18 March 2009

Think Warm

It snowed this past Sunday in Washington followed now by three days of rain and it is cold. It's March for pity's sake ... naturally thinking that sunshine is a God given right, I started thinking about warm places this time of year. Checking my memory against Google, I found that Death Valley was 85 degrees on Sunday. That means that all the wild flowers will be early. The trouble with the desert in Spring is that you have to be there when it happens or know someone crazy enough to live there who will call and say, "NOW! Come today." Believe me. It is worth the instantaneous trip.

It also means that this is a good time to visit Scotty's Castle before the real heat begins. Scottys Castle was once a private home is now part of the California State Park system and open for tours. As with many of the fanciful homes built by California characters, this one comes with many stories and a mystery. Nobody knows for sure if Death Valley Scotty who was a legendary goldminer (maybe or just a good tale teller) built this castle or if his lifelong millionaire friend, Albert Johnson, did. Most think it was a dream shared by the two, but the legend that ties the men together goes on.
You would have to make up your own mind as you tour this amazing castle in Death Valley, California in the USA. The main house of the castle, a duplicate of a Spanish manor home, and the Annex are two of the main attractions at this estate. The Great Hall was used as the living room and it is where Scotty entertained and shared many of his life stories as a goldminer. The suites and guestrooms are incredibly adorned and the music room speaks for itself. Scotty died in 1954 and was buried atop a hill looking down upon the historical castle that was named after him.

There is a video tour and background stories on the link above that might make you want to visit if only for the spanish tiles and intricate wood and wrought iron decorations. If not, just think about the desert in a new way and look at the short lived spring fully in bloom now that would greet you.


Anonymous said...

oooh! That looks like an interesting place!

Linda said...

I only made it through Death Valley once way back in 1980. What an interesting place it was, too! My first ex and I had made the journey down from Stockton in our little MG convertible along the Nevada side of the Sierras and stayed at a little run-down hotel on the edge of Death Valley. The plan was to get up early the next day and drive through to Las Vegas before the heat of the day came up (I want to say this was in July or August).

The dunes the next morning were absolutely gorgeous and we did make it through to Vegas before it got too awful hot but even at 7:00 it was beyond warm. I wish we'd had more time to explore, I would have loved to see Scotty's Castle but alas, he wasn't much of an adventurer at times and that wasn't something he wanted to see.

Would loved to have seen Bodie, too, as I'd heard a lot about it but alas, that was another opportunity missed. Sigh ...

Travis said...

My folks love the desert. I've never enjoyed it much, but there are moments when it can be spectacular.

Jamie said...

I love the desert in Winter and Spring. Once the heat goes crazy, I'm gone.