Sunday

Seabed Fossil Finds

EP-P1130120On a recent trip to the Deer Creek Picnic area trails off NV-158 (Deer Creek Rd) near the steep flanks of Mummy Mountain in the Mount Charleston Wilderness Area, I found a large boulder partially buried under a large tree on the side of the road that was chocked full of seabed fossils. Click for more pictures … Seabed Fossils Along Cougar Ridge Trail Road.

Thursday

Daytrip – Hoover Dam Visit & Tours

EP-P1120810 On 09/18/2015 I visited the Hoover Dam with my brother Tom that was visiting from Lake Tahoe. Even though this was about my seventh visit to the Dam, I had never put together detailed page on the Hoover Dam. In the creation of this page, I used pictures from all of my previous visits. Today we took both the Dam Tour and the Power Plant Tour. Click this link for pictures and a detailed description of this visit … Hoover Dam Visit & Tours.

Wednesday

Daytrip – Mines at Nelson Nevada

EP2-P112090509/19/2015 Trip Notes: On 09/19/2015 I decided to rent a jeep and drive to Eldorado Canyon and the town of Nelson in search of old gold and silver mines. After reaching Nelson we proceeded to the area behind the town to the Black Hawk and Carnation mines. After exploring the various mines, shafts and audits in this area we ended up at the Techatticup Mining Camp for a tour of the old Techatticup gold mine. Click here for pictures of today’s trip … Nelson Nevada Mines.

Sunday

Daytrip – Deer Creek Picnic Area & Lee Meadows

E-P1060538On 10/01/2015 Blake Smith and I headed to Mt Charleston for some “cooler” hiking. When we got there it was only 48 degrees. We decided to drive back to the Resort at Mt Charleston for breakfast before starting hiking. The first place we landed was at Deer Spring Creek Picnic Area, one of the stops along Deer Spring Road. By the time we got there it was beautiful in the mid-60’s. Here is a link to the page on this hike … Deer Creek Picnic Area. After hiking this area we went on to Long Lee Meadow near the upper end of Lee Canyon Road. My the time we go there the temperatures were in the 70's, much warmer than I first stop earlier in the morning. Click this link to see pictures from this area ... Long Lee Meadows

Saturday

Category Description

Types of Fossils: When most people think of fossils they think of dinosaur skeletons and large bones, but there are many different types of fossils to be found. Sometimes people mistake  markings, or impressions such as ‘dendrite’ as fossils. These are called pseudofossils. There are five basic types of fossils …. (Click Read more below)

Thursday

Whitney Pocket at Gold Butte

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This page last updated on 05/01/2017

EFP-P1080120-P1080123
(Fig. 01)
1-Whitney Pockets-2
(Fig. 02)
Directions: From Las Vegas, drive north on Interstate-15 for about 70 miles to Exit 112 (Highway 170 to Bunkerville). This exit is about 5 miles south of (before) Mesquite. The official Gold Butte Backcountry Byway starts on the Interstate 15 off-ramp.After leaving the I-15 and driving south for approximately 30 miles on Gold Butte Road, a roughly paved road that climbs steadily to an elevation of 3,100 feet, the pavement ends at a location called Whitney Pocket (Fig. 02) where it passes through a break in the mountains. This large parking area (Fig. 18 below) makes for a great place to act as a staging area for any exploration of the Gold Butte region.
                                        
Description: The Whitney Pocket, located at the base of the Virgin Mountains is a palette of sandstone color. ‘Whitney” is the surname of an original landowner; "Pockets" is due to the pockets of red Aztec sandstone that has been exposed by the erosion of the lower fringes of the Virgin Mountains. This grouping of yellow, tan and rusty red sandstone outcrops exhibit unusual erosion patterns full of cave-like holes and bowls throughout the monoliths (Figs. 01, 03 & 04). Rainwater that pools in the depressions here has been a valued resource for desert travelers going back in time as far as early Native Americans (the Anasazi).
                                       
EFP-P1080124-P1080127
(Fig.03)
EFP-P1090374
(Fig. 04)
Whitney Pocket Dam: Between 1933 to 1942, the Civilian Conservation Corp (CCC) built a concrete dam (Fig. 06) on the north side of the road at a crevasse (Fig. 05) in the sandstone in an attempt to catch water. (Figs. 07 & 08) show the front and back side of the dam. There is a pipe with a water flow turn on/off that leads from the base of the dam, under ground to a livestock watering trough near the mouth of the crevasse (Fig. 09). A nearby cave was walled in by the CCC. Parts of the walls are now disintegrating rapidly and a sign urges the public to assist in conserving what remains. In spite of CCC and cattlemen’s efforts to harvest the scarce water supplies, this region does not favor successful ranching. The summers are unbearably hot and often the winters are quite harsh. The area is loaded with other CCC artifacts, along with native petroglyphs and evidence of their civilization.
                                                 
EFP-P1130433
(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)
04/25/2017 Trip Notes:  Harvey and I visited the dam again, this time with our friends Bob Croke and Jim Herring. While they climbed to the top of the dam, I stayed below and took pictures (Fig. 10). Though both Jim and Bob used different methods to descend the high steps of the dam (Figs. 11 & 12), both agreed that is was a little "hairy".
                        
