Joe and Nancy

Joe and Nancy
Our Home on Wheels (Click on image above for our web albums.)

Monday, January 18, 2016

Reno to Goldfield via Tonapah, NV

After leaving Reno, we drove to a little town in the middle of Nevada, Tonopah.  We had been here before, but just drove through before.  We stayed a night here and just parked at one of the little truck restaurant/stores on the outskirts just south of town.
The drive from Reno was just miles of nothing.  Boring, but definitely worth a panorama look with open eyes as often as I could and keep the big rig on the pavement.
From Wiki:  Walker Lake is a natural lake, 50.3 square miles in area, in the Great Basin in western Nevada in the United States
We saw several dust devils this day as it was very windy.
We had been to Goldfield once before, and just passed through with only a brief stop to stretch our legs and drink some water, lots of water with 9% humidity levels.
But this time, even we only stopped for a brief time, it was a little longer time.  We were glad to see that money was appropriated to refurbish the old school house.
From Wiki:  Goldfield was a boomtown in the first decade of the 20th century due to the discovery of gold — between 1903 and 1940, Goldfield's mines produced more than $86 million. Much of the town was destroyed by a fire in 1923, although several buildings survived and remain today, notably the Goldfield Hotel, the Consolidated Mines Building (the communications center of the town until 1963), and the schoolhouse. Gold exploration still continues in and around the town today.
 
We walked around for about 90 minutes, and when our water ran out, we headed for the coach and headed south to Tonopah.  But our time in Goldfield was very informative.  The self guided tour helps.
Most of the homes are closed and not lived in.  But the owners are hoping for a boom to occur (again) here as exploration is starting to bring some prospectors back to this area.  the owners will most likely refurbish and open up for the tourist trade.  Not many folks travel this highway to Las Vegas, so there isn't a lot going on here, yet.
Here are some of the fields where the boring is taking place in hopes of finding some veins.
A few old pieces of machinery used in the previous boom.
Old bottle house...and fire house below...
Below, an old hanger at the Tonopah Airport.
From Wiki:  The community began circa 1900 with the discovery of gold and silver-rich ore by prospector Jim Butler when he went looking for a lost burro he owned. The burro had wandered off during the night and sought shelter near a rock outcropping. When Butler discovered the animal the next morning, he picked up a rock to throw at the beast, but instead noticed the rock was unusually heavy. He had stumbled upon the second-richest silver strike in Nevada history.
Above was our view of Tonopah from the south side of town looking North.
From what we could see, there was still a small amount of prospectors kicking around rocks and doing some bores.  
What I did find interesting was the history of the F-117 Stealth Nighthawk and where they are stored:  At the Tonopah test facility, a mere 12 miles by crow-flight, from here in Tonopah.  They are supposed to be moth-balled, but folks around here say otherwise.  From Wiki:  Recently, Tonopah has relied on the nearby Tonopah Test Range as its main source of employment. The military has used the range and surrounding areas as a nuclear test site, a bombing range, and as a base of operations for the development of the F-117 Nighthawk. In the fall of 2011, a California-based solar energy company, SolarReserve, started construction on $980 million advanced solar energy project just outside town called the Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Project. The project incorporates SolarReserve's advanced solar energy storage technology and will put Tonopah at the worldwide center of technology for this class of solar energy storage.
Well, better sign off on this too-long blog.  This blog written and published contemporaneously from Cordele, GA on 1/18/2016.  Till the next blog, RVing Beach Bums signing off.