Continuing into Death Valley National Park, we offloaded at the Inn at Furnace Creek. It opened for the season on 10-11. How could that happen when the government shut down on 10-1 and didn’t open again until 10-16, you ask. Well, don’t get me started on my opinion of the government shut down but since Furnace Creek Resort is on private land surrounded by DVNP, it is an “inholding not subject to closures” and the main roads through the park are CA state highways that stay open. This inn is part of the Furnace Creek Resort. But, all was well, because we landed on 11-7-2013 and everything was open including the government.
Are you still with me? Through the ages when I visited DVNP, I settled into an RV space with barely a glance toward the historic and magnificent inn that sprawled across, thanks to a mountain spring, a green oasis above me. The “Inn” (part of the Furnace Creek Resort) was a different ball of wax entirely. It opened in 1927 with 12 guest rooms that ballooned to 66 rooms by the time we arrived. They have people who will help you with anything so Alex carried my suitcase down a flight of stairs, through a tunnel, and along a covered terrace that looked across the valley to the mountains beyond.
I was ushered into a room with a huge bed and a million or so pillows in a variety of softness that beckoned me. Although I knew that over the Inn’s history, many famous people had stayed and do stay at the Inn, I was told that Marlon Brando had slept in this room. That didn’t do much for me because I had never seen any of his movies but just in case, I bolted the door against any stray stallions with loose bloody heads.
On the outside deck below the main dining room, we enjoyed a small reception for our group. We sampled countless delicacies and fancy desserts by Chef Sebastian Maris and others. Although we were already enjoying the cool night, several of us found our way to the pool level of this multi-level Inn. The huge pool, fed by a flow-through spring, maintains a constant year-around temperature of 82 degrees. One of the guys started a fire and the staff brought more wood and kept it going. With a huge rock chimney, we didn’t even have to dodge the smoke. It was magical beneath the star-filled sky that boasted a sliver of moon and a distant view of subtly-lit Furnace Creek Ranch and the Encampment.
After a very full day, that magnificent bed was wondersome. God Bless until next week.
Winter in the Wilderness, the first e-book novel published by Minshall, is offered at most Internet book sites. A print edition may be obtained from Amazon, or you can order an autographed copy from the author at Box 1040, Congress, AZ for $7.95 plus $3.50 for postage and handling. The fourth edition of RVing Alaska and Canada is available through Amazon.com.
At 45, Widow Minshall began 20 years of solo full-time RVing throughout Alaska, Mexico, and Canada. Sharlene canoed the Yukon, mushed sled dogs, worked a dude ranch, visited Hudson Bay polar bears, and lived six months on a Mexican beach. She lectured at Life on Wheels, published six RV-related books and wrote a novel, “Winter in the Wilderness.”