Friday

Sunday

Daytrip – St. Thomas Nevada

EP-P1050998-2This was my third visit to this ghost town with the rock-hounds from Henderson’s Heritage Park Senior Facility. On this visit I was armed with a better map showing the layout for many of the towns more prominent buildings. As a result I was better able to identify more of the exposed foundation remains. Click here for pictures and info on today’s visit … St. Thomas NV - Trip Notes for 01/16/2014. Also, we stopped at Rogers Spring, a picnic stop along Lake Mead’s North Shore Road that has a small pond that is fed by a natural hot spring. Besides some nice vegetation, this pond is filled with a variety of small fish and turtles. Click here for pictures and info … Rogers Spring. Click here to view the page I created for the turtles I found at Rogers Spring ... Painted Turtle (Chrysemys picta).

Daytrip – Southern Nevada (Spokane) Mine – Searchlight

EP-IMG_5336I’m sure most of you that live in this area have driven by this mine. One can't drive to Searchlight or beyond without noticing the impressive remains of the abandoned mine along the side of the road about a mile and a half north of town. I stopped and visited this mine with my neighbor Marc Resnic over five years ago, but was never able to identify it by name until recently. As a result I created the following page … Southern Nevada (Spokane) Mine.

Daytrip – Red Cloud & Keystone Mines (Goodsprings)

EP-P1050830Harvey, Robert Croke and myself recently spent a day exploring some more mines in the Goodsprings Mining District, along Kingston Road, north and west of the town. The first mine that we explored along the way was the Red Cloud. Click here for pictures and info … Red Cloud Mine. From here it was about another eight miles up Kingston Road to the Keystone Wash and the Keystone Mine on the west side of Shenandoah Peak, where we spent the majority of our day. Click here for pictures and info ... Keystone Mine.


Friday

Daytrip – Potosi Mine

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Click to Enlarge
Dating to circa 1851, the Potosi Mine is located 25 miles southwest of Las Vegas on the west side of the Potosi Mountain Range, and is the oldest lode mine in Nevada. We spent the better part of a day hiking around and exploring this historic site. Just before leaving the area, I spotted a Mountain Bluebird sitting on the roof of the Ranger. Nevada’s state bird, the mountain bluebird (Sialia currucoides) lives in the Nevada high country and eats insects, berries, and other fruit. Most vocal at dawn, its song is a clear, short warble similar to the caroling of a robin. The male, in the picture to the left, is azure blue with a white belly, while the female is brown with a bluish rump, tail, and wings. Click here to read all about this trip … Potosi Mine - Mt. Potosi Canyon Road.

Saturday

2013 – The Year In Review

2013 Year End Collage
As my final post for 2013, I recently posted a page that showcases more than 150 of my favorite photos that were taken on various hikes over the past twelve months. This page covers a wide range of photographic subjects; from people to deserted mines, to desert animals, to mountain landscapes and much more. Check it out here … 2013 - The Year in Review.

Friday

Daytrip – New Year’s Day Hikes to Valley of Fire

EP-P1050669I started the New Year off hiking with Harvey Smith and Robert Croke on the Valley of Fire’s “2014 First Day Guided Hikes”. It was just a beautiful sunny day with temperatures in the 60’s. Because we arrived early, we hiked Mouse’s Tank and Petroglyph Canyon first on our own. This hike provided us with a little “warm’up”, as well as hundreds of ancient petroglyphs. Check it out here … Mouse's Tank. On the second hike, a 5-mile R/T hike to the Pinnacles, there were 15 other hikers in the group. Because we still had the morning sun, I was able to get some very colorful pictures like the one on the left. Check it our here … Pinnacles Hike. This is the second year in a row I’ve attended these New Year’s Day hikes at Valley of Fire and hope to make it an annual tradition.

Daytrip – Top of the World Arch Hike

EP-P1050556On my second trip to the Valley of Fire in two weeks, I made my third attempt to find the “Top of the World Arch”. Having failed on my previous two attempts, this time, armed with a group of map printouts, I was determined to find the arch. I was joined by my friend and fellow rock-hound hiker, Bob Croke. Even though this hike turned out to be much more difficult than I had anticipated, and took us longer than we expected, we finally made it to the top. Click here to check it out … Valley of Fire Trip Notes for 12/13/2013 Top of the World Arch Hike.

