Tonopah to Beatty Nevada
Rhyolite, Nevada (a ghost town)
Death Valley and Scotty’s Castle
Campground: Baileys Hot Springs. $18 for elect and water. If you stay a week or more they’ll give you a site with sewer hookup as well. The hot springs are included in the camping fee.
After arriving at Baileys Hot Springs, under a couple nice cottonwood trees for shade, I go into the town of Beatty for lunch and to check out information on Death Valley. My first excursion is to a ghost town called Rhyolite. It’s just outside of Death Valley on 374 which leads into the park.
Just on the edge of the ghost town is an open air museum called Goldwell. A Belgium artist who came across this region thought it looked a lot like the Holly Land and proceeded to create some unique sculptures. The Last Supper being the most famous. They are often referred to as the ghosts of Rhyolite. After Szulkalski created these imaginative pieces (including the pink busted lady, he kept having to move them from the town of Rhyolite due to film crews coming in to film for movies. He found out that a parcel of land on the edge of this ghost town was privately owned. When he inquired of the owner, he discovered the owner was from Belgium as well. Needless to say, he was able to move his sculptures to the site they now sit on permanently.
There are no coincidences in life. Somehow we are led to those we should know or be with. At least, that’s my thought on the subject.
Getting back to the campsite, Baileys Hot Springs, I was ready for a dip in their springs. They have three bldgs. Each with a pea gravel floor with some of the rock outcroppings peaking through. What an awesome feeling after touring all day to be able to soak in the warm super clear spring waters of this little oasis. No sulfur smells of any kind, just pure clean hot springs.
Later I watched as the mountains changed from yellow to gold to crimson red with the setting sun. Nice way to end the day.
I was the first one at the castle this morning so I got a private tour, including the above ground and below ground tour. They said they weren’t doing the below ground tours, but I gave them my best puppy eye sad look and the tour guide snuck me into the basement for the behind the scenes tour as well.
What a gorgeous castle built in the California Spanish style so popular during that era. A must visit if you ever make it to death valley. The stories about the house and the discovery that the land they owned was actually a mile away (they almost lost the place to the Government) go on and on.
I continued my tour of Death Valley, you know it’s the lowest place on the Continental U.S. Having dropped almost 4,000 feet down down down into the valley itself through the mountain ranges that surround it. And it’s also one of the driest and hottest places most times of the year. What a strange place, both beautiful, forbidding and desolate at the same time. Some plants are able to survive out here including the sage and I believe the ironwood tree, though on about an inch of water a year it’s hard to believe.
I came back through Beatty, had lunch and spent the rest of the day enjoying the desert scenery, reading a book in the shade of my big cotton wood tree and having another hot spring soak…. Life couldn’t be better.
PS, the hot springs are for sale, so if you know someone who would appreciate a great place, campground, restaurant bldg and springs, this is the place….