Monday

Daytrip - Snow Mountain Pow Wow

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This was the second Snow Mountain pow wow I attended. This year I went with my friend Jim Herring. The Las Vegas Paiute Tribe celebrated American Indian culture with southern Nevadans at its 28th Annual Pow Wow on May 27th and 28th held at Snow Mountain, located just 20 miles north of downtown Las Vegas off of Route 95. This event is held here every year. The grounds circling the outdoor performance arena contained several food vendors and dozens of booths by artisans and crafters that provided a unique shopping experience. Click here for pictures and information ... 28th Annual Snow Mountain Pow Wow.

Daytrip - Rainbow Vista and Canyon Overlook Trails at VOF

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On 05/18/2017, Bob Croke, Blake Smith and myself visited Valley of Fire to hike the Rainbow Vista and Canyon Overlook Trails. Driving along the Lake Mead Northshore Road on the way there, we spotted a family of three beautiful wild horses just off the road. Using our telephoto lenses we took dozens of pictures. We had a great day hiking these trails and got some great pictures. Click here for pictures and a description ... Rainbow Vista & Fire Canyon Overlook Trails.

Daytrip - Visit to Gold Butte

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On 04/25/2017 Harvey and I took Jim Herring and Bob Croke to the 21-Goats Petroglyph site at Gold Butte. This amazing petroglyph panel is one of the best I've ever observed. After reaching the panel, we decided to hike the immediate area around the site. Hiking up to the top of the nearby ledges provided us with some beautiful views that looked down over a hundred feet to the valley below. Click here for pictures and description ... 21 Goats Petroglyphs at Gold Butte.

Saturday

Daytrip - Pauline Mine Rd in Western Goodsprings Valley

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On 05/03/2017 I made a trip with Jim Herring and Harvey out to Aztec Tank and a ride up Pauline Road to once again enjoy the beautiful views visible from this area. About halfway out, after a very rough ride up Pauline Mine road, we came across a group of 12 wild horses. This was the largest grouping I have ever encountered. Click here to view and description ... Pauline Mine Road - Trip Notes for 05/03/2017




Monday

Fletcher Canyon Trail Hike

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This page last updated on 09/03/2017
(Fig. 01)


06/14/2017 Hike Notes: – This was the third time I walked this trail. This time I was accompanied by my friend Blake Smith. It was an absolutely beautiful day in the low 80's with a cool breeze. At an elevation of 5,000 feet, on the drive up Kyle Canyon Road we had a good view of the snow that was still lingering on Mt. Charleston (Fig. 01). Because we got an early start, we decided to stop at the Mt. Charleston Lodge and enjoy a delicious breakfast of Eggs Benedict (Fig. 02 below). In the pond outside the lodge we found some baby ducks basking in the early morning sun (Fig. 03). After a great breakfast, we headed further up Kyle Canyon Road to the trailhead at the 6,940 foot elevation (Fig. 04). Just before starting the trail we spotted two wild horses (Fig. 05). It is always a treat to find wild horses at Mt. Charleston. (con't below)
                             
(Fig. 02)
(Fig. 03)
(Fig. 04)
(Fig. 05)
Hike Notes Continued: At the beginning of the trail there we some Utah Penstemon (Fig. 06). As the trail climbed higher and higher we started to get some nice views of the surrounding cliff lines (Fig. 07). Along the way we passed hundreds of huge Ponderosa Pines with their beautiful thick bark. There we also the twisted root stubs of many that had succumbed to the elements over time (Fig. 08). Along the side of the trail (Fig. 09), we found a lone Cactus growing in the sun with some beautiful budding blossoms (Fig. 10) of a Mojave Kingcup. Click here to read more more about this cactus ... Mojave Kingcup Cactus (Echinocereus mojavensis). At about the 3/4 way up the nearly 2 mile trail, there was an opening in the surrounding trees that provided us with a view of the rising cliffs to our north (Fig. 11). After climbing nearly 1,000 feet, we were getting tired and decided not to go the rest of the way to the spring at the end. Several hikers returning from the end reported that there was no visible water; this further discouraged us from continuing on. On the way back we had a view of the scarred mountains due south (Fig. 12) that had been burned in the huge Carpenter Canyon fire in July of 2013 that burned more than 27,971 acres (roughly 43-square miles). [Trout Canyon Fire].
                               
