Saturday, February 5, 2011

Golfing in Death Valley, CA

 Death Valley is in the eastern desert of California.  Don and I honeymooned there 35 years ago.  It's  nice, mild weather, and beautiful desert.  But in the summer it's not so nice.  It can get to 130 degrees F and melt the skin right off the bone.

We have gone there once a year for the past 10 or 12 years to golf with the in-laws in January.  The golf course is dormant then and the greens are like putting on cement.  But the views are beautiful. It's also the lowest spot in the nation at about 214 Ft. below sea level.  When we had our plane we used to fly in and land on the western side of the golf course, get out and push our clubs over to the tee box for our first game.

We stay at Furnace Creek Ranch.  It's down the hill from Furnace Creek Inn which is way more expensive and was featured on Places of the Rich and Famous.  Don and I spent two nights there on our honeymoon and the rest at the Ranch.  They have a nice warm water springs pool, horseback riding, bikes to rent, hiking tours, and of course golf.  They also have three restaurants and a saloon.  The meals are pricey but if you eat at the golf course grill you can get a pretty decent cheeseburger with chips or all beef hot dog, among other items. We ate breakfast in our room.  There are refrigerators in each room but no microwaves. And they don't allow cooking in your room.

We at the rest of our meals at the cafe.  The food was okay but once again it's pricey for a cafe.  If you choose to eat in the steak house the meals are around $25.00 per plate. I don't think that includes salad or soup or drink.  Just the main dish. Desserts are good and run around $7.00 a serving. Fountain drinks are $2.50 on up and Bar Drinks are $7.00 on up.  Coffee is $ 2.75 a cup.

The scenery is spectacular.  The hills are "painted" in so many different colors.  There are several sites you can visit like Scotty's Castle.  This is an amazing place as well as the story behind the castle. You can go online to see what site there are and where plus the cost if there is one.  There is a fee to get into the valley because it is a National Park.

In January and February, well, the winter in general the climate is generally mild.  It can get into the thirties which it did while we were there, but it warms up during the day.  So golfing is really quite pleasant.

The one thing that happened to us again this year was that the power went out.  There were strong winds one day and apparently blew some lines down.  It happened the year before last too and we were out of power for a day and a half.

There is a general store there so you can buy groceries, but there isn't much of a selection.  The prices are high and the gas was $4.35 per gallon.  Needless to say we filled up before we drove in and we were able to get to a better place for gas outside the Park.

They have recently renovated the motel rooms.  They are pretty nice now. A room with Golf Package is $210 per night.  That is all the golf you want. Golf is around $60 per round. So not to bad a deal. We enjoy going there every year and come back refreshed. 

Don's parents, Aunt and Uncle, and sometimes others come.  Don's cousin came with this wife and daughter and we took our son with us this year.  A couple of friends came up for two days as well.  We had a great time seeing everyone. We will probably keep the tradition going for several more years. I hope to take the grand kids there soon.  They'll love it!

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