Day 9: The Opera House in the desert

There is what in the desert? An opera house?

I know…

This may be a little confusing, ’cause really who expects an opera house in the middle of the desert?

We are leaving Las Vegas en route to Death Valley. It’s another one of these empty roads where you see your destination miles ahead. About 5 miles before we hit Death Valley Junction, I tell my friend of the opera house. I already see the white of the building in the far distance – aforementioned 5 miles ahead. My friend just throws me another one of her exasperating looks that I translate into “what is she drinking today?” Just water. And lots of it. We are in the desert after all… I am digressing…

A few minutes later we arrive at the Amargosa Hotel & Opera House in Death Valley Junction.  The town is pretty much a ghost town and were it not for the Amargosa Hotel & Opera House it probably would disappear from the maps eventually.
Amargosa-Opera-House-3The Opera House was started in the 1960s by ballet dancer Marta Becket who discovered the building while stopping for gas and decided to open her own opera house. She painted murals inside the hotel and opera house and staged her own dance shows for over 40 years. 


murals inside the hotel dining room



murals inside the hotel lobby

The murals in the opera house are beautifully detailed. Marta Becket painted her own audience – including a King and a Queen. Because if you paint your own audience you’d better invite a King and a Queen to your performance.


murals of the audience in the opera house with the King and the Queen



the stage in he opera house

This is a rather eccentric stop on our road trip, but one well worth it. You can feel the love and pride of the staff for “their” Amargosa Hotel & Opera House. They are dedicated to keeping this eccentric and beautiful place alive.

In the back of the hotel wild mustangs come to feed most days. The staff looks after them and provide water and hay during the scorching summer months in the desert.


wild mustangs at the Amargosa Hotel


wild mustangs with their foal at the Amargosa Hotel

One of my favorite stops on this route. Unexpected. Amazing.

Good night y’all!


Road Trip 2015

Day 1: Lake Tahoe and Mono Lake

Day 2: A long drive to the pretty part of Utah

Day 3: Arches, canyons and a beautiful sunset

Day 4: Have you ever stood in four US States at once?

Day 5: Sheer unexpected beauty

Day 6: Bryce Canyon which is not really a canyon

Day 7: Grand Canyon – The North Rim

Day 8: A rather disappointing Zion National Park

Day 9: The Opera House in the desert




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