Midway between Owens Valley and the Sierra Nevada Mountains to the west, and Death Valley to the east, six miles from the Racetrack playa, Teakettle Junction is pretty much in the middle of nowhere. Getting to Teakettle Junction from either direction means travelling on roads shown on the maps as suitable for 4-wheel drive only.
Who knows where the custom of hanging tea kettles on the sign comes from?
Steven and I stopped at Teakettle Junction, and also at Manzanar, the World War II internment camp for Americans of Japanese descent located in Owens Valley. In the museum at Manzanar we read many poignant stories, and noted one man in particular, who wrote, “If I ever get out of this place I’m going to hang my kettle at Teakettle Junction.”
I hope he made it to hang his tea kettle there, and to the freedom that this vast and empty landscape would seem to imply.