The Misadventures of Mitch Kumstein
Now Ya See It, Now Ya Don’t
By Guest Blogger Mitch Kumstein
(photos courtesy of the Mitch Kumstein 2009 Desert Collection)
I’m still out here muckin’ around in the Southern Nevada desert, and think I just discovered a ghost town with the world’s shortest life. I’ve heard of boom and bust, but this is ridiculous!! Camp Transvaal, a little mining town about 5 miles east of Springdale, Nevada, was born in February, 1906, and by the second week of April, this tent city had a population of around 800 fortune seekers. There were about seventy-five tents, four saloons, an assay office, a lumberyard, a lodging house, and a coupla’ real estate offices sellin’ lots for between $50 and $350 (the expensive ones musta been the view lots)… Sounds like they had everythin’ covered; mines ta work in, assay office ta get paid in, tents ta live in, saloons ta drink in, and land ta buy, CHEAP!!
Things were boomin’ right along in Transvaal, until the first coupla’ weeks in May, when the gold seekers figured out that the mine ore had very little value. I mean, like under $30 a ton!! And back then, a ton was a lotta rock!! Well, easy come, easy go, and the townspeople left in droves. It took about a week for everyone to bail out, and by the third week of May, the town was deserted!! That’s a lifespan of three months!! 90 days!! Man, ya work all week, get sum money, go to the saloon, have a few drinks, pass out, wake up, AND THE TOWN’S GONE!! WHERE’D EVERYBODY GO?? WHERE’S MY TENT??
All that’s left now are a coupla’ fallin down buildings, a rusted water tank, and sum nasty barbed wire that almost took out my rear axle! (shoulda had the metal detector strapped ta my front grill…) So, as the sun sets on me, my crippled quad, and a cooler full of doggie treats, I hafta wonder…what are the chances of one of these ol’ miners leavin’ behind a pair of tin snips?”
Mitch Kumstein Bio
“When people ask me about myself, I just hafta say I’m the luckiest dog on the planet! I was abandoned out in the desert just north of Las Vegas; left to fend for myself. After a few harrowing days and nights lookin’ for water and runnin’ from the coyotes, I stumbled onto a golf course, and was taken in by the staff. Soon, I came to the conclusion that I had a new lease on life, and there were a lot of adventures waitin’ for
me out in the wild. So, I took a leave of absence from chasin’ critters at the course and struck out to follow the scent of adventure. And, I decided to write about my findings so everyone could be exposed to the unbelievable history, scenery, personalities, and wildlife that make up our natural environment. If the pics are kinda shaky, and the writin’ kinda sketchy, just be patient….Remember, I’m just a dog!!” – MITCH
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