Dolled Up In St. Thomas

This year I wanted to have a creepy adventure on my birthday. The formerly-submerged-beneath-Lake-Mead ghost town of St. Thomas, Nevada was at the top of my list, and its close proximity to Las Vegas made it an ideal day trip destination for a costumed birthday girl and her nudist photographer friend.

St. Thomas was founded in 1865 and became home to about 500 residents, complete with farms and businesses. In 1938 the town was abandoned as Lake Mead rose following the construction of the Hoover Dam. In recent years the ruins of St. Thomas became visible as Lake Mead’s water level dropped, leaving sand, shells and broken buildings behind for us to explore.

The photos that follow were taken by myself (with my Galaxy S6) and my frequent adventure partner, Jon Miller. I hope you feel like you were there with us. Enjoy!

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We drove through the Valley of Fire and made a quick left down a gravel road. Eventually we ended up here, overlooking a 2.5 mile hiking loop that wove its way through the ruins of St. Thomas.

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The path was made up of sand and thousands (millions?) of white shells.

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A pop of color in a barren landscape.

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Critter fur caught in a huge, dead piece of wood.

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The tallest of the ruins.

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Jon on the prowl.

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Collection

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Time for school!

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Inside view of the school.

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Of course we brought props!

The following photos (minus the final three) were snapped by Jon. Enter the Creepy Doll!

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Play time!

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Then, as if my birthday hadn’t been action-packed enough, my thoughtful friend surprised me with this…

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Awwww!

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Jon had miraculously packed all of this AND cold Coke AND snacks in his backpack…and I had no idea!

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Jon in his natural state. (Not surprising in the least.)

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Chasing Clowns and Burial Grounds

Are you ready for photos from the Tonopah Clown Motel?

Welcome to Part II of my photographic journey from Vegas to Vallejo, CA!

First, let's warm up with some photos of some ruins and abandoned buildings from the ghost town of Rhyolite, NV that I visited on my way to Tonopah.

First, let’s warm up with some photos of some ruins and abandoned buildings from the ghost town of Rhyolite, NV that I visited on my way to Tonopah.

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Clown Motel!

Clown Motel!

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The rooms are pretty normal (aside from a couple of framed sad clowns hanging over the headboards). Let's take a little tour of the magic that awaits in the motel's lobby, shall we?

The rooms are pretty normal (aside from a couple of framed sad clowns hanging over the headboards). Let’s take a little tour of the magic that awaits in the motel’s lobby, shall we?

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The lobby features a selection of old treasures available for purchase, as well as Clown Motel mugs, tees and postcards.

The lobby features a selection of old treasures available for purchase, as well as Clown Motel mugs, tees and postcards.

Then there's the old Tonopah Cemetery conveniently located right next door to the Clown Motel!

Then there’s the old Tonopah Cemetery conveniently located right next door to the Clown Motel!

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Did you know there's ANOTHER cemetery just down the street from the Clown Motel? It's the new Tonopah Cemetery!

Did you know there’s ANOTHER cemetery just down the street from the Clown Motel? It’s the *new* Tonopah Cemetery!

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Crazy Tonopah-related urbex near Benton, CA.

Destruction and Tonopah-related graffiti over the border near Benton, CA.

Are you cravin’ more creepin’? The journey to Vallejo continues…stay tuned!

On The Road To Tonopah

I’m writing this from the guest bedroom belonging to my ladyfriends in Vallejo, CA. It has been more than three years since I last made my way up to the Bay Area for a visit and I was way overdue. (My ladies just opened a cafe here, so if you’re ever in the ‘hood do yourself a favor and enjoy some quiche and coffee at LEAF on Marin St. in Vallejo.)

I drove up here, opting to take a meandering route north of Vegas and west/northwest of Tonopah, stopping at several ghost towns along the way. I even spent one night at the infamous Tonopah Clown Motel (those photos deserve their own post…stay tuned!).

Here are some unedited photos of some old cemeteries and abandoned places located between Las Vegas and Yosemite National Park. I hope you enjoy Part I of this who-knows-how-many-parts trip to Vallejo!

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Armagosa Desert Memorial Cemetery, NV

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Lizard in Armagosa

Lizard!

Abandoned Armagosa

Abandoned Armagosa

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Desert Hills Cemetery, Beatty, NV

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Bullfrog-Rhyolite Cemetery, Rhyolite, NV

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Just outside of the cemetery fence in Rhyolite...

