As we left Delamar, we said our good byes to Frenchie and headed towards pavement again, the circuituous route.
We headed along the powerline road where we saw new high line towers paralleling the old lines. The new towers had no wires though. A turnoff to the west took us into the dry lake bed where the soil (and its accompanying dust) turned nearly white. We came to a formation of rock that was nearly black (at least a few millimeters deep) which included petroglyphs.
We eventually reached pavement at the Great Basin Highway and turned to head into Alamo. The gas station included a deli and really a complete grocery store so we stocked up fuel, aired up the tires, bought a few groceries, unloaded some trash and several of us had an ice cream treat before traveling on. It should be noted that they do not sell beer. We made another stop in Alamo to replenish that. We discussed heading down to a lakeside park for lunch but Martin had a better idea from a trip he’d made through the area some years back.
Left to right, that’s Scott, Ace, Kyli, Keith, Gary, Michael, Martin and Sibastian in a photo taken by Laura.
We started down the Extraterrestrial Highway (NV 375) towards Rachel, NV. The top-secret Area 51 government base is near SR 375 and many travelers have reported UFO observations and other strange alien activity along this road. Such stories prompted the state to officially designate the route as the Extraterrestrial Highway in 1996. The small town of Rachel, located near the center of the highway, caters to tourists and UFO seekers with alien-themed businesses. Although the area receives some tourism due to alleged extraterrestrial activity, SR 375 remains a lightly traveled route. I have previously commented that we had no confirmed UFO or exraterrestrial sightings on our journey but I do have a scar (Scars are like tattoos with better stories!) on my temple where I supposedly walked into a tree in bright daylight for no apparent reason. Extraterrestrial abduction attempt gone bad? You be the judge.
When we got to Rachel, we stopped at the Little A’Le’ Inn for a look around and to grab lunch.
Contiuig north along 375, we turned west through some BLM land towards Reveille area and the old Bellehelen mine site. Along with a newer (1940s?) abandoned wooden building, we found the remnants of older stacked stone structures and some smaller tailings piles.
We also saw evidence of environmental monitoring in the area.
The early mining methods used chemicals such as cyanide and others we know to be very dangerous (and long lasting) today and in our more enlightened state, we are taking the time to clean and monitor the contamination.
As it was getting on into the afternoon, we started looking for a place to set up camp for the night. We were aiming for something a bit better protected from the wind this night and found a flat spot on a hillside. Scott and Laura showed their culinary skills with Pizza and Brownies this night.
In the hillside next to our campsite, we found this. Was it prepared as a home? A fallout shelter? Or just a way of protecting the mine?
Up and off again the next morning at a leisurely pace befitting our vacation status.
This area shows generally on the maps as Reveille (or Old or New Reveille). We visited a couple of smaller mines that we didn’t discover the names for but we did see remnants of more of the stacked stone buildings and a bit of wildlife.
The name Reveille refers to the Reveille Mill which we found at a crossroads along with an empty corral.
Kyli enjoyed a cooling dip and playing with the koi.
We found our next night’s lodgings down in the valley and among the greenery.
Tonight was to be fajita night. Most of the fixings were supplied by Scott & Laura and Martin with the rest of us providing a little something. Thanks for some good eating!
Friday morning we were headed to an old ranch (Don’t remember the name but we thought we would find it empty.) As we approached we saw No Trespassing signs and signs of life so we turned around and headed in the direction of Golden Bow. To get there, we passed through (Bureau of Land Management (BLM) wild horse refuge and were not disappointed.
These two beauties stayed within sight and watched to make sure that all of us had the opportunity to take pictures and also that we left their area.
I saw a ram’s head in this rock formation although someone else said they saw a bird.
Although not as much left standing, there was more evidence of the town at Golden Bow.
Much of this area was originally mined in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. In the 1940s, much of the tailings piles were reprocessed with more efficient equipment and then again in the 1970s. Since that time, much of the work we see around has more to do with cleanup than mineral extraction.
Our next stop was Silver Arrow.
Looking down a vertical mineshaft.
Once again, we nosed around a bit and grabbed lunch. Silver Arrow is along the edge of restricted US Government space so we headed back out the way we had come in.
We headed towards Tonopah with some thoughts of eating at a restaurant and restocking. We visited the Mining Museum and displays. Betty also happened to catch me on the truck phone in a rare moment when we had signals and I was in the truck. Tried to talk her through some computer problems but she managed to work it out after I dropped signal.
We decided to find camp rather than hang around town for dinner and then go looking in the dark.
We found a good spot on national forest land.
Turns out the Little Guy had some issues with the too stiff suspension and the rough roads. Spent a while cleaning up the mess from that but slept well.
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