Friday, May 21, 2010

Roadtrip Day 3..Lone Pine to Death Valley and Rhyolite Nevada

     I left Lone Pine by 10am and took my first picture of the day before I left town.  Turns out there was a very cool, but closed, store right next to the hotel I stayed in...
 and it was even for sale (which should be no surprise since I think half of the places I have seen so far had 'For Sale' signs on them.  Another reminder of just how bad the economy is....)

      After mulling over the artistic beauties (skulls, metalwork, old gates, etc) I continued south on HWY 395 taking the turn off for HWY 190 to Death Valley.  Before I got to the park I stopped at a sulphite mine.  Being an old rock hound from the 80's the scattered junk looked pretty amazing from the truck.
And besides I just love it when nature has made art out of throw-aways.  Here's a long shot of the mine.....

    I walked around for a good hour and found several old bricks (great in the yard), a few old blue glass fuses (still wondering why they were out there) and some weird glass like green rock (which I later found out was obsidian.. Here's one more shot of found art...
    After I left the sulphite mine I continued up HWY 190 into Death Valley.  I was excited for two reasons.  First there is an amazing ghost town on the border of Nevada and California called Rhyolite.  I had seen pictures and really wanted to go there.  Second, I believed my timing was right on to see a lot of the desert wild flowers in bloom, which they were.
   I took so many pictures of Rhyolite that I am only going to load up about 8.  If you ever get to this area in my opinion it's even better than Bodie if only because it is not as well known.  Okay here's some pictures.  There were several old structures still standing, the most amazing was the old bank.  It was a few stories high, constructed of handmade brick and the closest thing to the ruins I found in Oaxaca.   Another amazing structure was the general store right across the street.  Course it's all dirt roads now....
     And then there was the old shack.   I love the textural designs of the old boxsprings against the pale blue wood.  And the rusty old metal tube that once had a wood stove hooked up to it...

     There was one train car that had been left up there. 
The metal on it had a beautiful natural patina...
    And then someone had made an interesting outdoor museum.....
I presume it had to do with death and bicycles but I didn't get the actual story behind it....
    There is a whole long line of these ghostly persons in the next shot.  The mountains and the strange clouds made for great contrast...
   I also found a tall sculpture of a abstract of a woman..
    Rhyolite is my favorite stop so far.  That and my awesome finds at the sulphite mine removed the disappointment of not getting to see either Bodie or my beloved Buckeye Hotsprings yesterday. 
    Death Valley was really crowded.  Tourists everywhere despite the overcast sky.   It seems to me everyone was out looking for wild flowers (a lot like myself).   At the general store I saw two dykes (shock of all shocks) and at the park ranger station I saw another couple.  The last two looked like they had just finished a shoot of Showtime's L-word. 
    Tomorrow I will post some pictures of death valley, the flowers and the 'artist pallet' drive.... I am headed to Arizona now in hopes that I make Arcosanti by my birthday which is tomorrow.  thanks for reading my friends... it keeps me connected out here on what would otherwise be a lonely road. 
   yona c. riel


  1. Yona,
    I got your address from a FB post to Suzi. I'm so glad I did. Day #3 sounds fantabulous. I want to go to Rhyolite. As for the bedsprings, there was a story in the NYT last week about this new edgy interior designer and he had an old BED SPRINGS (no lie) hanging above his sprawling king bed, with no other decoration in the room.....Say hi to all the ghosts and spirits. Tell them I'm a little soggy but OK.

    And a very happy birthday to you, too. KICK IT UP!!!


  2. alice my dear!!! thanks for posting... day four is coming soon...

  3. Those building ruins are amazing!
    I wish I was on a road trip! I love traveling alone, it's much more pensive and thoughtful and exciting to me. I'm living vicariously through your posts.

  4. Yona! Two of my friends, experimental musicians, are doing a residency at Goldwell Open Air Museum this June! I look forward to making the trip and will be hitting you up for insider tips. My friend who has been to Goldwell before highly recommended Rhyolite! I think they will be making music for ghosts during their residency :)

    Thanks for blogging and bringing us all along with you on your trip!


  5. liz, I am only just reading this post now... i will have to bring it up the next time I see you... i want to do a residency at Goldwell... how cool is that??