Just outside of the cemetery fence in Rhyolite…

A single(?) grave pet cemetery!

A single(?) grave pet cemetery!

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Goldfield Cemetery, Nevada

Goldfield Cemetery, NV

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Silver Peak Cemetery, NV

Silver Peak Cemetery, NV

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Perfect 10: Exploring Central Nevada’s Cemeteries

The other day Glenda and I drove up to Cathedral Gorge State Park for an overnight camping trip. Our adventuring included Glenda giving me a delightful massage in a tent, snoozing in said tent with her two puppies, and freeing Glenda’s truck from a rut in a dirt road somewhere between Pioche and Sunnyside, Nevada. These sisters were doin’ it for themselves!

Our travels also led us to what amounted to ten different cemeteries. Some were on the agenda and others were unexpected treats. Here are a whole lot of (mostly) cemetery photos straight from the ol’ Canon Rebel T2i. Enjoy!

Cemetery #1, Alamo Cemetery

Cemetery #1, Alamo Cemetery

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I'm not sure if these random wooden cross-shaped grave markers just down the road from Alamo Cemetery are related to the main cemetery, and I have no idea who's buried here, but there were a few of them scattered throughout this area.

I’m not sure if these random wooden cross-shaped grave markers just down the road from Alamo Cemetery are related to the main cemetery, and I have no idea who’s buried here, but there were a few of them scattered throughout this area.

Cemetery #2, Richardville Cemetery

Cemetery #2, Richardville Cemetery, Alamo

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Cemetery #3, Caliente City Cemetery

Cemetery #3, Caliente City Cemetery

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Cemetery #4, Conway Memorial Park Veterans Cemetery, Caliente

Cemetery #4, Conaway Memorial Veterans Cemetery, Caliente

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Cemetery #5, Caliente IOOF (Odd Fellows) Cemetery

Cemetery #5, Caliente IOOF (Odd Fellows) Cemetery

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Cemetery #6, Bullionville Cemetery, Pioche

Cemetery #6, Bullionville Cemetery, Pioche

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Cemetery #7, Pioche IOOF Masonic Cemetery

Cemetery #7, Pioche IOOF and Masonic Cemetery

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Cemetery #8, Pioche Public Cemetery

Cemetery #8, Pioche Public Cemetery

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Cemetery #9, Boot Hill Cemetery, Pioche

Cemetery #9, Boot Hill Cemetery, Pioche

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Cemetery #10, St. Laurence Catholic Cemetery, Pioche

Cemetery #10, St. Laurence Catholic Cemetery, Pioche

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I'd be remiss in my duties if I didn't post a few random shots from the trip, including a handful from Cathedral Gorge.

I’d be remiss in my duties if I didn’t post a few random shots from the trip, including a handful from Cathedral Gorge.

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Pioche definitely boasts some strange tourist trappings.

Pioche definitely boasts some strange tourist trappings.

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Gem Theater, Pioche, NV

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Until next time…

Auntie Visits Graveyards: A Southern Utah Jaunt

My nieces are really good at dancing; I am not. What I am good at is driving up to St. George, Utah when the girls make their way to dance competitions located two hours from Vegas.

This is exactly what I did on Saturday, March 21, 2015. Given a long break between routines, I jumped into my car and toured four (primarily ghost town) cemeteries located within sixty minutes of St. George.

First stop? The Catholic Pioneer Cemetery in the ghost town of Silver Reef, Utah…

The Catholic Pioneer Cemetery in the ghost town of Silver Reef, Utah.

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Unknown Pleasures

Unknown Pleasures

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Lizards, Birds and Beetles

Lots of lizards, birds and beetles!

Then, just down the dirt road and within sight, the Protestant Pioneer Cemetery…

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The third graveyard scarecrow I saw that day.

The third graveyard scarecrow I saw that day.

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On my way to Grafton I drove through Toquerville and made a quick stop at the Toquerville Cemetery. It was completely unplanned and daylight was waning, but I wanted to leave with something poignant…

darlingsloresAnd then off to the ghost town of Grafton, Utah…

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"Killed By Indians"

“Killed By Indians” — File under things you don’t see every day. 

Speaking of "Indians"...

