Day Two: Two Parks

Yesterday started with the stitching of the day's inchy. This is the "T" square.

While I was doing that, Smitty took advantage of the unmade bed for his morning nap. He looks comfy, doesn't he?

We drove just about 2 miles down the road to our first stop. We probably could have walked, but we had other stops on our agenda. The canyon was pretty here.

In just a few minutes, we reached our first stop.

The pamphlet we picked up at the visitor center the day before told us this about Kershaw Ryan State Park.

Here's the wading pond. The sign on the far side tells us that there is no lifeguard on duty, so I'm discouraging you from jumping in. Safety first, you know.

Just to the right of the wading pond was a dribble of a fountain that was fed by the spring.

Up the hill a few steps was a stone monument.

Here's a little more information about the park.

Everything has lost its leaves for the winter, but I can imagine this is a lovely garden and oasis for Nevadans escaping the summer heat. There were roses planted on either side of the walkway with small plaques identifying their variety.

Here's a little more information about the structures created by the CCC back in the day.

This restroom is the only thing left, after all the other structures were wiped out in a flash flood. This one is no longer in use, and the replacements include flush toilets. Nice.

So we walked on, using the map provided in the pamphlet. We crossed over this bridge.

We came to this sign showing the hiking trails, and then turned 180 degrees to take the Overlook Loop and the Rattlesnake Canyon Loop. We hiked the section I've circled in purple.

Only we didn't get very far when we encountered this bridge under construction. We probably could have made our way through by going under the bridge and using the steps below, but it appeared to be fenced off beyond the bridge.

We turned around and walked back across the parking lot to begin the trail at the opposite end. If need be, we could make it an in-and-out hike, rather than a loop.

We weren't too worried about rattlesnakes. Even the warm-blooded people were bundled up in sweatshirts, gloves, and hats. Any self-respecting rattlesnake will be snuggled up under a quilt.

The trail was not particularly well maintained, but we made our way up and down steps.

We got a chuckle about the nice handrails here that didn't extend up the steep incline where you really needed them. From here, we could have continued up a very steep dirt trail to the top of the mountain. We went a short distance, but then turned back. Going up wouldn't have been too bad, but coming back down would have been a literal slippery slope.

Instead, we continued on around the original loop. The gambel oaks were pretty in the sunlight. They too have lost most of their leaves. What remained of the dead leaves glowed red in the sunlight.

Eventually, we came to this bench. We both doubted the integrity, and we did not sit here.

Turning around, though, we had a commanding view of the canyon and the valley below.

Continuing on, we came to a wash. With water flowing, this would be a waterfall. Instead, we encountered patches of ice in the wash.

Turning around, we could look up the canyon the other direction.

This portion of the trail might have been a little dicey during a flashflood, but we forded the dry wash with no problems.

Eventually, we came to the trail where we'd first started. We've seen this kind of fence before. The ends of the fence overlap to prevent wildlife (think free range cattle, moose, or elk) from entering the park because those kinds of animals would be unable to negotiate this bend and get through the opening in the fence. Humans can do this with no problem. (I hope that makes sense.)

We avoided the bridge under construction by walking the remainder of the trail in the wash. We walked under the bridge we'd crossed over earlier.

Back in the garden, I noticed this little garden arch. It would make a nice place for a small wedding.

Turning around, I noticed this fruit tree with a plaque under it.

It's a sweet sentiment at the bottom. There was no other explanation here.

Where there is water, here in the Mojave Desert, there are cottonwood trees.

They have the most interesting bark.

From there, we headed to our next stop, Elgin Schoolhouse State Historic Park. It was some distance away...about 30 miles, but it was a lovely drive getting out to it. We crossed under the railroad tracks several times.

Building the railroad through this canyon was quite an engineering feat. We also marveled at the electrical power lines that extended up and over solid rock cliffs many hundreds of feet high. In places, tunnels were blasted through the rocks to allow the train to pass through.

Here's another one.

Many miles down the road we came to the park.

Here's an informational sign about the little town of Elgin and how the school happened to be so far out in the canyon.

And this park was a bit of a disappointment. To read the Nevada State Parks website about it, one is led to believe this is a going concern, with tours available by special arrangement. After driving such a distance, we were disappointed to find everything locked up. This was as close as we could get to the actual structure.

To its right was an old caboose.

An informational sign nearby showed us some pictures.

This next image shows the reconstruction process.

Here's an image of what a classroom might have looked like.

You can see more pictures at the Nevada State Parks website right here. I would encourage you to click on the link and take a look. They include some pictures of the teacher's quarters, and you can see a quilt on the bed.

Behind the school was the privy. Can you imagine going to school and having this as your restroom?

Here's another picture of the complex taken from the right side.

A nearby sign informed us that the town of Elgin was a siding on the San Pedro, Los Angeles, and Salt Lake Railroad, which is today part of the Union Pacific Railroad. It was an important watering stop for the railroad, and boasted a post office from 1913 until 1966. James Webster Bradshaw homesteaded the area in 1880. The importance of education for local ranchers was shown when Reuben Bradshaw, James Webster Bradshaw's son, donated the land and built the school in 1922. During its years of operation, the Elgin School taught first through eighth grade in the single room. It closed in 1967. The Bradshaw family restored the historic school and donated it to the State of Nevada, which maintains it as a historic site for generations to come. It was dedicated in October, 2018.

We stayed there only about 10 minutes before returning to the RV. On the way back I was able to take more pictures of the canyon. (I was shooting into the sun when we drove in.)

Although the schoolhouse was a bit of a disappointment, it was worth it to see this beautiful canyon.

The white rocks ahead appeared to be some sort of fortress.

We arrived back at the RV in time for lunch. We found Miss Sadie sunning herself in the bedroom window, ready for her Treat and Greet treats.

So we relaxed the rest of the afternoon. Mike practiced some with his drone. He practiced taking some still shots of the surrounding area. This first image shows the "neighborhood" behind the RV park.

This next one looks east from where we are. You can see there's a river and a sidewalk. We could walk to town from where we are, and maybe we will before we leave.

Today we're going back to Cathedral Gorge. He wasn't able to fly his drone there during our visit on Monday, and so we're heading back today. Hopefully, we'll get some footage today. We had in mind to visit Beaver Dam State Park as well until we realized it requires driving 30 miles on a dirt road. Neither of us is up for that, so never mind. Hopefully, I'll have some good drone footage of Cathedral Gorge to show you tomorrow.

5 comments from clever and witty friends:

Julierose said...

You have visited a whole lot of State Parks--how wonderful to have all those memories...and photos...enjoy hugs, Julierose

piecefulwendy said...

Always enjoy your posts! More fun places to explore, at least some of them. Unfortunate when some are locked up. Those canyon views are very pretty!

Janis P said...

Thank you again for taking me along on your trip! With the detailed descriptions and photos, I feel I am visiting the places myself.

QuiltGranma said...

Sorry, I'm afraid I stubbed my big toe on one of those steps! And with no had rail... ooohhhh! It was difficult to get back to our vehicle. Miss Sadie is looking lovely with the sunlight glowing on her furrs.

quiltzyx said...

Your close-up shot of the Cottonwood bark reminds me of the slot canyons at Cathedral Gorge.
All the colors in the hillsides are incredible!
And then there's Ms. Sadie, glowing in the sunlight. Beautiful!