along the trail that explain the area) located here along with the ruins of the first successful borax mining venture in the valley.

Although many prospectors searched Death Valley for precious ore, there were very few fortunes made here. Borax was, in fact, the most profitable metal found! The Harmony Borax Works operated at this site from 1883-1888.

Refining was required to remove waste from the borax found on the flats. Because of the high cost of transportation across the desert to the train, the refining was done at this location.

The borax was scraped off the salt flats, placed into wagons by Chinese laborers recruited from San Francisco, and delivered to the refinery at this location. The laborers were paid $1.30/day minus the cost of lodging and food from the company store. The tents (their lodging) were spread across this plain near the refinery.

Because borax will not crystallize at a temperature of 120 degrees or above, the operation was shut down during the summer.

An authentic 20-mule-team wagon train is on display here as well. These large and sturdy wagons held 10 short tons of refined borax each. They were pulled by 2 horses and 18 mules. As you can see, the third wagon carried water and food for the animals and humans for the 165 mile journey through the desert to the railroad. Fully loaded, the entire wagon train weighed 73,000 pounds.

Note the size of the rear iron wheels on the wagons.

Due to financial problems of the owner of the Harmony Borax Company and the discovery of borax in less remote locations, the operation was shut down in 1888.

This arid environment is amazing to see!

Admission to Death Valley National Park is $20/vehicle for a 7-day pass. John's senior pass gets us in for free.

Website:  www.nps.gov/deva

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Cindy's Massage, Pahrump, NV - 9/24/14

One of the things I really miss about Pennsylvania (we sold our house there in February, 2014, to begin full-time RVing), is the great massages and chiropractic care I got at Avondale Chiropractic (Website: www.avondalechiropractic.com).

Here at Nevada Treasure RV resort, they have great facilities (sauna and jacuzzi in both women and men's locker rooms), swimming pools, hot tub, exercise equipment, yoga classes, water aerobics, etc. In the lobby there are cards for local massage therapists. I contacted Cindy's Massage and scheduled a one-hour massage.

Cindy has a really nice massage room (with fountain for the nice bubbling water sound, subdued lighting, heated towels, air conditioning, etc.) with a private bathroom at her residence...all very professional. I felt very comfortable there. Honestly, she gave me one of the best therapeutic massages I have ever had! And at a very reasonable rate.

Her clientele includes both local "regulars" and folks like me (transient RVers). She is a licensed massage therapist who attended the Nevada School of Message Therapy. Because we plan to be here a couple of months, I will definitely be planning another visit.

You can pick up her card in the lobby of Nevada Treasure RV Resort or call her at 775-764-1107 to schedule an appointment. Her place of business is about 5 miles from the Resort. She is great!

Friday, September 26, 2014

Shoshone, CA, Things to See - 9/26/14

Today we drove about 30 miles southwest from Pahrump, NV, to Shoshone, CA, to check out the Shoshone Museum and Dublin Caves. The warm water spring by nearby Black Mountain supported an active Native American community here for centuries.

Founded in 1910 by Anglos, Shoshone is the southern gateway to Death Valley National Park. It was a stop to provide basic services for the crew and passengers of the Tonopah & Tidewater Railroad between 1905-1939. The Crowbar Cafe and Saloon is a popular stop for motor cyclists, tourists and locals. The population of Shoshone has been declining and was only 31 in 2010.

Shoshone Museum: Housed in an old gas station, exhibits here highlight the history of the area. There are displays on mammoth fossils found in the area, geological information, wildlife, Native American culture, as well as mining, farming, and bootlegging. There is also an extensive display of photographs and artifacts of the women of the area.

Stagecoach trunk.
Bootlegging display.
Mining artifacts.

Tonopah and Tidewater Railroad artifacts.

Original refrigeration box (ice was delivered by the train).

Coyote: Clever and stealthy, many Native Americans call coyote the "trickster." Primarily nocturnal, one can be within 1-2' of your campground and you will never know it until you see the tracks in the morning.

Camel and horse tracks - 12 million years old.

Dublin Caves: Miners and vagabonds used caves in the soft hills of the wash in Shoshone as housing from the early 1900s through the 1960s. The caves were warm in the winter and cool in the summers. Some featured split levels, stovepipe chimneys and alcoves.


One of two room dwelling.

Dublin Gulch.

Shoshone Cemetery: This historic cemetery has the remains of Senator Charles Brown and his family as well as many other residents of Shoshone. A guidebook to the cemetery is available at the Museum.

Charles Brown General Store: Groceries (small selection), supplies, Native American gifts, and fuel can be purchased here. It is the only store in this tiny town.

Check out these fuel prices in this remote location in the Mojave Desert.

Shoshone Inn: Some use this small Inn as a base camp for exploring Death Valley.

The Crowbar Cafe and Saloon: This place was very busy when we were there on a Friday around 1 pm.

Admission to the Shoshone Museum is free. The Dublin Caves were very unique and interesting to explore. It was fun to visit this remote oasis.

Website:  www.shoshonevillage.com