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  1. 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 March 31-April 2, 2000 Into the Nevada Triangle with Lew Shorb Lew Shorb, of southern California, and I had been corresponding by email for quite some time, yet we had never met. Early in the year 2000, we finally did, when I went south to spend a couple days with a friend and his wife while he was recuperating after suffering major health problems. Since Lew and I both were avid history and off-road exploration fans, we started planning a trip together somewhere. Plans came to fruition March 30, 2000, when we met at the Red Barn in the ghost town of Bullfrog, Nevada. We planned to travel the "Nevada Triangle" of Death Valley National Park, using Lew’s GPS and THE EXPLORER’S GUIDE TO DEATH VALLEY NATIONAL PARK, by T. Scott and Betty Tucker Bryan, to navigate through some interesting and historic countryside for the weekend. Below is an account of our trip, based upon my transcribed verbal notes on microcassette. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Day 1 - March 30, 2000 Packed my truck after work. I lived in Ridgecrest, California at the time. Plans were still a bit sketchy, a meeting in Beatty, and dinner there was sort of the way we were going to start. Our trip itinerary was to visit the ghost town of Gold Bar in the Bullfrog District, Phinney Canyon Mine in the Grapevine Range, possibly go south to Carrara, then maybe into Death Valley and visit the site of Schwab in Echo Canyon. Lew was going to email me his final prospects that night. Due to technical problems with my ISP, I could not retrieve email. Day 2 - March 31, 2000 I attempted to retrieve my email early in the morning. Technical problems persisted, no email. Was Lew still coming, or would I be alone in the night in Rhyolite? So I decided my plan was to meet Lew [hopefully] at either at Beatty or Rhyolite after I got off work at the borax refinery in Trona, California. Things went downhill that morning before work while undergoing final preparations. While putting in final items into the back of the truck, I find that my air mattress, which had been pumped up a week before to check for leaks and had held air fine all week, was flat. My 5-gallon water jug, which had held a mix of water and a light dose of chlorine to clean and check for leaks for the past couple days, leaked out its entire contents overnight and made a big mess in the back of the truck and all over the garage floor. In my mind, the big blow would come this evening after work and driving to Rhyolite, and finding Lew would not be there; and that his email stating so was locked in the big machine of my ISP who was not giving me my email for the past two days due to their technical problems. At 5:45 P.M. I left work and left for Rhyolite. In case of another water jug failure, I purchased a few 1-gallon jugs of drinking water and ice before leaving Trona, as well as refilling my water jug. Not knowing the final plan on where to meet Lew, if he was to be out here at all, I started to call out for Lew periodically on my FRS two-way radio when I left Trona, just in case he was somewhere around waiting for me to get off work. The FRS was a new purchase specifically for this trip, and it has been a welcome tool since. Lew and I had already agreed on which channel to use for the trip. North winds were brisk leaving Searles Valley and advancing darkness made it colder. The winds died down when I entered Death Valley. Forecasts were calling for decreasing winds for the weekend. The temperature at Stovepipe Wells was a balmy 70º. Climbing out of Death Valley, my high beams suddenly went out, the daylight driving lights on my 1996 Chevrolet S-10 came on. I switched to low beams and they worked just fine. I reached for the headlight switch and found it was very hot. Great! No confirmation, no air in the mattress, no water in the jug. Now this. Topping Daylight Pass, I radioed once again for Lew. And I got an answer. Relief! Lew was waiting for me at the Red Barn in the Bullfrog townsite. He brought his son with him, plus a friend of his son. Though FRS radio manufacturers state that generally a radio range of two miles is maximum, Lew and I were chatting clearly at eight miles distance. Lew and I met at about 7:45 PM, then we drove a couple miles west and found a camp spot atop the Las Vegas & Tonopah Railroad grade. We both set up camp amid the blackness of the night and the chilly northern breeze - Lew and the boys would sleep in Lew’s Jeep Cherokee, myself in the back of my truck. Our vehicles were T-boned into each other on the railroad grade. I blew up my air mattress with my 12-volt compressor with hopes it might hold air at least for the night. I made me a meal of canned chicken, instant split pea soup and instant mashed potatoes with wine - relished while sitting on the tailgate dressed in a hooded sweatshirt with a jacket over it. Lew and the boys had hot dogs. Conversation to the light of several Coleman lanterns ran the gamut from history to finalizing our travel plans to GPS units. Lew showed me the remains of his favorite type of GPS - an old 486 laptop computer running Windows 95 and DeLorme Street Atlas USA, with a Garmin GPS unit plugged in. The CPU on the computer blew that afternoon, so Lew allowed the boys to have fun with the .22 rifle. Lew had picked up the pieces and bagged them for disposal later. It was a chilly night. At 10:50 PM I had enough for the day and turned into my camp within the bed of my truck. I had my oversize bag plus my wife’s sleeping bag opened and laid over mine for extra warmth. I’m glad that I had it. But I had forgotten my pillow. The chilly night and no pillow made for a night of tossing and turning and little sleep.
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