Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Death Valley Days, Part Two - Rhyolite

One thing that I love about the desert is ghost towns.  Mainly mining boom towns that thrived until the mine played out and then left to decay in the heat.  My imagination runs wild in these places.  Saloon brawls.  Claim jumping.  Duels at high noon.  Death Valley is full of such places.

We (meaning me - Vol Fan has seen enough ghost towns to prefer to sit in the A/C of the truck!) chose the town of Rhyolite, Nevada to explore.  Rhyolite went from boom to bust in a matter of 6 years, having a population of 10,000 in its heyday.
The skeletal remains of several buildings are still standing - the general store, the bank, the school, the train depot.  One of the most interesting is Tom Kelly's bottle house.  Mr. Kelly was way ahead of the green movement of today.  He used adobe and about 50,000 beer bottles collected from the town's bars to build his home.  It was restored in 2005.
Another cool thing about Rhyolite is the art of Albert Szukalski.  Probably the most well known is his interpretation of 'The Last Supper' by Da Vinci.  No people, just robes:)
My favorite piece was The Ghost Rider.
Next stop - a place without explanation...


Lori said...

How cool! I've never ever been to a ghost town. Thanks for taking me! :)

Busy Bee Suz said...

Those art pieces are cool and kinda creepy too.

Noe Noe Girl...A Queen of all Trades. said...

Love the bottle house and the ghost rider. What an adventure!

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Oh how neat, Woody... I love old ghost towns also... Those ghosts are amazing!!!!! Thanks for sharing.