Thursday

Daytrip - Valley of Fire State Park

On 04/13/2016 my friend Jim Herring and myself made a trip to the Valley of Fire state park. While ther today we visited and hiked three locations; a location off Atlatl Scenic Loop, Elephant Rock and the White Domes. Our goal at the Atlatl Scenic Loop location was to locate a sandstone formation called the Fire Glow Cave seen in the picture shown here. Click here for pictures and information about this site ... Fire Glow Cave. For our second second stop we hiked a short 1/3-mile at Elephant Rock. Click here for pictures and information about this site ... Elephant Rock. After this we drove to the White Domes for a picnic lunch. After lunch we hiked the 1.2-mile White Domes trail. Click here for pictures and description of this great hike ... White Domes Hike.

Daytrip - Pine Creek Canyon Hike (RRCNCA)

On 04/18/2016 I made a second visit to Pine Creek Canyon.  Today, I was accompanied by fellow hikers Blake Smith and Jim Herring. The weather today was much better than that of my previous visit, clear and sunny with very little haze. We spent more time hiking the trail along the creek and ended up with some very nice pictures. Click the following link for pictures and a description of today's hike ... Pine Creek Canyon (RRCNCA).

Daytrip - Las Vegas Springs Preserve

On 04/17/2016 I attended the first of a two-day, free training class on Manual Photography taught by Sharon K. Schafer. The first day covered the many available features, modes and settings of digital cameras, concentrating on using the cameras "manual" settings for taking pictures. During the field portion of the class I divided my picture taking time between pictures of the grounds' flora and pictures inside the Butterfly Habitat enclosure at the far end of the property. I created two separate posts for the pictures I captured on this visit; a page titled, Springs Preserve (Spring Flora Blossoms), and a second page titled, Springs Preserve (Butterflies & Birds).

Wednesday

Daytrip - La Madre Spring Hike

On 03/25/2016 Bob Croke, Jim Herring, Ron Ziance and myself decided to go to Red Rock and hike the La Madre Spring trail. Starting from the Willow Springs parking area we hiked up Rocky Gap Road to the trailhead at the base of the trail that runs a deep canyon that cuts through the La Madre Wilderness Area with the White Sandstone cliffs to the east and the limestone mountains to the west. This arduous, 1,200 foot climb to us to an elevation of 5,474 feet. We hiked a total of 5.47 miles roundtrip. Between all of our rest stops, picture taking, talking and having lunch, it took us about 4-1/2 hours. Check out pictures and a description of today's hike here ... La Madre Spring Hike - Trip Notes for 03/25/2016.

Friday

Fire Glow Cave (VOF) - Trip Notes for 04/13/2016

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This page last updated on 06/15/2017
(Fig. 01)
04/13/2016 Trip Notes: On today's trip to the Valley of Fire state park with my friend Jim Herring, one of our goals was to locate something I had read about online, the Fire Glow Cave (Fig. 01). We asked the ranger at the entrance for directions, however he had no idea where it was. Entering the park from the west entrance, I knew it was off of Atlatl Scenic Loop road that leads to the campgrounds. This is the first dirt road on the left that eventually turns into the paved road to Atlatl Rock and the campgrounds. With only a general idea of the possible location, it took us quite a while to figure out where it was located. On our first attempt to find it, we actually drove past the area where it was located and had to complete the loop. While driving along this road, we made a couple of stops, got out and hike around the area in search of the cave. Though we didn't find it on this attempt, we were afforded some nice views (Figs. 02, 03, 08 & 09), as well as a wide variety of unexpected flowers (Fig. 04) and several lizards (Fig. 05). (con't)

(Fig. 02)
(Fig. 03)
(Fig. 04)

(Fig. 05)


Trip Notes Continued: After completing the scenic loop, we drove back to the beginning of the Atlatl Scenic Loop road and made another attempt. It turns out that after turning onto this road, you only have to go about a 100 yards in. As the road goes up a little hill, it then begins to dip down. This is were you need to park. There will be a large rock red sandstone structure on the right side of the road. The cave is located in another structure to your right behind the first large rock structure.  The picture in (Fig. 06) shows Jim sitting inside the cave taking some pictures. The light coming in from the holes on the sides of this small cave create the "glow" seen in (Fig. 01). While hiking around and exploring this area we actually found several other small caves in the surrounding sandstone outcrops (Fig. 07). It seemed that every sandstone outcrop contained dozens of small arches and cave-like openings. After exploring this unique area, we headed on to Elephant Rock at the opposite end of the park.