Wednesday

Container Park

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01/26/2014 Trip Notes: I visited the downtown Container Park with my friend Jim Herring, who was in town visiting from Kansas. Container Park is a retail and entertainment center partially built with recycled shipping containers that is located a block west at 6th Street and Carson Avenue, only three blocks from the glitz of Las Vegas’ Fremont Street casino corridor. It is guarded by a 40-foot tall fire-breathing preying mantis (Fig. 01) originally built for the annual "Burning Man" event in northern Nevada. It features and outdoor theater and park, several boutiques, four art galleries, two bars, three restaurants and a half-dozen small eateries, all housed in recycled and stacked shipping containers (Fig. 02). It consists of dozens of purpose-built steel cubes and actual containers centered around a plaza that is a children’s playground, complete with 3-story slides and a tree house (Fig. 03). On the opposite end of the plaza from the entrance, near a railroad caboose (Fig. 04) converted for use as an old-time barbershop, there’s an entertainment stage with a lawn of real grass. Its many restaurants and retail businesses are stacked two and three-high around the perimeter of the property (Fig. 05). With its inward-facing shopping center literally walled off from the world around it (Fig. 06), it is a self-contained bubble of safe, clean fun where one can escape from the neighborhood’s rough-edged reality.
                          
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Fossils near Potosi Mine

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EFP-P1050752
(Fig. 01)
Picture Notes: On 01/08/2014, during a hike to the historic Potosi Mine on the western flank of Potosi Mountain, I observed several large rocks that were embedded with various seabed-like fossils (Fig. 01), a close-up of (Fig. 02). My guess is that they may be some type of pelecypods or Brachiopoda. If anyone viewing this page can identify these, please email me at ... kccandcj@yahoo.com.  Even though the item in the center of (Fig. 03) appears to be some type of fossilized item, I have no idea as to what it might be. Something I find interesting is that only last year I found quite a few rocks containing sea fossils at the very top of Mount Potosi … Mount Potosi Fossils.
EFP-P1050750
(Fig. 02)
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(Fig. 03)



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Slideshow Description:
The slideshow above contains 41 pictures that were taken on this hike.

Red Cloud Mine - Goodsprings/Yellow Pine District

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EFP-P1050819
(Fig. 01)
Goodsprings_NV_1916-3
(Fig. 02)
Directions: Recently I located this old map (Fig. 01) (circa 1916) of the Goodsprings area. Shown in the upper left corner of the map, both of these mines are located approximately 4 miles northwest of Goodsprings Nevada, off of what today is know as Kingston Road.
                                
01/15/2014 Trip Notes: Today Harvey and I and Robert Croke headed out behind Goodsprings in search of some new mines to explore. Before locating the Red Cloud mine we showed Bob some of the Yellow Pine mines we had visited on previous trips. We also found two additional (unidentified mines) located in the hills, north, behind the Yellow Pine Mine. After exploring these mines, we then headed back to Kingston Road in search of the Red Cloud mine. We located the mine site (Fig. 01) less than two mile north of Kingston Road. We spent nearly an hour exploring the abandoned adits, shafts and mill ruins scattered around this site. As we were anxious to locate the Keystone Mine, we didn’t spend any more time in this area. Even though we did not get to the site of the Pilgrim Mine, I have included what information I have on it at the bottom of this post.
                          
Unidentified Mines: The first site (Fig. 03) provided us with two adits to explore. Unfortunately, as is often the case, the first one (Figs. 04 & 05) had steel bars across the width of the adit that prevented exploration much beyond 10-12 feet. The second opening (Fig. 06) proved more promising, however, after about 20 feet in there was a very steep shaft with some wood framing and a series ladders (Fig. 07) that was too unstable to descend. The mine at the second site
had a very large steel structure covering the shaft to prevent entry.
                
EFP-P1050787
(Fig. 03)
EFP-P1050776
(Fig. 04)
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(Fig. 05)
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(Fig. 06)
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(Fig. 07)
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Red Cloud Mine Shaft
(Fig. 08)
Red Cloud Mine: Primary Mining: Gold; Secondary Mining: Copper, Silver, Mercury. The Red Cloud mine site (Fig. 09), is located about four miles northwest of Goodsprings on the north side of Kingston Road on the way to Wilson Pass. It was discovered by J.C. Armstrong in 1902. Little work was done until July of 1905. As you approach the mine, the first thing that comes into view is the remnants of the old cyanide plant (Fig. 01). The plant was built In the early part of 1906, and operated almost continuously until September 1907. This was a very deep mine. The main shaft is a vertical shaft that extends to a depth of 116 feet, which is then inclined at 65 degrees till it reaches the the bottom, 300 feet below the collar. There were five levels; 34, 87, 136, 190, and 300 feet. (Fig. 08) is a map of the 87-foot level. The mine was a small gold producer near the turn of the century and is typical of many of the older mines in the district. The two known collar shafts of this mine have been sealed (Figs. 10 & 11). Some very large, partially connected timbers along the side of the road (Fig. 12) are probably the remains of a frame head that stood above one of the shafts. The few standing structures and tanks (Fig. 13) on the site were part of the gold cyanidation process which was a chemical process of using cyanide to remove gold from low grade ore. Atypically, the gold from this mine was not visible, but miners were able to rely on the presence of pyrite as an ore control. Examination of mine tailings reveals the presence of minor pyrite, copper carbonates, cinnabar and chert-like masses of silica. The record shown in (Fig. 14) was for only a 6-month period in early 1906. It can be assumed that after the building of the on-site cyanide plant, that production increased dramatically. However, it has been estimated that the total production of gold from this mine probably did not exceed $200,000.
               
