Tuesday, April 9, 2013

THE Trip, THE Encore' :: Scotty's Castle, Death Valley

Copyright 2013, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

March 12, 2013.  On tap today, the long ride from Stovepipe Wells to Scotty's Castle.  One of the "must do" items on our list for Death Valley.  The National Park Service has a page here, and they have a nice long article (click several times to read it all) on the history and story behind Scotty's Castle, here.  It was about a 45 mile trip (one way) from Stovepipe Wells to Scotty's Castle.  We hoped to be able to take advantage of some of the guided tours, and we did, two of them, in fact.  The road there was long, almost no vegetation, some land forms that were interesting.

However, today's trip was about the Castle, NOT the land forms.Our first view of the castle grounds:

The Castle:

The unfinished pool, well, half of the unfinished pool.

Chimes tower, which was roped off as unsafe at this time.


Yes, there are a few gargoyles too!

I took all interior photos au natural, meaning no flash.  There were no specific rules against it, but, I prefer to see my photos looking like the reality I experienced.  The castle has thick walls, heavy drapery, is dark inside.  For the most part the photos of the interior reflect that natural appearance, only minimal digital editing was done.

Inside, the Great Room, for the most part the furnishings are original.

Love this drapery rod.  It is said that some of the drapes in the house were hand tooled, hand painted, made from sheepskin leather.  Since you are not allowed to touch, we will just have to take the word of the docents on that one.

More interesting window coverings.

Dining room, the table was quite long.  I was drawn to the table settings in the multi sectioned display buffet.

The kitchen sink (and I believe over in the back corner was the trash can, beautifully covered with those gorgeous tiles.)  In the kitchen especially, functionality was covered by doors and beautiful tiles.

OK, I am not sure how comfy that chair on the right would have been to sit in, but, it sure is an interesting piece of furniture, the draperies are stunning.

This chair was in the music room, sure looks like there is a door under the seat, doesn't it?  The organ had pipes hidden behind walls, it was quite the thing.  According to this page, "The Welte-Mignon theater pipe organ features 1,121 pipes, a grand piano, glockenspiel, xylophone, chimes, orchestra bells, sleigh bells, bird calls and a drum and cymbal assortment, and cost more than $50,000 to purchase, deliver, and install in 1928."  It still makes beautiful music today.

After the "house" tour, which included quite a few bedrooms and so much more than I am showing you here we went on a second tour.  This tour was for Man, the "working stuff" of the house, the power plant and tunnels.  Yep, he was really into it.  I, well, not so much.  However, part of the tour shows you the "underwater" view of the pool, and all the tiles that had been brought in to finish the pool, which was never finished.  Hundreds of tiles, many of them hand painted.  They were so pretty.

Batteries, and MORE batteries.  There were about 100 Edison Nickle Alkaline storage batteries.  Our RVing friends that do a lot of boondocking will enjoy this photo, I am sure.

This door evokes many ideas, suggestions.  Medieval times anyone?

There was a cemetery on top of a hill behind the house.  I did not wander (err, hike) up there, but, found this memorial at Find A Grave for Walter Scott, for whom the castle is named.  Walter was not the owner, just part of the mystique of the castle.

We spent several hours at Scotty's Castle, it was time to head back to camp, but, not before one more stop, with some of the most unusual, fascinating landscape we will see in Death Valley, and that's saying something in this area of the unusual.



Barbara Poole said...

Loved your #2 picture. The entire post was interesting, but as usual, I'm asking, "where are the people?" You seem to have had this place to yourself. Very impressive.

Carol said...

There are a few people there Barbara! LOL I wait until the perfect moment, whenever I can and shoot around people! For example that photo with the flower shapes cut into the window coverings?? I shot that behind people, making sure there were no warm bodies in the shot when I clicked Sony Too. Some I manage to do this way with the zoom. I work hard at it, and sometimes I just cannot get a photo without people. Go look one more time at the photo of that unique chair in the music room. Yep, there are two people in the background! LOL