(Fig. 06)
(Fig. 07)
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Paiute Pow Wows - Summary Page

Today there are two Southern Paiute communities located in southern Nevada; one at Las Vegas and one in Moapa, Nevada. Both of the tribes of these areas host annual Pow Wows; the Las Vegas Paiute Tribe at Snow Mountain off Route-95, 20 miles north of Las Vegas, and the Moapa Band of Paiutes at the Moapa Paiute Travel Plaza along Interstate 15, 34 miles north east of Las Vegas.





Las Vegas Paiute Tribe: The Las Vegas Tribe of Paiute Indians of the Las Vegas Indian Colony is a federally recognized tribe of Southern Paiute Indians in southern Nevada. The Las Vegas Paiute Tribe has a reservation, the Las Vegas Indian Colony, in Clark County adjacent to the northwest corner of Las Vegas. The reservation was first established in 1911 and today is 3,850 acres. In 1992, 52 tribal members lived on the reservation and 71 people were enrolled in the tribe. The Las Vegas Tribe of Paiute Indians currently operates a mini-mart, two smoke shops; a health and human services program; the Las Vegas Paiute Police Department, with 10 law enforcement officers and the Las Vegas Paiute Golf Resort, located northwest of Las Vegas.

The Las Vegas Tribe hold an annual Pow Wow every Memorial Day weekend at Snow Mountain. Here are the links to two of the pow wows I have attended:
   The 28th Annual Snow Mountain Pow Wow - 2017
      28th Annual Snow Mountain Pow Wow
   22nd Annual Snow Mountain Pow Wow - 2012
     22nd Annual Snow Mountain Pow Wow

Moapa Band of Paiute Indians: The Moapa Band of Paiute Indians of the Moapa River Indian Reservation are a federally recognized tribe of Paiute, who live in southern Nevada on the Moapa River Indian Reservation. They were in the past called the Moapat and the Nuwuvi. Their reservation is the Moapa River Indian Reservation, located near Moapa Town, Nevada.  Originally the entire Moapa River watershed and lands along the Colorado River (some of which area is now under Lake Mead) was assigned to the Moapa; however, in 1875 their reservation was reduced to 1,000 acres. In 1980 the Moapa River reservation was expanded, with about 75,000 acres added.

The Moapa Band of Paiutes hold an annual Pow Wow at the Moapa Paiute Travel Plaza along Interstate 15 the weekend before Veterans Day in November.
Here is a link to the Pow Wow I attended:
   The 22nd Annual Southern Paiute Veterans Pow-Wow - 2012


Wednesday

Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura)

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This page last updated on 06/19/2017
(Fig. 01)


Picture Notes: On the way home from a visit to the Techatticup Mining Camp in Eldorado Valley, we spotted a turkey vulture sitting on a cliff on the side of the road (Fig. 01). We got out and walked back to get some pictures. Finally he flew off the cliff and began to circle the area (Figs 02 & 03). It took us a while but eventually we finally figured out what he was after. There was a dead rattle snake in the middle of the road that had been run over by a car (Fig. 04).

(Fig. 02)


Description:  The turkey vulture (Cathartes aura), also known in some North American regions as the turkey buzzard (or just buzzard). It is a large, predominantly blackish-brown bird. It is most commonly seen soaring overhead. The Turkey Vulture has a 5- to 6-foot wingspan and soars with its wings tilted up, in a dihedral pattern. Turkey Vultures rock back and forth when soaring. Vultures are unmistakable, with their featherless, red heads. Their habitat is open country, woods, deserts, foothills. Most common over open or semi-open country, especially within a few miles of rocky or wooded areas providing secure nesting sites. Generally avoids densely forested regions. The turkey vulture is a scavenger and feeds almost exclusively on carrion. It finds its food using its keen eyes and sense of smell, flying low enough to detect the gases produced by the beginnings of the process of decay in dead animals.