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(Fig. 09)
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(Fig. 10)
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(Fig. 11)
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(Fig. 12)
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(Fig. 13)
Red Cloud Mine Production
(Fig. 14)
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Pilgrim Mine Shafts
(Fig. 15)
Pilgrim Mine Description: Primary Mining: Zinc;
Secondary Mining: Copper, Silver, Lead. The Pilgrim mine is located about 5 miles northwest of Goodsprings, on the north side of Kingston Road, about .2 miles northeast of the Red Cloud Mine. The claim was made in 1892 by A.G. Campbell, but little work was done until 1908. It was later acquired by Harvey Hardy and associates, and then by the Pilgrim Mining Company. There are a few open collar shafts and a good sized tailing pile, but the mine was dug into the valley floor; not a hillside. As you can tell from (Fig. 15), the principal working is an inclined shaft, which extends westward at 32 degrees to the 90-foot level and then 45 degrees to the 120-foot level. There also drifts south at 40 feet and north at 52 feet. As you can see from the production chart (Fig. 16), nearly 2,000 ounces of silver were retrieved from the mine between 1908 and 1918; however, it produced mostly lead (130,000+ lbs) and zinc (73,000+ lbs).
                 
Pilgrim Mine Production
(Fig. 16)

     Glossary of Mining Terms       

Southern Nevada (Spokane) Mine (Searchlight, NV)

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(Fig. 01)
10/22/2016 Trip Notes: I recently visited this site with my friend Jim Herring. Even though there wasn't much new to take pictures of, it was noticed that the remaining structures (Fig. 01A) seem to have suffered more deterioration from a combination of weather and vandalism.

(Fig. 01A)

                  
07/27/2009 Trip Notes: I stopped and visited this mine with my neighbor Marc Resnic over five years ago, but was never able to identify it by name until recently. As a result I never posted these pictures. One can't drive to Searchlight or beyond without noticing the impressive remains of the abandoned mine along the side of the road. The structure in (Fig. 01) is the remains of the 10-ton stamp mill and a building that appears to have been a shed that was used for operation, storage and possibly living quarters. (Fig. 02) show the upper portion of the head frame located above the mine's main shaft. Using a winch and cable, run through the top of the head frame, ore carts were used to bring ore out and miners up and down into the mine. As you can see in (Fig. 03) there was an ore cart track that ran more than 250 feet down into the mine with a crude, ladder-like stairway that ran along the right side. (Fig. 04) is the cable drum and part of the gearing (Fig. 05) that was connected to a motor (obviously missing) that was bolted to the back of the heavy steel frame that was used to hoist the carts up and down into the mine. Closer inspection of the building (Fig. 07) adjacent to the side of the stamp mill shows an old couch (Fig. 06) inside the building.
                          
EFP-IMG_5336
(Fig. 02)
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(Fig. 03)
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(Fig. 04)
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(Fig. 05)
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(Fig. 06)
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(Fig. 07)
Mine Description: The Southern Nevada mine property includes two mines, one known as the Spokane and another about a half mile north of the Spokane called the Blossom. Unfortunately, I have been unable to determine exactly when this mine was discovered or how long it was worked. Suffice it to say, it was probably sometime after G.F. Colton, a notable prospector, discovered a rich gold vein in 1897 that eventually turned Searchlight into a boom town. By 1907 Searchlight contained over forty-four working mines and a population of 5,000. The primary mining here was for Gold, however, secondary ores included Silver, Lead and Copper. In addition to the deep incline shaft on the front of the property located near the highway, there is another large incline shaft and two collar shafts in the hills beyond the 10-ton stamp mill and cabin.  Several winches are scattered about the property along with a ceiling hoist and a small kiln. Though early mining produced some good ore from this shaft, abundant water was encountered near the 250-foot level. Though the shaft was extended an additional 4 feet, it was never dug any deeper, however there are a series of drifts. A vein exposed on the surface was explored by three shafts or deep pits, two of which are very close to the road south of the mill site. This may be why two additional shafts behind the hill were dug. The good news was that the shaft supplied ample water for the 10-stamp mill. Some good ore was said to have been found in this area, but development ceased after prospecting on the Blossom claim, about 4,000 feet to the north, uncovered a rich ore. Ore from the Blossom claim was milled with the water from the Spokane shaft and produced about $325,000.