(Fig. 06)
(Fig. 07)
(Fig. 08)
(Fig. 09)
                       Click here to return to [Valley of Fire State Park - Index Page]

             

Play a Slide Show
Clicking the picture-link below will open OneDrive in a new window and a folder containing 21 pictures taken on a hike off Atlatl Scenic Drive road. To view the show, click on the first picture in the folder and you will get the following menu bar:

Click the "Play slide show" will play a fullscreen window of the slide show.


Miscellaneous Bird Pictures

(Fig. 01)
(Fig. 02)
(Fig. 03)
(Fig. 04)
(Fig. 05)
Picture Notes:  All of the bird pictures in (Figs. 01 thru 05) were captured at the Springs Preserve.

XXXXXXX More to Come XXXXXXX


Bonanza Trail Hike - Notes for 04/30/2016

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This page last updated on 06/15/2017
(Fig. 01) Click picture to enlarge
04/30/2016 Trip Notes: Today, Blake Smith, Jim Herring and I decided to head to Cold Creek Nevada to see if we could hike the Bonanza Peak trail. We had heard that Camp Bonanza Cold Creek Rd., the dirt road above the town the leads to the trailhead was in bad shape and would require a 4WD vehicle. We were surprised to learn that it was actually in pretty good shape and were able to make the 2.2 miles to the trailhead in Jim's SUV. Once you reach parking area at the hike trailhead (Fig. 01), you are at an elevation of 7,553 feet, about a thousand feet above the town. Looking at the map in (Fig. 02) below, the hike all the way to Bonanza Peak (10,397 ft) is 4.07 miles with an elevation gain of an additional 2,844 feet. The Bonanza Saddle noted on (Fig. 02) is at 9,803 feet, is 2.98 miles from the trailhead. Unfortunately we had to turn around before reaching the saddle due to a snow storm that was cresting the top of the ridge line. I estimate the spot where we turned around (see Fig. 02) was about 2.25 miles out at an elevation of about 9,150 feet. (notes con't below)
                                   
(Fig. 02)
Hike Notes Continued:  After crossing an open grassy meadow-like area, the trail enters the trees and quickly begins its steeply ascent. As you continue climbing up you are presented several openings in the trees that provide some spectacular views out towards the Sheep Mountain Range(Fig. 03). Along the way there were dozens of huge Ponderosa Pines (Fig. 04). In addition, referring to (Fig. 05), we found thousands of fallen pine cones, various birds eating the seeds of the cones, including some rocks that were filled with ancient seabed fossils. In one of the openings I was able to use my 720mm lens to zoom onto Jim's car in the parking nearly 800 feet below. About 1.7 miles out the trail at about the 9,000 foot elevation overlooked the old "burn area". This open area also provided a good view of the town of Cold Creek more than 2,500 feet below (Fig. 06). This ended up being a good place to sit down, drink some water and rest abit (Fig. 07). As we climbed higher, the snow got deeper, almost to the point we could barely make out the trail (Figs. 08-10). It started to rain and then to spit small ice pellets (Fig. 11). Unable to see over the ridge, we decided to play it safe and start our way down Fig. 12). About half way down, the small "hail-like" pellets were coming down so fast that they almost covered the ground (Fig. 13). When we reached the trailhead, we then drove down to the lower pond below Corn Creek and had a picnic lunch.
                                     
(Fig. 03)
(Fig. 04)
(Fig. 05)
(Fig. 06)
(Fig. 07)
(Fig. 08)
(Fig. 09)
(Fig. 10)
(Fig. 11)
(Fig. 12)
(Fig. 13)
(Fig. 14)

Springs Preserve (Butterflies & Birds)

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In April I attended two Digital Photography classes at the Las Vegas Springs Preserve. My main objective for taking these classes was to learn more about obtaining and mastering 'Depth-of-Field" in my closeups. Even though I'm not sure I have it all down yet, I do feel that I am getting closer to understanding what camera settings I need in order to achieve it. Here are what I consider some of the better closeup pictures of butterflies and birds I captured during these two and some previous visits. The Slide Show at the bottom of the page contain all of the butterfly and bird pictures taken during these two visits, as well as some previous visits. 


(Fig. 01)
(Fig.02)
(Fig.03)
(Fig. 04)
(Fig. 05)
(Fig. 06)
(Fig.07)
(Fig. 08)
(Fig. 09)
(Fig. 10)
(Fig. 11)


             

Play a Slide Show

Clicking the picture-link below will open OneDrive in a new window and a folder containing 30 pictures of butterflies and birds taken on these two and a previous visit to the Springs Preserve. To view the show, click on the first picture in the folder and you will get the following menu bar:



Click the "Play slide show" will play a fullscreen window of the slide show.



