1165-Ballarat – Death Valley, CA

Ballarat is a funky mining ghost town in the middle to nowhere. This building was the old post office. Since 1897 this site was the crossroads for all types of interesting characters seeking their fortune at the gateway to Death Valley. Charles Manson even has his name on the plaque as one of the infamous residents.

A few miles up the valley is the China Lake Naval Warfare Training Center where the Navy trains TopGun pilots in low-level high-speed maneuvers. The F-18s scream down the valley at mach 1.8 at a couple hundred feet off the ground then into a 9 G loop chasing each other. It’s quite a thrill having them rattle your car as you drive across the valley. On the other side of the mountain, we could often hear the pop pop as a couple of them broke the sound barrier miles away.

To see a Gallery of photos from Death Valley click on this link:
Death Valley Photo Gallery

XXX_1564Old Post Office

XXX_1572Charlie Manson was here.


XXX_1567Cool shot from the above door.


XXX_1581Mountains around Ballarat.


Look closely and you can see the F-18s looping at mach 1.8.