2. HARMONY BORAX WORKS
The next day we wanted to explore the landscape of the fascinating natural wonders of this Death Valley. This place is vast, with over 3 million acres of designated wilderness. We decided we wanted to try a few hikes but in the summer more than any time of year your need to take precautions. A hat and sun cream are essential items, and as there is no escaping the heat and we made sure to carry water plenty of water.
Our first stop was a short hike just to get us acclimatized to the heat. The Harmony Borax Works is only a short ride from the Oasis and played a key role in the history of Death Valley. Borax is a component of many detergents, cosmetics, and enamel glazes. It was discovered in the valley near Furness Creek Ranch in 1881, and the mine went into operation in 1883. The mined borax was transported out of the valley on mules. In its heyday, Harmony Borax Works employed 40 people. In the summer when the temperatures were at their highest the borax crystallized, which made it unusable, so the Works went on hiatus for a couple of months and the workers were temporarily relocated to other plants in California. The life of the Harmony Borax Works was short-lived, and 5 short years after opening it was closed in 1888.