(Fig. 10)
(Fig. 11)
(Fig. 12)
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10/22/2015 Trip Notes: For four out of my five visits to the Gold Butte region, I have used the large parking area (Fig. 18) at Whitney Pocket as a staging area for our exploration of the area. This visit was my 2nd visit to the dam. My first visit, chronicled in the 02/05/2014 trip notes below, was with Harvey Smith. Today’s visit on a trip with the Rock hounds from the Henderson Senior Center was with my hiking partner, Blake Smith. After surveying the trough and the area we both ascended the steep steps built into the right side of the dam (Fig. 13). Once we reached the top (Fig. 14), we were presented with a nice view looking back to the main Whitney parking area (Fig. 15). We also found that there was another step of stairs leading down the back side of the dam; even though we decided not to descend it (Figs.16 & 17). We then decided to continue walking around these outcrops looking for any signs of petroglyphs and the walled in cave (Figs. 18 & 19). We found neither. The last picture (Fig. 20) was looking north at the mountains on the back side of the outcrop.
                                         
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(Fig. 13)
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(Fig. 14)
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(Fig. 15)
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(Fig. 16)
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(Fig. 17)
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(Fig. 18)
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(Fig. 19)
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(Fig. 20)
06/10/2015 Trip Notes: The purpose of this visit was to locate Kirk’s Grotto and Little Finland. We used the large parking area at Whitney Pocket as a staging area for this trip (Fig. 21). Upon our return from these areas, we toured Whitney Pocket until we found the dam (Fig. 22). Just south of Whitney Pocket the sandy desert is dotted by Joshua trees as well as various types of cacti. These rocks, weathered into rounded boulders, cavities, deep fissures and other formations, contain beautiful shades of orange and white mixed with the usual red sandstone, stained by iron compounds (Figs. 23-25).
                                    
EFP-Whitney Pocket 03
(Fig. 21)
EFP-P1090367
(Fig. 22)
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(Fig. 23)
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(Fig. 24)
EFP-P1090355-2
(Fig. 25)

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Zip lines at Bootleg Canyon

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2015 Ziplinez
(Fig. 01)
EP-P1120808
(Fig. 02)
Description: There are four separate zip-runs (Fig. 02) that cover over 8,000 feet (1.5 miles) as you travel at speeds up to 50+ mph down the Red Mountains in Boulder City, NV. The whole experience lasts around 3 hours. After signup and training at their office in Boulder City, everyone get into a bus for the climb that winds its way up the mountain (Fig. 01). After reaching the parking and staging area, everyone begins by embarking on a 15-minute, moderate hike to the launching platform of the first zipline (Fig. 03). At 3,800 feet above sea level, there are spectacular views of Boulder City (Fig. 04) stretching from Las Vegas (background of Fig. 05) to Lake Mead (Fig. 06) and the Eldorado Valley beyond (Fig. 07).
                                        
2015 Booleg Canyon Zip Line
(Fig. 03)
EFP-Boulder from Zipline
(Fig. 04)
EFP-P1120761
(Fig. 05)
EFP-P1120799
(Fig. 06)
EFP-Eldorado Valley from Zipline
(Fig. 07)
09/18/2015 Trip Notes: From the upper launching platform (elevation 3,632) (Fig. 08) down to the first landing platform (Fig. 09) (elevation 3,254) is a 1,852 foot run. The second launch (Fig. 10), located behind the first landing in (Fig. 09) is a 1,864 run down to the second landing at 3,102 feet (Fig. 11). From here it is a 30 foot climb up a arduous set of stairs (Fig. 12) to the third zipline platform. At 3,129 feet, this is the longest ride at more than 2,546 long. In (Fig. 13) my brother is making his landing at the end of this line. At the end of each run, out guides had to reset all the brakes (Fig. 14) and gathered the gear (Fig. 15) for the walk to the next platform. At each level we were all busy taking pictures (Fig. 15) and readying our cameras and harnesses (Fig. 16).
                                        
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(Fig. 10)
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(Fig. 12)
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(Fig. 13)
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(Fig. 14)
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(Fig. 15)
EFP-P1120793
(Fig. 16)

The video clip below shows one of my brother rides. Because I have not edited this video, he doesn show in the video until about 3/4 of the way through.