For additional information and pictures taken at the Butterfly Habitat on a previous visit on 10/18/2014, click here ... Butterfly Habitat at the Las Vegas Springs Preserve

Highland Mining District near Pioche NV

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This page last updated on 06/15/2017
(Fig. 02)
05/03/2016 Trip NotesToday, Bob Croke and I made the trip to Pioche Nevada to visit Harvey Smith and his friend "P. Rob", a long-time local resident. The main goal of today's visit was to do some 4-wheeling around the valley and Highland Range located behind the town of Pioche in search of some of the areas' old gold and silver mines (Fig. 02). A total of 26 mines in this area made up what was called the Highland Mining District. The major mines are noted in (Fig. 02) above. From the track that we took (in purple) we traveled a total of 25 miles and, to be best of our knowledge, visited five mine sites; the Ely Valley Mines, Black Prince Mine, Mendha Mine, Highland Queen Mine and one we were unable to identify. Unfortunately, there is very little information about any of these mines online. Upon leaving town, we had to stop and open a few barbwire fence gates on our way out to the Highland Range due west of the town (Fig. 03). The first mine site we visited was the Ely Valley Mines. As you can see from the pictures in (Figs. 04 & 05) this was an extensive site with two head-frames and several support structures. Its primary commodity was Zinc and Manganese, with secondary ores of Silver, Gold, Lead and Copper. From here we headed out across the desert valley toward the Highland Range (Fig. 06). Shortly we came upon a car "graveyard" with dozens of old vehicles that had been taken out into the desert and abandoned. Over the years, many of them had been picked clean of any usable parts. We took turns having our pictures taking siting in some of the better cars (Fig. 07). While walking around, everyone took turns trying to determine the make and guess their year of manufacture (Fig. 08). There was even an old wooden horse trailer. Nearby this "graveyard" we passed a structure that looked like a head-frame, but couldn't find any mine openings (Fig. 09). As headed further up into the Highland Range towards the Mendha Mine, we were privy to some nice views stretching out over the valley below toward the Pioche Hills and the Parsnip Range beyond (Fig. 10). (con't below)
                                   
(Fig. 03)

(Fig. 04)

(Fig. 05)

(Fig. 06)
(Fig. 07)
(Fig. 08)
(Fig. 09)
(Fig. 10)
Trip Notes Continued: Next we came to the Black Prince Mine. It is obvious from the substantial headframe and all of the tailings surrounding this small site, that a lot of mining occurred here (Fig. 11). The mine consisted of a 60-degree inclined shaft, that appeared quite deep. As you can see, the headframe is still intact but the couple of buildings at the site are pretty much collapsed (Fig. 12). The primary products of this mine were Gold and Lead. From here we pushed on to the Mendha Mine site. This was probably one of the largest sites we visited. As we approached the site, there were several buildings that probably housed some of the mines' workers. Then the site with a large wooden ore loading structure came into view (Fig. 13)  The Mendha mine was a producing gold-silver-copper-lead ore from ore bodies in limestone. There was a shaft 700 feet on the incline and 300 feet in vertical depth (Fig. 14). There were a couple of mine opening on the site, along with a few buildings, a large outhouse, a building that contains hundreds of drill boring samples, and a few very large building foundations (Fig. 15). The primary products here were Copper, Gold and Lead. From this site we drove to the site of the Highland Queen Mine (Fig. 16). There was a mine tunnel at this level that was very long (Fig. 17). P-Rob noted that he has often wondered whether if it may go through the mountain to the upper tunnel at the Mendha mine on the other side of the mountain. There was another mine about about a half mile above this level, however we decided not to go to it. In addition to the a lot of stuff scattered about the area, there was a pretty large building that contained some heavy equipment (Figs. 18 & 19). The primary products here were Gold, Lead and Silver. As this site is about 7.500 feet in elevation, it provided a nice view looking back to the Pioche Hills (Fig. 20). In fact, zooming in shows the town of Caselton Heights (Fig. 21). From here we headed back to P-Rob's. We then drove into town and explored some of the old mine site and buildings, as well as some of the town's more famous structures before having lunch and heading back to the "City". Already we were mising the smell of the clean fresh mountain air.
                                    
(Fig. 12)
(Fig. 13)
(Fig. 14)
(Fig. 15)
(Fig. 16)

(Fig. 17)
(Fig. 18)
(Fig. 19)
(Fig. 20)
(Fig. 21)
Click here to return to the ... [Pioche NV - Summary Visit Page]