Wednesday, I basically lay around and ate bon-bons all day. But Tuesday, we went to a ghost town north of Beatty, called Gold Point. Gold Point was fairly amazing — it consisted of wooden shacks, many many of them as boom towns sometimes did. It sat up on a hill, overlooking the Lida Valley, and far away from anything else. Thus the shacks weren’t cannabilized for the next gold boom. It also had several different moments of glory, beginning with a silver strike in 1908 and progressing into gold boomlets and finally in the 1930’s a real gold boom, at least for a little while.
For whatever reason, Gold Point’s housing stock hung on, if only in delapidated states, so in 1979 a local fellow bought the town, lock, stock, and outhouses, and began fixing up one shack after another. He even restructured a large building into a bar/saloon (with a faded sign “Hornsilver” on its false front; “Hornsilver” was one of the former names of the town) that has a lit up Coors sign. When we were there, there was absolutely no activity in the town. Not a human being, not a cat, not a dog. Only a single crow, who chatted me up, probably because it was so lonely.
The renovations are well-done, not disney-esque, but the town is all higgledy-piggledly in layout. It was undoubtedly platted at one time, but the plats have long turned into compounds, some with old firetrucks, some with old trailers, some with yet to be renovated shacks, and even a Main Street with three structures in a row that look sound.
Main Street Mercantile
Apparent living space for some of the 27 inhabitants
Nicely renovated House, although it might be dangerous to go under the things hanging over the door.
I was inspired by the landscape as well as the town (you can see an outhouse or two, even in this bad photo). But the wind was howling so fiercely that I had to sit on the rear bumper of an old firetruck with the Honda parked beside me to do any painting at all. And since Gold Point is at about 5000 feet, it was cold.
So I only painted one landscape there, but I thought it captured something of the experience.
Lida Valley from Gold Point, 12 x 16″, oil on board
Then we came home, ate some soup and had a brownie at KC’s, and I was revived. I brought my painting stuff into the painting room of the house (actually a kind of front entry with windows on three sides) and painted inside, listening to the wind howling outside. And then I started another painting, only night came along so I couldn’t finish it.
Bare Mountain (possibly Burton’s Mountain) from Beatty, 12 x 16″, oil on board
Wednesday, I cleaned the bathrooms, did the laundry at the Space Station RV Park, and finished the painting that I started yesterday. And I played with my new Kindle, which is an un-birthday/Christmas present.
Beside the Amargosa River, Beatty, Nevada, 12 x 16″, oil on board.
Today, it’s back to the Red Barn, and the start of the second half of this desert adventure. I have notions of plans, but we’ll see how they work out. –June