We departed Berlin/Ichthyosaur Nevada State Park and headed to Ione, thinking it was another ghost town. Close but no cigar. Forty-one folks still live there and it’s hard to see anything when everything is covered with a No Trespassing sign. So, we drove slowly thru and moved on.
Moving on meant the Stage Route over the mountains and down into the Reese River Valley on a dirt road. That road connects to NV 722 and finally NV 50 near Austin (Nevada not Texas). Refueling in Austin, we headed to Hickson Petroglyph Recreation Area.
We stopped for lunch and to look at the petroglyphs. Amazingly, we ran into some folks from near home – the Rogue Valley of Southern Oregon! You meet the nicest people in the strangest places.
After lunch we headed to our next exploration area, the ghost towns of Hamilton, Treasure City, Shermantown, and Eberhart. Hamilton was the easiest to find and we think we saw some of Treasure City, but had no clue where the others were. We traveled down a road only accessible with four-wheel drive (which, of course, we had) until we gave up hope. We stopped at the Hamilton cemetery and that’s where it really strikes you how hard life was back in the mid to late 1900’s. Most of the inhabitants of the grave yard were under 30!
After returning to the main road, we ended the day at the Illpah Reservoir about 35 or 40 miles west of Ely.
The reservoir was very low, concentrating the fish in a small area. It was fun watching the fish jump at the bugs and swimming in the shallows. Not to mention the birds – ducks and shore birds – on the water and the melodious sparrows of some sort that surrounded our camp ground.
It was all quite pleasant except for one thing: a generator belonging to someone with a large trailer. We understand RVing; we pulled a couple of trailers with things for comfort. But, something we don’t understand is why people who love to go outdoors fishing, hunting, off roading, etc, feel the need to bring everything from home and fire up a generator to power the air-conditioning, the TV, the microwave, and so on. In a CAMPGROUND not meant for large rigs. It’s a campground, not an RV park, but these people feel the need to satisfy their every desire, no matter how it effects others. No one else had a generator. No one else saw the need to be RUDE to others. Only one person. Isn’t it sad how people don’t stop to think how their actions might effect others.
Fortunately, a long day meant a quick drift off to the twilight zone.
One of the funniest things we saw there (the next morning) was a gentleman that brought his dog out for a swim. And this dog LOVED to swim. He swam around from shore to shore; out to the middle and around in a couple of circles; over to a adjacent inlet. He was having WAY TOO MUCH fun!! After much coaxing from his owner, he finally came to shore and promptly ran back into the water. The owner thru up his hands and accepted the fact that he would just have to wait. This went on for almost an hour when the dog finally decided it was time to go, came out of the water, RAN over to his owner – as if to say: “Ok, I’m done.” – then jumped into the pickup he came in. The whole thing was hilarious; a real Marx Brother routine.