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View Full Version : Northern Nevada Expedition 2012 - Part 1: Pony Express, Grimes Point & Rawhide



wayoflife
07-11-2012, 05:53 AM
As many of you know, we spend our July's up in Tahoe and typically use our time up there to hike and wheel the extensive network of trails the area has to offer. And, while we still plan on doing that again this year, we decided to change things up a bit and utilize our northerly location to explore some of the Northern Nevada desert as well. To kick things off, our first expedition would be a 375 mile loop that started from South Lake Tahoe, dropped down to Carson City, headed east across the famous Pony Express Route, paid a visit to the historic Fort Churchill, explored the pre-historic Indian caves out at Grimes Point, made our way down the Rawhide Mining district and then circled around to Walker Lake before running out of time for the day. Here are some pics highlighting some of the things we saw. I hope you enjoy.

To start off our day, we made a stop for breakfast at the Cracker Box in Carson City. Is it just me or is there something just not right about a cow puking milk into your coffee...
http://project-jk.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=286806&g2_serialNumber=2&g2_GALLERYSID=d229eae269365c4d25ed0060de403cec

After heading east on Highway 50, the Lincoln Highway to some or the Loneliest Highway to others, we turned off onto dirt and started following the old Pony Express Route...
http://project-jk.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=286815&g2_serialNumber=2&g2_GALLERYSID=d229eae269365c4d25ed0060de403cec

Our first official stop along the way was over at Fort Churchill, a military post that was established in 1860 to help fight the Paiute and Bannock Indians during the Pyramid Lake Wars...
http://project-jk.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=286833&g2_serialNumber=2&g2_GALLERYSID=d229eae269365c4d25ed0060de403cec

Before exploring the ruins of this old west frontier post, we decided to pay a visit to the cemetery first. All the soldiers who were buried here were relocated after the fort was decommissioned but, Samuel S. Buckland, a rancher who moved into the area at about the same time continued to use this cemetery and, he, his wife and various other people including several babies are still buried here today...
http://project-jk.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=286971&g2_serialNumber=2&g2_GALLERYSID=d229eae269365c4d25ed0060de403cec

http://project-jk.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=286824&g2_serialNumber=2&g2_GALLERYSID=d229eae269365c4d25ed0060de403cec

Walking amongst the Fort Churchill ruins - these were some of the old barracks...
http://project-jk.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=286863&g2_serialNumber=2&g2_GALLERYSID=d229eae269365c4d25ed0060de403cec

One of several mess halls...
http://project-jk.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=286872&g2_serialNumber=2&g2_GALLERYSID=d229eae269365c4d25ed0060de403cec

Storage facilities...
http://project-jk.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=286911&g2_serialNumber=2&g2_GALLERYSID=d229eae269365c4d25ed0060de403cec

The infirmary...
http://project-jk.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=286938&g2_serialNumber=2&g2_GALLERYSID=d229eae269365c4d25ed0060de403cec

The officers quarters - said to be some of the finest homes in general that you could live in during the day...
http://project-jk.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=286941&g2_serialNumber=2&g2_GALLERYSID=d229eae269365c4d25ed0060de403cec

What the Fort used to look like...
http://project-jk.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=286908&g2_serialNumber=2&g2_GALLERYSID=d229eae269365c4d25ed0060de403cec

Taking a spin around the fort, we stopped at a monument dedicated to the California Trail. It really is hard to imagine how people spent months to travel across the Great Basin Desert in covered wagons especially when it can now be done in a covered wagon like this in less than a day...
http://project-jk.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=287031&g2_serialNumber=2&g2_GALLERYSID=d229eae269365c4d25ed0060de403cec

http://project-jk.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=287073&g2_serialNumber=2&g2_GALLERYSID=d229eae269365c4d25ed0060de403cec

http://project-jk.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=287034&g2_serialNumber=2&g2_GALLERYSID=d229eae269365c4d25ed0060de403cec

Shot inside the visitor center - Before there was a Jeep, there was this war wagon complete with EVO spec wagon wheel carrier...
http://project-jk.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=287067&g2_serialNumber=2&g2_GALLERYSID=d229eae269365c4d25ed0060de403cec

Time to move along - It's hard to believe that for 19 short months starting from April 3, 1860, 80 riders and 400 horses carried news and mail along in this harsh trail from St. Joseph, Missouri to Sacramento, California and in just 10 days (as opposed to 3 weeks by stagecoach). Back then, riders were required to weigh no more than 120 lbs. and were equipped with only a knife, horn, revolver and some jerky. Back in the day, ads seeking riders noted that they were looking for "young, skinny, wiry fellows, not over 18... orphans preferred." While riders were required to cover 100-125 miles a day, one rider by the name of William F. "Buffalo Bill" Cody is said to have ridden a total of 384 continuous miles. And, after having driven along this trail in our modern built up Jeep, I must say that I utterly amazed that these kids were able to do what they did...
http://project-jk.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=287085&g2_serialNumber=2&g2_GALLERYSID=d229eae269365c4d25ed0060de403cec

The landscape becoming more and more barren...
http://project-jk.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=287100&g2_serialNumber=2&g2_GALLERYSID=d229eae269365c4d25ed0060de403cec