Speaking of “Indians”…

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A peek behind this pristine marker reveals a crumbled piece of history. I suspect that George’s original gravestone remains on the ground behind his new one.

Dimming the lights on Grafton Cemetery.

Dimming the lights on Grafton. 

Friday the 13th in Kelso: An Analog Annal

Kelso, CA, March 2015.

We were creepin’ in the abandoned house when the battery in my Rebel T2i conked out. I grabbed my Polaroid from the back seat and loaded it with a fresh cartridge of black and white round frame goodness. Here are all eight shots from that pack, fuck-ups and all…

Kinda, huh?

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7-UP

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So Tired

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🙂

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Oodles of Poodles

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MOM

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Shake the Shot

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Back Door Cam

Friday the 13th in Kelso: A Digital Diary

After Jon and I visited Cima, CA, we made our way to Kelso. This ghost town also has active railway tracks running through it, and attracted far more tourists than our previous stop had.

We checked out some old west exhibits at the museum and were hoping to find some chow at the depot’s restaurant, but alas, it’s closed until further notice. A dozen or so random people wandered around the area surrounding the depot/museum and the abandoned post office across the street.

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Yup, it’s an old post office.

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Upon closer inspection, we discovered that the post office’s two large front windows served as a mass grave for unfortunate birds and insects.

We can do it!

On an old hearth next to the post office. 

After playing post office, we decided to double back and visit an abandoned house we saw just down the road.

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The front porch.

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The small amount of graffiti on the walls was actually rather pleasant.

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All the best things: broken windows, old doors, peeling wallpaper, and a ceiling that now serves as a floor.

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I a-door this room.

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The Fates

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I was happy to see so much silly, vintage wallpaper still stubbornly clinging to the walls.

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A surprisingly colorful view from the back room.

A surprisingly colorful view from the back room.

The only person who approached us during our shenanigans was a park ranger who wanted to make sure we weren’t causing trouble. We asked her about local cemeteries (as we hadn’t seen any in Cima or Kelso). She told us she had heard of one where Chinese immigrants who built the railroad were buried, but she didn’t know where it was exactly. I suspect this may be the one she was talking about. I know where I’ll be creepin’ next time I’m in Kelso!

Now You Cima, Now You Don’t

Jon and I hadn’t realized we’d experienced Cima until after we’d already taken photos of the desert-worn ruins, train cars and shrine — and continued on down the desolate road, finding a whole lot of nothing in our path. That’s how small and unassuming this southern California ghost town really is.

We were there for a few hours in the early afternoon of Friday the 13th, March of 2015. Infrequent cars and motorcycles whizzed by on their way to somewhere else, while passing trains and a friendly kangaroo rat supplied the bulk of the activity. Other than that — despite the presence of a nearby compound surrounded by barbed wire fencing and large pipes — we failed to spy a single soul (shotgun wielding or otherwise).

After our adventures in Cima, the Shenanigods led us to Kelso, CA. I hope to have those photos posted within the next week, so please check back when you can. Thanks, and enjoy!

Collapsed ruins.

Collapsed ruins and enough lens flare to make J.J. Abrams blush.

Melted glass.

Melt-i media.

Tetanus fest.

Tetanus fest.

Someone was hot in bed.

Someone was hot in bed.

Hole-y shit!

Hole-y shit!

This shrine bears no identifying markers.

The shrine bears no identifying markers.

If you Google "Cima California shrine" you can view the different offerings placed here over the years.

If you Google “Cima California shrine” you can view the different offerings placed here over the years.

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Cima, California shrine offerings.

Bunny, bottle, dental floss.

Bunny, bottle, dental floss.

A wind chime hangs from the massive Joshua Tree.

A wind chime hangs from the massive Joshua Tree.

Choo choo!

Choo choo!

Piles of wire at "the compound".

Piles of wire at “the compound”.

Roaches and mattress springs will outlive us all.

Roaches and mattress springs will outlive us all.

A old trailer! Can we see inside?...

An old trailer! Can we see inside?…

Noted...

Noted…

An unlocked door, then this.

An unlocked door, then rat poop a-go-go!

Trailer trash.

Trailer trash.

Now that's what I call bad aim.

Now that’s what I call bad aim.

Ding Dongs R Us

Ding dongs.

Details.

Details.

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I was kind of obsessed with this red fire extinguisher.

The end?…