Friday, June 1, 2012

Old Characters and Wild Horses

Because of the recent long weekend that we had in celebration of Memorial Day, Brad and I decided that we would pack up the truck and take a trip up towards Goldfield, Nevada to check out some of that area and I hoped to get some good inspiration. I have for years seen the road sign that points off to a distant mountain as you travel from Las Vegas to Reno and have yearned to take that road. The sign clearly reads "Silver Peak". That name evokes images in my mind of forest clad mountains, ghost town ruins and the possibility of a real adventure. Accompanying us was our friend Wally and our little red-head, Laura.

The drive to Goldfield is about three hours so it was a long day of driving. Goldfield is an amazing little town that everyone drives through on the way to Reno but never stops. On this day, we did stop and were entertained by Bill Vanderford, the owner of the Gold Strike Jewelry Store and according to his business card, consulting geologist.  Believe me when I say, "You can't miss it in Goldfield."  He was the kind of guy that I would classify a "REAL CHARACTER" with the bluest eyes I have ever seen. Transplanted from California, he and his wife were content to etch out a living by selling jewelry and rocks to the few travelers that are brave enough to stop.

Goldfield has amazing standing buildings in every degree of decay scattered throughout the small town, standing as monuments to the sturdy stock of miners and pioneers that they served. Hotels, saloons, banks and even the old high school is amazing to look at. It is about as close as you can get to being transported back in time to the REAL wild west. If you are ever driving Nevada State Highway 95 from Las Vegas to Reno, take the time to stop and really consider this little bend in the road that requires you to slow down. Bill would love the chance to pull your leg for a while and try to sell you a treasure.

Silver Peak turned out to be rather disappointing.  There is an active Lithium and salt mine so the area was surrounded by pools of what appeared to be acidic water.  We decided to turn around and not travel up that road any further on this day.  Just a few miles back on the highway, we did turn down the road to Gem Field and we were able to pick up some beautiful Agate and Opalite rocks.  While we were there, we were treated to a spectacular show by the native wildlife.  As we were photography the herd, the stallion came trotting over the hill in protector fashion.  Here are just a few of the amazing animals that we managed to capture with our camera from our trip.  I can see painting burros and wild horses in my near future.

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