We were looking for a waterfall. Our mouths agape as we entered the town, passing the “KEEP OUT” signs of the mine and its uninhabited village shacks, we felt like we had discovered Atlantis. Some of the homes were straight out of Westworld, some were newer modular homes and others were a mishmash of corrugated metal and anything that constructed a shelter.
It was a Thursday, midday. Nothing moved. The Darwin (service) Station didn’t look like it held gas in over 50 years. The post office/outpost was boarded up. The dance hall was the most alive-looking building yet it also sat dormant.
Astounded, we wanted to find someone and find the dang waterfall. A woman in her 60s came out of a home and was delighted to offer insight to the Darwin Falls Road. Our mistaken turn down Darwin Road was 25 miles and 47 minutes too west.
I loved Darwin and its quirkiness. I want to believe that the town was a picturesque dichotomy named after Charles – all the while never evolving. But some credit the town name for early explorer Dr. Darwin French.
We left the town of Darwin for the falls at the western edge of Death Valley. I wish we had stayed in the town. The Darwin Falls access road resembled 1980s Beirut. Grenade-sized divots on the dirt and stone road make for a terrible drive of about a mile. The sign at the trailhead showed a beautiful waterfall with a wishbone bottom. The mile from the trailhead to the falls was a change from the unvarying brown and arid landscape. A trickle of water ran most of the trail. There was vegetation and greenery that wasn’t readily available elsewhere in the desert.
The falls were a 24’ epic failure. I’m sure in July in triple digit temperatures it was a beautiful oasis and splendor. But I just left a real live unicorn for a school fair.
I found some info on Darwin, CA. Enjoy…
From a magazine in 1979
BLACKTOP, BLOOD AND BISON: Seven days Nine states 4244 miles
I’m not sure I ever heard of Colorado State University. My son Luke decided he wanted to attend there in the fall of 2016. He got accepted and was 93.1954% sure he wanted to go. At least two, and possibly three of his friends had committed. One of his best friends was uncommitted and touring CSU in two weeks. I decided that maybe we should pay it a visit. My daughter Sophie is a junior and I figured she could use the college tour experience. We decided on a road trip, setting up college tours at CSU and the University of Chicago.
I over-research everything. Toasters, sneakers, dryers, lightning cables, light bulbs … everything. Naturally, I spent hours on TripAdvisor and Yelp searching for where to be a tourist and where to sleep and where to see nature. We could skip the world’s largest stamp ball in Nebraska but maybe not “Carhenge” or the largest truck stop in the USA in Iowa. I rented an SUV for a week for $40/day with unlimited miles. Cheaper than one flight to Denver for one person and more room than my car. The kids have been groomed to be road-friendly and have traveled by car over long distances A LOT.
We set off at night on the 12-hour drive to Chicago. I-80 was the way to go. It was coldest in western PA and slowly got warmer as we headed west. Back in the day, I toured Ohio a lot so I was reminiscing as I drove. Indiana is a random state and if it weren’t there I wouldn’t miss it. Who would?
Arriving too early for our tour of the University of Chicago, we opted for a drive up Lake Shore Drive along Lake Michigan, particularly nice with almost no traffic. Based on amazing reviews, we decided on breakfast at the Over Easy Café http://www.overeasycafechicago.com/ in the Ravenswood section of the city. All I can say is wow! It opened at 7 a.m. and there were six of us waiting for the doors to be unlocked. By 7:10 a.m. there were ten people seated with most everyone having ordered. There was so much goodness on the menu. I wound up with a salmon and egg scramble with red potato hash. It was stellar. I was torn between that and the house specialty Sassy Eggs. I will try them if ever I visit again. Great breakfast, super service. Just go and try to beat the rush. Based on what I’ve read, there are lines out the door waiting to get in on the weekends. It’s that good.
I am a helper. I first gave blood in high school. Like most of my undertakings, it just seemed like it was the right thing to do. My moral compass wasn’t set any straighter or higher than anyone else’s. I was healthy. I could replace the blood easily. With minimal pain and effort and for the possibility of helping others, my curiosity was fulfilled – and I probably got to miss a class. Other than taking place in the high school gym, I don’t remember much about it. There might have been powdered mini-donuts afterward.
I had thoughts of selling my blood in college. Who couldn’t use an extra $10-20? I just gave it away though, sporadically. I kept a pretty regular schedule of donating since late 90s. With the advent of email, the interwebs (thanks Al Gore) and social media, it has made the process easier than ever. If you are one of the appless-types or have unallocated space on phone (I have yet to meet that person), you can get the app.
i told myself that i would begin blogging in 2016. people of the world, here it is. many of you have been clamoring (<- which, incidentally, accounts for 74.29% of what people do when yearning for a blog post) to read another almost-useless opinion, rant or rating. i can't tell you how many blog posts I've read [the actual number is 3] telling me that vanilla ice cream sucks - but i made up my own mind and decided that it is good. so here is some more wasted space. it is quite possible that future blog posts will be full of useful information, statistics and general or specific knowledge.
today, david bowie died. his birthday was two days ago. kind of a media whore methinks (<-that word is creepy and i hope to never type it again). the kardashians could learn something from this. step 1: gala event. step 2: jump off a bridge? i should have been in marketing...
this is my blog post. enjoy!