Ghost Town Explorer
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Virginia City Nevada Return Trip
2009

Ghost Town ExplorerThe first weekend in November we decided to head back to Virginia City Nevada to finish exploring areas that had previously gone unfinished. It had been several years since we had tried to complete the trail through the ghost town of Washington to Virginia City; and we never made it to Nevada’s most extensive petro glyph site. The trail had turned us back on more than one occasion years past, but that was before we had the quads and the Teryx.

Fitted with new 6-ply rear tires, we loaded the Teryx on to the trailer, packed our bags and gear and headed for Nevada over hwy-80. Unfortunately for my wallet, the Teryx returned from our last trip disabled; several large holes in the rear tires as a result from the unforgiving desert terrain meant multiple tire plugs. Still seeping air she would not make it another journey in her condition.

We arrived in Virginia City on a Thursday. The 4 hour journey took us 6 hours due to a breakfast stop in Auburn and a sleep stop at a rest area on Blue Canyon. As we arrived in Virginia City we immediately pulled in to the RV Park where we had made reservations for a rental cabin. This made for a perfect staging location, with a full kitchen and all the amenities, plus access trails just outside the property. We decided to rest the remainder of the day, so we placed a phone call to Gino and agreed on a ride the following afternoon. Gino and Ginger, living in a nearby town, always make for good company on our journeys in to the desert region.

Ghost Town ExplorerThe following morning after breakfast I unloaded the Teryx from the trailer and prepared it for travel. Gino and Ginger arrived right on time. By 11am we were heading out in to the great wide open. We spent the majority of our time on trails along the Long Valley and the Chalk Hills. There were a couple trails that were pretty damn nasty. Nasty enough to use 4x4 low with the locker fully engaged! When we came upon the first of two scary areas we decided it would be best for Tresa & Makala to hike to the top beyond the boulders that made up the thin trail along the cliff. Placing the Teryx in low gear and 4x4, I pulled back on the adjustable locker and began my way up the trail bouncing slowly over the uneven boulders. Three feet to the right was a steep rocky cliff, leaving no room for error. Scratching and scraping the skid plates over the rocks I finally climbed to the top. Our first stop was an abandoned camp containing a stripped out overturned school bus. We then scrambled another 4 miles up the trail where we broke for lunch, overlooking the valleys to the east. It was about half way through lunch that Gino discovered that he lost his GPS. So after lunch we retraced our steps back to the abandoned bus camp where Gino located his GPS partially mangled on the trail. We poked around a bit more before heading back to the RV park.

Thinking we would either hang out in town or pay Gino and Ginger a visit, we slept in the following morning. Just as we sat down to breakfast there was a knock at the door. To our surprise Kerry and his fiancé Felica had arrived planning to ride. We quickly finished breakfast and placed our supplies back on the Teryx in time to depart with Kerry and Felica. Kerry agreed to lead us to the Petro glyphs and through the trails to Washington as we had hoped to someday finish. Kerry’s knowledge of the area was remarkable. Our first stop was a spring along the Long Valley Creek. An awesome place for a future camp-out, the site had plenty of room, running water and lots of shade and privacy. Visiting the area under favorable weather conditions would allow us to consider this location as a camp and staging area.

Ghost Town ExplorerWe continued on crossing the creek several times in areas that were dry and others that contained enough water to make for interesting crossings. The terrain through Long Valley could be compared to that of trails surrounding the Elbow near Bodie. There was plenty of loose rock and decomposed sand base, but certainly not a barren land. Lots pine trees and brush surrounded the trails. After the river crossings we came upon the petro glyph site, said to be the most extensive Indian art site in all Nevada. Here we broke for lunch and enjoyed the artwork and view. Kerry enjoyed a climb up the petro glyph wall, Felicia enjoyed a seat on her quad, Tresa enjoyed a squat in a dry riverbed while Makala enjoyed holding the toilet paper for her; I, well I enjoyed all of them!

Next stop was the ghost town of Washington Nevada. A place I was quite familiar with, visiting here three times in previous years. However, never exploring the area to the west, this is the direction we entered from. The area I had been hoping to see for years past has finally come to be! Once we dropped down to the foot of Washington Hill we decided to explore a bit on foot and walked the area surrounding an abandoned digging. Once we explored out, we set up a makeshift target range for Makala to shoot her Marlin .22 rifle.

The trail back was uneventful, but contained some beautiful scenery! Arriving back at the trailer park exhausted, we made a quick meal and fell asleep. Unfortunately we missed our visit with Gino and Ginger that evening, but now we’ll have something to look forward to on our next visit!


Ghost Town Explorer

Ghost Town Explorer


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