Death Valley and the Duke

Trip Start Sep 20, 2010
Trip End Oct 26, 2010

Loading Map
Map Options
Show trip route
Hide lines
Where I stayed
Dow Villa Hotel

Flag of United States  , California
Friday, October 22, 2010

A few early morning photos before leaving the park and then we pushed on, wanting to cross Death Valley today. As we were leaving the park we saw a limo driving in and thought hmm, must have been a big winner out for a little day trip in the desert - Las Vegas is only 26 miles away.



Nancy's memory of Death Valley is a summer trip in the 1950’s (before cars had air conditioning).  Her family was moving from New York to Sacramento.  As a child it seemed to take days to cross and even with the windows open the hot air burned her nose and throat. She was not looking forward to revisiting.

We were surprised by the ups and downs, crossing three 4,000-foot passes and dipping below sea level.  It was not jaw dropping scenery we have become accustomed to but there were expansive vistas the dark skies created a dramatic backdrop.





It was a North long, long day of driving to reach the eastern edge of the Sierra Nevada Mountains.  We were hoping to stop for the evening in the first town, Olancha; however, the little town with a population of 39 had no lodging available.  The next town, Lone Pine was 25 miles and we stopped at the very first motel – no vacancy – a corvette rally had taken over the motel.  We drove on, no vacancy at the next motel and we were getting a bit discouraged, not wanting to drive another hour to Bishop.



Finally we found a room at the Dow Villa Motel.  As you enter the lobby it looks like a step back in time, large couches, a roll top desk, felt topped poker table, and western movie memorabilia, photos of all the old western movie stars.  Photos of "The Duke" were everywhere. The Dow Hotel was built in the early 1920s. Hollywood was looking for movie locations where there was a variety of scenery and chose Owens Valley, with its snow-capped Sierra and ancient Alabama Hills, deserts, mountain lakes and streams. When they came on location, they needed lodging. Mr. Walter Dow, a Lone Pine resident, could see ahead and knew what it could mean to the valley to have the big movie business, so he built the Dow Hotel.  It was a funky place with a comfortable lobby and quite an array of movie memorabilia.

Not far down the street we found a steak house and indulged in a really good steak dinner for Nancy and BBQ ribs for George.  We and slept well knowing that the Duke was watching over us.
Slideshow Report as Spam
  • Your comment has been posted. Click here or reload this page to see it below.

  • Please enter a comment.
  • Please provide your name.
  • Please avoid using symbols in your name.
  • This name is a bit long. Please shorten it, or avoid special characters.
  • Please enter your email address to receive notification
  • Please enter a valid email address

Use this image in your site

Copy and paste this html: