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Grand Canyon Tour - Day 2

Day 2 started in Alturas, California at a nippy 19 degrees. I wasn't quite prepared for temperatures in that range, but was OK once the car warmed up. Part of the goal for this day was to check out a remote region of northwestern Nevada. In 2000, the Black Rock Desert - High Rock Canyon Emigrant Trails National Conservation Area was created to preserve a number of unique features in this region. Emigrants passed through here on the Applegate Trail to Southern Oregon in the early 1800s. Their wagon trails are still visible in places. Unfortunately for us, the main roads we were interested in are closed in the spring for big horn sheep lambing and raptor nesting. So, the main objective of this trip was to assess the general area for future exploration potential.

Along the way we came across the George W Lund Petrified Forest. We had no idea this feature existed as it does not appear on most maps, nor did I encounter it when exploring the area with Google Earth. Here's the best information I have found so far on the Lund Petrified Forest.

Pictures from Lund Petrified Forest

We headed on south through Gerlach (of Burning Man fame) past Pyramid Lake through Fernley and Fallon to the Grimes Point trail to examine the petroglyphs in the area. A large number of rocks have been decorated with circles, wavy lines, human figures, snakes and other designs. These drawings have been estimated to be about 6,000 years old.

Pictures from Grimes Point Trail

From there it's a short trip to the Sand Mountain Recreation Area. The dunes are very similar to the Great Sand Dunes of Colorado, though on a somewhat smaller scale. To me the most interesting feature of the area is the Sand Springs Pony Express Station.

Pictures of Sand Mountain and Pony Express Station

Berlin - no, not that one - is a ghost town east of Gabbs (everyone knows where Gabbs is, don't they?) about 25 miles. Oddly enough, Berlin is actually more famous for the fossil Ichthyosaurs close by. Of course, the fossil exhibits were closed for the day and we were left with the late 1800s mining town to explore.

Pictures of Berlin

On to Day 3

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