Sunday, January 08, 2017

Hot Springs Trail ~ Part 13 ~ Benton Station, CA to Silver Peak, NV


From Benton Station, it was only 52 miles to Silver Peak, but we made sure to carry enough food to get to Tonopah 94 miles away. 


Having crossed into Nevada on Highway 6, we soon found Queens Mine dirt road and witnessed our first of many wild horses to come.


Instead of soaking in Hot Springs.... we opted to shock our bodies in cold bodies of water whenever they were available to us.  Not only were we in another state... it felt like we were on another continent. 


Open mine shafts dotted the landscape.  One car had passed us going up the mountain, and as it turns out, they went spelunking into one of these mines.


Once we climbed to the top of Kennedy Point we merely descended the dirt road, not listed in the guidebook, all the way down to the bottom of Trail Canyon where there was once again a plenitude of water.


We took advantage of walking into the evening hours to get ourselves closer to the next water source at Fish Lake Hot Springs.


Temperatures quickly rose into the 90's and even topped out later in the day supposedly at 105 degrees Fahrenheit. And of course these numbers are measured in the shade and not in the direct sunshine. I just read that it could be up to 15 degrees hotter in the direct radiation of the sun.


We could have stayed at Fish Lake Hot Springs for days.  We had it all to ourselves. The weekend just ended and so the trash bins were overflowing with garbage. The hot water was being piped into a concrete pool and its overflow dumped into two consecutive ponds filled with coots and their babies. Coy fish swam around our wiggling toes.


There was a water filling and washing station where we filled up hot water into our bottles. Fortunately this water didn't taste like sulfur and so it worked out fine to use as drinking water.


Unbeknownst to Stacey, she was getting very burned swimming for a few hours in this heavenly pond.


In the late afternoon we took off into the hundred plus degree heat.


From time to time clouds would cover the sun and there was instant relief.  This could last for 10 to 20 minutes at a time. I played a game of steering the clouds towards us. I think it really worked.


Geologists and Miners were using this road frequently. Derick stopped to offer us cold gaterades and cold water. Two BLM archaeologists stopped to tell us that there was water at this historic stone mining cabin available for our use. Then again, another car stopped with miners in it, offering us precious and cold liquid gold. We had enough water, but since we kept attracting cold water to us, we simply over-hydrated ourselves. But yet it was still hot as heck. It would take a weeks for me to acclimate to hiking in hundred degree temps without it effecting me too much. In the mean time, there was some heat exhaustion. 


Again we walked into the night under a glowing moon all the way to Coyote Summit.


We got up extra early and walked into the mining settlement of Silver Peak.


Silver Peak was interesting in that it reminded me of an Alaskan Commercial Town. It had a rugged edge to it, and yet the people were as friendly as could be. In the mountains they were mining Silver and yet in the flats they were procuring Lithium, of all things. Apparently, Silver Peak has a big contract to provide Lithium for Tesla batteries.  At the mines' headquarters, the personnel treated us supremely. Stacey's skin was super red and so she was going to be given a ride to the nearby town of Tonopah, which was my next stop. People didn't drink the piped water in town... they all seemed to know better. Therefore, the office allowed me to get my water from their personal supply. I ended up spending the late morning and early afternoon taking a dip in the company's swimming pool. A lot of drama was being acted out by the local kids. I then migrated over to the library where i did some research on the internet about the trail ahead and was gifted a half of a pizza from the local bar by the town's librarian, who doubled as the children's guardian angel.

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Tap Here for Part 14

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