Today we headed out to Death Valley. Since we are in Nevada the first stop for the Eviliz crew will be the Devil's Hole. It is located surprisingly close to Pahrump. The final five miles or so are dirt roads, but not too bad as far as dirt roads go.
The Devil's Hole is not in Death Valley. In Fact, it's quite a distance from it. In looking at the maps we all came to the same conclusion: Charlie really covered some ground!
The actual Devil's Hole spot itself is a scientific place of importance because of the small population of prehistoric pup fish that live there. It is in fact the only place on Earth where they exist. For this reason it is fenced-off but you can still stand almost directly over it.
To go down in 1969 would have taken robust young people. It's quite a climb and quite a drop to the bottom if you were to fall. On this day the bottomless pit did not open.
The drive into Death Valley was beautiful. It is however, long. Our second destination for the day was to get to Father Crowley Point. In order to get there we would pass through places like Furnace Creek and Panamint Springs. Both places are very isolated, but each has a nice restaurant or two which we took full advantage of. Crossing the mountain ranges took us to elevations over 5000 ft where we needed jackets. But Furnace Creek is some 500 ft below sea level and it was HOT. We couldn't imagine how hot it gets in August. Oh, and gas was a little pricey in Furnace Springs, but luckily for Mr. Patty and I, the ale was cold.
We finally got to Father Crowley Point. When we first arrived the wind was really kicking. Grump and I both thought we heard a train coming. On the second hearing we realized it was the acoustics created by the winds churning between the mountains around us!
Of course you all know that this is the spot where Fillipo Tennerelli's car was pushed over the edge after his murder in Bishop, CA. It is one of those incidents that fits the Manson pattern but was never proven. FCP is like being at the top of the world. The view of the Panamint Mountains and Death Valley below are spectacular. It gives a vantage point to see the route that Charles Manson sought to find to bring the Family to its desert hideout undetected by not traveling on public roads. The expanse of this area kept ringing home the same thought: Charlie and the Family really covered some ground!
We decided to bunk in Ridgecrest, way to the south but a town that has modern amenities and is relatively close to tomorrow's destinations - Ballarat, Barker's & Meyer's Ranches! Upon examining our map we concluded that we had time to hit Olancha - the site of the Family's staging area, Hannum Ranch and of course the spot of yet another Family related but never proven murder - Karl Stubbs in 1968. Olancha is quite close to the mountains beside it. The Spring runoff makes it plush and green compared to what we had seen all day.
The Karl Stubbs house
TOMORROW, BARKER'S RANCH!!!