GRAND CANYON NP to DEATH VALLEY NP
By mid-day we crossed into Nevada and stopped at Lake Mead Visitor Center. Even though the visitor center is closed on Mondays & Tuesdays. We still stooped in the parking lot to eat lunch from the cabin looking out the dashboard window with a picturesque view of Lake Mead.
Wife's fruit sandwich.... looks so good
Later in the day we crossed into California (there was no "Welcome to" sign board). The only way I knew was because the road sign ever mile or so said SR 190 California. We made our way into Death Valley and the gas prices were ridiculous.
What the !@#%
DEATH VALLEY NATIONAL PARK
Entrance fee $20 a vehicle. Death Valley National Park has plenty to offer, as long as you can handle the heat. It was 3:00 pm when we arrived and it was still hot, just image if we got there earlier in the day. Most everything to see is off the beating path and with the RV and towing there is no way we were going down unpaved dirt roads. If you have a off road truck this National Park is your playground. I really wanted to see the rock race. In the middle of nowhere rocks move along the open dry bed desert, but no one knows how these large rock move, they just do. The way you know they move is because you can see the path these rock left behind.
We wanted to see Scotty's Castle, but it was on the other side of the park about a 2 hour drive away and was closed we arrived... not enough hours in day. So we made camp for the night at one of the National Parks campgrounds that had 40 sites for only $12 a night. We were first to arrive with two others who would show up around sunset. They spreed out leaving everyone their own part of the campground. The sun was still beating down on us and the only place to take cover from the heat was the shadow in front of our rig.
I cooked some steaks on the grill for dinner, then the sunset... what a view. Shortly after the cool breeze came with all the RV windows open cooled everything down. I fell a sleep with the bedroom windows open.
Day 2 in Death Valley I started the day off right with a bowl of breakfast of champions (strawberries, banana, whip cream and chocolate syrup). Had to finish the fruits as they are staring to get ripe.
Walking the grounds are free, entrance fee to the castle is $15 each and the National Park Pass does not cover this tour. The story is mind boggling on why the real owners Albert Johnson of this Castle allowed con man Walter Scott to take credit as it belonging to him. there is a video and story told by the park rangers, but still to hard to understand why. The Johnson's did not have heirs. The castle was built in the the early 1920's at a price around $2.5 million. There was a dispute on who owned the land so building was stopped. The swimming pool never got finished. The wall, bridge and even the looking glass from the house to the pool was completed. However, the tile bottom was not finished and is still filled with dirt. A clock tour stands in the back of the house that rings bells every 15 minutes and a top of the hour rings the number of times the time is (ie 5 bells 5:00 am/pm). The most amazing part is there was no power lines to the house, it ran off a generator that was powered by flowing spring water. Just a remarkable feet for the early 1920. Scotty is buried on top of the hill looking down on the Castle.
As we left the park the navigator took us up and over the Inyo Mountains. It was not one, but three mountains ranges we had to climb over 7,000 feet all 3 times with up to 8% declines/inclines with sharp turns and even a spot with one lane road and no place to pull over. Once we started there was no turning back. I don't recommend it to anyone in any type of motorhome to try this route, special if your towing and are a gas pusher. There were times I did not think we would not make it to the top, let alone make it down the other side safely. After coming down the last mountain we saw a sing for Scotty's Castle... why did the navigator not take us this way? (After look at the National Park map that road is sometimes closed) We stopped in the town of Bishop, CA at a Taco Bell for a well desired break.
Just as we thought we were clear of the mountains ... the road gave us more. This time the roads were a little better, but took us well over 8,000 feet. As we were ready to make our turn to US 120 the road was still closed for the winter season. So, on ward we went to the next pass through on US 108. When we turned the signed board recommended trucks and trailer not pass. Ahead a sign board looked to read 24% inclines. We were able to turn around an continue on US 395. We enter the town of Walker, CA we drove along small rapped streams. We did not take any pictures because the sun started to set and we only wanted to find a place to pull over for the night.
US 395 would be a nice scenic drive, but after US 120 we closed I was more upset then wanting to take in the views. Besides, with the RV it was to hard to pullover and take in the views on the small narrow two lane roads.