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Death Valley - Alls Stovepipe Wells that ends Stovepipe Wells - The art of Thornwolf — LiveJournal
Death Valley - Alls Stovepipe Wells that ends Stovepipe Wells
As the trip draws to a close, I would like to show you some pics of Ubehebe Crater, Scotty's Castle, and some other misc. nonsense from the last leg of our journey.


The Ubehebe Crater, pronounced You-Bee-Hee-Bee, is a relatively recent formation by geological standards, estimated to have blown roughly 2,000 years ago. Unfortunately, due to the lack of actual lava flows, it is difficult to date this for certain. It formed by steam building up just below the surface and exploding at high pressure, creating a rain of pumice that extends several kilometers in all directions and this incredibly colorful "basket" shape. The natives, and yes there are natives that live in/around Death Valley, refer to it as "Coyote's Burden Basket" in their native language. There is a smaller crater to the right of the image shown here up on the slope called "Little Hebe"

The Dunes just past The Devil's Cornfield (named because of the arrowweed that grows in little rows there). There was a sign pointing to it saying "Sand Dunes". REALLY?!

This is the only place in California where, instead of seeing signs in English and Spanish, I've seen them in nothing but German and French. (This can be explained by the incredible amount of German and French tourists that come to this area, I spoke with a German at our campsite, in fact).

Scotty's Castle, built in 1880, was not actually owned by Death Valley Scotty, a con-man, goldminer and all around eccentric, but instead by a friend of his, or rather, a target of one of his schemes. It is a European themed villa, somewhat resembling a castle, located on the outskirts of Death Valley. How they managed to keep the electricity and water going during its early days is beyond me, but its definitely one of those oddities the desert has to offer.


A sign for the Junior Rangers at Scotty's Castle. I ask you, what is better than a scorpion wearing a backpack?

Why, the fact that you can be a junior ranger for life, of course! I'd love to see some 44 year old come up wearing this:


And just before I close, I just want to say a note to all of you who might listen to the Kevin and Bean show in the morning (KROQ/LA-based) and have, as a result, developed a certain impression of "The 909" or the "Inland Empire" as it were, I want to make you aware that I live in the Inland Empire. I know its full of hicks and yokels and cholos and whatnot, and the rumors are mostly true and for the love of GOD I cannot stand the urban areas just based on that and often joke about it myself, but nearly every one of these recent photo posts, unless noted otherwise, has been from...you guessed it...in or immediately around the IE...my neck of the woods.

So before you're so quick to dismiss the area entirely as a place to visit, take a moment to think, that yeah what we're lacking in population and collective brains (and how!) we make up for in natural splendor you just can't get in your big cities. :)

The End
8 comments or Leave a comment
cannibalmouth From: cannibalmouth Date: November 18th, 2008 05:05 am (UTC) (Link)
Why, a scorpion wearing a back pack AND hiking boots, of course.

Oh hey hey, if you ended up keepin' it, can I get an e-mail of the "MySpace" picture?
areitu From: areitu Date: November 18th, 2008 05:48 am (UTC) (Link)
I always thought of "The IE" the Corona-Pomona-Riverside-San Bernadoodoo-Ontario area, and considered the Mojave and surrounding areas Not-IE. California's just full of stuff that's too weird and wonderful to associate with the 909 (now also the 951)

Nice castle! Sometimes I just gotta wonder how they did it back in the day...

Edited at 2008-11-18 05:49 am (UTC)
thornwolf From: thornwolf Date: November 18th, 2008 06:00 am (UTC) (Link)
I consider the urban areas "The 909" and all surrounding areas...something else entirely. Also, since Berdoo and Riverside make up the IE, and Berdoo is HUGE, I consider parts of the Mojave part of the IE. But then again i also consider "4 hours away" to be local.

Edited at 2008-11-18 06:01 am (UTC)
aurorawolf From: aurorawolf Date: November 18th, 2008 05:55 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh Kevin and Bean. Good for a laugh, not to be taken seriously. :p

That castle type house is gorgeous!
calicatmerlin From: calicatmerlin Date: November 18th, 2008 06:31 am (UTC) (Link)
Hehehe, Jr. Ranger for life...any grown man would wind up looking like a Jr. Angus Young in that outfit.

Scotty's Castle is one place I'd like to see next time I manage to head out to DV. Next time I do go to DV though I will not go in the middle of summer like last time when it was well over 114° while I drove up in MY Jeep with no AC.
reyfox From: reyfox Date: November 18th, 2008 09:04 am (UTC) (Link)
I interviewed for a Forest Service job in the 909 this fall. Didn't get it. Might have been nice.
doc_halfmoon From: doc_halfmoon Date: November 18th, 2008 09:10 am (UTC) (Link)
I loved every single photo you posted! =D
I was literally drooling while looking at those rocky formations and sediments. :P XD

It's a pity that nobody puts signs in Italian! :S (I'm saying it with a bit of humor and irony after all ;)
In Italy we're stupid because we're the only ones using foreign languages when we go visiting places; we learn English for US and England, French for France or Canada, Spanish for Spain or South-America, German for Germany or Austria ... when tourists come in Italy (and I saw it in Spain too) they "rightfully" pretend people speaking their own language; I think that Italians should do the same instead of being always so submissive! XD ihihihihih

Talking again about the photos, I have to say that I liked that castle very much! More than a castle, it looks very similar to a modernist "Masia" ... a particular Catalan country house that inherited many aspects from ancient Roman villas; ;) =)
keesh From: keesh Date: November 21st, 2008 12:58 am (UTC) (Link)
I concur, that castle is very nice, I love the staircase rotunda. :3
8 comments or Leave a comment