The weather here in Vock Canyon has been great lately. No need for air conditioning during the day and the nights are cool enough to leave the windows open for sleeping. The cloud cover has been great and the days relatively mild - good fall weather. Am hoping for much of the same as I head to Fallon, Nevada to meet up with John.
Pahrump, Nevada is on the way to Fallon so I stopped in to visit my aunt and uncle. My cousin Harold was there also. He is recuperating from surgery and has more on the way. After a nice visit, got back in my Jeep and headed to Beatty, NV where I would spend the night in the local Motel 6. Before checking in I took a short drive over to Rhyolite, a ghost town on the road to Death Valley. Have been there several times before but it is still an interesting place, although most of the ruins are fenced off.
The next morning I was on the road to meet John in Fallon. When I was young and carefree driving across the desert, Jackson Browne, the Eagles and Emmylou Harris were playing on my cassette deck. Now that I am old and carefree, I still listen to them as I drive through the desert. It's funny how some things stick with you.
John and I met at the Motel 6 in Fallon and after talking for some time, we hopped in his 4 Runner and went to a couple of nearby wetland areas hoping to photograph some birds. Unfortunately, there were not many around. Things were better for us the next morning. We went to a different area and although there were not a lot of birds there, there was a good mixture of breeds. We saw Coots, Egrets, Grebe, Ibis and even some Pelicans. Before I started to photograph birds I thought that Pelicans were found near oceans, usually standing on the posts of wooden piers - too much watching of cartoons in my childhood days.
After two nights in Fallon, John and I drove down to Hawthorne, Nevada. On the way down I stopped at Walker Lake to take photos of the lake and some interesting rock formations along side the highway. That evening we drove south of town to find the road to Bodie, California, another ghost town we have been to before. This trip we will drive the dirt road from Hawthorne to Bodie, There are several ghost towns in the Hawthorne area.
We rose early the next day to visit some ghost towns. The area we wanted to visit was just south of Mina, Nevada. We drove south on Hwy 95, stopped in Mina for a while to drive around the town looking for old structures to photograph. Later, we were on our way down Hwy 95 for the road to Candalaria. This road starts as pavement but turns to dirt just before entering Candalaria. Silver was discovered by Spanish miners in Candalaria in 1865. Over the next decade or so, Candalaria and the nearby town of Belleville boomed. Candalaria was known as a rough and lawless town. When a mill was built was built in Candalaria, Belleville was essentially abandoned within ten years.
Our next stop was Belleville. The road to Belleville leaves the good dirt road west of Candalaria and becomes a Jeep Trail. Four wheel drive is probably not necessary but the crossing of several small washes makes the road a little bumpy and probably not passable for a low clearance vehicle. There was not as much evidence of mining in Belleville as there was in Candalaria.
We soon left for Marietta. Just west of Belleville there was a junction with Nevada Highway 360. We turned right on the pavement for about a mile or so and then turned left onto a well-maintained dirt road, the entrance to the Marietta Wild Burro Range and the route to Marietta. Driving west we noticed that the burros like to go Number Two on the road. We actually saw some burros as we later descended into the basin where Marietta is located.
We found some evidence of mining in Marietta. There were also a few houses around that looked occupied. Most mining in the area was for salt and borax from nearby Teals Marsh. A mill was constructed in Marietta for processing gold and silver from nearby mines. With the discovery of Borax near Death Valley, Marietta was soon essentially abandoned.
Eight minute video from Candalaria, Nevada to Marietta, Nevada