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Thread: 2016 WAYALIFE Memorial Weekend Kick Off to Summer Camping Trip

  1. #1
    Administrator wayoflife's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Carson City, NV

    Cool 2016 WAYALIFE Memorial Weekend Kick Off to Summer Camping Trip

    For Cindy and I, Memorial Day weekend is when we like to kick off the summer camping season and for 2016, we decided to do it out in the middle of Nevada and up in the Toiyabe Range. As luck would have it, our good friends Sharkey and his daughter, JeepFan, GemHunter and their daughter Tina, MTG, Wendy and their kids, Trail Bud, Moochie and OverlanderJK were all able to join in on the fun. In addition to just resting and relaxing, we also spent some time exploring canyons in the area and paid a visit to the old county seat of Nye County, the ever charming ghost town of Belmont. Here are some photos from our trip, I hope you enjoy them.

    Rubicat all packed up and ready to head out for fun and adventure!

    Hooked up with Doug before making our way down to Tonopah, our rendezvous point with everyone else coming along.

    Stopping along Walker Lake to stretch and take in the view.

    Burger and strawberry shake time at Socorro's! A wonderful hole in the wall joint the tiny town of Mina.

    As the sign above the window states, this is "NOT FAST FOOD" but it's surprisingly good for being out in the middle of nowhere.

    Home for the night - Tonopah Station.

    Boop-Boop-e-Doop. How nice it is to be welcomed by Betty Boop herself.

    Look out! We've got a badass over here!

    For fun, Cindy and I decided to get the Diamond Jim suite which comes with a really nice bar.

    "I have seen the elephant!"

    After settling in, we decided to take Tessa for a walk up in the hills and enjoy the amazing wildflower display.

    Tessa taking a moment to smell the flowers too.

    On the way back to the hotel, we came across this beautiful Jeep Gladiator J2000 pickup truck with a 327 V8 under the hood.

    Even though I have one already, I sure would LOVE to have bought this one too!

    Yea!! Tony, Steph and Tina are here!

    It's Picon Punch time!!


    With the arrival of Sharkey and Moochie, it was time for another round - CHEERS!!

    Posing with Bob's Big Boy the following morning before heading out.

    Fortunately, camp was only about an hour or so away and in spite of it being a holiday weekend, we were able to find a great spot all to ourselves and get setup in no time at all.

    Kicking into R&R mode.

    While there is a creek that normally flows through the canyon, an aqueduct had been constructed for the historic farm down in the valley and it flowed right next to camp.

    Being the lovely day that it was, Cindy and I decided to go for a short hike, to see what was around us and enjoy the pretty wildflowers.

    A look back at camp.

    On the other side of the canyon exploring some of the caves.

    Later on in the day, we decided to get in our Jeeps and do a little exploring and some rock-hounding.

    Looking north up the Big Smokey Valley with carpets of wildflowers spread across it.

    Looks like a little rain might be heading our way.

    Working our way up a nearby canyon to see what's up there.

    Ummm, I don't think anyone's been up this way in a while.

    The thicket got a lot worse before it got remotely better and so we let the rest of the group know to hold up while we pushed our way through until we could turn around. Once we got to the clearing, we came across an old mine.

    Back at camp, it was time for shot of bee sting!

    CHEERS to a great time!!

  2. #2
    Administrator wayoflife's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Carson City, NV
    The following morning, we loaded up in our Jeeps and headed on out to visit the old ghost town of Belmont, Nevada.

    After a nice drive, we arrived at our main destination of the day.

    Taking a stroll along downtown Belmont.

    The old bank building.

    What's left of the cosmopolitan.

    Checking out some of the cool old machinery out on display.

    Time to get a drink over at Dirty Dick's.

    Lucky for us, they were open.

    MTG giving a shot at a game some of the locals taught us - BUTT DARTS!

    Oh yeah, time for a round of delicious bloody Mary's that tasted more like lunch in a cup!


    Time to do what we came here to do and that was to take a tour of the historic Belmont Courthouse. Once the Nye County seat back between 1873 and 1905, this courthouse cost of $25,000 to build and was intended to be "built for the ages".

    Lucky for us, our tour guide not only lives part time in Belmont but has direct connections to the history of it and was very knowledgeable.

    Being that there was no wood in the area, it was fascinating to learn that all the wood used to make this courthouse came from Tahoe, was shipped by rail to Eureka, transferred to a narrow gauge rail line, taken as far as a siding known as Alpha and then brought the rest of the way to Belmont on wagons.

    After the county seat was moved to Tonopah and the Belmont courthouse was closed, the jail cells inside were removed and sent to Gabbs back in the early 1940's where magnesium was mined during World War II. Being that the population consisted of fine men who had been arrested but agreed to work there as part of a plea deal, it didn't take long before there was a need to lock a few of them up again from time to time. This cell was returned to Belmont so that it could be put on display.

    Doug trying to encourage Jackson to step inside.

    Help me!

    Before there was Ikea - The jail cells were pre-fabricated and a system was needed to help the installers know what panel went where. Here you can see the matching marks that were used to do just that.

    Here you can see the back wall of the courthouse that was removed so that the jail cells could be extracted.

    Door to nowhere. It's unknown why this door from the actual courtroom was made being that there's no record of a balcony or staircase having ever been connected to it.

    Just inside the courthouse, there are 3 photos that shows what it looked like at its worst in 1964, in 2013 after the Friends of the Belmont Courthouse took over it and then in 2015, pretty much what it looks like today.

    Going through and learning about the various rooms in the courthouse.

    After the courthouse was completely abandoned in the mid 1920's, people continued to visit it and leave their mark on its walls.

    Many of the people who came through it were workers from the USWPA.

