Saturday, November 26, 2016

Have You Ever Been to Amargosa?

Have you ever been to Amargosa?
Or Death Valley?

Have you even heard of Amargosa?

Amargosa is a little town in the Mojave Desert, at the junction of Highways SR 190 and SR 127,
 east of Death Valley National Park, and only about 30 minutes to Furnace Creek.
The town is home to less than a half dozen people.
And yes...that is really an opera house!
In early 1967, Marta Beckett and her husband were traveling through Death Valley and had a flat tire.
As luck would have it, they were in Death Valley Junction.  
While the tire was being repaired, Marta wandered through the nearly deserted town and found a theater.  She had been a dancer and artist in New York in her younger days and was 
mesmerized by the theater and the opportunity to have it as her own.
In 1967 the little theater opened  as Amargosa Opera House.
She performed for a small audience of 12 adults, kids, and grandkids.
The little theater continued to open it's doors every Friday, Saturday, and Monday night 
for many years.  
Locals and tourists made up the audiences, and sometimes the theater opened to no one in the audience, but the show went on.
In the early 70's Marta painted an audience on the walls of the theater so that there 
would always be an audience.
She retired in 2012, and still lives in Amargosa.

The Amargosa Hotel is still available for bookings... 
Trip Advisor gives it 3.5 of 5 stars!
Inside some of the rooms you'll find more of Marta's murals!

I doubt that this is Marta, but she certainly may be a relative sprucing up the 
Amargosa Cafe!

Rumor has it that Amargosa is being spruced up a bit to accommodate the start of an artists colony!

Once in Death Valley, most everyone heads to Badwater Basin, 
the lowest point in the continent of North America at 282 feet below sea level!

We were there in the very early Spring...
the desert wildflowers were just starting to come out.

Some think the desert is a wasteland...
but if you're ever in Death Valley, you'll know that just ain't so.

Death Valley is quite an amazing place.  Summer temperatures get pretty darned hot
so the best time to visit is in Fall, Winter or Spring.

We've stayed in both the Furnace Creek Ranch and the Furnace Creek Inn.
The Ranch is economical, but the Inn...ooh la, la!!!
The Inn has a lovely pool, tennis courts and golf and a beautiful, fine dining restaurant.
And not to be missed, no matter which place you stay, cocktails at sunset on the patio of the Inn.!!!

Sunsets at from the patio of the Furnace Creek Inn at Death Valley are spectacular!!!

To visit more little corners of the on the images below!

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Knee Replacement Surgery Ain't for the Feint of Heart...

As of today it's been seven weeks since my knee replacement...

Those first three to four weeks I thought I was the stupidest human being ever to 
voluntarily have that done to me!!!

What the hell was I thinking???

Physical Therapy...other wise known as Pain and Torture...
drove me to tears during those first few weeks.
It felt like every cell in my knee was ripping apart every time the Physical Therapist
pushed me into just "that much more bend." seven weeks flexion is within a few degrees of my "good" knee...
my extension too!!!

Life is good again...though not back to normal quite yet~

Before!  Notice that my knee bends away from midline...
made going up stairs and stepping off curbs quite the challenge!

Immediately after...yuck!!!  Pretty darned gross!!!

After the 3 week mark...
shedding skin like a lizard!!!

Swellings down considerably...scar is healing nicely...movement is pretty darned good...
minimal limping, only use a cane when out around the public basically to let them know to 
be a bit more careful around me (and it works!)...
endurance improved...strength improved...
all in all, a pretty darned good outcome so far!

The nerves are still numb...which quite frankly I think is a good thing right now...
they'll come back...

Well...this is why I haven't posted for weeks on end!!!

Now for a moment of peace and beauty!!!

Lake Mary at sunset...
Mammoth Lakes, California in the Eastern Sierras

Have a great day!!!