Going south and north were two areas I explored around Tonopah.  I was surprised how much old mining activity I saw when I went north and southwest of Belmont.  The hills seemed to be littered with mining explorations and the evidence of small mines.  Off I went to explore an abandoned mine and surrounding area.

Seen on my way north

From what I’ve read, some gold is difficult to separate from rock using cyanide unless it is first roasted in a furnace prior to the use of cyanide.  That was the purpose of this large furnace.

And I drove south to the Silver Peak area.  What a surprise the lithium mine was.  I thought I would see hustle and bustle – lots of activity.  I had heard they were expanding.  Instead, what I saw was – a lot of nothing.  Big evaporation ponds and a small little town with very little activity.  The town looked like it was dead or dying.  

Look to the right of the “island” above and you can see the northern tip of the lithium evaporation ponds.  And then off I went to look at an abandoned mine I had heard about.  I found the mine, but I also found this sign.  

Hum.  I like to follow signs and rules, but …?  To get to this point I had driven by the mine on the public road.  It was clearly abandoned.  After thinking a bit, I justified walking pass the sign because it had obviously been installed when the mine was operating.  Perhaps when the mine was closed, the sign just got left without a thought.  Anyway, right or wrong I walked by the sign, but I felt that any moment someone would come and yell at me for trespassing.  Here are some pictures of what I saw.  There was more to explore but I left without staying long.       

The only sounds I hear were the squeaking sound of a door opening and closing with the wind and birds singing that had claimed the headframe as their home.  

A cinder cone north of Silver Peak.

Each night while in Tonopah I listened to the song Tonopah and thought about how it was to live years ago in the west.