RVery Best Nest

Come join Joe, Mallery & I, as we travel around the USA in our RVery Best Nest. God's Favor has been chasing us down, and we are enjoying all of His blessing's, that He has created for all to enjoy!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Scotty's Castle, Death Valley National Park Part 2

                                  Tuesday 4/3/2012

After our castle tour we went to the restroom, then headed to the bridge that crosses over the middle section of what was planned to be the swimming  pool. This was the starting point for the tunnel tour.
Unfortunately, when the the initial  survey was done for the Johnson's land, it was done incorrect, and the Johnson's had built their winter home on government land. Their land was further up Grapevine Canyon. Construction was halted  until the mistake was resolved. Note the windows in this side of the pool.
This was to be the shallow end of the pool with a view of the Bell Tower.
We took stairs that led down to what was to be the pools dressing room. Notice the sea horse door handle.

In the dressing room was a sea horse chandlier. While in the dressing room, our guide passed around old pictures of many things, and told us stories of the Johnson's Death Valley Ranch.

There are many different tunnels under the ranch. This section of the tunnel now stores all the tiles that were to line the pool.
By the time the survey mistake was resolved, the 1929 stock market had crashed, and the Johnsons had loss some of their money, making it not feasible to finish the pool and another courtyard project.
Instead the Johnson rented out the rooms to travelers to Death Valley to keep things a float.
It's unfortunate the pool never got finish, because it would have been a beautiful sight. We asked our guide if the park service ever considered finishing the pool as they had all the materials sitting around. He said it was against their policy to add or remove anything, because it was an historic site.
In the tunnel, we came to a place where the windows were, in the deep end of the pool. The guide thought this was going to be some kind of sitting area.
These old edison electric batteries we used to store electrical power made from a water powered generation system.
Some of the batteried still had the edison name plate on them. These batteries were checked everyday for water levels.
This in the main generation room. All the original equipment is still there and still capable of producing electricity. It also houses more modern equipment like deseil engines.
This is one of many water wheels found thoughout the castle for generating power. The water came from underground springs. Joe got to open one of these valves and within seconds, a row of light bulbs were illuminated.

After the tunnel tour, Joe and I walked over to the Bell Tower. As you can see there was suppose to be a courtyard of finished  stone in place of the dirt and rock you see in this picture.

We found some open stairs up into the tower.
Gate into the Bell Tower.
View from the Bell Tower, looking into the another court area that was never finished.

View of the deep end of the pool from the Bell Tower. 
Walter Scott took care of the castle while the Johnson were not staying there. When Scotty first arrive to Death Valley in his younger years, he told people he was going to build a castle there. So this was Scotty's Castle, according to this big talker.. The Johnson's died without heirs, so the ranch was left to the Gospel Foundation, with Scotty taking care of it. When Walter Scot died in 1954, he was buried on the hill behind his Death Valley Castle along side his beloved dog.
Death Valley Scotty 1872 - 1954
In 1970 the National Park Service purchased the ranch for $850,000.
View from the top of the hill where Scotty was buried, and looking down toward lower Death Valley.
Some old cars left down in a ditch behind and below the Bell Tower.
View of Bell tower from Scotty's burial site.
We left the castle and took Scotty's Castle Road, the route through Death Valley.
From the castle, it is a moderate steep decent to the valley.
We drove past Mesquite Flat Sand Dune that we had visited two days prior. At this point, we went straight onto Hwy. 190.
We drove past Harmony Borax Works. Even though we have been on this road from this point, we were traveling the opposite direction.
Then past Furnace Creek Resort,
 Zabriskie Point. which we had also visited twice.
The views are much different when going the opposite direction.
No mater what diection your are coming from, when you head toward Pahrump, you get  views of  Charleston Peak.
The route through Death Valley was much more peaceful because of very little traffic, unlike Hwy 95 going to Scotty's Castle.
Even though the traffic is so minimal, the number one cause of death in Death Valley is single car accidents.
We did notice that the cars drove very fast in the valley and on Nevada's highways.
They also pass on curves, hills, and leave little room with on coming cars, when passing. You have to be a defensive driver here.
Pahrump in the valley.
We were glad we drove back through Death Valley. Not only is it different and less traffic, it was also 20 minutes shorter time wise than Hwy. 95.

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