I've got pics and palaver yet to come. More later, Jack
Weather in the desert at this time of year can be warm or windy or just plain cold. Fortunately this year it was in the mid 70’s with just a hint of a breeze----perfect.
Since I’ve posted pics of the lake from other trips I’ll skip on to the new stuff. From the LA area one can reach Lake Mead either by following I-15 east from Barstow Ca. and then heading south at the outskirts of Las Vegas or leave Barstow following I-40 east and heading north just before Needles. We’ve gone both ways and like the scenery better on I-40. This time we found a new route that sort of splits the distance between both main routes. We started out on I-15 and then a few miles east of Baker Ca headed south to the tiny town of Nipton Ca. population 200 or so and a count of 18 cats. From there you travel east to Searchlight Nevada and north to the lake.
I’ve copied a brief history of Nipton (author cited below) to capture the flavor of this small desert community.
TWENTIETH CENTURY CHRONOLOGICAL HISTORY OF NIPTON, CA
1900 Gold is discovered in the Crescent District - New York Mountains near Crescent Peak, Nevada about 5 miles east of a small community at a wagon crossroads in Ivanpah Valley. The apex claim, given the name "Nippeno", is staked on Jan 1, 1900.(Nippeno Patent -U.S. Archives) The crossroads wagon community becomes known as Nippeno Camp, as the place where the miners live.
1904 Track laying crews on the new San Pedro, Los Angeles & Salt Lake Railroad pass through Nippeno in December heading east to rendezvous with west bound crew a few miles from Jean, Nevada. (Myrick 1963)
1905 The first train from Salt Lake City to Los Angeles runs on February 9 with Senator Wm. Clark aboard.
1905 - 1910 Original construction completed of Hotel Nipton. Mining boom days in Nippeno with active exploration and development in the Crescent District. (Smith-1981) Regular stage travel between Searchlight and Nippeno probably established in this period. Stage travel continues to be reported through 1926 (Hewett - 1956)
1910 Union Pacific Railroad System acquires the S.P.L.A.&S.L. line: changes the name Nippeno to Nipton - to avoid confusion with Nippomo, another stop on RR time tables. (Smith 1981)
1913 Harry Trehearne naturalized in the United States District Court at Las Vegas, NV on Dec. 9, certificate of naturalization No 123166 being issued to him. Born in Bristol, England on Oct. 31, 1885 and came to the United States about Feb. 17, 1906. (Nipton Patent - U. S. Archives)
1918 Roy Port of Ivanpah Valley reportedly stays in Hotel Nipton on a trip up from San Diego. Hotel was "old" at that time. (N. Huth -1981).
1922 Harry Trehearne becomes full time resident of Nipton on May 6, 1922. (1935 Homestead Entry No. 022952).
1922-24 Harry Trehearne leases railroad station site (20 acres) from Union Pacific R.R (inference based upon references to ground "leased from railroad" in 1935 Homestead Entry No. 022952).
1924 Original (wooden) store constructed by Harry Trehearne doing business under the trade name Nipton Mercantile Company; Trehearne also repairs Hotel Nipton for occupancy at an expenditure of $3,000.(1935 Homestead Entry No. 022952).
1928 Trehearne files original Settlement Claim on 320 acre enlarged homestead tract adjoining the "Railroad Station Grounds at Nipton, California". The Sacramento General Land Office designation of Serial 022952 is given to the Settlement Claim. Subsequent decision by the G.L.O. to reject the "enlarged homestead" is issued on March 7, 1930.
1929 Light Plant constructed at Nipton to provide electricity for the townsite. Equipped with 2 KOHLER 5kW generators.
1930-31 "Big John" Silvera, Deputy Sheriff of Searchlight completes work on "Garden of Mystery" in front of Hotel Nipton. (Smith 1981)
1930-33 School House built in Nipton. Made of concrete with galvanized steel roof, Harry Trehearne believed to be instrumental in this construction. Correspondence of the period indicates that Trehearne was the registered "Clerk" of the then established School District. Costs of construction are indicated as $18,000.
