20th Anniversary Trip – Day 4 Nevada

We were up again early in Winnemucca, NV.  Tim decided to check out a new gold area north of Winnemucca called Dutch Flat.  Evidently it was small area that produced good gold.  It was a pretty drive there.  Farm land with a river running through it with surrounding hills.

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Driving north of Winnemucca to Dutch Flat

As we were heading into the canyon, we came across an old boxcar.  Not sure what it was used for, but it’s useful days are just about over.

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Old boxcar

You can see the old diggings as we drove in.

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Once parked, Tim didn’t take long getting his detector out to hunt for gold.  While he prospected, I went exploring and birding.  Once again, I just wasn’t seeing or hearing very many birds.  Northern Nevada is a very quiet birding spot.

While exploring the area, I noticed Tim had made his way up a hill.  I took a picture of him detecting.  When I got home and was editing my photos, I realized there was an antelope on the hill looking at Tim.  I never heard or saw any large mammals that day.  Amazing how quiet they can be.

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Can you see the antelope in the upper left looking down at Tim?

The view from the area was very nice.

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Expansive view!

I did manage to see a few birds in the area.

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Rock Wren

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Loggerhead Shrike

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Sage Thrasher

I did see a lizard! 🙂  Those have been scarce on this trip as well.

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New Mexico Whiptail

There wasn’t much evidence left of the old gold works in the area.

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Foundation of old mill

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Old foundation of large building

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Old tailings pile

Tim did finally find a piece of gold.  It was a nice sized piece.  He was hoping to find more, but luck wasn’t with him that morning.

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Looking hard for that yellow stuff!

After spending the morning at Dutch Flat, we decided to head back over to Rye Patch for the afternoon.  As we were driving through the farm land, we saw a coyote run by.

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Coyote

Tim was driving pretty quick down this dirt road.  I saw a dark spot in the open area along the road and told him to turn around.  Upon closer inspection, we saw it was a Burrowing Owl.

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He was hiding out…I’m surprised I saw him from the car

I got out of the car and was surprised it let me get pretty close.

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Burrowing Owl

As we hit the highway, we saw some people having fun on ATVs in the sand dunes outside of Winnemucca.

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Sand dune fun!

As we turned off the highway, I noticed a hawk roosting in an old dead tree.  He was quite a distance away, but I did manage to get a good enough photo to identify him.  When I entered my bird sighting into eBird, I saw the Harris’s Hawk was considered rare for the area.  I even got an email from eBird asking me about my sighting.  They were thrilled I had a photo that showed it was a correct ID.

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Harris’s Hawk

Back at Rye Patch, Tim wasted no time getting out prospecting.  Tim found another piece of gold which made him very happy.

I didn’t see any birds as it was late afternoon.  But I did manage to see another lizard!

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Long-Nosed Leopard Lizard

We had just enough light to explore another gold area.  We drove out to Willow Creek in the East Mountains (creative name huh? LOL!).  We came to a locked gate and we realized someone had an active gold claim and was working the claim.  There’s a long history of people looking for gold in these mountains.  So you can see old buildings and machinery along with modern items.

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Old stamp mill

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Old trommel for separating gold from dirt and rocks

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A new wash plant for separating gold from dirt and rocks

After playing all day, we were tired and hungry.  I was really craving Mexican food and margarita!

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Ahhhhh…perfect end to a perfect day!

Stay tuned for Day 5. Lots of good stuff ahead!

 

6 thoughts on “20th Anniversary Trip – Day 4 Nevada

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