Today is my last day in Phoenix, I hook up the Jeep and head towards Quartzite tomorrow morning. John and I wrapped all the projects on his RV and I managed to check everything off my list as well. Hard to believe I’ll
have been here nearly six weeks, the time has flown by. It’s been so nice to catch back up with family and friends, but I definitely feel the pull to get moving again. I’ll be boondocking for probably the next five weeks so today will be stock up day. I was able to get in one more Jeep trip this past weekend. The setup is working great and it is going to add a whole new dimension to my travels. Mixing in the excursions out in the Interceptor (my corny Jeep name to go along with the Black Pearl) will be exciting. Hopefully, the mud dries up from the rain last night here at my moochdocking spot before I set the wheels in motions tomorrow!
by Kurt Kuhl
Feels strange to be actually sitting and writing again. We have been in Phoenix, aside from a few little side trips, since October 13th!! Both Toni and I are a bit stir crazy (okay maybe alot stir crazy) but it has been a productive winter. While we were aware that we would be in Phoenix several months, we underestimated how long it would feel. After nearly two years of fairly constant motion, to be stationary this long just re-enforces that we love being on the road.
Our primary reason for the long stay was some medical work we have had planned for Toni for several years. I am happy to report that she is recovering very well and on the tail end of rehab. While it will not be until mid-February that we truly have the string cut and we are free, our anticipation for departure is becoming pretty intense. One of the things we like about or nomadic lifestyle is that we can deal with about any situation.
So what have we been up to in Phoenix, wow, it had been crazy. Of course we have been able to spend some quality time with friends and family and it has been amazing. Being on the road (more…)by Kurt Kuhl
Having escaped the big cities we are once again out enjoying nature and wide open spaces. Strange how after only five or six weeks it feels like it has been so long. Our first stop was to be a place I have been anticipating
going since first getting on the road. I speak of the Trona Pinnacles. For info about just what the pinnacles are, check this out. Thanks to some great advice from some fellow travelers, we knew to approach the area from the north closer to the town of Trona. It still involved about five miles on a significantly washboarded road, but I knew (or at least was hoping) it would be worth it. The road was actually not too bad, just took it extremely slow and had no issues. Once we reached the mesa overlooking the pinnacles, we unhooked the Jeep to go figure out where to setup. The plan was to get in among the pinnacles to an area where we could get some (more…)by Kurt Kuhl
Traveling around the vast open space of the western United States you often find interesting stories about the past in this harsh environment. Crossing into the northeastern most corner of Nevada from Idaho, traveling US93 you enter the city of Wells as you reach
Interstate 80. The town of Wells is a tiny community that is struggling to survive in the new west, yet at least is still hangs on. Not so fortunate is the ghost town of Metropolis Nevada, the remains of which lie about fifteen miles northeast of Wells. It was the interesting name that first caught our attention, but it was the story of town that drew us in to investigate and spend the afternoon.
Back in 1910 a group of investors from New York came up with the idea for a master planned farming and ranching community in this arid Nevada region. They formed the Pacific Reclamation Company and purchased land from the cattle king Colonel E.P. Hardesty. A four block township complete with concrete sidewalks and street lights was constructed at the new town site. The crowned jewel of the town
was the grand Hotel Metropolis, a three story hotel said to be the most luxurious between Reno and Salt Lake City. A spur railroad and depot was even constructed by Southern Pacific out to the town.
The Pacific Reclamation Company was successful in selling property and populating the town. They constructed a dam across Bishop Creek, along with an elaborate system of ditches and canals to provide irrigation for farming. The dam itself was built completely with bricks from the 1906 San Fransisco earthquake. A newspaper, called the Metropolis Chronicle, was started and boosted awareness of the town and drove land sales. In early 1914 the Lincoln School was constructed, a large ornate building. The population in
Metropolis was over 700 by this time. In late 1914 the town ultimately lost a legal battle for water rights and it marked the beginning of the end. Coupled with the loss of water rights, a draught set in. Making matters worse a typhoid
epidemic hit Metropolis in 1916, killing many of the remaining population. By 1920 the towns population was less than 100. In 1925 the Southern Pacific Railroad removed the spur line to the town and many buildings were abandoned or moved as folks moved on. The Hotel
Metropolis burned down in 1936 and the last class taught in the Lincoln School was in 1947.
That brings us to today. All that remains of Metropolis are ruins of the Lincoln School, Metropolis Hotel, a couple of monuments and the cemetery. We explored the ruins and walked the cemetery taking in the past. We also shot some arial video during our time at the site today. You can almost feel what it would have been like to be in Metropolis while it thrived. In years to come this final remaining evidence of a once thriving town will wash away and vanish, along with the stories they tell to those that walk among them. I only hope it is not forgotten.
by Kurt Kuhl