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The Comstock

Virginia City, NV

Virgina City, Nevada - Virginia City used to be the richest gold producing area in the United States. Gold was first found in Gold Canyon south of Virginia City by the Grosh brothers. Soon more gold deposits were found at the top of Gold Canyon in January 1859 by James Finney, known as "Old Virginny" and Henry Comstock. Early on, the mining was done by the placer mining method of washing the dirt from around small pieces of gold found in creeks. Later on, gold veins were discovered underground and digging shafts and tunnels unearthed the veins of gold.

The discovery of gold and silver here brought many people to the area which became known as the "Comstock", named after Henry Comstock. "Old Virginny" sold his original gold claim for about $50.00 and later died in 1861 a poor man. The town of Virginia City was named after him. More...


Paha'oha'o Community's vision of their volcano

Paha'oha'o Community's Volcano - Experiential Art for Burning Man 2014

Burning Man 2014 - On August 24, 2014, the Black Rock City gate opens. The builders of this alternative metropolis have been busy laying out roads, securing the perimeter, and surviving the various windstorms and thunderstorms that have reportedly been hitting the Black Rock Desert's playa this year. Playa, you ask? This playa is no beach, but a barren, alkaline stretch of white, cracked sand that stretches over about 100,000 acres. Friends of Black Rock states the Burning Man Festival, as large as it is, takes up only about 3% of the playa surface.

How large is the festival? Well, the Bureau of Land Management's Burning Man 2012·2016 Special Recreation Permit states the maximum number to be 70,000 people. Imagine the entire city of Santa Fe, New Mexico deciding to go camp out together in the desert. That's how big. More...

Chloride - Route 66 - Oatman

Oatman, AZ

A Road Trip into the Old West - If the whirlwind of slot machines, gaming tables and shows grinds you down during a trip to Las Vegas or Laughlin, Nevada, you might want to take an easy day's drive over into Arizona for a change of pace. Within a few hours, you can visit two quaint old towns - Chloride and Oatman - from the mining days, and you can drive a spectacular stretch of Historic Route 66.

Recently, my wife and I did exactly that. We started the trip from the river town of Laughlin, Nevada at the southern tip of the state. I had spent the early morning exploring Lake Mohave, on the Colorado River. My wife had spent her time at the slots at the Riverside Casino. I caught up with her at about 10:30 am. I grabbed a few minutes to play some craps. I thought I would make some quick money to pay for our drive. I lost $20.00. We got into the car and headed east, into Arizona. More...

Me, lonely? Hell no! I‘m half coyote and half wild burro.

Seldom Seen Slim

Seldom Seen Slim - Slim liked Ballarat. It was his home. His mining claims were there and he didn‘t mind being alone at all. It was a way of life that suited him. Slim had the whole town to himself. At one point or another he had lived in just about every abandoned building in Ballarat. He said a fire had come through the town one year and burned down some of the buildings, one of which he had been living in. He then roughed it for a while and eventually got himself a trailer to live in. In reply to the common question of whether he got lonely living in the desert, his response was “Me, lonely? Hell no! I‘m half coyote and half wild burro.”

Far away from the closest spring or well, Slim had to drive many miles to get water, bringing it back to his camp in jugs. There used to be a water source in the Ballarat area, but the water table had dropped and the water had dried up. Slim would travel to Trona, 30 miles away for supplies. Slim lived with no electricity and no water for years. He only bathed a couple times a year. He claimed he would bath in the rain as the water kept his skin soft. Other times he would tell visitors that he got his hair cut and bathed once a year in Trona. More...

Prehistoric Images

Ancient Rock Art

Ancient Rock Art Is Still a Mystery - You see them everywhere across the Southwest, symbols from an ancient and mysterious race -- spirals, zigzag lines, strange stick figures, a hump-backed flute player. They appear on signs and billboards, fashionable furniture and tee shirts.

These images were originally discovered etched in the rocks of canyons and mountains from deep in Mexico to the northern Rockies, from the Pacific to the yawning grasslands of the American prairie. They are most highly concentrated in the American Southwest -- Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada, Colorado, Utah, Texas and California -- but have been found from coast to coast within the United States. There are thousands of these rock art sites throughout the Southwest; more than 7,000 have been cataloged in Utah alone. More...

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DesertUSA is a comprehensive resource about the North American deserts and Southwest destinations. The desert is a wonderful place to enjoy the outdoors and to spend time in recreational activities. You can camp, hike, bike, fish or just explore this unique environment found only in the American Southwest. DesertUSA has information on national parks, state parks, BLM land, and the Colorado River and its lakes. We also have articles about the cities and towns located in or near the desert regions. Use as a resource to explore the many adventures that await you in the desert.



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