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David A. Wright started following Is the 3rd time the charm?, What was your most difficult or challenging explore?, 2019 Western Desert Collab Project? and and 3 others
David A. Wright replied to SteveHazard's topic in General DiscussionPlenty of those in my past. 1968, wintertime. Late afternoon. Riding my motorcycle, a 1965 Yamaha YDS-3 250cc road bike on the truck trail to Big Bear Lake from my home on the desert slope. A couple feet of snow. Spun the rear tire on thick ice. Spun the chain off the front sprocket, which whipped around and snapped off a cast lug on the primary case, leaving a nasty tennis ball size hole and rearranging the transmission cogs and seized up the innards. Spent the night huddled against a pine tree in the snow. No gloves, a windbreaker, tennis shoes. Early next morning heard a vehicle approaching. It was my neighbor, he knew I was up there and didn’t come home the night before. Spent the rest of the day alternating between hot showers and parking in front of my Franklin stove thawing frostbite on my fingers and toes. I’ve been frostbit numerous times since. Getting frostbite doesn’t hurt, but thawing frostbite is misery ...
I’m getting old. My travelling days were the 1980s through about 2005. Even then I travelled with 1-3 max. Now my time is divided between a disabled wife and parents in their 90s. I might be able to guide to some nearby places, and be home by dark.
Generally the cameras show well in winter unless winds pack snow on the lenses, or there is heavy fog. Cameras get turned occasionally. Sometimes there is a view in the thumbnail, but nothing shows indicating the camera is offline.
If you go to the Nevada Seismological Lab webcams at: http://www.alertwildfire.org/tahoe/firecams.html Click the TV Hill cam, whick generally looks south. Sometimes they turn it other directions. I don’t know for certain whick peak the camera is on, but figure it in the Lucky Boy area of the Wassuk. The current view takes in the Aurora area, part of Mono Basin, the Sierra Nevada and the northern White Mountains.
Yup. A coordinate check confirmed I was within the same topo quadrant. I recognized highest point in the state in the background.
Haven’t checked my coordinates yet, but your reply confirmed my hunch ...
Sure, thank you. I doubt if I’ll get there, but it would satisfy my curiosity to see if I’m in the ballpark at my hunch where it is.
Based on vistas I think I have the general area pinned down. Looks cool. Except if I lived there, it would always be on my mind, “what if?” As in what if this big rock suddenly decides to shift?
David A. Wright posted a topic in General Abandoned Places, Ghost Town and Historic Sites DiscussionsThe ghost town of Cerro Gordo, CA has been sold, after being on the market for a brief period of time.
I used to have a brochure from the mine, which told the story. I moved to Trona in 1987. I found this on the website of a friend of mine. Onyx Mine North of Trona, California, on the eastern slopes of the Argus Range overlooking Panamint Valley, are onyx deposits in the earth. This material is a form of quartz, and is distinguished by its colorful bands of white, browns, reds, and tans. When cut with a fine saw, onyx makes a gorgeous conversation piece. In times gone by, visitors used to be able to drive out to the Panamint Valley Onyx Mine and collect their own for a small fee. The mine saw its original development in 1957 by Hollywood actress Delia Marlo, a successful movie star. Delia’s father was a full blood Cherokee, worked as a geologist, and taught her as a child to read the mountains like most folks would read a book. She discovered several tons of beautiful onyx in the Argus Range, west of Telescope Peak. In 1958, famous opera singer John Fletcher joined Delia in working the onyx mine, and two years later they married. They built a factory on the site to further their business interests, which included a large wire saw capable of handling fifty tons of Onyx at a time, two large grinding and polishing tables, a 12-foot long diamond saw, and a showroom for interested people. Buildings included living, jewelry shack, and a trailer park for living quarters of personnel. Rock hounds from all over the country would visit the mine, tour buses would bring tourists, and folks could even spend the night at the onyx campground on site. The operation was about 216 miles northwest of Las Vegas, by way of Death Valley, so the National Monument also benefited from the influx of visitors. Highway 178 brought California rock hounds to the area, where they then drove the famous Remi Nadeau freight route for a few miles of dirt travel. This business continued into the 1970s. Today, all the structures have been removed by the Canyon Resources Corporation, which is the owner of the Briggs Gold Mine in the Panamint Mountains across the valley. It was part of a U.S. Bureau of Land Management agreement where the corporation would return area’s old mining operations back to nature, allowing the desert to reclaim the land.
The Onyx mine in Panamint Valley? It was still in operation when I first moved to Trona. I interviewed the owners, a man and his wife who had minor success in Hollywood. The place closed down around 1990. I stopped by around 2000 and all was gone except cement foundations.
David A. Wright replied to SteveHazard's topic in General Abandoned Places, Ghost Town and Historic Sites DiscussionsI was thinking of accomodations for cast and crew. Ranches were used primarily for outdoor scenes. Sound stages back in Hollywood were used for indoor scenes.