    Here you can see that a note was left for a Herman Barnes who owes Jaxesine $10.00 for 5 fees.

    This is an interesting list of goods that were removed from the courthouse during a small pox outbreak in another town.

    So, it should be interesting for some of you to know that well before there were Jeeps, when people were needed to go out and survey a remote area that was difficult to get to, a "Wrangler" was hired and this signature was one that worked for the USGLO.

    Here's a love poem with a riddle in it that was left by man heading off to war. Can you solve the riddle?

    One of the most famous signatures on the courthouse walls is one that was left back in 1969 and by a man of nefarious origins. At the time, there was only one person living in Belmont and she was tough old lady named Rose. When this man and his family tried to set up camp and not knowing who he was, Rose approached them and explained that the land they were on was private. She let them know that the could go north to Pine Creek and setup camp there. On their way back to their ranch out in Death Valley, Manson and his family stopped in again, thanked Rose for her help and left without incident. Sometime later, Rose went to Bishop and just happened to see a newspaper with a photo that had people she had recently seen. Of course, the photo was of Charlie Manson and his "family".

    Over the years, people in the area came to the courthouse and removed whatever it is they could for use in homes and other buildings. Here you can see where the original old floor meets a new section that was recently installed. Apparently, the way this building was built, the floors were put in first and then partitions were added later and so when someone decided they needed some flooring, they cut away a large section of it... by hand!

    Heading on up on a staircase painted with faux stonework.

    Up in the actual courtroom.

    Here's what the door to nowhere from the inside. Notice how low the doorknob is - an interesting example of how much we as people have gotten so much taller over the years.

    Way before there was UPS and tracking numbers. During the restoration of the courthouse, many of the original window frames were removed so that new ones with glass could be installed. Here you can see one of the old prefabricated window frames with detailed information as to who ordered it - S. Talman, from Belmont, NV., what carrier it would be shipped on - Care E&P Rail Road and to the destination of Alpha, the end of the rail line at that time.

    Climbing up to the attic.

    Final staircase to the top.

    View from the cupola.

    Down in the museum looking at some of the cool artifacts that were found in the area.

  3. #3
    Administrator wayoflife's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Carson City, NV
    After our awesome tour, we decided to have some lunch at a nearby park and play some horseshoe.

    On the move again, we made our way east and stopped over at the ruins of the old Combination Mill. Built in 1868, this massive 40-stamp mill cost $225,000 to build and was given the title "Queen of the Southeast" by contemporary press. Today, just a few retaining walls, foundations and a tall brick chimney are all that remain.

    The vault like room behind this steel door was the bullion room and it locked up refined silver until fast freight stages could haul it off to Austin to the north.

    Remnants of one of the many stamp mills.

    Our next stop was over to the Monitor-Belmont Company 10-stamp flotation mill. Built in 1915, this mill was designed to rework old mine dumps and could treat an average of 120 tons daily.

    In our Jeeps again, we headed north up the Monitor Valley on a Nevada Superhighway and with no signs of civilization as far as the eye can see.

    On our way back to camp with the sun going down.

    Almost ran over this Great Basin Gopher Snake which measured about 4.5 feet in length and tried to become Sharkey's friend.

    To an awesome day out exploring and the coming end of a great time out with good friends - CHEERS!

    I hope you enjoyed following our adventures as we kicked off our summer with a camping trip out in the middle of the Nevada wilderness. A big thanks needs to go out to all our friends for joining us and helping to make it so much fun.

  4. #4
    The Original Smartass piginajeep's Avatar
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    Oct 2011
    Bear Valley Springs
    Great pics! I
    Missed a good one
    2012 JK8
    1958 FC170 (Jeep Forward Control)

  5. #5
    Meme King WJCO's Avatar
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    Sep 2015
    Great pics. Looks like a cool area of history to explore.

  6. #6
    Guy with a Red 2-Door cozdude's Avatar
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    Mar 2013
    West Chester, PA
    Wow! Those were were some great pics! Lots of history on this trip! Looks like a great time!
    October 16, 2013, wednesday early evening, east of the pacific ocean, selectee for truly random and boring Parking lot photo of the moment grand platinum prize winner!

    2011 JKS
    EVO Bolt-on Coilovers, EVO 1/4 pounder w/ stinger, 37" Cooper STT Pros, PR44, and some EVO stuff

    Awaiting install-
    On Order-
    Want list- Evo carrier and skins, PSC hydro assist

  7. #7
    Knows a Thing or Two cavfighter's Avatar
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    May 2016
    Carson City, NV
    Looks like an awesome trip thanks for sharing. Saw one of the rides on the highway heading home. Was waiting to see the update

  8. #8
    Token East Coast Guy MR.Ty's Avatar
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    Apr 2014
    South East Georgia
    Man that looks like it was such a fun weekend! It's awesome that you all got to see those cool old places. Thanks for sharing!
    2014 JKUR "Stumps"

  9. #9
    Knows a Thing or Two RebelconJk's Avatar
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    Sep 2014
    Townsend TN
    Great pics as always!! Looked like you guys had a blast! That's crazy that the Manson family had a visit there!

  10. #10
    Nothing but a Thing TrainWreck618's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    East of St. Louis
    Looks like you guys had a real good time. Thanks for sharing the pictures and great stories

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“wayoflife” is a moniker that I’ve been using for 20 years now and I chose it because I think it does a great job of explaining, in simple terms, the passion I have for Jeeps and the Jeep way of life. This is a lifestyle that transcends age, gender and race as the only thing you need to be a part of it is a love for the outdoors, a desire to explore, a yearning to take on a challenge and a will to conquer it. Over the years, Cindy and I have attempted to capture the essence of this lifestyle through photographs and videos and share it with others around the world. And, this is how WAYALIFE was born.
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