1934 Controversy over School House located on Settlement Claim No. 022952. Residents and voters from the Cima and Kelso precinct of S.B.Co. file protests with the U.S. Land Office regarding the inclusion of the lands underlying the school house within the Settlement Claim. Trehearne deeds school house land (100' by 200') to the Cima School District, Deed dated August 16, 1934.
1935 Second Homestead Entry No. 022952 filed in Sacramento by Harry Trehearne dated August 1 on 120 acre site known as Nipton, California.
1937-40 Under Trehearne direction, original water well dug by hand, in miners manner of sinking a shaft, to a depth of 550 feet below surface.
1940 Pump installed in water well: 8 gpm capacity
1940 President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Patent papers transferring title of Nipton site to Harry Trehearne on April 10, 1940.
1940 Spring (?) Harry Trehearne travels back to native England. On route, his ship Athenia is torpedoed. Trehearne survives and returns to Nipton. Photo shows H. T. with dislocated shoulder from incident. 1940-43 Store and Town Hall constructed taking several years due to many interruptions as a consequence of wartime shortages of materials.
1945 Trehearne constructs concrete block 2 bedroom home (Nippeno House) for his family including Ella, his wife and Roland, his stepson.
1949 Harry Trehearne dies on March 24 at age 63. 1953 Ella Mae Trehearne dies in her late 50's. 195? Union Pacific Railroad abandons station at Nipton. 195? School moved to new location in Mountain Pass.
1956-1984 Nipton property passes into the stewardship of six various owners.
1956 - 1958 Ted W. Bernhardt &; Alberta Bernhardt 1957 Quiet Title on school house land in favor of T.W. Bernhardt et.al. Cima School District fails to respond to quiet title action. '58 - '65 Lynn C. Snyder & Mary H. Snyder '65 - '73 Carl H. Winnefeld ~ Nancy J Winnefeld '73 - '78 Nancy J. Fetters '78 - '80 Richard Hill and Theresa Hill '80 - '84 William F Huth
1984 Freeman Family (d.b.a. Provident Corporation) takes possession of the Nipton town site under provisions of a lease with option to purchase.
1985 Escrow on purchase of Nipton town site closes in January. Freeman begins rehabilitation of deserted town site. Renovation of Hotel Nipton and reopening the store under the trade name of Nipton Trading Post receive first attention.
1985-1988 Gold Mining Boom days in Nipton with active mining and development of nearby Morning Star Mine, Coliseum Mine and Castle Mountain Venture (Hart Mining District). RV Park is activated under the trade name of Nipton Station to provide temporary residence for miners working in nearby mines. Nipton Station is full to capacity of itinerant miners and their families.
1986 Hotel Nipton, bed and breakfast inn opens for business in May. Nippeno House remodeling is completed in July to serve as primary residence for Gerald Freeman family.
1989 Nipton Trading Post becomes vendor for California State Lottery.
1991 East Mojave Subdivision completed involving the clearing of title and elimination of "railroad station grounds" parcel on San Bernardino County records.
1990-91 Nipton Trading Post is the largest sales volume location of lottery tickets in California.
1994 Nipton land parcels exempted from inclusion in Mojave National Preserve by Act of Congress, signed by President Bill Clinton on October 31, 1994.
1995 Planning begins for developing Nipton as tourism and art center.
1998 Construction of first prototype EcoLodge tented cabin to accommodate visitors to the Mojave Desert recreational resources. This EcoLodge is named The Pioneer.
2000 Construction completed of modified second prototype EcoLodge to be named The Surveyor. Information obtained regarding S.D Karns circa 1900 arrival, and his activities in establishing Nipton (Nippeno Camp) as a California place name.
2002 EcoLodge prototype further modified following design features of the 1920’s Frank Lloyd Wright “Ocotillo” campsite at Arizona. Contemporary innovations include screened windows, wood burning stove for cooler weather and evaporative cooler for warm weather habitation.
