Campbell's 2017 Western Trip travel blog

View of Borax Refinery and Mule Team

View of Landscape Around Borax Refining Exhibit

Closer View of Refiner

Refining Description

Transportation Info

Borax Wagons and 1600 Gallon Water Wagon

Me at Zabriskie Point

View of Eroded Terrain

Another View of Terrain

And another

Borax Mining Information

Hiking Is Permitted on the Eroded Landscape

Traveling on 20 Mule Canyon

Information about Mule Selection

Found Ball

October 24 – Visit Death Valley NP Sites, 5 Bars with AT&T and A Ball Was Found

We got up late since Martha had had her early breakfast at 5 AM when she had to go out to relieve herself and had some of her newly crafted food as a ‘cookie’. Martha has been having digestive issues for weeks even with cooked hamburger. So, Kathleen found an InstantPot recipe for dog food that consists of chicken thighs, peas, carrots and brown rice, spinach, egg shells. Martha loves it and now her stool is firm.

As a side note, at 5 AM the black sky was full of thousands of tiny lights from stars. Martha wanted me to see them, thus her need to pee. : )

When we left the RV this morning at 9, the ambient temperature was 88F with a wind. The sky was clear and absent any smoke. We visited a site where borax (the ‘White Gold of the West’) was produced from valley floor scraping in the 1880’s, climbed to the top of a hill for a nice, warm view of the eroded hills, drove in the dusty, 20 Mule Team Canyon where mules pulled 36 tons of Borax and equipment and visited a Borax Museum to view the unique equipment.

From one of the information panels along the trail: “Borates – salt minerals – were deposited in ancient lake beds that uplifted and eroded into the yellow Furnace Creek badlands. Water dissolved the borates and carried them to the Death Valley floor, where they recrystallized as borax.

Chinese laborers recruited from San Francisco scraped the borax off of the salt flats and carried it by wagon to the refinery.”

The borax was refined locally to keep the transportation cost low in hauling the product 165 miles across the desert to a train station. See one of the attached photos for a description of the refining process.

We returned to the RV and then took a warm walk to the visitor’s center which appears new and has a great Death Valley information section and shows a nice informational movie.

For the first time on our trip, we have 5 bars of AT&T cell service, at a deep hole in the desert. The cell phone service along the Pacific Coast was always lacking and frustrating.

As if the day was not great enough with a firm stool, no smoke, abundant borax knowledge and 5 cell phone bars, a lost ball was found wedged in an small, floor corner of our bathroom. Mitch and Michelle, I knew that you would be relieved. : ) But, three are still to be found.

As an update, the 1x2 wood lath positioned in the three drawer handles has proven to be a clever yet simple solution to drawer escapement issue. : )

Nuts and Bolts

Added 3/4 gallon of DEF.

Trip Miles: 7,164 and no check engine light – Life is Good!

Entry Rating:     Why ratings?
Please Rate:  
Thank you for voting!
Share |