It was time to stop messing around and do some serious Ghost Town digging. So we packed up our dreams and headed to the Nevada wilderness of mining towns and railroad stops from the 1870’s. So Ivan, the dog, and I set out into the night, visions of all the belongings we would have to leave behind to bring back all of the bottles and artifacts we would find over our next three days (daze).
Our first stop was Ruby Hill. The sun was just getting started and the smell of the sage and sound of the Meadowlark was all around. It was a perfect day. So probing and digging began. We were hoping for a deep hole filled with old trash but now you are lucky to find a deep layer of ash that could hold a treasure. Ivan found then and I started to dig. No luck. Later we found a newer pile of cans that had been dumped in an old foundation. It yielded two nice old cast Irons. More layers no bottles. I walked back to the car and my partner was holding a wonderful “Creer’s Washing Ammonia”. We got excited but the rest of the day produced no more finds. We were tired and had a good start on a sunburn as we rolled into the lovely Ruby Hill Inn of Eureka.
Next day we were back to enthusiasm and decided to head back and hit some stops on the way. Our first stop was now posted no trespassing so it was a bust. We decided to take a bit of a detour and go to a mountain town we had read about. On the trip we had noticed the large amount snow in the mountains. This was very unusual. All of the streams are swollen and the washes are all full of water. We arrived in the town and there was water everywhere. After a time probing around, I noticed a nice clear stream running thru the middle of the old town. On a closer look , I noticed plates and glass broken. Of course! If I was living here, I would have dumped in the culvert (which is now a running stream).
I started looking on the stream banks that have now eroded about a foot deep and started to see tops sticking out of the bank! In addition, we can now see layers of rust in certain places. We started downstream and worked our way up digging thru the rust and finding the newly exposed glass. In one spot we saw two newly exposed bottles and began to pull them out. But there were more! We had found a bottle dump from around 1915 and extracted around 40 bottles. About a third of them were machine made but the rest were nicely hand made. It has probably been over 20 years that the water ran this way. It was incredible luck.
But we had to move on. We stopped at a town where we had permission to dig on a lot but the owner had changed. Moving on, we stopped in Palisade. The river was so high that you hit nasty mud only a few feet down. Moving on. We decided to go to a new place at the end of a 30 MILE DIRT ROAD! We did find it and the town was a neat place in the trees by a nice stream. But there were about 6 other runoff streams that had wiped out the rest of the road. We were unable to find the stash in this town so we called it a day as the mosquitoes chased us away into the sunset. The dog was wet and stinky. We were even more tired and dirty. With the second sunny day both of our heads glowed a bright red in the dark and were probably radio-active. Real men don’t wear hats……
Our last day, we groaned out of bed in Elko and started to head for home. We had three more locations to try and recover the dreams we started with. We ended up at three old railroad stops and found many interesting layers that should have held treasures. We were denied. With our final burst of energy, we broke out the screen one last time and with our last ounces of strength, threw up the dirt from our last layer. One lump turned out to be a nice railroad lock from the Northern Nevada Railway. It was a good find to save the day.
We loaded up and headed for home. The dark green vehicle was now a white clay dust color. We had been burned, scratched, bruised, bitten and could hardly move. It was a GOOD trip.