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    Main | Road Trip USA: Bonneville Salt Flats, Utah »

    Road Trip USA: In and Out of Winnemucca, Nevada

    September 2018

    After camping up on Steens Mountain in Oregon, I drove south on Oregon Highway 205.  My destination was Winnemucca, Nevada, where I would  stage for my planned camping out on Nevada's Black Rock Desert.  I was dirty, my camper was dirty, and my clothes were dirty.  I needed a few nights in an RV park . . . and I had a hankering for Mexican food.

     

    It was roughly 200 miles from my campsite in The Steens to Winnemucca through some of the most uninhabited countryside in the USA.  The major wildfires that had swept through much of the western states left behind smoke and haze that obscured the landscape . . . and in some cases made it more interesting.

     

    This unforgiving high arid country left behind many abandoned homesteaders and miners' shacks, sheds, and farms buildings in the giant western landscapes.

     

    If these walls could talk . . . certainly applies here.

     

    I had fun stopping, getting out of the truck, taking a photo, driving on a few feet and getting out again  . . . . These scenes are so photogenic, I didn't want to miss a shot!

     

    The road went on and on through the dry, smoky landscape.  Oregon Highway 205 became Nevada Highways 292 and 140 before joining US Highway 95 into Winnemucca.

     

    An old abandoned farmstead.  This one looks like it wasn't abandoned all that long ago.  What was the story of this house?  Its history?

     

    There were a few wide spot in the road towns along the road to Winnemucca.

     

    My camper ECU was acting up . . . the engine developed a radical rich condition . . . lots of black smoke.  I diagnosed the problem as a temperature sender.  I stopped to let the engine cool down and reset the ECU.  It was an opportunity to take a walk around in the parched land.

     

    It was quiet and still.  Cars would come by on the highway only every 10-15 minutes.

     

    It had been dry here for a long time.  Other travellers along this highway had driven off the road into the desert too.

     

    Yes, the desert is not a welcoming place.

     

    Bone identification is not my academic field of study . . . sheep or cow?

     

    Back out on the highway and toward distant mountains.  I thoroughly enjoy these long desert drives . . . and have missed them in my tropical, equatorial life.

     

    Such lovely layered mountain ridge silhouettes in the wildfire haze.

     

    I pulled over to the side of the road whenever I would see these old decaying sheds.

     

    One of the joys of long desert drives is having the scenery suddenly change as you drive up and over a mountain pass.

     

    Another abandoned homestead.  This old ranch house was literally 60 miles from the nearest store and gas station.

     

    Such rough construction.  The summer temperatures out here are blistering . . . and the winter sees deep snow for months at a time.

     

    My camper was running well now . . .

     

    Dry desert just north of Winnemucca, Nevada.

     

    And on I went  . . . down the highway of mirages.

     

    I eventually arrived in Winnemucca (pop.7,600), bought gas, went to a self-wash car wash, found a Mexican restaurant (and had a GREAT meal), checked into the Model T Casino RV Park (I bought the t-shirt!)  I stayed there two nights while I resupplied the camper with food and water, ice, washed the clothes, cleaned out the camper (bought a small vacuum), took a shower, bought a new temperature sender for the truck, and watched a few NFL games on the big screen TV in the casino bar.  A very nice stop.

     

    There was a great sunset both nights in Winnemucca.

     

    The view from my RV park.

     

    I would come back to this same RV park when I returned from my extended camping in the Black Rock Desert.

     

    Steens Mountain (Frenchglen Hotel) to Winnemucca, Nevada.

    _________________________________________________

    Golconda, Nevada

    US Interstate Highway 80 heading East toward the Bonneville Salt Flats.

     

    While driving east I was having some trouble with my old Chevy pick-up . . . the ECU was acting up and I knew I needed to replace the temp sender and fitting.  I had a new one in the truck, but had been too lazy  to change it.  I pulled off at Golconda, Nevada and waited for the engine to cool off . . . and in the meantime I walked around this little old mining town with my camera.  It was worth the stop.

     

    I pulled up under a tree in front of the old Golconda School (circa, 1888), opened the hood, and headed down the street, camera in hand.

     

    Golcanda, population 216, is an old mining town with very little activity left in the mining sector.  Corrugation!  

     

    One of my favorite photographic subjects is corrugation and dilapidation . . . Golconda had both.

     

    There were lots of old farm implements sitting around in the brush.

     

    It seemed like about half of the houses and businesses were closed, abandoned.

     

    Some beautiful ensembles of junk, old cars, weathered surfaces, and light . . . 

     

    A failed scooter business . . . .

     

    Like a movie set . . . 

     

    A closed store out on Old Texas Highway 40 heading out of town.

     

    Closed, vacant, the people and stories gone.

     

    I couldn't resist these marvelous shapes, surfaces, and shadows.

     

    Gone from use.

     

    A fire burned the rear of the old store . . . but at sometime after it had been abandoned.


    WOW!  These surface textures are amazing . . . and beautiful in a strange way.

     

    Sad and forlorn, still and silent . . .

     

    A straw rake imbedded in a tumbleweed . . .  with white picket fence.

     

    Lots of old, abandoned automobiles about . . . and a surprising number of panel trucks.

     

    I'm surprised the hot rodders haven't been by and 'picked' this nice Chevy panel.  I'd love to have it . . .

     

    I know these towns . . . the hot, quiet, lonely days . . . 

     

    I do not fully understand why I  find great beauty in these old places . . .

     

    I walked back across the mainline rails to the school and my camper.  Such a beautiful location for a town.

     

    The pride of the town, the restored, and nationally listed, Golconda School.

     

    Winnemucca to the Bonneville Salt Flats.

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