We drove NE from Tonopah on the Gabbs Pole Line Road passing the controversial Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Project.
When driving to the site of Pactolus we passed a shepherd's camp and later saw him high on a ridge with his herd.
Sunset at Pactolus camp. Not much here to see. We did not find the lone building reported at this site.
Jan silhouetted by a Nevada sunset.
The next morning when driving west toward Simon we notice that the shepherd started his day much earlier than we started ours.
Climbing a ridge on the approach to Simon Mountain.
Hiked to the summit of Simon Mountain and rebuilt the marker.
Entering Simon. There are over 25,000 feet of underground workings at Simon, some more than 1000 feet deep.
Note the two different building styles of this structure.
The sun silhouettes an old ore bin.
Rawhide Ranch. Jan really wanted to meet Rowdy Yates but no one was home.
Finger Rock looms over our truck.
Jan zooms the camera in on me as I look down from the top of Finger Rock. The route to the top was easier than it looked.
If cows could talk this one might explain how it all happened.
Exploring mining roads west of Rhyolite Pass.
The sun begins to set as we look for a place to camp.
Sunrise at our west of Rhyolite Pass camp.
Driving down to Rhyolite Pass.
On our way to the Blue Sphinx.
We spot our objective.
It must have been quite a surprise for a prospector roaming these mountains to encounter the Blue Sphinx.
We drove around the mine camp but only found this small dugout and the usual adits and shafts. On a ridge to the north we could see a structure at the Golden Pen mine.
We drove down from the Blue Sphinx and turned toward Poinsettia.
Poinsettia. From what I have read it isn't really a ghost town but the remains of a cinnabar (mercury) mine camp.
My favorite structure at Poinsettia was this dugout. A look inside revealed that it was used for storage.
Leaving Poinsettia Camp.
The name on the map read, "Car Frame Windmill." With a name like that you have to visit. The windmill seems to be made out of any odd piece of steel on hand, including at least two car frames and an old military vehicle.
On our way to Rawhide Hot Springs. We drove through about 1/4 mile of deep sand north of Black Butte. Thought about stopping and taking a photo but we didn't bring sand ladders and it wasn't worth the risk of getting stuck.
Rawhide Hot Springs. An incredible amount of junk and debris scattered all around the springs. The springs appear to have been developed sometime in the past.
This is the actual spring and from here the water is routed into two other pools. When I was walking near one of the other pools I startled a duck that was feeding. Was it spending the winter at Rawhide?
More sand east of Fissure Ridge. This time the sand wasn't very deep.
Getting close to Downeyville. Many ruins here but we did not find any standing structures. In the remaining light of the day we decided to drive to Craig Station.
Craig Station in the light of a new day.
Dawn at Craig Station. The temperature dropped to 17º during the night.
Time to fuel up because we don't know if the gas station in Gabbs was still open.
We drove on to Gabbs and the station was as I remembered it.
Sunday, the nearest gas was 60 miles away in Hawthorne and it was time for us to head for home.
Junction with US 395 January 2012.
No snow this year at the intersection. We were surprised by the lack of snow during the entire trip.
Junction with US 395 January 2011.
Looking east January 2012.
Looking east January 2011.
Driving south of June Lake we noticed a volcano in the distance preparing to erupt. ;)
Unnerving to think that a few thousand feet below this plug is gigantic cavity filled with radioactive sludge.
I was curious about the top of the plug.
Plenty of warning signs around the site. All the signs warn of petroleum impacted soil. Not a single sign mentions radioactivity.
Time to leave Faultless before something odd happens.
Frozen Moore's Station Creek.
We visited the petroglyphs near Moore's Station.
We drove on to Pritchard's Station after stopping at Moore's Station. Moore's Station looked very interesting but was fenced off and hidden behind trees. Jan spotted this balanced rock about two miles from Pritchard's Station.
Pritchard's Station. It was active between the 1870s and 1880s on the old Belmont-Tybo-Eureka stage line.
Sunset on the Little Smokey Valley a few miles south of Summit Station.
We were driving an old road west of Red Ring Mountain looking for a place to camp when Jan commented that, "it doesn't look like anyone has driven this road is quite a while." Five minutes later we discovered why. The road was blocked by a landslide. I scouted the area and found a way into a nearby wash.
We engaged the 4WD, drove into the wash, followed it for about 50 yards and regained the road.
Dawn at our west of Red Ring Mountain camp.
A mile from Squaw Wells we saw the first tire tracks.
Exiting Jumbled Rock Gulch.
After exiting Jumbled Rock Gulch we drove to Morey.
This cabin was interesting because of what was on the wall of one room.
Two walls were covered with old newspapers and photos.
Looks like Lillie Langtry.
Esther Mitchell murdered her brother in 1906.
A few miles from Morey there is a drill hole for another test site. We drove back to US 6 and then south to Little Lunar Cuesta.
As we approached the cuesta I noticed that we were being watched from above. Then I noticed the moon above Little Lunar Cuesta.
I hiked to the top of Little Lunar Cuesta because it looked so cool. My big horn buddy had left the summit.
Back at US 6 the fuel gauge read empty. While we were fueling up a Four Wheel Camper on what we think was a green truck drove by on US 6 headed west. We wish they would have stopped to say hello. You don't see many vehicles in this part of Nevada, let alone another FWC.