©Bert Gildart: We’re camped now in our old borax wagon (Airstream) high on a hill called Texas Spring. Generators are not allowed here so nights are quiet. We’re delighted to be at Texas Springs and much of our second day in Death Valley was spent exploring the Harmony Borax Works.
Twelve years ago we wrote in our book, Exploring Death Valley, that Harmony Borax Works is one of the most popular stops in the park. “The works made Death Valley famous in several ways. Borax quickly became the ‘white gold’ of Death Valley after it’s discover on the salt pan of the desert floor in 1881…
“From Harmony Works, the mules pulled the loaded wagons 165 miles to the train depot in Mojave… In the 1950s and 1960s, the television series Death Valley Days (hosted one season by a movie actor named Ronald Reagan) romanced the mineral, the historic period, and the people who worked the claims to extract the borax…
“By the end of the era in the late 1920s, some $30,000,000 worth of borax had been taken from the Death Valley area…”
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L to R: Wagon which once helped transport millions of dollars worth of borax to Mojave; night photo
of borax wagon; up close image of borax wagons.
To help romanticize the area Janie and I have worked hard trying to capture the spirit of the times. We’ve photographed the wagons at night and with a variety of lenses, and hope you like the renditions. With the exception of the night photo, all images are new. Don Dennis helped me with the night image several years ago by venturing out well after sundown and then working with me on the lighting. Don and Nancy are a great couple and we’ll be seeing them before long.
OTHER AIRSTREAM TRAVELS TO DEATH VALLEY:
4th ed. Autographed by the Authors
Hiking Shenandoah National Park
Hiking Shenandoah National Park is the 4th edition of a favorite guide book, created by Bert & Janie, a professional husband-wife journalism team. Lots of updates including more waterfall trails, updated descriptions of confusing trail junctions, and new color photographs. New text describes more of the park’s compelling natural history. Often the descriptions are personal as the Gildarts have hiked virtually every single park trail, sometimes repeatedly.
Big Sky Country is beautiful
Montana Icons: 50 Classic Symbols of the Treasure State
Montana Icons is a book for lovers of the western vista. Features photographs of fifty famous landmarks from what many call the “Last Best Place.” The book will make you feel homesick for Montana even if you already live here. Bert Gildart’s varied careers in Montana (Bus driver on an Indian reservation, a teacher, backcountry ranger, as well as a newspaper reporter, and photographer) have given him a special view of Montana, which he shares in this book. Share the view; click here.
$16.95 + Autographed Copy
What makes Glacier, Glacier?
Glacier Icons: 50 Classic Views of the Crown of the Continent
Glacier Icons: What makes Glacier Park so special? In this book you can discover the story behind fifty of this park’s most amazing features. With this entertaining collection of photos, anecdotes and little known facts, Bert Gildart will be your backcountry guide. A former Glacier backcountry ranger turned writer/photographer, his hundreds of stories and images have appeared in literally dozens of periodicals including Time/Life, Smithsonian, and Field & Stream. Take a look at Glacier Icons
$16.95 + Autographed Copy