As Vegas was excess, Beatty was incest. Ok that’s not accurate, and apologies to those living in Beatty. We got there at thunderstorm time so the desert was remarkably cooler than usual – thank goodness!
The ghost town of Rhyolite was just down the road and of course we couldn’t resist the allure. The town was prosperous in the 1800’s due to the presence of gold & other minerals in the area. Sadly as with all boom towns the gold ran out and Rhyolite declined until it became a ghost town….
We stumbled onto the cemetery for the town that was just out there in the desert. Beautiful skies and flat desert landscape as far as the hills. Also there is the Goldwell Open Air Museum, with rather haunting sculptures.
Our GPS took us on an interesting route back to Beatty. It was one of the old mining trails which would have been fine, if we had horses, and if the road hadn't collapsed half way. Greg managed to drive us off road in our little red sedan, so luckily we didn't become ghosts with the rest of Rhyolite.
Oddly enough we ran into loads of French tourists at the visitor centre.
Sadly and scarily, the visitor centre had a huge hand written sign to beware the danger of the heat. It said “2 Deaths since April due to Heat”. Greg and I decided that walking any of the trails was just silly, but we managed to see the Mesquite sand dunes near the road.
Onwards we went to stay with Richard via AirBnb in a lovely house that used to belong to a Hollywood starlet in Tehachapi. He told us stories of living in Hawaii, and his motorcycle collection, whilst we swam in his pool with a lovely Mexican dinner. Thanks Richard – definitely go stay with him if you’re in the area!
Onwards we went to Sequoia’s National Park where myself and a French couple had to tell off an stupid tourist that the barriers were there to stop you from climbing these amazing trees. Sometimes people are just unbelievable.
The Redwood trees are just amazing and gigantic. We saw the large General Sherman tree, which is 2,200 years old (not the oldest either but the largest). It weights 1.25 tonnes and has a circumference of 103 feet / 31 metres at its base.
Amazing! Then we trekked through the redwood forest to climb up to the view at Morro Rock. Wow.
Next stop Yosemite – stay tuned.