David A. Wright replied to SteveHazard's topic in General Abandoned Places, Ghost Town and Historic Sites DiscussionsMight be an old movie ranch, which were pretty numerous in the early days of the motion picture industry. Lots of old Westerns were shot in the lower San Gabriels, Vasquez Rocks or westward from Hollywood between Simi Valley and Ventura before they discovered Red Rock Canyon and the Alabama Hills. Such ranches were semi working ranches or at least kept up cabins to accomodate cast and crew.
South Pass City, approximately 90 miles north of Rock Springs, is a historic site administered by the state of Wyoming. It consists of over 30 log, frame, and stone buildings, along with the Carissa Mine and Stamp Mill.
South Pass City Historic Site
Recently, I’ve been going through my old VHS video tapes and digitizing them to DVDs. These tapes contain my travels and explorations between 1995 and 2009. I thought I’d start releasing some video shorts of my early travels on this forum.
The back story for this particular video is as follows. On March 30, 1996, I made a short hike of about a mile and a third up the lower third of Surprise Canyon, on the western slopes of the Panamint Range, Inyo County, California. This canyon is just outside of Death Valley National Park. This canyon has running water running year round through the stretch shown, fed by substantial Limekiln Springs, and the canyon is a water wonderland. For those not familiar with the area, refer to the two maps. The first one shows the canyon in relation to the region, the other a close up of the canyon and the ghost town of Panamint City. The blue line in the close up image shows the route that was taken.
My next series of videos will be based on a trip in 2000 that I took with Lew Shorb. Lew is a board member here, as well as owner of the popular website http://www.ghosttownexplorers.org/ghost.htm
In breaking with my past habit of culling out historical sites and ghost towns and creating short videos dealing with these, I decided to keep the exploring part of Explore Forums in and create videos of each day of my travel and exploration, including our camps. Scenery, travel, camping ghost towns and wide open spaces.
Part one of this series, as well as subsequent videos, will all appear here within this same thread. Part I will start in my garage, where I was finishing up with the packing my truck. The following day, after work, I begin my travels to meet Lew Shorb at Rhyolite, Nevada ghost town.
Our three day, two night travels prowled about the "Nevada Triangle" section of northeastern Death Valley National Park; and will include such sites as:
1. The Las Vegas & Tonopah Railroad
2. Gold Bar
3. Phinney Mine
4. Strozzi Ranch
5. Currie Well (LV&T RR)
6. Mud Springs Summit (LV&T RR)
7. Happy Hooligan Mine
This video, that of March 30th and 31st, will start off this series; and is brief, only being 3:28 long. Nevada-Triangle_Shorb-2000_Part-1.wmv
So, below is my narrative of part one of this series to give full context of what is seen in the video. It will probably take longer to read than the video is long.
Exploration Field Trips:
May 1-3, 2000
Trip with Alan Patera and Alan Hensher into Death Valley
What do you do with three authors, two 4x4’s, two two-way radios, three cameras, and camping supplies? Send them to Death Valley, of course. For three days in the first week of May, 2000, fellow authors and historical researchers Alan Patera, Alan Hensher and myself explored Death Valley north and south.
Alan Patera writes and publishes the WESTERN PLACES series of monograph books. Alan Hensher has been published in several periodicals as well as authoring several books, centering primarily on the history of Mojave Desert sites.
Alan Patera, who hails from Oregon, came south to California and picked up Alan Hensher; then the two came my way. At the time I was living in Ridgecrest, California. After overnighting with my wife and I, the three of us took off for Death Valley. Alan was busy researching and photographing for a future edition of WESTERN PLACES, this time centering on the camps of the Funeral Range, which forms the eastern border of east central Death Valley. Circumstances and changes of our journey lead Alan to plant the seeds of two more future books, this time centering just outside the northernmost section of Death Valley.
Northern Nevada, Southwestern Idaho
(and a Blip of Southeastern Oregon Thrown in for Good Measure)
June 19 - 28, 2001
This is the trip that I consider to be my favorite trip I have ever undertaken. It had been in the planning stages since the previous December. Originally, quite a number of people were invited and had semi-committed themselves to come along. Over time, however, eventually the number of people whose semi-commitments became firm commitments to this trip narrowed to four. And I was one of them.
Below, a list of historic locations we visited – in the order that we visited them:
1. Bodie & Benton Railway, California.
2. Stillwater, Nevada.
3. White Cloud City (Coppereid), Nevada.
4. Unionville, Nevada.
5. Midas, Nevada.
6. Spring City, Nevada.
7. Paradise Valley, Nevada.
8. Buckskin, Nevada.
9. National, Nevada.
10. Delamar, Idaho.
11. Silver City, Idaho.
12. Rio Tinto, Nevada.
13. Pattsville, Nevada.
14. Aura, Nevada.
15. Cornucopia, Nevada.
16. Edgemont, Nevada (from a distance – on private property)
17. White Rock, Nevada (from a distance – on private property)
18. Tuscaurora, Nevada.
19. Dinner Station, Nevada.
20. Metropolis, Nevada.
21. Charleston, Nevada.
22. Jarbidge, Nevada.