It’s been quiet in part because my magazine article is due to come out any day and I have an agreement that the photographs in that article can’t be shown until publication – a “first use” issue.
Also frankly it’s been too darn cold to do anything except cut up dead trees around the farm and get a sore back doing so. But Spring is springing and things should come out of hibernation soon enough. I’ll have new posts shortly. In the meantime, feast your eyes on the wonderful emptiness that is central Nevada.
The weather here has been bitter, at least for us in the north part of California. Nearby Truckee, on the other side of “The Hill” was reporting lows of -24F, and that’s too cold for anyone. Around here, on the west side of Donner Pass, we were into the low twenties overnight.
As the weather began to moderate slightly, I was hoping to get “The Hussy” – my Model T Ford, out for a bit of a drive as the afternoon temperatures were up into the fifties, although the ground temperature was such that there were patches of unmelted ice everywhere.
(The Hussy, seen here in decent weather)
The poor old girl, now 94 years old, just wouldn’t start. I checked the battery and there was enough voltage showing and then remembered the old trick of jacking up one of the rear wheels. “What?” I hear you saying.
It turns out that the cold oil in the pan, which is shared with the transmission, is thickened greatly when it’s cold. The main drive line is connected directly to the engine through a series of clutch plates and these are now married because of the thick oil. When you jack up one of the rear wheels the drive line can turn freely: motor-clutch-driveline-differential-wheel. So simple but I had forgotten the principle. Freeing one wheel allows everything to turn.
Perhaps what I really needed was this conversion:
The Model T folks were nothing if not inventive.
So now you know. If your Model T is having difficulty starting in cold weather, jack up a rear wheel and try again.
May you have a better new year than these poor fellows, stuck in the Fallon Sink.
courtesy Special Archives University of Michigan
The weather has been cold and miserable out here so the next trip won’t happen until the spring. In the meantime I’m working on a magazine article and a book. I’ll see you in 2013 – the centennial of the Lincoln Highway.
I received a comment from a reader which led me to his site which in turn led me to his post: http://sethsnap.com/2012/09/26/photographing-cemeteries-cool-or-creepy/
I like to look through old graveyards for the history and the stories. Sometimes I photograph them. Here are a few shots, the first from a photo workshop a few years ago:
And here’s one from the St. Mary’s Catholic graveyard in Grass Valley, California:
Grass Valley, California
And finally from the graveyard at Hamilton, Nevada, the sad marker of a child who did not live even one month on this earth. His brother, who was of a similar age when he died, is buried next to him.
So to Sethsnap and other readers, my take on the cemeteries is that they are beautiful and poignant and worthwhile subjects.
I haven’t abandoned you. I’ve just been busy.
The news is that my article about the Lincoln Highway in Nevada will be appearing in a major regional magazine next Spring, the centennial year of LHW.
Also I have encountered some very fine early pictures of the highway from a museum’s collection and these will soon grace these pages.
Finally the book I am working on should be ready to go to press late next year.
Exciting times, at least for me.
In the meantime, I will be revisiting some of the sites previously covered in this blog with images not yet seen and stories not yet told, so stay tuned.
Travel safely and wisely, and carry a couple of spares,
Between the Steptoe Valley north of Ely, and Spring Valley is a pass that was used for years by the the Pony Express, California Telegraph, Overland Stage, and the Lincoln Highway. If you are going to travel on the old LHW between Salt Lake City and Ely you will be going over this pass. The road now is well graded and easy traveling.
Schellbourne Pass Looking East, the Deep Creek Range in the Distance
On the western side was Fort Schellbourne which protected the stage and the Pony Express. It was located three miles east of Route 93 not far from the Schellbourne Ranch.
In the image above you can see the current county road cut in the hillside well above the ranch. The LHW ran through the ranch and met up with the current road near the summit, the notch in the background.
The pass was also the route of the transcontinental telegraph.
California State Telegraph Marker on the west side of Schellbourne Pass.
The area was once the site of a brief mining boom until prospectors discovered better ore across the Steptoe Valley at Cheery Creek.
A Recommended Bypass
This is a nice road and if you are in a hurry to see some of the old LHW, you could do no better than to leave Route 93 and head east over the pass, past Tippets, and as far as Ibapah, then return to 93 by continuing north. This will add just a couple of hours to your trip. Coming south from I-80, turn off 93 at the sign for Ibapah and continue south through Ibapah, Tippets, and back onto 93 at Schellbourne.
Frankly this is my favorite part of the old highway. I hope the isolation and beauty will delight you as much as it does me. The banner photograph at the top of this page is the glorious view just north of Tippets.
Spring Valley is a nearly empty place which contains of interest the Stone House (described in an earlier post) and not much else. The views of the Schell Range are gorgeous however. This small valley lies between Schellbourne pass and Tippets. It is ranching country.
Spring Valley Near the Stonehouse
At the head of the valley, where the Lincoln Highway turns west at the bottom of Schellbourne Pass, there is the Anderson Ranch which was described in the fifth edition of the Official Road Guide to the Lincoln Highway:
Anderson’s Ranch White Pine County Meals, lodging, gas, oil, drinking water, radiator water, free campground. L. H. Local Consul H. L. Anderson, rancher