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I've run across a lot of odd things in the desert, right? Today's installment isn't just one of the oddest, it is one of my all time favorites as well. It's called "The Shaffer Fish Bowl." I've spoken to many people who know a great deal about Route 66 and very few had ever heard of it, and not a single one of them had actually seen it. We went there in late March.
I knew that photos wouldn't reflect just how isolated this place is. So, If you don't mind, please watch this very short video. I apologize in advance for my nasal sounding and spontaneous narration. I hope the feeling of pure solitude and isolation comes through for you in this video.
Nothing as far as the eye can see. It's that way in the other direction as well. Kingman Arizona is on the other side of the far mountain range.
The Shaffer Fish Bowl
Moss grows in the tank, the fish eat the moss and the spring keeps the tank full. Add to that the fact that goldfish can live for up to and beyond 20 years under the right conditions. The can even survive under ice. I'm still thinking that somebody replaces the fish if they die.
The hike up to the spring is short, but kind of steep. After checking out the fish bowl, I noticed that there was another trail leading around the rocks.
I'm no geologist, but I'm pretty sure that there aren't any square caves in nature. I'm thinking that maybe this was going to be a mine shaft and was carved out by the same person who created the tank to catch water from the natural spring. It might have been Shaffer, or maybe he came along later. It's a mystery to me (for the time being anyway).
I always have to do this to show you how steep a drop off is.
The trail abruptly ends at that large rock. Another mystery.
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The Hunt for Seven Troughs Ghost Town, Nevada. A Trip That Ended At Tunnel Camp.
Standing in the dusty road in the center of town takes you back to another time entirely. Old buildings still standing from an era long gone by. If you dare, you can take it all in and imagine what life must have been like back when this was a small mining town. Not only is there a long history of this place, but it's also rumored to be haunted. One thing I know for sure is that it's a great place to take the family.
Kids will love this place, the quite solitude makes you fee like you have time traveled into another world. If you are not use to the quiet, you may feel an uneasy feeling in the pit of your stomach. I have heard of many stories of people having strange experiences at this location. Some believe it's haunted.
We spent an entire day trying to find Seven Troughs ghost town, or what's left of it, but instead we found Tunnel Camp. This is our story.
We headed out on our third attempt to find the ghost town of Seven Troughs Nevada on a nice and sunny weekend in July. We hit Lovelock NV at noon and drove through the center of town on our quest to find Seven Troughs. We drove down the dirt roads outside of Lovelock, and followed the route you see below to Vernon.
Vernon is an old ghost town just outside of Seven Troughs, but there are a lot of roads here that can get you off track. Vernon consists of a cement building that I did not take any photos of last time, but if you continue on this road over the mountain range, you will miss the excellent ghost town of Tunnel Camp, but you will get to Porter Springs. Porter Springs is worth the trip, but not where you want to go if you want to visit Tunnel Camp. This was the route we took when we first missed Tunnel Camp.
Of course Porter Springs is worth a visit, and it's a great place to have a nice family picnic, but vandals are quickly destroying the place, unfortunately.
Anyway, after we made it two porter springs, we decided to head back over the mountain from Vernon and try to reassess our location. From this vantage point in Vernon, it's nearly impossible to figure out where Seven Troughs is located, but on a a hunch we took the following path to see if we could locate Seven Troughs:
When we took this route, we were greeted with the following view:
We had thought we made it to Seven Troughs, but it wasn't until later, after some research, that we realized that we had actually made it to Tunnel Camp, and not Seven Troughs. Needless to say, we still haven't made it to Seven Troughs, but we plan to make it all the way this year! Tunnel Camp is worth a visit, but you better hurry as vandals are quickly destroying this place. It's a shame losers destroy these places!
So take a quick detour off of highway 80 and visit this old ghost town. Tunnel camp started in 1926 with one goal, to build a tunnel to Seven Troughs. The tunnel would be used to drain the Seven Troughs mines and to transport ore to Tunnel. But errors in the tunnel caused the town problems which it never recovered. It was sporadically lived in up until the 1970's. I has remained completely abandoned ever since.