Detailed planning is underway for the Destinations Deal Tour and the excitement is building. There are seven of us on this ride. Some of the guys are folks I’ve ridden with before on our CSC adventures, and some are new to the CSC world. It’s great; old friends and new friends. I sure am having fun.
I received a nice note from my good buddy Stan yesterday (complete with a couple of killer vintage photos) and I thought I would share it with you…
Enjoy reading your blog and just wanted to share a few things that might enhance your upcoming tour. I see you plan to ride through Death Valley which is one of my favorite places (beauty, history, desolation) and recalling the record rainfall 2 years ago and the damage to roads that I think still exists, (Scotty’s Junction entry..) At Scotty’s Junction there’s a B&B ‘Shady Lady’ that was formerly a brothel with themed rooms…check out their website). Also in this area and used in a unique promotion with ‘Airbnb and Audi’ (enter Airbnb and Audi into YouTube to see the commercial) is another unique B&B…. Your likely entry into Death Valley is through Beatty, NV (Hwy 374).
Right before you pull into Beatty, stop at the crash-landed airplane right in front of the former Angels Ladies brothel… 4 brothels in this region have gone ‘belly-up.’
100+ years ago, Beatty had a rival city called ‘Rhyolite’ (once being hyped as ‘The Chicago of the West’). Well, that didn’t quite pan-out, as you’ll notice this recurring theme passing through what’s left of the boom and bust towns on your way south on Hwy 95.
Both photos above are from Rhyolite (just a few miles west of Beatty) and both the Cook Bank building and Porter Bros store (the circus elephants are right in front of it) have ruins that still stand.
Walter ‘Death Valley Scotty’ Scott, seen above eating his lunch next to the Cook Bank with a Chinese businessman he owed money to (Scotty loved to spend other peoples’ money) was a huge part of the history of this region (after being fired by Buffalo Bill Cody). There’s a ‘Castle’ named after him in DVNP (well worth checking out once they get it reopened after the flash flood damage).
You must attend an organ concert at Scotty’s Castle once they reopen. A one weekend per year happening, where a human being plays the theatre organ live (played by computer during tours of the Castle, on every other day). A unique venue to say the least. Check the DVNHA website for updates…(don’t fret, I’ll be sure and give you a heads-up).
Here’s an historical event you might not be aware of from back in his day; quite the celebrity https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scott_Special
Next to Rhyolite you can’t miss some unusual sculptures (Goldwell Outdoor Museum) and some great photo-ops. The statue of the miner swinging the pick, standing next to the penguin is Frank ‘Shorty’ Harris; 1 of 2 men to find the gold that made this area boom.
Not in the cards for this run, but a road you’ll pass by and must take another time is the 266/168 that connects Hwy 95 (the junction where The Cottontail brothel used to take lonely truckers money) and Hwy 395 in Big Pine (where Yelp! #1 rated restaurant in the USA for 2015, Copper Top BBQ is located). What a hoot this road is, either by car or motorcycle. And at night? Wow! I’ve done it at night solo on 4 wheels and that was weird enough…and this was while camping in the Eastern Sierra (west of Bishop) and the contrast of being high in the mountains and in the heat of the summer in Death Valley in the same day was awesome (the Death Valley run was to see the organ concert mentioned above and it always seems to be scheduled during the summer…).
And off the 168 out of Big Pine is The Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest (home to the oldest trees, some predating the Great Pyramid of Giza) get your hiking legs on…
Stan, thanks very much for your note, the photos, and your suggestions. We’re going to have a great time, and we appreciate the inputs!