Anyway, we stopped in Truckee, and found snow again, but it wasn’t snowing; it was just up in the hills. I was sure glad of that.
|I always like a good mural on the side of a building.|
We rode around a part of Lake Tahoe, and some of the colors reminded me of what we’d seen in the Polynesian Islands … clear waters with turquoise-green water.
|The water and the snow-capped mountains were beautiful and the snow was just where I wanted to see it. Up high.|
|There's a pull-out where people launch boats and such and some of the big rocks seemed to have been dropped |
willy-nilly, here and there.
All-in-all, it was a beautiful day of riding, and we had a meal at the Bridgeport Inn in this small town that was awesome. Who’d a thought?
A walk finished our evening, and we were happy to retire to blogging, reading and sleeping.
|More snow, far away. Yay.|
|Our walk-a-bout lead us to this, one of a couple of good-looking wagons.|
The following morning (Saturday, May 20), we took off for Death Valley, and Beatty, Nevada, where we’d spend a few nights. We wanted to wander around a little bit here and go up and visit the charcoal kilns.
It wasn’t a long ride, and we didn’t rush as there’s always something to see along the road. We arrived in Beatty by late afternoon, had a bite to eat and made our plan for the next day.
Sunday, May 21, was another beautiful day, and we set off to visit the Wildrose Charcoal Kilns.
|Corkscrew Peak is just before we started to drop into the valley, and the heat.|
|In the distance I could see where we'd be riding into the heat of the day, even though it was still early. I was hoping we'd get through the desert floor and up the other side before it got into the hundred-degree mark.|
The road leading up to the kilns has two miles of dirt at the end, and is more like a mule trail than anything, with some larger rocks, washboard and gravel, but nothing like what we’d gone through for a short visit to Mono Lake a few days before. (More on that later.)
|This is the good part of the road, at the end near the parking.|
The kilns are a bit off the path, 37 miles from Stove Pipe Wells, at an elevation of about 6,800-feet, so there wasn’t a crowd of people there, which was nice. There are ten beehive-shaped kilns, each about 25-feet-in-heighth and about 30-feet in circumference. The kilns would hold four cords of pinyon pine logs and, after burning for a week, would produce 2,000 bushels of charcoal. They are beautiful, real works-of-art, and are thought to be the best-known surviving example of this type of kiln in the United States.
|The kilns were restored by a Navajo restoration team in 1971.|
|We walked up the hill across the road from the kilns, looking for the perfect shot.|
|We pretty much had the whole place to ourselves.|
|Up on the hill we found these beautiful flowers.|
|The process of turning pinyon logs into charcoal took up to two weeks. The burning which reduced the wood to charcoal took 6-to-8 days, and the cooling took another five days.|