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By Backwoods Beast
so this is my first explore post, I'm probably going to be slow sharing since I'm planning on waiting until my YouTube videos come out. but I just wanted to give an update on Olinghouse Nevada. I was out there about a month ago with my friend. As some of you may know there is many rumors about the Olinghouse area being guarded by an "old man with a gun chasing people of the property". Well I took a few trips out there because I really wanted to get some cool footage. I didn't go into all of the structures because it seemed like the floors weren't sturdy enough to hold my weight. My friend went in them but she only weighs about 115 lbs. The mine has been purchased and is currently active. We went on a Sunday after the first ground freeze because that's usually when mining operations stop for the winter. There was still a lot of activity of a small ATV vehicle going back and forth to the miners headquarters building, so we tried to stay hidden as possible. I looked at the Olinghouse Facebook page just a few days ago and it said people tried to get permission to go out there but were denied, so I'm glad I got what I did without being seen. The place is still in really good shape. Its hard to tell the age of some of the buildings, most of them have probably been frankensteined over the years since its been a home to squatters, meth-labbers, and the occasional mine enthusiast.
If you plan on exploring the area, I suggest at least with 4 wheel drive and drive past the headqaurters building and do a little 4wheeling to the back ranch house and you can stay hidden easier from back there. There is also a road that seems to lead to some interesting thing that I can see from the Sat pics, but I will definitely need an ATV to get there. anyways. Here is the video if you'd like to check it out.
See you out there!
I have been doing a lot of research lately on various ghost towns and it seemed back in the 50's, 60's, and even 70's, many of the ghost towns had at least on resident who lived in those ghost towns. I posted on story in the Aurora thread, and you can read another account of an elderly couple who lived in Fairview Nevada ghost town here (starting at page 11). Others that come to mine are Seldom Seen Slim, the couple that lived near the burrow tunnel in death valley, and Shorty Harris (I think that was his name). Seems once these old timers died off, nobody replaced them. Only one time did I enter a ghost town to find a resident living there. This was at New Idria and must have been about 15 years ago.
I have to wonder why nobody takes up residence at these old ghost towns like they did years ago. I am betting all of these ghost towns would have been kept in far better shape if some old desert rat or couple had taken up residence. I find it extremely interesting to read these people's stories about living in these old ghost town. Anyone have any ideas why we don't see more people living in these old ghost towns like they did years ago?
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.
A computer program believed to be a world first will breathe life into the ghost towns that once served the Bendigo goldfields.
A gold-mining heritage site mobile device app designed by the University of Canterbury will be available for free download later this year.
It will allow people visiting the Bendigo area in the hills behind Tarras to point their smartphone or touch-screen computer at any site within the historic reserve and receive information and photos about what was on that site at the height of the gold rush.
The man behind the project is Canterbury University history researcher Lloyd Carpenter, who has developed the content. Dr Carpenter is passionate about Central Otago's goldfields history and wanted visitors to Bendigo to ''see it as it used to be''.
''The worst thing about wandering around Bendigo now is that it's dead. It was such an exciting vibrant place, full of people in the gold mining days, and if you were visiting then, it would be full of noise and bustle. This app will take away that ghost town feel and put people back in the town.
''Visitors don't want to see just another stone house; they want to know who lived there, what was it like to live there and what was it like inside. Often they had wallpaper and carpets, so they weren't the primitive homes some imagine.''
Interpretation boards could hold limited information, but the app would give a fuller picture, and even include data such as class lists from the school, Dr Carpenter said. Experts involved in heritage interpretation in the United States and Australia believed the heritage app was a world first, he said.
''It's exciting that Central Otago's gold mining history has been dragged into the 21st century with the development of this app.''
The university's Human Interface Technology Laboratory (HIT Lab) had produced the computer software and the Otago Goldfields Heritage Trust was a partner in the project and sourced $50,000 funding from the Central Lakes Trust.
Bendigo was the first focus and the technology would be rolled out to other nearby mining sites. Dr Carpenter and a team from HIT Lab would be testing the app ''in the field'' at Bendigo at the end of this month .
It would be an international team, with computer programming technicians from Austria, Korea and the United States.
The app, which should be ready to launch in November, would be simple to use and quick to download, as well as providing information, photos and audio for all kinds of user groups, Dr Carpenter said.
''We're so lucky to have this exciting goldfields history in Otago and this is one way to communicate my passion for the area's heritage.''
The stories being presented would not be a sanitised version of events, he said.
''It'll be the real stories. It was a hard life for those who lived there but a good life.''
Goldfields trust president Martin Anderson said the organisation was excited about the app, after seeing ''snippets'' of it in action and was delighted to be a partner in the project.
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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.