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Saturday, November 29, 2014

Silurian Hills - Pt 2 "Damage that we could not surmount"

 Dawn in the Silurian Hills on the Tonopah and Tidewater Railroad.
 Looking west toward Silurian Lake and it seemed to be very dusty down on the playa.
 There was a washout to the north.
And another to the south but maybe today's route would be a bit easier.
 We enjoyed a relaxing breakfast and admired Brian's timeworn percolator. It was more than 20 years old.
 View of our camp looking south.
 After breakfast we worked our way around the washout to the south and turned east toward the next stop on "Brian's Desert Cabin Extravaganza."
And not a single spot of erosion on the road to this cabin.
It wasn't as rodent infested as the last cabin but there were several large holes in the roof and a door was missing.
The bar looked like it had been open quite a few times.
While I studied the route south to our next destination on my iPad*, the rest of the group drove over to a nearby mine and ventured into the netherworld. *Gaia is my preferred navigation app.
A last look at the previous cabin and then it was on to something I had spotted on GoogleEarth.
We drove south along the T&T until reaching a spot where I could hike over to my objective. Out on the sand I spotted evidence that someone had been there, although a long time ago.
Looked like something man made on the knoll ahead.
I found the remains of a mine and a stamping mill.
In the past I have rappelled into mines but the fire to do it no longer burns. Although I have to say that adits off of shafts contain some interesting artifacts because vertical mines are seldom explored.
Clark, Brian, Beth and Jo Ann with the Silurian Hills in the background. Contrails courtesy of Las Vegas air traffic.
Just before this minor washout, which was the worst of our second day, a courteous dirt bike rider warned us that the road was washed out ahead. I responded, "it's worse three miles north."
Location three on "Brian's Desert Cabin Extravaganza."
Two rooms and one with a nice stove.
Someone spent a lot of time creating the rock walkways and patio.
We hiked up an old road and found this reservoir along with several adits. There were also the remains of a tramway to working high on the ridge above the camp.
Soon we were back at the vehicles and ready to drive on.
In the distance to our left was an arch.
After several miles of bumpy road we turned left up a wash toward the last structure on "Brian's Desert Cabin Extravaganza."
This wash also showed signs of a recent rain event. In several places the road disappeared and drivers had to search for the route.
A couple of hundred yards before the cabin our route encountered damage that we could not surmount. The track continued above the damage but our vehicles weren't going any farther. Maybe a highly modified 4x4 with front and rear lockers could climb up the near vertical step but we walked from here. (A Unimog perhaps.)
Brian didn't know but I had saved the best cabin for last.
This well kept cabin is tidy and comfortable.
Jake died in an accident near Zzyzz in 2013.
A scruffy looking desert rat sat on the front porch and visited with our group for about 30 minutes.
Brian and Beth leaving the wash.
After exploring a side canyon the group began the drive back to pavement.
The sun was setting as we neared a power-line road which would provide a graded route back to CA 127.
Brian and Beth turned left for home, while Jo Ann, Clark and I turned right for one more night in the Silurian Hills.

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