After leaving Fort Churchill, Nevada, I traveled south down Hwy 95 to Beatty where I cut across Death Valley National Park to Lone Pine. The highway cuts across the Valley at Stovepipe Wells and crosses two passes before dropping down to the Owens Valley near Owens Lake (the water having been appropriated years ago by L.A. … see the movie “Chinatown”). The spring storm that provided snow to the upper elevations of the Sierras was hitting the range just as I dropped down to cross the Owens Valley to the town of Lone Pine, California. It was quite dramatic. I noticed other photographers stopped as I hunted for a good viewpoint where it was safe to pull over.
Fort Churchill is outside of Fernley, Nevada … about 40 miles east of Reno. It was a supply center for the other regional forts that were involved in suppression of the native tribes. It was not even necessary to provide a defensive perimeter around the fort. There was a pony express station and a telegraph office, but once the railway was available the fort was redundant and was closed in 1868. The image shows the fence around the cemetery. Soldiers graves were relocated to other government sites after the fort closed, but non-military graves remain.
On my recent visit (April 2021) there was a spring storm coming in over the Northern Sierras bringing strong winds regionally and snow at higher elevations. At Fort Churchill, it was quite windy (which thankfully kept down the black flies), but there were some amazing clouds to bring some variety to the endless blue skies.
This shot is looking west from the White Mountains (the Bristlecone Pine area) towards the Sierras in late April. Much earlier and the road up the White Mountains is still closed from snow most years. Elevation here is over 10,000 feet.
After several days of photos from Alaska, I really needed some warm sunny image to take the chill off. This one should help. It is outside of Death Valley National Park. It was taken in the spring, so there is still some snow on the higher elevations. But down in the valley, it was quite toasty.
This ruin just made me wonder about the mental state of those men that built homes in areas like this. Tortuously hot. Desolate. Almost uninhabitable. All in the hope of finding some lode that would bring them riches. Living the Dream, as they say these days. What a dream…
Not a lot to say about this, except that this is a great friend of mine and we were in the Death Valley area and saw this old wrecked truck. We both like taking photos of things that are old and falling apart. Maybe it’s that we can identify!