2005 The Kelso Depot restoration completed by the National Park Service and the facility opened to the Public as the official Visitor Center for Mojave National Preserve. Nippeno Camp at Nipton now includes 4 EcoLodge tented cabins.
Compiled by Gerald Freeman in Nipton, December 2005
This is the front view of the 5 room hotel which is constructed of adobe.
This is the view from the front porch showing one of the mile long, slow moving freight trains creeping by at 25 mph or so. In my mind I am able to imagine the sight and sound of the original steam locomotives that stopped here for water and a snack.
Another view of the hotel showing Honeysuckle Rose to the left. The picture was taken from the tracks.
Whistle stop Cafe.
Cats, cats and more cats!
And finally a glorious early moring view.
We drove to Las Vegas last Monday (11/21) and I may have seen that train along I-40....or any one of quite a few that seem to travel east/west out there! Got to go over the new bridge at the dam. Saw the water was thousands of feet lower than the last time I was there....ok, well maybe just 100 ft or so...
We got a tail wind all the way back. Left Henderson arrived Albuquerque and it added a couple miles per gallon to the cars average. Sunday, we have even stronger tail wind - I reset the mileage calculator when behind a big truck for a few miles and got a whopping 44 mpg drafting the truck with that wind!!! This is a Mercury Gr Marquis that normally gets 25 highway. After the truck, just going downhill all the way to eastern NM, peaked out at 36 mpg for about 100+ miles or so! I took pic - will try to post. Overall from Alb to Oklahoma was 29 mpg! Still amazing! Lots of wind!!!
Love the look of the desert, but after a while, just gotta get back to where plants grow!
Now, in an effort to derail my own thread, I'm going to post a comment I wrote for the Skoolie folk who are generally great DIY'ers though often with very little experience. This time the topic was "painting my bus" and I tried to shed a little light on their endeavor. Jack
Hello All. Doctor Science here.
Just a quick note on HVLP spray guns.
1) HV stands for high volume of air through the gun--at least 10CFM to produce a decent paint job.
2) LP stands for low pressure at the spray tip--about 40 PSI max.
3) The HVLP spray pattern (fan or cone) is about 1/2 the size of the old fashion spray guns (think Binks with a #10 nozzle) therefore they are much slower to use. However, they produce nearly twice the application area of the older guns and way less than 1/2 the over spray. BIG savings on paint.
4) Gravity feed HVLP guns are much easier to keep clean than conventional siphon feed guns.
Conventional spray guns rely on high air pressure blasting very tiny droplets onto the surface being painted. The droplets splat our flat against the surface generating many even smaller droplets which are then swept away by the air flow as over spray. Sort of like a cow peeing on a flat rock.The HVLP with its smaller cone and lower pressure uses energy imparted to rather large droplets of paint. Each droplet receives a "spin" as it emerges from the gun so that when it hits the surface it spreads by centrifugal force and produces almost no over spray.
On to spray guns. I have one very high quality HVLP (Accuspray at $600) which I use only on jobs where the value of the vehicle is at least ten times that of the gun. I also have two Harbor Freight guns, one large and one small. I use the large one (20 oz. Professional HVLP Gravity Feed Air Spray Gun ) for finish work not worthy of the Accuspray and the smaller one only for primer and I am sorry to have to admit that both those HF tools are satisfactory.
When it comes to spraying paint, practice makes perfect. To that end, fill whatever gun you plan to use with water and practice spray patterns against a nice sun warmed wall--you will be amazed at what you can learn!
I guess the take away from all this is that you will save several times the cost of a basic HVLP gun with material savings on a project the size of a bus.
I just finished an upgrade on the brakes for my toad. I'd been using an older Brake Buddy and the air pump went out. A replacement pump turned out to be unavailable so I ran an air line from my bus to the Brake Buddy and all was good-----until the printed circuit board gave up. Also unavailable. Four automotive relays and a couple of buck relays later and the system works better than new. I combined the Brake Buddy with a new Kelsey Hayes progressive electric trailer brake actuator which combines an accelerometer with a manual overide (in the bus). I did a bunch of stopping trials with the bus alone and with the toad. California law states that a vehicle must be able to stop from 20 mph in no more than 50 feet. Without the toad Honeysuckle Rose easily stops in 35 feet and with the toad and the repaired Brake Buddy, the stopping distance is the same. I didn't think to test the system without toad brakes but I haven't forgotten the "this thing isn't going to stop" feeling I had a couple of times before with the original Brake Buddy.