Ash Meadows NWR – 10/29/2015 Trip Notes

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This page last updated on 04/13/2017
EFP-Ash Meadows Visitor Center
(Fig. 01)
EFP-Visitor Center
(Fig. 02)
Visitor Center (Fig. 01) Description: Opened in February of 2015, this brand new $10 million facility offers visitors to Ash Meadows a chance to discover all the wildlife and wonder of the largest remaining oasis in the Mojave Desert.  On average, up to as many as 75,000 tourists come to Ash Meadows every year for a glimpse of the pupfish.. A two-story facade of rust-covered cortene marks front (Fig. 02) and back entrances near the center of the building (Fig. 03). The rest is encased in double-walled steel-and-brick to help keep 11,000 square-feet of exhibit, office and bookstore space cool in the summer and warm in the winter. A new boardwalk (Figs. 04-06) added as part of the center’s construction helps guide visitors from the back of the building toward Crystal Spring (Fig. 07) and other ancient water formations that support the area’s fragile habitat. The Refuge is open daily from sunrise to sunset. The refuge visitor center is open daily from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Admission is free.
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(Fig. 07)
Wildlife Refuge Description: Ash Meadows encompasses 23,000 acres with more than 30 aquifer-fed springs that pump more than 10,000 gallons per minute, making the refuge one of the most water-rich resources in Nevada. The refuge is home to at least 26 endemic plant and animal species, the highest concentration of native species in the continental United States that can only be found here. Ash Meadows is a biodiversity hot-spot located right next to Death Valley National Park, one of the hottest and driest places on Earth! It is also home to Fourteen of those species are classified as endangered, having narrowly averted the threat of extinction at the hands of peat harvesters, cotton farmers, ranchers or housing developers. Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge is a haven for wildlife, especially rare fish, plants, snails, and insects. Water bubbles up from underground into clear spring pools as silvery blue and grayish green pupfish dart between swaying strands of algae. Pebbled streams gurgle from small hillside springs, sheltering tiny beetles and snails. The water is warm, the air moist, in contrast to the surrounding Mojave Desert. There are coyotes, black-tailed jackrabbits, desert cottontails, and white-tailed antelope squirrel. Desert bighorn sheep are occasionally observed at Point of Rocks and Devil's Hole. The black-tailed jackrabbit was my only sighting on today's visit ... Black-tailed Jackrabbit. Reptiles and amphibians are most visible during the spring and fall. Five amphibians and 20 reptiles are known to occur on the refuge. Toads are most visible right after spring and summer rains, when they become very active feeding and breeding. Woodhouse toads are the most common species observed on the refuge. Look for large chuckwalla lizards on the rocky slopes near Devil's Hole and Point of Rocks during the early spring. Snakes are also seen more often during the spring and early fall and become more nocturnal during the heat of mid-summer. Coachwhip and gopher snakes are two of the more common snakes seen at Ash Meadows.Over 239 different species of birds have been recorded on the refuge. Migration periods are best for greatest diversity and numbers. Spring migration usually occurs during April and May, and fall migration from mid-August through September. During the winter, marshes and reservoirs support the largest variety of water birds. Mesquite and ash tree groves at Refuge Headquarters and Point of Rocks harbor resident and migratory birds year-round, including typical Southwestern species such as crissal thrasher, verdin, phainopepla, and Lucy's warbler. A refuge bird list is available at the visitor center.
                                        
10/29/2015 Trip Notes: This was my second visit to the Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge with the rock-hounds from Henderson’s Heritage Park Senior Center. Upon our arrival we drove first to the new Visitor Center (Figs. 02 & 03).  Inside we first watched a movie (Fig. 08) on the history of the Ash Meadows National Wildlife Range. After the movie we toured the many displays, inter-active exhibits, dioramas, and the small gift shop (Fig. 09). We were all amazed at how well everything had been done. We then learned that the previous week they had experienced the worst rain storm since the wildlife range was created, more than 2 inches of rain, almost as much as their yearly rainfall in one storm. It flooded the entire area and washed out many of its roads. Everything north of the visitor center including the road to the Crystal Reservoir were all closed. When we all took the one mile boardwalk out to the Crystal Spring (Fig. 07 above). While the majority of the group visited the Devil's Hole site, hope of the Pupfish, Blake and I hike out to the Crystal Reservoir (Fig. 10). Next we all drove to the Point of Rocks Spring (Fig. 11). where we walked the boardwalk and had lunch before heading home. Off to the right of the parking area (Fig. 12) was one of the largest ash trees I have ever seen. It was massive. I cant even imagine how old it was. Even though our visit was hampered by the road wash outs, and that heavy winds impacted out hiking, we still have an enjoyable morning.
                               
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(Fig. 08)
2015 Ash Meadows Visitor Center
(Fig. 09)
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(Fig. 10)
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(Fig. 11)
EFP-Point of Rocks
(Fig. 12)
EFP-P1130539
(Fig. 13)
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(Fig. 14)
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