Saturday, March 21, 2009

Furnace Creek Death Valley March 15th

We spent the day doing our site seeing around the Furnace Creek area.  Furnace Creek was originally built as a working ranch in the 1880s.  Now it is a resort complex in the middle of Death valley National Park.  Hotel 3 restaurants, saloon a general store, an airstrip and the Borax Museum.

I remember my dad telling me about the time he and my mom visited this area on one of their many trips out west.  I know they didn’t spend much time in the canyon, they  stopped in the summer.  Spring is the best time of year to visit.  The day time temps get in the 90s but it does cool off nicely in the evenings.  In the summer you don’t do much hiking, just about everything you want to see you have to walk some distance.  

Our first stop of the day was Furnace Creek visitor center to find out what we wanted to see.  The second stop was Furnace Creek Ranch and the Borax Museum.  

DSC_0154Not a very good picture of the museum, but the best I could do.  They had old the old equipment used in mining the Salt.


You will have to enlarge the picture to read a little of the history.  Harmony Borax works produced 3 tons of borax daily.   The mining area was in production from 1883-1888.


The Borax was hauled by the 20-mule team 165 miles to the railroad in town of Majave.  The teams averaged two miles an hour and took about 30 days to complete a round trip.   The picture is of one of the wagons pulled by the 20-mule team.

Mosaic Canyon is polished marble walls and odd mosaic patters of vorite.  The lower canyon was so narrow we had to walk single-file, and some rock climbing was done.


Entrance going into the canyon.


When you enlarge this picture you can see were the name comes from.  Sure looks like a mosaic to me.


Both sides of the canyon walls have the polished marble.  This was one of the most amazing canyons we have been in.

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