My time at the cabin in Forest Lakes was very relaxing. I had a good solid two weeks and it went by quickly. I handled some RV projects, including the installation of my hot water recirculation system. I made a video on that install that I embedded below. I also build a storage box system in the Rubicon, completed a video
on that project as well. I managed to get the cabin all cleaned up and organized my little storage room and garage. Beyond that, it was really a lot of just working and relaxing. I did have my friend Joe come up with his son and a friend for a weekend. Been more than a year since we had a chance to catch up. We our course played a ton of darts, enjoyed some beer, went hiking at the lake and just generally enjoyed the cool mountain air. It was great to get caught up. I closed up the cabin for the extended period I will be gone and pointed the RV back towards Flagstaff.
I scheduled to arrive a couple of days before the Made in the Shade Beer Festival. As I believed I mentioned previously, it has been four years since I have attended this event. While we lived in Arizona it was an annual trip for many many years. My cousin and other friends would be making there way up to Flagstaff on Friday in their fifth wheel for the weekend. My great friend Allen also decided to make his way up from Prescott to join in the fun and hang with me in the Seneca. As an added surprise for everyone, my oldest son Matthew was given a weekend off from the Army in Georgia and he also came up and joined us! It was almost like old (more…)by Kurt Kuhl
As we continue up the 395, our next stop was to be just outside Lee Vining near Mono Lake. We learned about “the” boondocking spot from Campendium. One downside of great sites such as this….lots of travelers learn
about these great spots. When we arrived there was already someone camped in the prime spot. We scoured the area and there is just not many choices for free camping. As much as we HATE to barge in on someones spot, it was not looking good. I did recognize the Airstream in the spot as someone we had meet back at Borrego Springs at New Years. Feeling very hesitant, Toni went ahead and talked to them about also camping in the spot. Fortunately, they were very understanding and mentioned that each night there had been at least one or two others camped in the spot. We squeezed as far as we could off to one side and got settled. Even though our rig is huge, I think we managed to keep out of their view lines pretty well. Later then evening, a couple traveling in a van actually pulled in to stay the night as well. Our neighbors had been here for several days and were staying until the end of the week, we planned a few days longer. Turned out to be a great meet (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