March 19 - 21, 2010
By Bob Jacoby
The Annual Desert Explorers’ Rendezvous was held on March 19-21 at Death Valley Junction. Death Valley Junction was formally the borax mining town of Amargosa and proved to be a unique and outstanding venue. A total of 64 members attended the Rendezvous and it appeared everyone had a great time.
The fun actually started on Friday morning in beautiful downtown Baker, California. Neal and Marian Johns led an outstanding inbound trip on portions of the old Mojave Heritage Trail through Kingston Wash and the Kingston Mountains. This was a very interesting and scenic trip that got folks in the mood for the fun packed weekend in store for them.
At Death Valley junction Friday evening a total of 64 participants arrived on the scene. The first order of business was a remarkable pot luck in the meeting room at the hotel. The food was varied and outstanding and may have out done any previous pot luck at a Rendezvous! Once everyone had a full stomach, the next order of business for many was to venture on over to the Opera House to view a film on Marta Becket. As everyone knows, Marta Becket has performed at the Opera House in Death Valley Junction for over 40 years. (She now performs once a week sitting down.) This outstanding and informative film covered the history of Marta’s involvement at the Opera House and was enjoyed by all.
Also on Friday night the action began for the Silent Auction in Room No. 10 at the hotel. Bids were made early for what appeared to be a record number of items for sale. This very successful event which produced nearly $700 in cash was organized by Nancy Dodds and Maybelle Lipking. We thank them both for a very successful auction!
Saturday morning, under clear and warm skies, folks were geared for some outstanding trips. Among those scheduled was a trip to the China Ranch Date Farm led by Mignon Stentz, a trip down Echo Canyon by lead by Neal and Marian Johns and Sunny and Jean Hansen, and a very rugged trip to Deadman Pass and Gold Valley led by Bob Dodds. There was something for everybody and it made for a great day in the Death Valley area.
After a day of historic and scenic trips, it was time for some more serious eating activity. The Saturday evening dinner was catered by Theresa Cantwell who is also the manager of the Amargosa Café. Theresa put together an outstanding dinner that everyone enjoyed. There were mass quantities of excellent food available and a hungry group of Desert Explorers took full advantage of that fact.
With their stomachs full, it was time for Rendezvous participants to take the short walk over to the Opera House to see the weekly mime show performed by ???????. This was a very entertaining show, interpreting with mime the various paintings by Marta Becket on the wall of the Opera House. Interspersed throughout the show are film clips of a recent interview she had with Marta. This very fine performance gave everyone a better understanding of Marta’s accomplishments throughout the years.
When Sunday morning rolled around, folks had an interesting choice. They could either head off with the Johns on a fun trip to Ash Meadows and Devil’s Hole or they could tag along with yours truly, sitting in for Emmett Harder, on a short hop over to Pahrump to visit Sheri’s Ranch, a very upscale brothel. This was a very difficult choice for some folks to make.
All in all, it was another very successful Rendezvous for the club. Everyone had a great time with a variety of outstanding activities, some great food and some excellent camaraderie. This is not to mention a successful, even financially, event for the Desert Explorers with the Silent Auction exceeding expectations. We are already looking forward to next year’s event!
Rendezvous 2010 Report
By Co-chair, Marian Johns
I hope everyone enjoyed this year’s shindig at Death Valley Junction as much as I did. The memorable highlights included the day trips – we had a nice variety to choose from; the Friday night potluck had a wonderful choice of mouth-watering dishes (those stuffed jalapenos were out of this world – couldn’t believe they were so mild), and Saturday night’s catered dinner was one of the best ever. Although I did not see the Saturday night Opera House program, I heard that it was well worth the admission price. And to top it all off, Bob and Nancy Dodd and Maybelle Lipking continued the tradition of Alan Romspert’s Silent Auction, and made a nice addition of $701.00 to the D.E.’s treasury. We also owe this year’s success to several other folks like Ruth Harder who was our contact with folks (namely Rich) at Death Valley Junction; the great cooks who prepared Saturday night’s dinner; Vicky Hill who set up Susan Sorell’s walking tour of “Dublin” down in Shoshone; Emmett Harder who arranged for the tour of Sheri’s in Pahrump; and Bob Jacoby who took reservations and worried about numbers. I would also like to thank all the trip leaders - the trips, after all are what it’s all about.