(Fig. 03)
(Fig. 04
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Pomegranate (Punica proto-punica)

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This page last updated on 05/27/2017
(Fig. 01)


Picture Notes: On 05/27/2017, I visited Corn Creek Station for a short afternoon visit after going to the Paiute Powwow at nearby Snow Mountain.

Description: The pomegranate is native from Iran to the Himalayas in northern India and was cultivated and naturalized over the whole Mediterranean region since ancient times. It is widely cultivated throughout India and the drier parts of southeast Asia, Malaya, the East Indies and tropical Africa. The tree was introduced into California by Spanish settlers in 1769. In this country it is grown for its fruits mainly in the drier parts of California and Arizona. The pomegranate is a small tree that can grow to 20 or 30 ft. It is usually deciduous, but in certain areas the leaves will persist on the tree. The trunk is covered by a red-brown bark which later becomes gray. The branches are stiff, angular and often spiny. Pomegranates are also long-lived. There are specimens in Europe that are known to be over 200 years of age. The vigor of a pomegranate declines after about 15 years, however.
                  
Its flowers are an attractive scarlet (Figs. 01 & 04), white or variegated and are over an inch across and have 5 to 8 crumpled petals and a red, fleshy, tubular calyx which persists on the fruit. The flowers may be solitary or grouped in twos and threes at the ends of the branches. The pomegranate (Figs. 02 & 03) is self-pollinated as well as cross-pollinated by insects. Cross-pollination increases the fruit set. Wind pollination is insignificant. Its fruit is nearly round, 2-1/2 to 5 in. wide fruit and is crowned at the base by the prominent calyx. The tough, leathery skin or rind is typically yellow overlaid with light or deep pink or rich red. The interior is separated by membranous walls and white, spongy, bitter tissue into compartments packed with sacs filled with sweetly acid, juicy, red, pink or whitish pulp or aril. In each sac there is one angular, soft or hard seed. High temperatures are essential during the fruiting period to get the best flavor. The the fruit should mature some 5 to 7 months after bloom.

(Fig. 02)
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Tuesday

Category Description

Plants, Flowers & Fungi: Due to the number of pictures of plants and flowers I have captured on my various hiking trips over time, I had let this category get completely away from me. Because its index was not inadequate, I redesigned the whole category so that things would be easier to locate.  The new index Plants, Flowers & Fungi Index will now allow you to looking up plants and flowers by both title and pictures. I also created a new sub-category titled, Plants & Flowers Requiring Identification, with flower pictures sorted by color, so visitors to the site can participate in the process of helping me to identify some of my plant & flower pictures. If you ...   

Monday

Rhyolite Town Site - Trip Notes for 05/30/2017


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This page last updated on 05/31/2017
(Fig. 01)


Note: Prior to visiting Rhyolite we stopped at the Beatty Museum in Beatty. We spent more than 45 minutes touring the museum's exhibits, historical pictures and especially information on the town of Rhyolite. The curator was extremely knowledgeable and provided a wealth of information on Rhyolite. We found it very interesting. I would recommend anyone wishing to visit the historic site of Rhyolite make it a point to stop at the museum first. It opens everyday at 10:00 am. It is actually on the way. Check out the museum's website here ... Beatty Museum.
                                         
(Fig. 02)
05/30/2017 Trip NotesMy first visit to Rhyolite was back on 05/05/2008 with Connie and our neighbor Marc Resnic. To read historical information about the town of Rhyolite, go to this page, Ghost Town of Rhyolite Nevada - Summary Page. This page provides pictures and information on the few remaining structures in the ghost town today.

Today's snapshot only provides a glimpse of what the town once was during its heyday. Once people started leaving the town, people took flooring, roofs, support beams, just anything they could use to rebuild elsewhere. Three houses were actually hauled intact to the the town of Beatty. Over time, vandals and the weather have taken their toll, and the gutted structures have slowly beguan to crumble. Today the site is administered by the Bureau of Land Management, and watched over by a citizen's group called "The Friends of Rhyolite." They are raising money to stabilize the buildings, and hopefully prevent further deterioration.   Treasure hunters with metal detectors and the collecting of any artifacts inside the town limits is prohibited. There are BLM caretakers on site, and they insist that visitors remain outside the perimeter of the buildings.  Some are fenced others are not.