     Glossary of Mining Terms       

Artist’s Drive (Death Valley National Park)

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(Fig. 01)
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(Fig. 02)
Directions: Artist’s Drive is a scenic loop drive through multi-hued volcanic and sedimentary hills.  The drive is a 9 mile one way loop off CA 178 (Badwater Road), middle left of (Fig. 02),  south of the Furnace Creek junction and highway 190. There are several parking spots with unique views along the loop. After about 6 miles, look for the Artist's palette sign on the right that leads you to a small parking area.
                                           
Area Description: This curvy, one-way lane drive leads you up to the edge of the Black Mountains. Artist’s Drive rises up to the top of an alluvial fan fed by a deep canyon cut into the mountain. As you make your way up to the mountain face you'll dip up and down, roller coaster-like as the road dips into ravines carved into the fan by Death Valley's occasional, but intense flash floods. The narrow road runs high up onto the fan, with views of the strikingly white salty floor of Death Valley in the distance.
    
03/28/15 Trip Notes: This was our second stop on the days visit to Death Valley. Because I have been here several times before I only ended up with a couple of new pictures (Figs. 03 & 04). The picture in (Fig. 04) shows the southern end of the "huge" wash that runs in front of Artist's Palette.
                      
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(Fig. 03)
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(Fig. 04)
01/27/2014 Trip Notes: On today’s visit to Death Valley we made this our fourth stop of the day, hoping that the afternoon sun might provide some better pictures. As it was after 1:30 in the afternoon, we sat on a nearby rock and enjoyed a picnic lunch. The picture in (Fig. 01) is the view we enjoyed while eating lunch. The close-up in (Fig. 05) shows the upper portion of the trail you can hike out to get a closer view of this colorful area. Even though we chose not to hike out to the end of this trail today, I have done so on previous visits, giving you a very “up-close-and –personal” views (Figs. 06 & 07) of the fascinating geology in this area. Return to ... Furnace Creek Area - Death Valley National Park for more pictures of this area.
                                 
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(Fig. 05)
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(Fig. 06)
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(Fig. 07)

Silica Dome Hike in Valley of Fire

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(Fig. 01)
MAP-Silica Dome-2
(Fig. 02)
Directions: Once you arrive at the visitor center, turn into the visitor center and then take a left onto Mouse's Tank Road. Drive 1.9 miles and then turn right onto Rainbow Vista Road up to the parking area (Fig. 02). Silica Dome (Fig. 03) is about 1/2 mile in front of you.
                            
Silica Dome/Fire Canyon: The sandstone formations that are so prominent in the Valley of Fire are made of sand grains that are almost pure silica. Silica Dome is the finest example in the area of such a deposit. The change from white to red at the base of the dome occurs where small quantities of iron in the rock produces a rust-like stain. In this region, forces within the earth have been powerful enough to cause thousands of feet of surface rock to fold, break, and in some areas push several miles from their original location.  Today, erosion has worn away the top of one great fold, exposing the sharply angled layers of rock, and creating numerous canyons.
                               
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(Fig. 03)
01/30/2014 Trip Notes: I captured the sunrise picture in (Fig. 01) on my way to the Senior Center to catch the van for our trip to Valley of Fire. After we arrived at the park, I decided to have Bill drop me off at Silica Dome, at the end of Rainbow Vista Road, one of the few places left in this park that I had yet to hike. I was joined by my friends Harvey Smith and Robert Croke. Though there is a wide, sweeping trail that leads to the top of Silica Dome (Fig. 03), we decided to climb down into what is known as “Fire Canyon”, the area of red sandstone canyons below the upper deposits of the white silica (Fig 04). It was a relatively steep, 246 foot decent (Figs. 05 & 06) down silica dome to the wash that leads to Fire Canyon; there is no trail. At the end of the climb down, we had to do some class three scrambling down a very narrow, rocky crevice (Fig. 07) to reach the floor of the wash. Once we reached the base of the wash we hiked about another quarter mile, passing through a somewhat narrow slot canyon (Fig. 08 & 09). At the end of the slot canyon, we climbed up onto a sandstone outcrop (Fig. 10) that provided us with a nice view of the shrub filled wash and remainder of the canyon spread out ahead of us (Fig. 11). Unfortunately, we were out of time and had to head back to our pickup point. The good news was that we found an alternative route back (refer to the map in (Fig. 02). Even though it was a relatively steep climb up a smooth sandstone face (Fig. 12), it was much easier than the climb down the rocky crevice in (Fig. 07). The wash runs through the middle of the picture. In total, we hiked almost two miles.
                                             
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(Fig. 04)
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(Fig. 05)
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(fig. 06)
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(Fig. 07)
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Fig. 08)
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(Fig. 09)
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(Fig. 10)
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(Fig. 11)
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(Fig. 12)