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Visitor Center Grand Opening Nov. 3-4

San Francisco
Destination Expert
for Death Valley Junction, Death Valley National Park
posts: 10,438
reviews: 41
Visitor Center Grand Opening Nov. 3-4

As you might know if you follow the Death Valley forum, the refurbished Furnace Creek Visitor Center opened in the spring. The exhibit hall remained closed while everything was being rebuilt. None of your favorites from 2004 or 1994 or 1976 will be in the new exhibit hall; everything from floor to ceiling is newly designed. Also everything above the ceiling and behind the walls; the latest environmental controls for energy efficiency and museum preservation are part of the new design. The actual grand opening of the “new” Visitor Center was held off for after the new things were in place.

That date is the weekend of November 3-4. Info about the grand opening is on the Death Valley Natural History Association website www.dvnha.org but for your convenience, these are the main events:

Saturday, 11/3

• 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. - Programs and activities at Furnace Creek Visitor Center.

• 11:00 to noon and 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. – Twenty Mule Team with master teamster Bobby Tanner, Furnace Creek Airport.

• 3:00 to 4:00 p.m. – “South Coast” musical entertainment, Visitor Center Courtyard.

• 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. – Program on Stan Jones, the “Singing Ranger” by Mike Ward with music by Keeter Stuart, Visitor Center Auditorum. Mr. Ward was a biology tech on the DV staff. The late Stan Jones wrote the Western classic “Ghost Riders in the Sky” as a ranger in DVNM in the 1940s; he also had about 100 other Western recordings and wrote movie scores for John Ford and other Hollywood producers.

Sunday, 11/4

• 9:00-10:00 a.m. – Meet the four superintendents of Death Valley National PARK over coffee, Furnace Creek Ranch Borax Museum back patio.

• 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. - Programs and activities at Furnace Creek Visitor Center.

• 11:00 to noon - Twenty Mule Team, Furnace Creek Airport.

• 12:00 noon - South Coast” musical entertainment, Visitor Center Courtyard.

• 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. Ribbon cutting and ceremony, followed by reception with cake and music by “South Coast,” Visitor Center Courtyard.

• 2:30 to 4:00 p.m. – Twenty Mule Team presentation, Furnace Creek to Harmony Borax Works.

The next week is Death Valley ‘49ers Encampment, one of the park’s busiest periods. Obviously, this November will be busier than usual. If you want to go, you probably need to have your lodgings reserved by now or else plan to arrive early at a campground. U.S. citizens, don’t forget your civic duty; be sure to cast your absentee ballot for the Presidential and other incompetents of your choice before leaving on your trip.

On the day after the grand opening, Sarah Craighead will take over as superintendent at Mammoth Cave National Park and whoever replaces her at Death Valley will inherit the brand sparkling new visitor center.

Last but not least, park entrance fees for Death Valley will be waived on Saturday and Sunday.

Unfortunately, I cannot make the time to go to this, because of commitments on Friday and Monday. But I’ll be there in spirit, so if you see a Frisco Roadrunner happily floating around saying "mee-meep" and to the coyotes, wave hello.

San Francisco
Destination Expert
for Death Valley Junction, Death Valley National Park
posts: 10,438
reviews: 41
1. Re: Visitor Center Grand Opening Nov. 3-4

Bump to remind everyone of the big weekend coming up to celebrate the brand-new visitor center and exhibits, followed by Death Valley '49ers Encampment.

Camp Sherman, Oregon
posts: 453
2. Re: Visitor Center Grand Opening Nov. 3-4

Wait....what? No "Lost 49er's" in the wall exhibit with audio tape I couldn't get enough of first trip 1966? Well at least we were able to see the old exhibits a couple of years ago just before the VC closed. Interesting in that it hadn't changed really since the original VC opening in 1960 and was still really informational and entertaining.

Looking forward to visiting the new VC and attending a few ranger talks in the auditorium and at the general store patio at night.

in just a little over four and a half months!

3. Re: Visitor Center Grand Opening Nov. 3-4

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