I won't go into it other than to say brake rotor temperatures on the bus were way down after the upgrade on the Brake buddy. I expect this is due to the fact that the toad brakes now apply immediately along with the bus brakes rather than only at speeds above 30 mph as originally designed.
We have been going to Yosemite to camp the first week of May for a "hundred" years. This year we nearly got skunked. Since the first of the year, the web site "Recreation.gov" has been saying that no reservations could be made until May 1. '17 in Yosemite because of----bla, bla, bla. Strangely, though with other reasons given, the same held true for all the western states, Oregon, Utah, and Arizona. Perhaps the reasons are valid, but I smell a rat. Fortunately, the R.gov site is not without technical problems. The site has switched back and forth between an old and a new format like it was a manic depressive. I'm not sure which end I came up with but I was able to snag a week of camp site in the Valley starting Monday of next week--even got a confirmation letter so I'm going to go for it.
We do have a plan B however. We were able to make reservations at the lodge in the Valley for the week by normal means. We'll plant Honeysuckle Rose and Clarence in the camp site Monday and spend Monday night in the lodge since we have to pay for it anyway. We'll check out of the lodge on Tuesday and take up residency in the camp ground. If the camp ground reservations blow up we will just continue to stay at the lodge.
Nothing is ever simple anymore is it?
I'm lucky to have a few "drop of the hat" friends who are willing to let out the dog and put in the cat etc even on short notice. By this time next week I should know how the latest adjustment on HR's brakes and C's Brake Buddy turned out as well as to have put a hundred or so miles on my bike cruising around Yosemite.
Sounds like some sharp shooters sneakiest shot. Well, it is the name of the door I installed on my bus. It comes from the path the door follows as it opens and closes--the plug part refers to the fact that just after the door lines up with the opening, it sucks in and makes a seal. Too cool. I just had to have one.
I found one at a local junk yard on a 12 year old Mark iv shuttle bus showing 3 million miles on the clock. After a heated debate over its value, the yard beat me out of $150 and I was to pull the part--I snapped it up. Later, when I found out just what the shuttle had been used for and how many stops it made on a daily basis, I calculated that the door mechanism had opened and closed at least a quarter of a million times before I got it. After cutting and pasting the thing into my bus four years ago I have been enjoying its pneumatic presence every time I get in and out of my bus--until recently. Over the last year or so I have noticed that the air compressor seemed to be running more often and for longer cycle times. Furthermore, I was finding the door lolling half open after a brief stop at Mickey D's for lunch.
Long story longer. I replaced the compressor and that helped some. However, after I added the pneumatically operated "Brake Buddy" on my toad to the system, I was right back where I started. I figured that the air motor on the door must have been leaking internally. Needless to say, the air motor is no longer in production and parts are no longer available. The Patent number was stamped on the unit and I thereby eventually came up with an exploded view of the pump workings (a patent on this magnificent device was certainly in order) and dared to take it apart. Once dissembled a local hydraulic genus was able to supply me with the internal seals necessary.
Disassembly was easy: remove a yard of head liner and a roof panel. Remove the fold down door step to expose the bolts for the entry step floor to allow for the removal of the air motor. Take off the 150# door--about 40 minutes work. The rebuild and re-installation (and adjustment) of the door took over 11 hours of exasperating labor. I slept real good that night. Unfortunately, the Square D pneumatic switch decided this would be a good time to spring a leak once again causing the pump to run long and hard. I was able to find an exact replacement for the switch and after four more hours under the bus, all is well. The compressor has been off for about 5 hours now and the door is still closed. Hopefully it will still be closed when I check it in the morning.
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