Archive | April 2016

Last Week in Death Valley

Since living & working in this national park,  I have seen things here that I never would have imagined seeing in this desert.

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A shot of the sand dunes with clouds moving over-head.

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Fields of desert gold flowers during our super bloom. That’s something that only happens about every  10 years or so. Glad I picked the right season to work here so I could see it. Yes that is snow on the mountains.

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Still can’t figure out why this area fascinates me so much. It’s the Devil’s Golf Course.  It’s  chunks of of hard pointy sharp salt that covers the ground and is about 20 feet deep.

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I love watching the clouds, love sunrises & sunsets too.

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Sunsets never seem to last long enough sometimes.

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Robert took me through Ash Meadows yesterday.  Found this spot near an old rock cabin that was built in 1895. What makes this pool so fascinating is the hole in the middle. It bubbles up like some type of volcano action. Have no idea why/how.

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Also went to Crystal Lake in Ash Meadows.  The most clear water I have ever seen in any lake anywhere. I could have spent hours there just watching the birds fly around.

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This was taken somewhere in the Artist Pallet area in December 2015. After Robert drove through a very twisty roller-coaster road we stopped to get pics of the colored rocks, and watch others climb them.

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Think I got this pic from my coworker, Jen. She got lots of different flowers during our super bloom. Now how do tourists drive down the road and miss so many flowers? I assume they drove with eyes closed because they would come into the store and ask us where the flowers were. Jen will be going to Acadia Park in Maine for the Summer season.

Now before coming to Death Valley,  I didn’t really know much about it except for the fact that it’s hot. I had heard of a place called Scotty’s Castle and had hoped to see it. We had a couple major floods in October 2015, that closed down the area, totally washing out & destroying the road. I was disappointed at first. But later realized that a fancy home named after a con artist who didn’t build it or ever legally own it, but who lived off other people’s money should not even be such a big deal anyways. Society puts to much value in fake people.  Today we have the Kardashian family, years ago we had Death Valley Scotty. I guess as a society we will never learn.

  There are plenty of other spots in this park that will hold more value in my memories from my time here. I am more thankful for the treasures from Mother Nature.

Last Day of Work

I finished up an 8-day stretch of working yesterday,  when I clocked out I was officially done with my job here in Death Valley. I even took my cashier bank to the accounting dept when I was done. So even though I will still be in the park for a week, I won’t be working.

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A few shots of my coworkers in the general store. People from the Philippines and different parks in the USA. People with different personalities & lifestyles that I probably would never have gotten to know and enjoy, if it wasn’t for the fact that we all live and work together in such a remote national park.

I will miss some of the people here, but I will not miss working in this general store.  For my Summer job in Yellowstone, I am grateful that I won’t have to deal with money or the accounting dept or customers. If I ever decide to come back to Death Valley again, I would want to try another location like Stovepipe Wells  or Panamint Springs. Those locations are even smaller then Furnace Creek. Course I would only want to work in Death Valley from Halloween to Easter. I still haven’t figured out how people can live here all Summer.

Some employees have said they stay because it’s easy to save money here because the rent is so cheap. But life has to be about something other then money & cheap rent.  I need a job that I don’t dread going to almost every day, waiting to clock out of. I remember telling coworkers years ago that unless any job made you want to arrive early, made you happy to spend 8 hours in…then you were in the wrong job no matter how much it paid.

A Long Weekend

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I have been in Death Valley for over 6 months, and that was the first time I have ever had my own picture taken with the sign. A family from San Diego was stopped there and after I took their family photos, the mom took mine. This was 3 days ago after my big day at the dentist.

Luckily I had some sick days to use up, so even though I have 5 days off I will be paid for 3 days. I needed to use them before I transferred up to Yellowstone.

So for my time off I have started going through my stuff and leaving some things down on the give-away table in the laundry room. Still have more stuff to bring down there. I am only bringing 1 carry-on suitcase and my big purse. My laptop, portable DVD player and zoom lens for my camera, all fits inside my purse. Have I mentioned before about the fact that I hate packing? I have also gotten a chance to watch Netflix…sometimes Netflix will work & sometimes it won’t. I  may just cancel my Netflix subscription before I reach my final destination in Yellowstone because the wifi service is questionable there. I don’t even watch it every week here so why pay for something I don’t  (or can’t ) use.

Mother Nature has been blowing wind around like crazy. I had wanted to hike up to the Tea House on my time off, but not in the cold wind. It’s crazy how I can complain about how I can’t do anything outside because it’s either to hot, to cold, to windy, to late in the day…well how about facing the fact that I am to lazy & unmotivated.

