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Archive for the ‘California’ Category

Death Valley area has culture!! … as we found out when we stopped at a tiny town (pop 3) called Amargosa which once belonged to the Pacific Borax Mining Company.  We barely made it in the door to a cafe when a woman accosted us raving “You have to go on the Tour! … its only $5 and its amazing … I came from Germany to see it … just ask at the Hotel and the young lady will will take you inside the Amargosa Opera House!”

Amargosa Opera House

Amargosa Opera House

So of course we abandoned lunch and met a beautiful young woman at the desk of the hotel who took us across the plaza and unlocked the blue doors for us. She sat us down in pink velvet seats and told us of Marta Becket from New York City … a ballerina whose career was over when she hit 40.

Ballerina Marta Becket

Ballerina Marta Becket

She was doing a last tour of the U.S. and had a flat tire outside Death Valley in Amargosa in 1967 (pop 10 at that time).  She saw the Borax Company hall which had not been used for years and her dream began … she rented it for $45/mo and began renovating it … then she bought the whole town of 268 acres and started painting the interior.  She gave performances, which were not well received by the local miners/cowboys—– so she painted her own audience!!  The KING of SPAIN and his COURT sit on the rear wall of the hall facing the stage. She painted the whole room including the ceiling.  Her audiences finally grew and she danced until she was 86 …. died a few years ago at 92. They have mostly European visitors who have heard of the Amargosa Opera House.”  We waved goodbye considerably happier from hearing this tale.  Truly amazing !!!

 

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Here is the 13 mile road between Pardee Lake and Jackson, California which is a little used road in the Sierra foothills.

California Golden Hills

California Golden Hills

On a 93 degree-at-noon day the golden hills rest in silence and so do the horses.

Resting Horses

Resting Horses

 

The Oaks spread their majestic limbs and the native Buckeye trees have begun shedding their leaves and developing the green balls which hold their seeds.  They will soon be bare which is an evolutionary strategy to cope with dry California summers and minimize their need for water.

Majestic Oaks

Majestic Oaks

California Buckeyes

California Buckeyes

California Buckeye Seed Pods

California Buckeye Seed Pods

The thistles are dried and ready to fling their seeds to the wind.

Thistle Seed Heads

Thistle Seed Heads

It is August … warmth … lazy long days …

Along this road are stone fences built by the Chinese laborers brought to the gold mines in the late 1800’s … they still stand and define each farm.

Stone Fence built by Chinese laborers

Stone Fence built by Chinese laborers

And at the end of the peaceful, old road there is ICE CREAM!!

D.L. and end of the road ice cream

D.L. and end of the road ice cream

The golden hills of California … always in my dreams …

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