Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Beatty: Old Buildings, A Fold, and Onward toward Titus Canyon

Before a mediocre breakfast with slow service at the casino at the north end of Beatty, I walked around in the early morning light taking various photos of some of the old (and old-styled) buildings.
The Sourdough Saloon and Happy Burro sit across the street from the parking lot of the Exchange Club Motel.
By the way, you can get a dinner at either place photographed above, and over the course of our two nights in town, MOH and I ate at both of them. Both establishments are relatively congenial. During dinner at the Sourdough Saloon the first night, we found out from other superbloom afficionados that "the best place" was down near Badwater. Additionally, the Sourdough has interesting graffiti on the ceiling: Geology, geography, and geoscience students from around the world (at least as far away as Norway) have left their mark while stopping in for burgers (or pulled pork) and beer.
Ceiling in the dining area of the Sourdough Saloon.
Unfortunately, I can't say that I recommend eating at the Sourdough (although I've since read that you can get a good pizza at the bar, something we didn't try). There seems to be no method for getting your order in other than finally realizing that you are supposed to go up to the kitchen window and harass the cook; the food takes nearly forever; and the sole person present does all the cooking, table waiting, and table cleaning—and she isn't shy about letting you know how put-upon she feels about that! Besides, my memory says that the beer was fairly standard. (I'd rate a bar average or standard if either Sierra Nevada Pale Ale or Blue Moon Belgian White were the best beer available—or if zero IPAs were offered—although the presence of either beer, bottled or on tap, would mean that the selection was better than what is typical of old-style Nevada bars, where Coors or Bud are standard and MGD, Killian's Red, or Heineken might be the best beers available). We relaxed with our ales and enjoyed ourselves as much as possible but didn't go back the next night (or rather we did, but we stayed only a minute or two—long enough to figure out it would be the same slow and dramatized scene as the night before).
The Exchange Club casino and restaurant, closed since 2004.
The Exchange Club holds a few old memories of mine, mostly of lousy food back on Thanksgiving Day, 1975, when the third Geology of Nevada field trip stopped there for dinner, and we all spied the "C" rating on the wall, saw the ghastly looking mayo they were serving, and hesitantly ate the pathetic sliced turkey. Canned cranberry sauce was the best part of dinner. Why were we there on Thanksgiving? That was just part of being a grad student. After dinner, we retired to the Beatty dump to camp. (Jokes about radiation? Yes, although we were not at that dump.)
Old sign for the Exchange Club near the center of town.
I took two pictures of the innacurate sign (I repeat: there is no casino).
On this particular morning, the third day of our rambling journey undertaken primarily to see the superbloom in Death Valley, I puzzled over a fold up in the hills just southeast of town.
Recumbent fold?
At first I was wondering what a fold like that would be doing in the Miocene volcanic formations that surround the city. I later realized this possible recumbent fold was in older rocks—Paleozoic or even Precambrian. Looking at Google Earth and the geologic map of the area (Monsen et al, 1990), there's definitely some folding on that hill, but I'm not sure of its geometry. The rocks are mapped as the Late Proterozoic (formerly Precambrian Z) lower member of the Wood Canyon Formation: quartzite, siltstone, dolomite, and limestone.

After breakfast and a fuel stop, we left Beatty's main intersection by going straight instead of turning left.
U.S. Highway 95 turns left toward Las Vegas; MOH and I went straight.
Our trip into Titus Canyon begins here!

Location map

Related Posts (in order of posting):
Death Valley, "Super" Blooms, Turtlebacks, and Detachments
Death Valley Trip, Part 2: More of the Badwater Turtleback Fault
Death Valley Trip, Part 3: Northward, and over Daylight Pass
Death Valley Trip, Getting There: Wave Clouds beyond the Sierra
Death Valley Trip, Getting There: A Hike to Pleistocene Shorelines

Death Valley Trip, Getting There: Walker Lake, Road Stories, A Bit about Copper, and Some Folds near Luning

Death Valley Trip, Getting There: A Jeep Trail, Folds and Cartoons of Folds, Even More Folds, and Boundary Peak

Death Valley Trip, Getting There: Highway 95, Redlich, Columbus Salt Marsh, and Another View of Boundary Peak

Death Valley Trip, Getting There: Coaldale, Black Rock, Lone Mountain, and the Boss Mine

Death Valley Trip, Getting There: Black Rock to Lida Junction to Beatty

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