Death Valley was beautiful and a dry, warm, blue- sky tonic to Seattle's wet, cool, grey skies.
We rented a Jeep Liberty in Las Vegas which allowed us to travel many gravel roads. The Titus Canyon drive is the most amazing drive of my life; every turn, dip and hill climb was a new feast for the eyes.
Scotty's Castle was a historical, informative tour. Darwin Falls hike, outside of Panamint, yields pretty little falls and grotto that serve as the water supply for Panamint Springs Resort (so stay out of the water) and and many birds. Also visited Ash Meadows to walk the boardwalks and spot birds there and by the lake. The springs are gorgeous colors much like the Caribbean or geysers at Yellowstone NP. Mosaic canyon is another beautiful hike, especially if you like viewing marble. Down Emigrant Canyon on a side spur road we saw a herd of fifteen big horned sheep and visited the Kilns and Eureka Mine.
The ranch was a great place for us to stay. We loved our patio with the two big rockers and enjoyed our morning coffee there each day. We used the frig to keep things cool and ate breakfast and packed picnic lunches . Dinners were bought in the dinner: nothing special but it was OK. The Ranger programs in the evening around the gas fire pits were fun. The Furnace Creek is an oasis and the swimming pool water is the best!!! I love to swim but often the level of chlorine is offensive. The pool at the Ranch is spring fed and it has an inlet and outlet and I was told that the water is exchanged three times per day with a little chlorine added. That is about as good as it gets. There were always chaise lounges available and plenty of room for me to swim laps too. The towels are not by the poolside but rather at the registration area. My soaked pool towel would dry out quickly on the rocking chair at our unit and so I could conserve and use the one pool towel for our six days there. Beautiful stars, I didn't get the chance to horseback ride. Can't wait to go back.
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