Here’s an odd sight to see way up in the arid mountains of Death Valley, miles away from the closest source of water — ten beautifully preserved charcoal kilns. And truly — there’s nothing else there. No town. No other historical buildings. Just a narrow dirt road that winds up and up into the high mountain scrub, then these pop into view.
We spent about an hour there, and in that short time all of us got cooked — even me, with a long sleeve shirt and wide-brimmed hat! What must it have been like for the people that actually worked here… cutting and transporting wood to the kilns, firing them up to produce charcoal, then extracting all that black sooty material out and packing it for transport? All without a break from the heat and no local water source! That must have been a truly miserable job.