Today's visit was my third visit, this time with Jim Herring and Bob Croke, neither of which who had ever been here before. We drove and hiked the majority of town's remaining foundations and structures from one end to the other. See the map in (Fig. 02) for their locations. The town is nestled between the Bonanza and Ladd mountains, both potted with dozens of old mine openings (Figs. 01 & 03). After visiting the Goldwell Open Air Museum, located on the left just before entering the town. We then began our tour of the town by visiting the "bottle" house.

Tom Kelly's Bottle House. Tom Kelly's house was erected in 1906. He built the three room house to raffle it off. It was built with 30,000 bottles of beer, wine, soda and medicine. Because the water line had yet to be laid, water was scarce and cost $5.00 a barrel. As a result, none of them had ever been washed. The house served the winning family for many years. Even though you cannot go into the house, you can peer into the inside through its windows. One was even draped with curtains. He even made a landing for the porch with bottles. when you got close up you could read the labels molded into the bottoms of the bottles (refer to Fig. 05). NOTE: This was not the only house built from bottles in Rhyolite. Just about 100 yards behind this one, was Mr. & Mrs. Wylies home. It was only one room but it was quite a nice little place made of beer bottles. There was also one up on the hill behind the school. That one was quite unusual in that it was mostly underground. Other than the roof, the rest of the house was made of bottles also,

The Rhyolite Mercantile: The building was erected in 1906 (Fig. 07). As with some other buildings, the "false front" at the top served as a billboard, where the merchant would advertise his store and the goods that were offered. In 1914 was moved to the town mining town of Pioneer and then eventually to Beatty. In the 1970's Evan Thompson moved it back to Rhyolite and set it on Chico Street, where you see it today. He then added an addition onto the back for a kitchen and raised several of his children there where he watched over the town. Unfortunately, the Rhyolite Mercantile general store seen in (Fig. 07) no longer exists. It burned to the ground in September 2014 after being hit by lightning.
                                               
We then moved to the ruins of the school (Fig. 07) and took some pictures.
                                
The Rhyolite School. The Rhyolite School was erected in 1909. This was Rhyolite's second school. Rhyolite built its first school early in 1906 and the enrollment soon reached 90. The first school was a wooden building that blew down in a severe wind storm. In the meantime they used the County Hospital to house the school until they decided what to do. By May 1907 the number of students reached 250. After the approving of a $20,000 school bond, this modern new two-story schoolhouse was built with classrooms and an auditorium and a galvanized Spanish tile roof and a bell copula. Constructed of fireproof concrete, it was completed in January of 1909. However, by the time it was built, most of the students had left Rhyolite and the town was already becoming a ghost town. It was only used for about a year. The spacious upstairs later functioned as a meeting hall, for socials and anything that needed a large room. Eventually the roof tiles, windows, and interior wood went to the middle school in Beatty. (notes con't below)
                                         

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(Fig. 05)
  
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(Fig. 06)
(Fig. 07)


Notes Continued:  From the school, we drove down Broadway Street to the jail. This substantial building had heavy steel doors and steel bared windows (Fig. 08). The judge's office was in the front and six steel cells housed Rhyolite's rowdier residences in the rear. The window at the back of the building was as twice as wide as the side windows, and provided a "picture window" view looking over the full valley below the town (Fig. 09). Other foundations along this road were the remains of the adobe Dance Hall and a saloon. Turning and heading up Esmeralda Road there was a building of a residence that may have once been a brothel (Fig. 10). This large, two room house was built in 1905. Further up this road was an area that was referred to as "Nob Hill" where the 'rich folks' lived. All that's left of the Taylor home is the Chimney. The rest of this house survives in Beatty. Next we visited the Cook Bank and the Overbury Buildings (below).
                                     