If you look real close, you can just make out Rubicat in the distance. 16,000 years ago, she would have been sitting more than 100 feet below the waters of the enormous, pre-historic Lake Lahontan...
http://project-jk.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=287256&g2_serialNumber=2&g2_GALLERYSID=d229eae269365c4d25ed0060de403cec

Filled with ice melt from the last ice age, Lake Lahontan covered a better part of Western Nevada and, out in an area now known as Grimes Point, underwater springs feeding into it created these amazing, organically shaped tufa formations...
http://project-jk.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=287637&g2_serialNumber=2&g2_GALLERYSID=d229eae269365c4d25ed0060de403cec

http://project-jk.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=287220&g2_serialNumber=2&g2_GALLERYSID=d229eae269365c4d25ed0060de403cec

http://project-jk.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=287289&g2_serialNumber=2&g2_GALLERYSID=d229eae269365c4d25ed0060de403cec

Approximately 10,000 years ago, the level of Lake Lahontan began to lower enough to expose these tufa encrusted cliffs revealing caves that ancient people used for shelter and storage - view looking out of a larger one in the area...
http://project-jk.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=287640&g2_serialNumber=2&g2_GALLERYSID=d229eae269365c4d25ed0060de403cec

http://project-jk.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=287304&g2_serialNumber=2&g2_GALLERYSID=d229eae269365c4d25ed0060de403cec

Literally hundreds of rocks in this area are covers with intricate petroglyphs...
http://project-jk.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=287124&g2_serialNumber=2&g2_GALLERYSID=d229eae269365c4d25ed0060de403cec

http://project-jk.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=287130&g2_serialNumber=2&g2_GALLERYSID=d229eae269365c4d25ed0060de403cec

Moving along, we turned off the Pony Express route and headed south down into the Rawhide Mining District. Our first stop along the way was over at the old Wightman Well. Unfortunately, it looked like the yahoos had gotten to it with their guns and tore it all up. It's really is unfortunate too as I had seen recent photos of this trailer and it was in much better condition...
http://project-jk.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=287457&g2_serialNumber=2&g2_GALLERYSID=d229eae269365c4d25ed0060de403cec

http://project-jk.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=287430&g2_serialNumber=2&g2_GALLERYSID=d229eae269365c4d25ed0060de403cec

http://project-jk.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=287409&g2_serialNumber=2&g2_GALLERYSID=d229eae269365c4d25ed0060de403cec

Between 1907 and 1908, the town of Rawhide had as many as 10,000 residents and among other things, had 40 saloons and a red light district called the Stingaree Gulch that extended a quarter mile long. Today, this small cemetery is all that remains...
http://project-jk.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=287481&g2_serialNumber=2&g2_GALLERYSID=d229eae269365c4d25ed0060de403cec

http://project-jk.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=287472&g2_serialNumber=2&g2_GALLERYSID=d229eae269365c4d25ed0060de403cec

One of two headstones that remain belong to Bruce Evans. In this lighting, it is difficult to read but, it states he was born in 1850 and died in 1914...
http://project-jk.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=287469&g2_serialNumber=2&g2_GALLERYSID=d229eae269365c4d25ed0060de403cec

The other grave marker that can still be read belongs to the one year old child, Raymond Ryus Rule...
http://project-jk.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=287466&g2_serialNumber=2&g2_GALLERYSID=d229eae269365c4d25ed0060de403cec

Still further south and more to the east, we stopped to check out the uniquely made Car Frame Windmill - a name appropriately given being that the entire structure is literally made out of old car frames...
http://project-jk.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=287688&g2_serialNumber=2&g2_GALLERYSID=d229eae269365c4d25ed0060de403cec

http://project-jk.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=287628&g2_serialNumber=2&g2_GALLERYSID=d229eae269365c4d25ed0060de403cec

http://project-jk.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=287667&g2_serialNumber=2&g2_GALLERYSID=d229eae269365c4d25ed0060de403cec

Cool old truck attached to the windmill...
http://project-jk.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=287565&g2_serialNumber=2&g2_GALLERYSID=d229eae269365c4d25ed0060de403cec

If you can believe it, the steering still worked on this thing...
http://project-jk.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=287568&g2_serialNumber=2&g2_GALLERYSID=d229eae269365c4d25ed0060de403cec

Check out this crazy differential that's bolted together in the middle...
http://project-jk.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=287595&g2_serialNumber=2&g2_GALLERYSID=d229eae269365c4d25ed0060de403cec

After a really long drive down and around to Hawthorne, we found ourselves running out of daylight and decided to put off the other destinations on our to do list for another day. So, with the sun setting, we drove down to the shores of Walker Lake (one of two remaining bodies of water from the ancient Lake Lahontan) and took this parting shot...
http://project-jk.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=287721&g2_serialNumber=2&g2_GALLERYSID=d229eae269365c4d25ed0060de403cec

If you would like to see all the pics we took on this epic expedition, simply click on the link below:

Northern Nevada Expedition Photo Gallery (http://project-jk.com/wpg2?g2_itemId=286799)

Until next time :cool:

Moochie
07-11-2012, 06:21 AM
From the mountains to the desert. Thanks for sharing your travels with us.

