Ashford Mill

Ashford Mill Ruins I

The ruins of the Ashford Mill are within the boundary of Death Valley National Park. The mill was built in 1914 and was processing the ore from the Golden Treasure Mine about 5 miles to the east. The location is just south of Badwater and is below sea level and a hot and dry environment. Not a good location for processing ore.

Ashford Mill Ruins II

Badwater, Death Valley

Badwater, Death Valley

This is the lowest point in the North American continent, Badwater, Death Valley National Park at 282 ft (86m) below sea level. It was 104 degrees (40 C) when I took this photo. The white color is caused by people walking out to the actual low point in the middle of the valley. It is an alkali salt and the white color reflects the heat and makes it seem that much warmer. Not a pleasant place to spend a lot of time, but a unique experience.

The mountains across the valley include the highest point in Death Valley National Park … Telescope Peak at 11, 043 feet (3366 m). Quite a contrast in elevation in a short distance.

Amargosa Hotel

The Amargosa Hotel

Outside the eastern boundary of Death Valley National Park is the Death Valley Historic District and the Amargosa Hotel. The hotel is a small establishment that doesn’t provide a lot of onsite entertainment. There is a coffee shop across the parking lot, but the menu is limited. There are a lot of rooms that are not available due to a lack of enough business to pay for the refurbishing and maintenance. The highlight of the area is the old Opera House … and the painted walls and ceiling that tells the story of the once thriving mining district community. Access to the Opera House is by tour only.

Amargosa Hotel Veranda
Amargosa Hotel Peeling Paint

Desert Ruin

Desert Ruin

After several days of photos from Alaska, I really needed some warm sunny image to take the chill off. This one should help. It is outside of Death Valley National Park. It was taken in the spring, so there is still some snow on the higher elevations. But down in the valley, it was quite toasty.

This ruin just made me wonder about the mental state of those men that built homes in areas like this. Tortuously hot. Desolate. Almost uninhabitable. All in the hope of finding some lode that would bring them riches. Living the Dream, as they say these days. What a dream…

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