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Winnemucca to Gerlach

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2 weeks 2 days ago #1144 by sunvalleyjoe
sunvalleyjoe replied the topic: Winnemucca to Gerlach
nice story outside of gerlach the is a Squaw resv great camping and lots of trout. Have been over the route you took many times. This is my neck of the woods/. There are various other ghost towns (sites) in the area. Vernon, Seven Troughs and Leadville north of Gerlach. The back way to gerlach from Reno takes a 70 mile dirt road thru the Smoke Creek Desert.

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1 month 1 day ago #1131 by D.A. Wright
D.A. Wright replied the topic: Winnemucca to Gerlach
No official Burning Man, but a lot of people camped out on the playa over the holiday weekend. Here in Winnemucca I saw a number of very dusty vehicles - from hippy vans to luxury SUVs line up at the coin op car washes.

The Hycroft Mine has been in operation for years. They are the ones who do much of the maintenance to the road to the mine, just before you get to Sulphur. The only other change I’m aware of is the road is paved a few miles further out from Winnemucca.

The last time I’ve gone out to Sulphur was in 2009. I am aware of the complex of railroad tie and stick built structures, including a railroad tie outhouse. The main house, a mish-mash of materials and styles, looked to have been lived in until at least the late 1980s, or 1990s.

I’ve not been west of Sulphur to date. The car junkyard north of the tracks there is a nice walk back through time to the days of my youth.

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1 month 2 days ago #1128 by David_Bricker
David_Bricker replied the topic: Winnemucca to Gerlach
Thanks for the story. It's unfortunate to lose historical fabric, but by us leaving things there, hopefully a few extra people will get to see and experience it, rather than sitting in someone's garage.

David Bricker / SYR - ITO

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  • Ptk
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1 month 4 days ago #1126 by Ptk
Ptk created the topic: Winnemucca to Gerlach
May be slightly off topic but there’s a moral to the story.
Been to Black Rock three times.
2003, 2007 and this month, September 2020.
Not for Burning Man.
Never was a burner and never will be a burner.
Each time I took the slow but scenic route between Winnemucca and Gerlach, Jungo Road.
Supposedly this is an unmaintained state dirt road.

In 2003 the locals warned that the road was dangerous and that “people have died out there”.
After driving the 100 or so miles and only encountering a single vehicle I understood that there could be catastrophic results for someone broken down without any “wait for help” supplies.
The road itself was fine, the desolation was the issue.
During the 2003 trip I took a bunch of side trails, explored a few abandoned structures and historical sites and took a lot of great photo’s.
Also, about midway to Gerlach I visited what I considered a genuine ghost town.
Roughly a handful of railroad tie structures and the remnants of a few stick and brick buildings.
Kind of creepy but very interesting.
I thought these were what was left of Sulphur Nevada but have since learned they were not.
I can only assume that it was a long abandoned mining or railroad community.
Spent the night camped off the playa and the next day traveled the road above Gerlach that parallels the playa in search of hot springs and pioneer graffiti along the Oregon Trail.
Never found the hot springs but did find the graffiti as well as other interesting signs of life.
A very interesting item was a license plate memorial several miles north of Gerlach, in the middle of nowhere.
Many plates from many places hung between a few posts with a life size alien guarding them.

In 2007 I returned with the goal of adding three Illinois MC tags and a 1928 NYS car tag to the memorial.
Traveled Jungo Road again and with the exception of a little more traffic it was pretty much the same as before.
Same side trails and abandoned structures as well as the unnamed “ghost town”.
A big difference was that the ghost town was littered with a few dozen pairs of old sneakers.
No idea why.
Again camped on the playa and listened to the coyotes howl.
The next day drove through Gerlach and hung my plates.
Camped illegally at The Post Office, a site with a lot of 170 year old graffiti left by members of the many wagon trains heading for a better life.
Another great trip.

This month the third trip was made accompanied by my wife and two dogs.
Took Jungo Road again hoping to revisit the trails structures and ghost town.
Immediately it became obvious that Jungo Road was no longer a remote short cut.
We encountered a vehicle at least every five miles, apparently from a much expanded mining operation.
While a few old buildings were still there my beloved “ghost town” was nowhere to be found.
Gone without a trace.
It did appear that the road had been altered to support commercial activities and my best guess is that the decaying structures were plowed under in the name of progress.
With a fair amount of disappointment we drove to Gerlach.

Had dinner at Bruno’s Country Club.
The legendary Ravioli was delicious.
Not quite as good as mom made, but not at all bad.
The faces of the crowd at Gerlach have changed.
During the first two trips locals filled the bar and restaurant.
This time it was a mix of locals as well as burner types who’ve discovered the beauty of Black Rock.

Spent the night at Bruno’s Motel.
Spartan accommodations but spotless, eat off the floor clean.
Also, surprisingly, quiet as a church on a Saturday night.
A bargain at $55.
An intended night of star gazing was interrupted by smoke from the West Coast fires.
Only the brightest of stars could be seen through the haze.

Moral of this ramble?
The world is in a continual state of change.
When you leave something behind it may not be there if you come back looking for it.
Only the memory lasts.
Like the old Twilight Zone episode where the aging starlet reconnects with a long ago lover, nothing stays the same.
Father Time always wins.

Planned on going to see if my license plates, hung 13 years ago were still there, but a solid commitment to be in Three Rivers California that evening prevented the side trip.
Probably better we didn’t go.
Like the ghost town the 1928 NY tag might have been missing too.
The following user(s) said Thank You: kayaker77

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