Saturday, August 11, 2007

The Nevada Trip, Part 1--The Desert

I took 117 pictures on this trip, but will only post a representative sample here. For those of you who have never seen the American West--and by that I don't mean San Francisco or Los Angeles, but the wild West--you're in for a treat.

After I picked my son up at the airport Saturday night, we drove for 3 hours to Fallon, NV, the starting point for this trip. Sunday morning we headed east on Highway 50, the Loneliest Road In America, and stopped at Grimes Point.

click on pictures to enlarge them

Here's an extremely good-looking guy near one of the many engraved rocks. Grimes Point was a rocky peninsula in a lake a couple thousand years ago, and the natives would herd game there and trap them on the peninsula. There's not much sign left of any lake. Global warming, perhaps???

Continuing east we passed Sand Mountain. To get an idea how big it is, click on the picture and find the black dots in the sand. Those are people riding ATVs.

Shortly after passing Austin, NV, we started our trek on about 60 miles of dirt roads. This particular scene is of the Toiyabe National Forest in Central Nevada. Not quite what you'd expect of Nevada or of a National Forest, is it?

We had quite the adventure looking for the Toquima Cave, site of Native American cave painting, but we eventually found it. The area isn't marked but can be found on local maps.

A real treat was Diana's Punchbowl. Here's a view of it from about a mile away. Again, to get an idea of the size, click on the picture and find the pickup parked near the top.

To give you an idea of the size of the punchbowl, at the bottom of which is a 200 degree hot spring, that's my son standing on the far side at the top.

You can see that it's not shallow, either.

The end of the dirt road came at Belmont. It's billed as a ghost town, but since a few people live there today it's more of an "inhabited area with lots of ruins". Old mining town, of course.

And finally, our destination for the night, the thriving metropolis of Tonopah. The Mizpah, shown here, can be yours for only $1.65 million. In a previous post, commenters mentioned that the residents of this fine town are rude; fortunately I didn't encounter that.

I was buzzed by a Stealth fighter while driving down an empty US 395 in December, 1990. By then their existence near Tonopah had already been announced or at least was an open secret.

This sign was in a storefront window in Tonopah. Perhaps a meeting of Spellers Anonymous would be in order.

The next day involved another 20 or so miles of dirt roads in order to see this crater, among other sites. The walk around to the other side would be about a mile--and while the view from that peak would have made a great picture, I didn't go.

A desert denizen (coyote?) somewhere along US Highway 6 or Nevada State Highway 375.

There's no long and winding road here, just a long one. Sorry, Paul.

We heard a sonic boom (only the second I've ever heard) but saw no strange aircraft or other UFOs.

There are three roads which might be the one that goes from 375 to the Groom Lake/Area 51 facility, and this mailbox is at the middle one. It belongs to a nearby resident and is supposed to be the ideal spot from which to see UFOs. The owner claims never to have seen one, though.

And from here we drove to Las Vegas, which will be shown in a different post.


Sandy said...

Wow- when our family finally makes the Great Western Roadtrip, I'll have to ask you for a suggested itinerary! I've always thought I'd rather explore New England, but you've piqued my interest with these great photos. Thanks for the tour!

Darren said...

I could ask for no greater compliment--thank you!