(Fig. 08)
(Fig. 09)


(Fig. 10)

Cook & Co. Bank: The Bank of John S. Cook & Company (Figs. 11, 12 & 13) was first established in 1905 by John S. Cook, as a private bank, and with a capital of $50,000. Constructed in 1907 at a cost of nearly $90,000, the three-story John S Cook & Company Building was located on the southwest corner of Golden and Broadway (Ramsey Corner) Streets and was the tallest building in town. Completed and opened for business in January, 1908, the first floor housed the J S Cook banking corporation, which was shortly absorbed by the First National Bank of Rhyolite, Nevada. It had two vaults, marble floors imported from Italy, mahogany woodwork, electric lights, telephones, and inside plumbing.Brokers' offices utilized most of the second and third floors, while the town’s post office occupied the basement. The post office was the last business to leave the town in 1919. The collage in (Fig. 13) show some of the detail of the once magnificent building. Is also shows the sidewalk that ran down the street in front of the entrance (lower right). The lower left picture in the collage shows the remains of the Jewelry store that was attached to the building.

The Overbury Building: In 1907, Rhyolite resident John Overbury returned from a trip to Europe and built one of the most modern buildings in the west. The Overbury Building (Figs. 14, 15 & 16) was a grand, three-story structure that opened in June of 1907. The cost of the building is said to have been $50,000. It was built of rock and concrete and had modern plumbing, fire plugs and fire hoses on every floor, electric wiring and a 5,000 gallon water tank on the roof. The stone was cut from a quarry just north of town.  It housed more than 25 elegant offices. The building was located on Golden Street midway between Broadway and Colorado across from the Porter Store. The First National Bank of Rhyolite, Nevada was housed in the Overbury Building prior to locating in the John S Cook & Co. building a year later. The building also housed a jewelry store. Note: After the town was deserted, a mining company came in and took the stones of the Overbury Building and ground them up to fine power to get the gold out. That's one of the reasons it is in even worse shape than the rest.

The Porter Brothers Store: Built in 1906, the Porter brothers had three stores in California. The Porter brothers were successful merchants in the Southern California mining town of Randsburg, and when Rhyolite hit the news, they headed across the desert to open a branch in the new mining city. Operating their first store in a tent in April 1905, they quickly graduated to a wood frame building in June,. In August of 1906 construction began on a 30 x 80 cut stone store building with a basement that cost $10,000 (Figs. 17 & 18). It opened with a dance on November 12. Grand plate glass windows and a door filled the now empty opening. You could buy anything here, mining supplies, can food, pillows and blankets, etc. They then turned the wooden building into a furniture store. They also had a lumber yard and warehouse. The picture in (Fig. 18) shows the wooden framing behind the front facade. Only three and a half years later, on May 14, 1910, the store closed. H.D. Porter remained behind as the town's postmaster until the post office closed in 1918. Last, at the top of Golden Street (map - Fig. 02) was the Las Vegas & Tonopah Depot. (See below)
             
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(Fig. 11)
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(Fig. 12)
(Fig. 13)




                         
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(Fig. 14)
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(Fig. 15)
(Fig. 16)


(Fig. 17)

(Fig. 18)
The Las Vegas & Tonopah Depot: To this day, it is probably fitting that the Las Vegas & Tonopah Depot (Figs. 19 & 20) is still the best preserved structure in town. It was completed in 1908, at a reported cost of $130,000, equivalent to about $3,470,000 in 2017 when adjusted for inflation. The California mission style depot is built of cut stone that was hauled from Las Vegas. The upper floor was used as housing for ticket agents and other depot employees. The first train into Rhyolite was in December of 1906. There were separate waiting areas and baggage rooms for the men and women, men on the left and women on the right. The second railroad line into Rhyolite was the Goldfield Bullfrog line in June of 1907. The last one, using the tracks of the G&B was the Tonoph Tidewater. The Las Vegas Tonopah Railroad stopped its passenger service to Rhyolite in 1916. Over the years the building has served a variety of businesses, including museum and a casino. (Fig. 20) shows the rear of the building. Behind the depot there is an old Los Angles & Salt Lake Union Pacific caboose. (Fig. 22) shows the inside of the caboose. Just beyond the Depot there is the remains of another slowly deteriorating residence.

After several hours touring the town, before heading to Beatty for lunch, we drove to the Bullfrog Cemetery (see Fig. 02). Click here for cemetery pictures and information ... Bullfrog-Rhyolite Cemetery.

(Fig. 19)
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