It’s been over 72 hours since I got my teeth pulled, and I am not healed enough to chew anything. My friend, Rebecca made Kim & I a steak dinner a couple nights ago, and I had to put mine in the blender. I guess I can eat anything if it fits into a blender. Actually I don’t eat steak very often but it tasted good. This afternoon I made a shake with coconut milk,  chocolate protein powder & a banana.  I found out that I can’t chew bananas but they work well in a shake. I have already lost 2 pounds since getting my teeth pulled.

I went to the dentist

I started having trouble with my teeth in early 2002. It was mostly back teeth so I wasn’t  all that concerned with it. I was still working in a hospital then so I think I had dental insurance and did go to a dentist for a cleaning and x-rays, but never got any work done.

Then in 2007, I broke a tooth on the left side, while chewing gum.  I figured that it must of been some pretty tough gum. Then about 2009, I broke a tooth on the right side while eating a Hershey kiss. I must of broken some more teeth (but forget how) because when I went home to see family in December 2011, my kids were in shock. One of my son’s asked me what happened and said it looked like it hurt. I probably could have been the new face ( or mouth) for the poster child in some meth head commercial.

While working in the Grand Canyon National Park I was able to get dental insurance again.  So in 2014, after many abscessed teeth which made my face swell up a few times I finally got a bunch of teeth pulled.  The insurance ran out before I could finish all the dental work. Facebook even had a memory today from April 2014 with pictures of my face swelled up from an abscess. I won’t have to worry about those anymore.

I got all my top teeth out yesterday.

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My face is puffy and even my nose felt numb. My x-rays are behind me. After giving me shots to numb my face, I just had to wait about an hour…so of course I took pictures. The actual  extraction took about 10 minutes, 15 minutes at most.

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This is the after picture. After I went to Walmart to get pain pills and baby wipes. My lips and chin were a complete mess with caked on blood. 1 lady in the store gave me a hug because  I looked like I was in so much pain. I didn’t feel much of anything, but I looked like I got attacked by Freddie Kruger in some horror movie.

Now my family asked years ago, but at the time I had no idea. How do teeth get so soooo bad. Well it turns out that teeth need saliva to stay healthy. So if you are on any type of medicine that gives you a dry mouth (feels like cotton mouth), then that med is bad for your teeth. This includes any over-the-counter cough medicine or sleeping pill.

Well I am finally happy with the way my smile looks. Next I will be happy to learn how to eat yogurt. It was so weird trying to eat some last night. Hey I might of found my new diet. I’m calling it the denture diet. I have stocked up on yogurt & applesauce waiting for this moment.

Time to be honest with myself

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I love that sculpture in Rhyolite, NV; but I don’t like my picture above. The way I am sitting makes my butt and/or my stomach look HUGE. Of course both are bigger then I would like them to be.

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These were taken about a week ago. I have gained about 45 pounds in the 6.5 months that I have been working in Death Valley.

Soon after I got to work yesterday, I started feeling strange. I recognized it as the feeling I get when my blood sugar drops to low.  I don’t  bring my glucose monitor with me to work and this feeling started about 50 minutes before my breakfast break so I wouldn’t  be able to check my blood sugar even if I had brought it anyways. I finally made it to breakfast and loaded up on the potatoes, eggs and 2 muffins. I needed something to raise my blood sugar quick and potatoes usually works. I had lunch 2.5 hours later and all I could eat was a salad & watermelon.  This crazy schedule of having breakfast soon after clocking into work and then lunch 2.5-3 hours later is ridiculous.

I got out of work early yesterday,  around 2:30. Finally checked my blood sugar around 5pm. I was at 240…highest I have probably ever been…and soooo darn tired. Late last night Kim got a pizza and I ate 2 slices. This morning when I woke up my blood sugar had dropped down to 97. This afternoon I checked it again and it was up to 196.

I called (emailed) outta work today and have spent hours researching diabetes online. For now, i am tired again so will be going to take a nap before Kim comes back from her day at  work.

Going to a Ghost Town

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Here I am, sitting on the huge sculpture titled “the last supper”. Not sure why it’s called that.

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But this must be the waiter…carrying a serving tray with condiments.

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Here is part of the bottle house, with what I assume is a replica of what this town/community looked like 100 years ago. We arrived to early on a Sunday morning so everything was still locked up. Robert says that usually you can walk into this bottle  house.

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Robert found a lizard. We also saw signs that the wild burro had been in the area recently but did not see any of them.
Well I can finally cross Rhyolite & Beatty, NV off my Death Valley bucketlist.  Only have a few more things left on it to see but those will probably have to wait for another year.

Saw some different yellow flowers along the road but did not stop to get pics of them.