Bluestone Mine and Ludwig
There is a disturbing lack of water and trout going on around here. WTF? Well, I got a new Jeep and I’m having fun with it. Besides, it’s not like I’m going fishing on Memorial Day weekend. I tried that last year and it didn’t work out so well. When you find rednecks (and I use that term affectionately, of course) floating down your favorite riffle in hot pink and lime green inflatables, it’s time to go do something else.
So I did and I didn’t go all that far. I didn’t have to. Actually, I was surprised how easy these places that I didn’t know existed until recently, though they aren’t more than 15 mile from my house, were to get to. The big wide open isn’t so wide open and it’s bigger than you think. It can hide all kinds of treasures in more or less plain sight. So first, Jen, Owen and I went to Maverick in Yerington for lunch again (we had to eat). Henry was out camping with friends, crashing quads, playing golf in cow pastures and shooting stuff. Don’t ask me, I just raised the kid. I’m not responsible 😉
After lunch, we headed up towards Weed Heights, then turned onto a dirt road toward the Bluestone Mine. We ignored the no trespassing signs, something we saw a lot of on this trip. They aren’t denoting private land. The government put them there to warn us we might find danger beyond. Your tax dollars at work. One such warning came with a fence on either side of the road and terminated 50 feet either side. I’d wish I’d gotten a picture of that waste of money. Mining areas are dangerous but these fences are pointless and its obvious everyone ignores them. Just put up a warning sign and let us play.
Anyhow, Bluestone mine has all manner of things to see. Old concrete foundations, some old tailings that have eroded into eery shapes, old buildings, you name it. You could probably get here in a car if you wanted but you’d look like a dweeb in a Honda Civic (kind of like a redneck floating down a blue ribbon trout stream in a pink inner tube). It was nearing 90 degrees so we didn’t climb all over the old ruins but they are rather interesting even with all the graffiti. From there we drove into what are apparently called the Singatse Mountains that separate Mason Valley and the northern end of Smith Valley. Who knew? Nevada has so many mountain ranges it’s hard to keep track.
We followed a road through the mountains that followed power lines, more or less. It wasn’t rough but it was in a canyon most of the way. Rugged and beautiful scenery but a bit repetitive. We emerged a couple of miles south of Ludwig, another old mining operation from the turn of the century (the previous century, not Y2K). Here there are some interesting structures that remind one of Stonehenge or Ancient Egyptian ruins. Apparently some art students painted the columns with Egyptian symbols at some point but they’ve been tagged since by what I would call vandals. Yeah, penises. You’re a genius O_o
Lot’s of things to see in Ludwig as well. All kinds of mine shafts (don’t go in or near them, don’t try this at home, blah, blah blah), foundations, you name it. Great views of Alkali Lake at the north end of Smith Valley too. No water in the “lake” though. Hardly ever is. All in all, we killed three hours and saw some neat pieces of history. I don’t mind revealing the whereabouts of these locations. They are all over the internet and it’s apparent both places get a lot of visitors.
Henry graduates Friday, May 30th. Then we’re off to Disneyland for a week. Once we get back, we’ll start working on my top ten list. Not sure where we will hit first but with the modest snow pack, we shouldn’t have much trouble finding open water even at higher elevations. And last but not least, thanks to all who have served this great nation. This Memorial Day we thank you for your service especially those that have sacrificed all. You are forever in our memories.
Enjoy some flora and fauna: