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Category: blog post

Log Cabin Gold Mine

Abandoned

        Set at an elevation of 9600' amidst the mountain peaks above Mono Lake and the town of Lee Vining, the Log Cabin mine experienced prosperous boom periods before a presidential executive order during World War II banned the mining of non-strategic materials, leading to the shuttering of operations at the mine. The mine was maintained and ready to be reopened at a moment's notice, however a couple fledgling attempts at reopening and the discovery of contamination of the grounds has instead led the mine to a slow decay. Originally mined under the Mendocino Claim filed in 1890, the Log Cabin Gold Mine ...

Laguna Beach Hidden Pools

Abandoned

    Constructed into the area's natural tide pools, one of the most surreal swimming experiences in Laguna Beach may be the infinity pools. Built at the ocean's edge in a private cove along the city's wild shoreline, Laguna Beach's hidden pools have long been a picturesque destination. However for those who don't have one of the few multimillion dollar homes overlooking the ocean with a private staircase to the cove below, the pools are only reachable by coordinating entry and exit through a sea cave with low tides or by swimming around the rock outcroppings from a nearby public beach. Built at the water's edge, the poo ...

13 Nevada Waterfalls

blog post

  As one of the most arid states in the country, Nevada may not share in the presence of breathtaking waterfalls in neighboring states like Arizona, California or Oregon. Though those who have an appreciation for the desert can find a meditative quality in coming across the areas with streams, freshwater springs, and year-round waterflow in places that are otherwise hot and dry most of the time.  While much of the state's landscape of over 300 mountain ranges and valley floors that once lied beneath ancient seas were formed in part by water - either inland seas or flash flooding - in current times there is much less water present, with ...

Round Hill Pines Resort

blog post

    Standing like a scene from a horror film, what sets the abandoned cabins of the Round Hill Pines Resort apart from any other collection of log cabin lodge buildings are the real estate that they sit on. Occupying a hillside vantage point set atop the lakeshore in Lake Tahoe's exclusive Zephyr Cove area, the former Nevada resort site covers acres beneath picturesque pine trees overlooking Tahoe's emerald waters. Though several old ghost towns, mill sites and mining camps lay throughout the Lake Tahoe area, the high value of the area has left this resort a rare outlier in that it sits adjacent to the lake itself, remaining empt ...

Neskowin Ghost Forest

blog post

It's the first light of daybreak on the small beach in Neskowin, a pocket of beach on the northern Oregon Coast that is easy to pass completely owing to the highway only touching a single market's parking lot as it weaves through. Chill air blows slowly over silhouettes of dozens of stoic figures rising from the shore's wet surface. For these hours the waves have retreated, and the emerging daylight begins to reveal an apparition in the hazy luminance. It's called the Neskowin Ghost Forest, and while aptly describing this scene's appearance, the name begets a trend lying all along the Oregon and Washington coastline: once living forest ...

Pleasant Gehman

Interview

An interview with Pleasant Gehman: writer, vocalist, promoter, and actress from the first wave of Los Angeles punk. This interview took place in Winter of 2011. One night a friend laughingly joked with me that no matter how hard you try to fight or deny it, habits tend to eventually come back full circle, sometimes startling you when you unexpectedly catch a glimpse of your past re-emerging in the present. Before the internet, the history of punk's early days -barring the hazy memories of those who were at the shows and the parties- was available either through mainstream media that, by nature and almost witho ...

Reward Mine

Abandoned

Reward / Brown Monster Mine An abandoned gold mine in the Eastern California mountains with an extensive underground network of tunnels and adits.     The site today known as the Reward Mine is made up of multiple mining claims that have merged over time, though which today sit in a mostly abandoned state. Following its discovery in 1870, the Reward Mine primarily produced gold and silver, with copper and lead being secondary minerals mined from the mountain shafts located in the Eclipse Canyon area of California's Inyo Mountains overlooking the Owens River Valley. At an elevation of 4000', the Reward Mine sat adjacent to ...

Three Kids Mine

Abandoned

  Three Kids Mine; Las Vegas, Nevada     Three Kids Mine on the outskirts of Las Vegas, Nevada may be less worthy of mention for its past than for its post-use roles due in large part to its position on the increasingly-encroaching fringes of the urban center. Built in 1916 and opened the following year, Three Kids Mine consists of a massive 300 foot deep open pit, along with two other nearby smaller pits from which high grade manganese ore was mined. Though today it sits not far from the boundary of the Lake Mead National Recreation Area, at the time of the mine's construction, the Hoover Dam was still over a de ...

George Conrad Flavel House

Abandoned

  The Captain George Conrad Flavel Home   It was from the plot of a horror movie: the haunted house sitting abandoned on the hill, the strange labyrinthine history of the family who owned it and the influence, even in their absence, that they still cast upon the town, the outlandish rumors circulating around them that were repeated by more than a few of the town's long-term residents, and to a lesser and more personal extent, my desire, ever since having moved to the town, to somehow make my way inside of the house. Astoria, Oregon. This was the oldest town west of the Rockies, at least in terms of having the first post ...

International Car Forest of the Last Church

blog post

  The International Car Forest of the Last Church   On the outskirts of the mining town of Goldfield, Nevada - a population of only a couple hundred people in a town without even a gas station on Nevada's Highway 95 - is an installation that is part outsider art and part surreal junkyard called The International Car Forest of the Last Church. Though no signs will direct you there, and nothing will explain the history or motivations behind it even after you arrive, the sprawling collection of vehicles - cars, limos, busses, and delivery trucks - rise upended down a few double track dirt roads near Goldfield's southern en ...

Albatross Plane Wreck

Abandoned

  Death Valley Albatross Plane Wreck   On the day of January 24th, 1952, a Grumman SA-16 Albatross took off from Mountain Home Air Force Base in Idaho bound for San Diego carrying a 6 total occupants. The one-day, non-stop flight was part of a classified training mission supporting CIA Cold War operations. As night engulfed the skies around 6:30pm, one of the Albatross' dual engines gave out. Losing elevation and velocity, the pilot gave the order for the plane to be evacuated. All of those onboard would jump from the rear door and land about 14 miles north of Death Valley's Furnace Creek with no injuries, while the now-unman ...

Godfrey Reggio

Interview

  an interview with Godfrey Reggio - director  of the film, Koyaanisqatsi   spring 2011   ---   [  introduction  ]   On a visit to Las Vegas, Nevada, one evening I was lead into the desert. After the sun went down, we left the parked car beside the highway and set off in the direction of the river, the direction of the darkened night sky. Through washes that wound into deeper and narrower canyons, until we emerged onto the open banks of the river. We helped each other over rocks, up inclines, across sloped smoothed banks that had the moonlight glow in its orange sandy surface, and up the path of a stre ...

Fly Geyser

blog post

      An accidental series of events while drilling in search of sources of geothermal energy in the rural Northern Nevada desert resulted in the growth of a picturesque formation of terraced pools and colored spouts that has come to be known as Fly Geyser.   It's one of the most colorful and odd land formations in Nevada, though its creation was purely an accident. Fly Geyser, a misnomer as it is actually an artesian spring, was created when a 1964 geothermal exploratory drilling operation struck an underground hot water stream, sending the mineral-rich water gushing into the air. Efforts to cap the spring weren't ...

Bobbie’s Buckeye Bar

blog post

      Bobbie's Buckeye Bar was a legal brothel in Tonopah, Nevada, run by the charismatic Bobbie Duncan Himes until her death in 1989. Despite efforts to later reopen, it would never operate as a brothel again.   Born in Billings, Montana in 1915, Mary (Bobbie) Duncan would first make her way to Tonopah in 1941 en route to Hawaii. She worked Tonopah's red light district until World War II, during which she travelled to Lusk, Wyoming where she came under the tutelage of 'frontier madame' Dell Burke at the Yellow Hotel brothel. Burke would take those she felt showed the drive to work as lifelong brothel owners and ma ...

Ash Meadows Sky Ranch

Abandoned

  "We were six prostitutes in a ranch house in the middle of the desert, isolated from the rest of the world, screwing frustrated and horny men for money. That was our life and as far as we were concerned it was as normal as Rice Krispies." -Vickie Star, brothel owner Vickie Star's is a story of a woman who moved west from her Missouri farming upbringing and eventually ended up owning two separate Nevada brothels before retiring to live off of the money she saved from her years in the business. Born to a Garrison, Missouri family in 1923, at age 16 Vickie received an invitation from her older sister to move into her apartment in San Franc ...

20 Nevada Hot Springs

Interesting

  (Actually... 23 Nevada Hot Springs)   We got out of the car, excited to see a small pool of water in the place that we had hoped to see one. The last dozen or so miles of the drive was down a rutted dirt road, and after hitting more than a couple jarring  holes without enough time to bring the car's speed down, we did the long drive slowly, checking the trip odometer judiciously as the setting sun left its glow across a wide plain of sagebrush with few discernible landmarks to use as reference points. Nevada's natural hot springs are remarkable because the state has more of them than anywhere else in ...

Zzyzx Mineral Springs

Abandoned

  Zzyzx Mineral Springs Resort   Sitting near the northern edge of southern California's desolate Mojave National Preserve is the incorporated community of Zzyzx, California, a small area centered around a the Zzyzx Spring. In recent history, this water source formed the foundation for a small population center first based on a train station, and later as the real estate speculation of a quack "medical doctor" and scam artist. Lake Tuendae, where the spring water collects into a large rectangular march - with a fountain remaining in the center of the lake from the days of Howe's resort - is some of the only habitat for the ...

Lazy B Guesthouse Ranch

Abandoned

The facade of the Lazy B Guesthouse Ranch sits on the outskirts of Fallon, Nevada - what remains of the brothel is as no-frills as the brothel itself was during its tenure of service.   The Lazy B Ranch was a small brothel sitting just east of the town of Fallon. Opened in 1975, the ranch was located along Nevada's Highway 50 near the mining and ranching operations of the north central region of the state, along with the nearby Fallon Naval Air Station. The ranch operated during the peak 1980's era of Nevada's legal houses of prostitution with 35 located and operating throughout the state. Though the later years of the Lazy B would be ...

Lake Los Angeles

Interesting

  Lake Los Angeles   Lying about 50 miles northeast of the city of Los Angeles, California, sits Lake Los Angeles, a community in the eastern Antelope Valley whose lake, today, is the non-existent remnant of the town's manipulative speculative real estate history. Lake Los Angeles has no lake, and sits on the western edge of the Mojave Desert at an elevation of over 2600', feeling much closer to an eastern California desert town and much further from the metropolitan image evoked by the name, Los Angeles. Once called Wilsona after then-president Woodrow Wilson, and then Los Angeles Buttes, it was real estate speculators in ...

Susan Vaslev

Interview

  Susan Vaslev - theme park soundscape composer   winter 2015/2016   ---   [  introduction ]     "Idiot Hill" was the name given to a small forested plot of land in a rural area bordering Oregon's capital city of Salem in the mid 1960's when Roger Tofte, an Oregon Department of Highways worker with no experience in running an amusement park, would spend his free time pouring and shaping bags of cement following an idea to construct just that - an amusement park that could become a haven for his and other local children living in the quiet area. Built in his hours after work and on weekends, while taking on ...

Basin And Range

Interesting

  Conflicts over use of Nevada's Garden Valley is the location of Michael Heizer's land art project, City, led to the region being designated a National Monument.   Michael Heizer is an artist known for his creation of large works of 'land art', typically sculptures, or 'negative sculptures' created by displacing large amounts of dirt and stone and left on location, primarily in desert regions of the American Southwest. Started in 1972, Heizer's project, known as City, covers an area nearly 1.5 miles long and a quarter of a mile wide in Nevada's Garden Valley. However, over that time, the federal government has eyed Garden Valle ...

Old Bridge Ranch

Abandoned

  The remains of the Old Bridge Ranch (which sit on the site of the original Mustang Ranch) amidst a picturesque Nevada landscape.   Sitting in the Truckee River valley of northern Nevada lies the Old Bridge Ranch, a legal brothel that operated near the storied Mustang Ranch - in fact, the Old Bridge Ranch was built on the site of the original location of the Mustang Bridge Ranch, and over the years has acted as compliment and competition to the Mustang. Popular for being one of the nearest brothels to the Reno area, Old Bridge owner David Burgess was the nephew of Sally Conforte (the wife of colorful Nevada brothel o ...

Sauvie Saucer

Abandoned

A strange craft sits landlocked above the banks of the Columbia River on a Sauvie Island beach in Oregon.   For years, no one seemed to know the history of the saucer-shaped craft sitting amidst the trees on Collins Beach, a clothing-optional beach near the northern tip of Sauvie Island outside of Portland, Oregon. After the airing of a news story on the mysterious craft, pieces of its past came out, including the designer and builder of the boat.. Richard Ensign was an engineer living in Hubbard, Oregon, a small town situated about 25 miles south of Portland, who would spend two years and about $10,000 constructing a concrete sailboa ...

Rock-A-Hoola Waterpark

Abandoned

Milky Way above the arcade building, Rock-A-Hoola Waterpark, California   A barren oasis in the Mojave Desert may be more popular in abandonment than it was during its tenuous incarnations.   Off of Interstate 15 between Los Angeles and Las Vegas in the town of Newberry Springs sits the remains of "the first waterpark in America". Originally opened in 1962 by Bob Byers as a manmade lake and recreation area built atop a spring and named after his wife, Lake Dolores came to feature several attractions based around the water. A set of slides where riders would slide down and glide across the lake on 'floats', two V-shaped metal s ...

Multnomah Greyhound Park

Abandoned

The Remains of Multnomah Greyhound Park; Wood Village, Oregon   As a suburb of Portland, Oregon battles over the fate of its former racetrack property, the skeletal hulk sits empty surrounded by otherwise modern homes and shopping centers.   Greyhound racing in the Portland area began in 1933, organized by the Multnomah Kennel Club. From 1933 to 1955, races were held at Multnomah Stadium near downtown Portland - today the site of Providence Park and home to the Portland Timbers soccer team - and for the 1956 at Portland Meadows, a track used primarily for horse racing. In 1957, the Multnomah Kennel Club opened the track at Woo ...

Drawbridge

Abandoned

The Ghost Town of Drawbridge, California   The only ghost town in the San Francisco Bay is an island that once operated two railroad bridges. .   Located on Station Island in the southern end of the San Francisco Bay, the town of Drawbridge originally had one home for the operator of the island's two bridges allowing the Southern Pacific Coast narrow-gauge railroad to cross the slough between San Jose and Newark (now the city of Fremont). In the 1880's, Drawbridge grew from a town of one building to 90 buildings at its peak in the late 1920's, though the town itself had no roads, but rather the railroad bed served as 'Main Str ...

Mormon Island

Abandoned

Nighttime at Mormon Island California's drought conditions have caused the water level of Folsom Lake to fall, revealing the ruins of a mining town buried beneath its waters 60 years ago.   In 1955, following the completion of the Folsom Dam project - a dam built at the confluence of the North and South forks of the American River about 25 miles northeast of Sacramento, California - the rising waters of Folsom Lake consumed and made hidden the remnants of the town of Mormon Island. The town would lay buried beneath the waters for nearly 60 years. Founded by a party of deer hunters from Sutter's Fort (which would later become the ...

Jamie K

Abandoned

The Wreck of the Jamie K A 52-foot fishing vessel lays amongst the rocks in Cape Blanco, Oregon.   At 1:40 am on the morning of July 21st, 2015, the Coast Guard received a mayday call from the fishing vessel, Jamie K. The boat, carrying 10,000 pounds of shrimp, had lost navigation and power after hitting rocks during an attempt to navigate a rocky area called "Little Hole" while trying to reach a good fishing area. After beginning to take on water, strong winds pushed the boat into the rocks at Cape Blanco. After hitting the rocks, the four-person crew put on their survival suits and climbed into their life raft. A Coast Guard ...

Hinkley

Abandoned

The Future Ghost of Hinkley, California after contaminating the town's drinking water, PG&E begins buying out the residents, resulting in a town of abandoned and demolished buildings.   Hinkley, California, an incorporated community located about 14 miles northwest of the city of Barstow, was a quiet desert town boasting a few businesses, including a grocery store and gas station, and had one school serving the population. Today, however, Hinkley is a ghost town in-the-making, as many of its residents have left, and the population continues to shrink as the few remaining businesses close. This shift is due to the contamination of ...

Mack Evasion

Interview

  Mack Evasion - author of the book, Evasion   winter 2010/2011   ---   [  introduction ]   { Outside the snow fell. It was nearly 5am. We had just finished the interview. Standing up, he said, 'I think I know this place in this building...' } The late 90's and early 2000's diy punk scene seemed to exist on scams and secrets passed between forever-young kids with dirty clothes and squeaky bikes. Amongst my friends, there was an unspoken determination that adventure took precedent over jobs, and in hindsight, the afternoons spent on the river in hand-built rafts and the photocopied zines carried on cross-cou ...

Goonie Trails

Abandoned

Astoria, Oregon's Goonie Trails a disconnected network of footpaths traversing Astoria's forested hillside that are as fluid as the city's evolving cartography.     Astoria, a relatively small city of 10,000 people, is the northernmost town on the Oregon Coast. Being the rainiest urban environment in the United States (and second most in the US only to the Hoh Rainforest on Washington's Olympic Peninsula in total rainfall) and built upon a hill surrounded by rivers on three sides, Astoria has both fluidity and tragedy in its very fabric. Having at one time lived in the town for 6 years, I was always fascinated by just how ...

Summit Tunnels

Abandoned

  Donner Summit Railroad Tunnels abandoned tunnels from the first transcontinental railroad route through the Sierras.     Just below Donner Peak in the northern Sierra Nevada mountain range in California lie the remains of the tunnels and snowsheds constructed for the first transcontinental railroad route. In the 1860's, the Central Pacific Railroad, in a race against Union Pacific, sought to complete the first transcontinental line. The heavy snows of the High Sierras required the construction of several miles of tunnels and snowsheds along the mountain pass, constructing 15 tunnels in all. (The difference betwee ...

Neil Robinson

Interview

  Neil Robinson - punk vocalist, squatter and food grower   autumn 2011   ---   [  introduction ]   I've heard it said that one of the hardest distances to bridge is that of the distrust between two strangers. As the afternoon sun began to settle, we had finally weeded the last of the kale beds, pulled some of the last of the season's beets, and cleared what we could of the overgrown tomato plants inside the sweltering greenhouse. We had awoken at some ungodly early hour to get here to help out for a day. The tinny music of a simple crank radio wafted through the air, provided it was positioned just right an ...

St. Thomas

Abandoned

  St. Thomas, Nevada a ghost town re-emerging from beneath the waters of Lake Mead.   "There are two easy ways to die in the desert: Thirst and drowning." - Craig Childs   What's left of town of St. Thomas once sat hidden at the bottom of Lake Mead, though many foundations of this former town have recently been uncovered due to the declining waters of the lake. In 1865 - five years into the American Civil War and with minimal cotton production from the southern US - Brigham Young sent a group of families  south from the heart of Utah Territory to the Moapa Valley, a valley in the arid Mojave Desert near the con ...

Cottontail Ranch

Abandoned

  Cottontail Ranch an abandoned brothel in Nevada   In Winter of 1967, Melvin Dummar, a 23 year old magnesium plant worker from Gabbs, Nevada, was driving through the Nevada desert one night when he pulled off the highway and onto an empty dirt road about seven miles south of the Cottontail Ranch for a quick bathroom stop. It was here that Dummar saw a man lying down, beaten and bruised, in the dirt road. He would ultimately give him a ride to Las Vegas where the man asked to be dropped off, leaving the dazed stranger with a little bit of money at the back of the Sands Hotel, before continuing on toward his destination i ...

California City

Interesting

  California City   Located about 100 miles northeast of Los Angeles, and 65 miles southwest of Death Valley, is California City, a desert exurb of about 15,000 people which also houses a correctional center and sits not far from Edwards Air Force Base and the Rio Tinto Borax Mine, the largest open-pit mine in California. But if you venture outside the core of this town, you'll arrive at a grid of dirt roads extending into a skeleton cartography of cul-de-sacs and neighborhoods which have never materialized. Southern California in the 1950's was marked by a trend of movement out of cities and into newly-created suburbs. Ai ...

Janie’s Ranch

Abandoned

  Janie's Ranch   Located on Nevada's Highway 6 between Tonopah, Nevada and Bishop California, Janie's Ranch was a brothel constructed of multiple trailers parked side by side with connecting rooms and hallways. The ranch was built on land occupied by a former railroad stop, located near a cluster of fresh water springs piped down to fuel the steam locomotives. During the ranch's existence, that water was used to feed the lush foliage surrounding the property, as well as a pond that sat behind the owner's house. Former owner, Betty, wanted to house the women in separate rooms than those they entertained in, reserving on ...

Haiku Stairs

Abandoned

  Haiku Stairs   Atop Puu Keahiakahoe summit in the Koolau mountain range on Hawaii's island of Oahu are the remains of a microwave satellite relay station that at one time served in being able to transmit signals from Hawaii to submarines as far away as the depths of Tokyo Harbor. Ha'iku, the Hawaiian word for Kahili flower, is the namesake for the Haiku Valley, chosen for the microwave transmitter project due to its elevation (2,850') on steep cliffs whose valley bowls were ideal for long-distance transmissions to ships and submarines used in WWII near the waters of Australia and the Indian Ocean. To first construct t ...

Bayshore Roundhouse

Abandoned

  Bayshore Roundhouse   I've always felt that geographies and places have the ability to carry their own set of circumstantial forces and events that make up its past and current state of being, and, like with other people, that those elements can help shape the intersection between a place and a person, and if you approach these encounters without expectation, they can fall naturally and take on the direction that most benefits those involved. This is amongst the reasons I've always felt drawn to the places that others have determined lack value or use. But if approached, it's visiting these damaged and abandoned locales ...

Iron Mountain

Abandoned

single family cabin with Little Rabbit Lift in the background   Iron Mountain Ski Resort   Operating in the Kit Carson Pass area of California, about 13 miles west of Kirkwood Mountain Resort, Iron Mountain Ski Resort (previously called Ski Sundown and Silver Basin Ski Resort) went through a series of owners and attempts at redevelopment before finally being left to the elements. Last operated in 1995, Iron Mountain ran as a "reverse" ski lift, where lifts would bring riders from the bottom of the slopes to the lodge and main buildings and parking areas at the mountain's top. No power lines run over the pass, so, like Kirkwood ...

Sunny Acres

Abandoned

  Sunny Acres Detention Facility Originally opened as the Children's Home at Sunny Acres for orphaned children in 1931, Sunny Acres, sitting on  a hillside above a central California valley, came into existence with the optimistic goal a community helping those less fortunate during the Great Depression. Serving as a home for orphans and wards of the court, over time reality had a way of eroding the optimism, until in its later years it became Sunny Acres Juvenile Hall, and eventually was given the nickname Hell's Acres. Staffed by a matron and a maid, records noted cause for admittance included misbehavior and trouble in school,  the ...

Las Vegas Zoo

Abandoned

Southern Nevada Zoological and Botanical Park   The Southern Nevada Zoological and Botanical Park, often called the Las Vegas Zoo, was located on three acres in a mixed residential and commercial  area of Las Vegas and held over 150 species of animals. In 2013, relations between the park's trained zookeeping staff and park owners Pat and Muffy Dingle reached a tipping point. After years of customer complaints and USDA violations citing poor vet care, lack of shade protection from the Las Vegas sun, poor pen conditions, improper food, and general disrepair of the center, zookeepers who had remained working to provide what care they cou ...

Sneaking into Dollywood

blog post

Sneaking into Dollywood! 'After a length of time, it ceases to be a disguise and becomes, simply, what is...' It marked the approaching end of my southern residency. Having spent just under a year living in Savannah, Georgia - a location that won out based on two factors: I wanted to live in the most beautiful place that I could find, and I wanted a place where the culture and habits were absolutely unfamiliar to me. I've always found inhabiting the area beyond the fringes of one's comfort zone is where challenges and struggles lead to learning and the best memories. And so here it was. Stone was out visiting from the West Coast, Banshee ...

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