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My Expedition Vehicle & Trailer

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Overlanding In Untamed Nevada!

Here are all of the pictures selected from the hundreds taken during ten days of exploring the scenic, natural, historical and cultural wonders of Nevada.

Because I did not employ the expedition trailer on this trip the roof rack was loaded up with an awning, gear, firewood, a shovel, Hi Lift jack and gas cans.

Heading through Panamint Valley and into a rain storm

Stopping in at a remote cabin to meet up with Ed

Heading in to the first of the numerous and remote mine sites

Starting to unload gear to spend the night. pretty much it had to be fast and simple as it all had to be packed up again in the morning.

This particular area was rich with the obsidian debitage of the Ancient Ones' tool making efforts

Just a snap shot of an interesting mine entrance because there was not enough time to safely explore it. I was quite intrigued as to the need for a door.

I really loved the contrast between the massive snow-capped mountains and the harsh, dry desert landscape we traveled across.

This is a shot of my new instrument deck in the 4Runner that allowed me to securely fasten and power my satcomms, fridge temp and police radar detector with room to spare for future additions.

A nicely decaying Ford truck. Who knows who and what it once carried before the drivetrain failed and sealed its abandonment.

 This was a typical daily deployment of my small backpacking tent. Minimal ground footprint required and a quick and easy set up.

Working our way over one of the very high mountain passes. You can still see snow over to the right. At one point the snow stopped out upward progress and Dan led the way across an alternate path.

Very quickly we started to descend a steep and rocky trail.

On our way down to lower altitudes we stopped by a water reservoir that captured snowmelt and the fresh water from mountain springs.

 An 1800's water pipeline that once stretched for 27 miles and allowed a remote mining town to truly reach its full potential.

A wild horse spooked by the sudden appearance of our mechanical steeds.

The water tank on its own is unremarkable but I was fascinated at the thought that it was purchased and shipped from far away Los Angeles, California.

To feed the fiery hunger of the silver and gold smelters the miners required these beehive kilns to convert local trees to charcoal.

Dan and Mike pose in the entrance of the kiln, allowing a better perspective of the massive size of the structures.

Massive steel head frames were a modern update to the original timber frames that enabled hoisting the raw ore to the surface.

This classic head frame was just begging to be scaled by our team.

A little bit of shadow boxing while ascending the ladder.

These large wheels appeared to predate the steel structure, a testament to the miner's practical reuse of existing hardware. The view up there was great!

Mike was my hoist room model to demonstrate the controls for the dual cable systems that brought the ore to the surface.

Rebecca, Todd and Mike took their turn at climbing the head frame's sturdy steel ladder.

My imagination is always taken in by the setting of a lone cabin in the mountains.

At one point this particular mining camp had three large growth spurts and some of the more permanent buildings are still hanging on.

A small herd of wild horses kept a wary distance from the road as we passed through their domain.

One very remote cabin had the nicest but old small stove in it for cooking and heating.

While at the cabin we enjoyed a shady lunch on the small patio.

One of the few nuclear explosion test sites that is easily accessible by the public. Faultless was a  one megaton underground test in 1968. The original level of the ground was at the top of the steel column but the explosion caused considerable damage.

An old photograph of what the site look like as they were preparing to emplace the nuclear device 2400' below ground level.

A nice trio of miners' cabins at what had been a very large town site high in the mountains.

 Exploring more of the old cabins at this forgotten mining camp.

This newspaper article was still legible even though it had been applied as wallpaper in the cabin in the previous photo. The newspaper was from Victoria, British Colombia and chronicled a far away July 1906 incident. It made me wonder what the miners thought of such events. 

Dan keeping his trusty Land Cruiser company.

One particular surprise discovery was this nicely situated grave site of Albert Wager. At 18 years old he enlisted as a private on August 16, 1861 in Elmira, New York and mustered out on September 20, 1864.

The 50th New York Engineers provided vital support in the form of pontoon bridges, earthworks and trenches. Albert was promoted to Artificer, or Private First Class on November 1, 1862. An artificer was an enlisted man with specialized technical skills and received $4 more per month than ordinary privates second class.

In my years of exploring I have seen three big horn sheep together but never a herd of them peacefully grazing in a mountain oasis.

The brick skeleton of a large abandoned mill site.

This lonely brick sentinel was once the 200' high chimney of a very large combination mill that never saw any production of mineral ore. A testament to the folly of gullible Eastern financiers.

The stately Belmont Courthouse, now closed for much-needed renovations.

A colorful sunset serves as the perfect backdrop for Dan's Toyota.

This old school gas pump is still serving up fuel in this tiny, remote Nevada community.
combination of furnace and machinery

Framed by this old window, the steel behemoth was a complex combination of furnace and machinery.

This clockwork-like gear assembly turned the ore handling machinery that fed the furnace.

Still in great shape, this classic 1874 church was moved from another town in 1908. Restored in 1971 it stands ready to hold services for the faithful.

A nest of some avian wildlife tucked away in the rafters of an old building. These ugly little things had voices that would annoy any mother into feeding them just to enjoy a  moment of silence.

A classic bit of mining practicality and ingenuity with a conversion of an old truck into a chain drive for a mine hoist.

Below are two of a fascinating high speed animal native only to North America. The Pronghorn is the only surviving member of Antilocapra americana and are sometimes mistakenly called an antelope. The pronghorn's closest living relatives are the Giraffe and Okapi.  The pronghorn is the fastest land mammal in the western hemisphere with a peak speed second to the cheetah. However the pronghorn can sustain its high speeds longer than a cheetah can.

Thanks for heading out with me into the remote beauty of untamed Nevada! I hope you have enjoyed this adventure and I plan to return to Nevada before too long.