MTG
07-11-2012, 06:24 AM
Cool pics! We've yet to explore all this great state has to offer.

wayoflife
07-11-2012, 06:40 AM
From the mountains to the desert. Thanks for sharing your travels with us.

well, we've been doing a ton of exploring in both places and hope to take you out to some of them someday. it's getting way warm out in the desert but man, i so do love it out there. so much to see and explore.

wayoflife
07-11-2012, 06:42 AM
Cool pics! We've yet to explore all this great state has to offer.

even though we got an early start and had the advantage of really long days, we still ran out of daylight before we could get to all that we wanted to see on this first expedition . i so hope it cools off enough in the near future so that we can head back out and explore some more. :yup:

TrailBear
07-11-2012, 07:05 AM
Every time I read about one of your adventures I want to jump in my jeep and explore more! I love that you learn the history of the areas, I have to learn more about my own area. Thanks for sharing Eddie!

JeepFan
07-11-2012, 11:56 AM
What an amazing road trip! Thanks for sharing another great adventure. :thumb:

RanchoRubi
07-11-2012, 01:23 PM
I always wondered what parts of Nevada(other than Vegas) were like. Thanks for sharing the exploration and history. Really cool landscapes.

MikeLisa
07-11-2012, 01:28 PM
Nice pics! My wife and I need to make a trip out that way and see the sites. We enjoy the way you document your trips and share with the rest of us.:thumb:

GCM 2
07-11-2012, 01:57 PM
As always, beautiful photos and great story. Thanks for sharing Eddie :thumb:

LoPo
07-11-2012, 02:26 PM
Nice pics, I have yet to explore that area myself. Hey MTG, let's plan a day trip ;)

What source are you using for trail listing for both Nevada and Tahoe?

JKRay
07-11-2012, 02:33 PM
Awesome trip report there is more than just gambling to do in Nevada I guess. haha :yup::thumb: Thanks for sharing!

Strainger
07-11-2012, 04:42 PM
Man, oh man! I get wanderlust so bad when I see these posts. I have to tell you, I am both jealous of your numerous trips to great places off the beaten path and impressed with your knowledge of local history. Thank you for preserving a legacy and appreciation of our history and natural wonders.

grizzlycountry
07-11-2012, 05:10 PM
Great Pictures! :clap2: THANKS for Sharing. (That is different, I have never seen a differential that bolted together in the middle.)

Prime8
07-11-2012, 08:49 PM
See, you're an overlander after all! Just need a snorkel and some extra storage racks and you'll be all set!

wayoflife
07-12-2012, 01:16 AM
Every time I read about one of your adventures I want to jump in my jeep and explore more! I love that you learn the history of the areas, I have to learn more about my own area. Thanks for sharing Eddie!

:clap2: good, and you should. the world is changing fast and if you don't get out there to see what you can now, it just may not be around to see tomorrow.


What an amazing road trip! Thanks for sharing another great adventure. :thumb:

wish you were up here to see it with us.


I always wondered what parts of Nevada(other than Vegas) were like. Thanks for sharing the exploration and history. Really cool landscapes.

believe me, there is so much more to nevada than vegas and it's a shame that more people don't know about it.... then again...


Nice pics! My wife and I need to make a trip out that way and see the sites. We enjoy the way you document your trips and share with the rest of us.:thumb:

if you like exploring nature, geology and history, this is the place to go.

wayoflife
07-12-2012, 01:21 AM
As always, beautiful photos and great story. Thanks for sharing Eddie :thumb:

thanks greg, i've really been enjoying your pics abroad as well :thumb:


Nice pics, I have yet to explore that area myself. Hey MTG, let's plan a day trip ;)

What source are you using for trail listing for both Nevada and Tahoe?

source? just old books and maps. i love pouring over them to see what used to be around and then go looking to see if they're still there. more times than not, it's disappointing to see how much is shot up and/or burned down by idiots or closed from keeping them from destroying them but, every now and then, you find true gems.


Awesome trip report there is more than just gambling to do in Nevada I guess. haha :yup::thumb: Thanks for sharing!

oh yeah, so much more :yup:


Man, oh man! I get wanderlust so bad when I see these posts. I have to tell you, I am both jealous of your numerous trips to great places off the beaten path and impressed with your knowledge of local history. Thank you for preserving a legacy and appreciation of our history and natural wonders.

more than any hardcore trail we've tackled, our love of natural wonders and history is what got us into jeeps.

wayoflife
07-12-2012, 01:23 AM
See, you're an overlander after all! Just need a snorkel and some extra storage racks and you'll be all set!

:cheesy: funny thing is, i personally feel that we do more "overlanding" than most overlanders could ever hope to do in a lifetime and in spite of what they choose to believe, our jeeps are made first and foremost for that purpose. :yup:

Trail Bud
07-12-2012, 12:57 PM
Very nice!!
I'd like to see that area.

Hammerman
07-13-2012, 03:19 PM
Last time I was on the road I had to air down just to have a less than teeth rattling ride