Monday, October 28, 2013

Gold Field and Gold Point exploration

October 24-25, 2013:

We now seem to be on the old mining ghost town tour, a favorite of mine, heading south on route 95 towards Las Vegas.  It was a busy morning in Tonopah, fueling up the truck, washing it and filling a propane tank before the usual preparations to move.  We still managed to be on the road just after 10 AM heading south on route 95 for 26 miles to the town of Goldfield, NV.  We parked the rig along the road just before the old downtown and walked the Main Street and wandered around a bit.  Goldfield was another mining boom town about the same time as Tonopah, but is more like a ghost town than Tonopah with many old deserted buildings.  This was a prosperous town in its day with large stone block structures, especially the Goldfield Hotel that are now closed and in need of total restoration.  Lots and lots of photo Op's everywhere !

Old County Maintenance Truck

Deserted glass bottle house in need of help, soon !

The Goldfield Hotel, also in need of help and $$$
A few unique vehicles in downtown Goldfield

No students in the Goldfield High School anymore

An old Arch that now leads to nowhere

Goldfield historical sign

Deserted spaces in Goldfield where building used to be

After about two hours we continued south on route 95 to route 266, then route 774 heading for Gold Point, NV.  As we approached town the strategy was to grab a boondock spot if something good materialized, if not we would continue into Goldfield and camp at the RV campground there. We found an easy spot to pull off the road and set up a couple of miles outside of town with endless desert/mountain vista in all directions.

View of the RV at our campsite

After unhooking, we drove into Gold Point to explore.  Gold Point is yet another mining boom town that went mostly bust.  It became a true ghost town, except for a couple people, but a new savior in the name of Herb Rollins, referred to as "Sheriff Stone" arrived on the scene in the late 1970's.  He bought a couple of old miners cabins, moved in and little by little over the years has bought up additional property and cabins.  He has with his own money and occasional fund raising events been saving artifacts, fixing cabin roofs, rebuilding cabins and generally preserving the town.  The place is quite amazing now and is starting to get noticed by the media.  We pulled into town, parked and started looking around, not feeling too comfortable, until a guy who turned out to be the "The Deputy" who has also been there with Herb all the way invited us into the Saloon to look around and put us at ease.  It was incredible inside, totally chock full of all kinds of antique and old mining stuff, gaming tables, a player piano, signs and just fun stuff, along with a great bar. It was like a treasure chest, ultra cool.  They rent out a few of the miners cabins for overnight stays, have a small RV park there and have special events there once in a while to support the restoration efforts.

Hornsilver was the original name of Gold Point

Tons of mining artifacts everywhere

Outhouses remain

Front porch of the Saloon building

An old mining cabin that can be rented overnight

Lots of old cars and mining equipment remain

Interior of the Saloon building

Back at the RV sitting outside relaxing in the warm sun, there is no noise except a weird sound from the electrical wires a hundred feet or so from the RV, (that's how quiet it is here), it's been a while since we camped anywhere this remote, kind of relaxing !  The town of Tonopah claims the dark sky prize, but the sky outside of Gold Point is definitely darker, really dark, so many stars visible.  It was cold at night, 6,000 ft elevation, low 30's for sure.  We went most of the night without running the furnace, to conserve battery power, pilled on the quilts, but when the interior temperature dropped to 45 degrees, the heat went on. 

In the morning, we drove back to Gold Point and explored more out behind town where the mines are located.  It seems there are hundreds of mines all over and dirt roads going off in all directions. A couple of friendly locals saw us and stopped to give us advise on things to see and places to go out beyond Gold Point on the dirt roads.  We cruised a couple roads for a while, but the dually is not the preferred vehicle for this, you need a jeep or an ATV to really get around.  I can see where the search for gold and Silver (or just cool rocks) could be addictive, (must be some left) and living in a little miners cabin holds some appeal for me.

Old Mine site

Open Mine shaft, Watch your step !!!

View of the mountains behind Gold Point

Gold Point sign
Old mine entrance at Gold Point
Incredible flowers growing all over the area

Interior of an old weathered mining cabin

At noon, we packed up and pulled out, back on route 95 south about 60 miles towards the town of Beatty, Nevada.  It is the gateway to Dealth Valley National Park and this weekend happens to be the annual "Beatty Days" weekend parade and festival.  We have located on the internet a potential boondock spot just outside of town known as "The Pond".  Not sure what we will find there ?

More will be revealed, stay tuned,
Twinkles and Slick

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