Archive for 'The Middle of Nowhere'

Freight Train in the High Desert

Freight Train in the High Desert

Of the many vistas that Nevada has to offer, I never tire of the way the mountains and the deserts can present an entire freight train, in one ultra-wide glance, from the first locomotive to the final freight car.

Cattle Ranch North of Elko

Cattle Ranch North of Elko

North of Elko, on Rt. 225 about halfway to Tuscarora, this cattle ranch sits in the valley to the west of Nannies Peak.

The Lava Beds; Elephant Head Rock

The Lava Beds; Elephant Head Rock

In May of 2013 we drove 2.5 hours from Reno toward the Black Rock Desert and then began a 7-mile hike up about 1,000 feet to the top of this spectacularly scenic granite plateau misnamed “The Lava Beds.”

Fairview Peak Earthquake Fault

Fairview Peak Earthquake Fault

At 3:08 a.m. on December 16, 1954 an earthquake measuring 7.3 in magnitude was centered near Fairview Peak. In seconds, the mountains lifted up an average of six feet relative to the valleys below.

The Ruby Pipeline East of Winnemucca

The Ruby Pipeline East of Winnemucca

The swath of the Ruby Pipeline appears from over the hills and then heads west across the valley.

The Middlegate Shoe Tree

The Middlegate Shoe Tree

Just east of the quirky roadhouse known as Middlegate Station, a 70′ tall shoe-bedecked cottonwood tree on the side of Highway 50 was the king of sole.

Moonlite Bunny Ranch

Moonlite Bunny Ranch

Known on late-night HBO’s “reality” television series as the Cathouse, the Moonlight Bunny Ranch is located in the small community of Mound House.

Sagebrush and Rust

Sagebrush and Rust

Seen in the sagebrush: an old car, rusted past the point of recovery as an antique, adds a human accent to the landscape.

Remnant of Emigrant Trail in Dog Valley

Remnant of Emigrant Trail in Dog Valley

Opened in 1845, the Dog Valley portion of the Emigrant Trail led California-bound pioneers from Reno to Truckee. It remained the main wagon route until 1925.

Abandoned Mill, Toulon

Abandoned Mill, Toulon

The abandoned mill buildings in Toulon date from 1892. The main building housed a ball mill used to process tungsten as well as precious metals.

Cleveland Ranch, Spring Valley

Cleveland Ranch, Spring Valley

Cleveland Ranch, established in 1899, is located in North Spring Valley in White Pine County.

Thunder Mountain

Thunder Mountain

Rising up on the flat pan just off the highway in Imlay is the decaying hulk of a concrete monument filled with decades of dust and tumbleweeds. It is one man’s personal response to the excesses of the 1960s; responding to the excess in kind.

Carlin Canyon

Carlin Canyon

From 1841 to 1870 the California Emigrant Trail led through this canyon. Thousands of westward-bound dreamers viewed this path through the mountains.

Spencer Hot Springs

Spencer Hot Springs

Spencer Hot Springs consists of a series of pools, each one conveniently separated by enough landscape to provide privacy. The best may be the stone-lined pool on a rise with a commanding view of the Big Smokey Valley, the Toiyabe Range to the west and the Toquima Range to the east.

Santa Rosa Mtns. Ranch

Santa Rosa Mtns. Ranch

The north-eastern side of the Santa Rosa mountains shelter the ranching district of Paradise Valley on three sides. The valley was named, according to local legend, when prospectors came into the green valley after months of working in the dry dust of the high desert.

Sand Mountain

Sand Mountain

Located 20 miles east of Fallon, just off U.S. Route 50, the dune is two miles long and rises to 600 feet.

Middlegate Station

Middlegate Station

In early descriptions of the routes to the American west, the mountain passes were referred to as “gates.” In 1859 the overland stage built the first Middlegate Station to provide a rest stop for the passenger and freight lines crossing the area.

Willow Creek

Willow Creek

Fifteen miles south of Ely, just west of the Ward Charcoal Ovens, The Willow Creek Trading Post and General Store has acres full of rusting machinery and antique cars. They also have a herd of buffalo.


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