Yes, it’s the uncomfortable perineum between Christmas and New Year’s: all the little children are bored, all the adults are overweight and grumpy, and no one has taken down their Christmas ads yet. Magical!
The trip to Death Valley was beautiful, and I highly recommend this as a thing to do at your winter holiday. We stayed at this fairly swank joint called the Furnace Creek Ranch, and saw just about all the sights.
Ubehebe Crater is pretty amazing. A huge volcano blew up there and left a very deep crater in the rock. The other really amazing viewpoint is Dante’s View, where we were on top of a mountain with about a 35 mph wind blowing at 35 degrees F looking down on the most fucked-up landscape ever, like Frodo and Sam looking at Mordor.
My album from the other day has pictures of these and other adventures: Zabriskie Point, Salt Creek, and Badwater for example.
The Rhyolite Ghost Town was the real thing, with an eccentric house made of bottles, various collapsed buildings from 1908, and the perfect old bearded caretaker with a spiel. On the way there you drive past the Shady Lady Brothel, which is a collection of trailers and other fucked-up desert crap surrounding a small ranch-style house. It is not a brothel you’d see in a movie, with ladies in fox stoles and a piano player and people sipping absinthe and Toulouse-Lautrec painting them and Anne Rice Vampires doing the tango. It is a Fuck Shack. Ladies and gentlemen: the sex industry!
Beatty, NV was notable for feeding me a mediocre chicken-fried steak and for being the next home of Our Nation’s Nuclear Waste. Poor bastids.
I am going to write a whole essay on contentgoeshere about the Amargosa Opera House and Marta Becket. She’s amazing.
The desert for a few days is worth about $30,000 in therapy for me. I always realize a few important things that I hadn’t before, and feel less anxious and more sure of myself, after a few days in that huge empty quiet space. Friends of mine may feel that it actually had a negative effect on me considering my outbursts the night I got back, but actually it’s better. Trust me 😉
More to come.