From Skidoo to Aguereberry
A Testament of Love
So after visiting Cerro Gordo we headed into Death Valley. Our first stop was at Father Crowley Point. The attraction here is the beautiful geological formations, their colors and the fact that the military practices in the canyon there. So much so that the canyon has been nicknamed the Star Wars Canyon. Unfortunately that day, because of the cloud cover, they weren't flying.
We moved on to our next stop, to find the mill at Skidoo. The townsite of Skidoo (established 1906) is reached after 7 miles of washboard road. There is absolutely nothing at Skidoo except a bunch of holes and the mill. The information board at the townsite makes no mention of the mill. You have to drive around the back of the townsite.
The Skidoo Mine was in operation from 1906-1917. The pride and joy of the mine was the 15-stamp mill. The mill was the only one in the desert operated by water. Water was piped in from 23 miles away near Telescope Peak.
As Mike and I were finishing up at Skidoo another family showed up. An older couple with their grown daughter and her husband. They were from Utah. The mother was hysterical and totally in love with Mike. I think he was seriously thinking of kicking me to the curb and going home with her!
As we were driving out of Skidoo, we came upon one of those amazing sunsets that this area is known for. The pinks and magenta that sunsets possess in this area never cease to amaze me! I just had to grab a panoramic shot of the show!
After an amazing sunset we headed to Aguereberry Point. Aguereberry Point is named after Pete Aguereberry, a Basque immigrant who came to the promise land at the young age of 16. He did a variety of odd jobs to get by. In 1905 he filed claims near Aguereberry Point. He worked them his whole life. In addition to working his mines, he built the road to Aguereberry Point (at that time it was called Pete's Great View". It was said that he built the road so that his wife could go up to the point for the view. This view looks clear down into the Saline Valley. You can see for miles!
Pete died on November 23, 1945 at Tecopa Hot Springs at age 72. Though he wished to be buried at the point, government officials, citing the 1933 monument status of Death Valley, denied his final request. Instead, Father Frank Crowley, interred Pete at the Mount Whitney Cemetery in Lone Pine, California. A plaque honors his life and memory as a modest, hardworking and honorable man.
The sunrise didn't disappoint us the next morning. It was amazing! Surprisingly, it wasn't that windy up there. You would think it would be at 6433'!
After the sunrise we had coffee and breakfast. It was an awesome way to start the day!
To get to Skidoo you turn south on Emigrant Canyon Road from HWY 190. You go about 9.4 miles. There will be a dirt road on the left with a sign that says Skidoo. Follow that road for about 7 miles. A passenger car can do the road but, like all the other roads in Death Valley, it is very washboardy.
To get to Aguereberry Point, return to Emigrant Canyon Road and go south. You will come to a dirt road on the left with a sign to your destination. The road to the point is 6.4 miles long. It winds its way through an unusual canyon before spitting you out at the point.