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 Post subject: Our Amazing Wild Western Adventures In Austin & Kingston
PostPosted: Fri May 01, 2015 11:04 am 
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Joined: Fri Jun 15, 2007 10:38 am
Posts: 944
Location: Las Vegas, NV
As most of you know around every Easter I strap on the Rabbit ears I know people find that pretty funny and its even funnier when everyone checks out these places wearing them too lol. We try to keep things festive and creative for our younger views. But we also want to keep things fun for everyone here that does not mean we do not take our research seriously. We earn every location we visit and we spend allot of time invested into what we do which more then often produces good results. Their is so many elements to what we do here at PGS working with nature, preservation, history, paranormal investigating, offroading, explorating, hiking etc etc but the rewards always in the end outweigh the risk factor.

For me Austin Nevada was a dream come true you have to understand this was a three year trip planned in the making. Austin sits in the middle of the state of Nevada so there is nothing out here stores, restaurants, gas stations and even civilization is very minimal because your surrounded by vast desert expanses all the way to various mountain ranges. We would be heading to Landers County which for those outdoor enthusiast have more maintained dirt roads then just about anywhere in the Silver State so wherever you go your going to run into some adventure.

What not only made this trip very enticing was not just the fact it was Easter weekend but the fact that when I was arriving into town was also the night of the shortest blood moon of the century. This type of eclipse is not rare but what made it rare is the fact that it would only last as a full blood moon for a few minutes so I sort of had to time my trip perfectly if I was going to catch a glimpse of it.

Last year I was up in Virginia City for Easter so their was a parade everyone was wearing top hats, long dresses and attire of the 1800's. I remember I was with Sue who came out to visit us and see what the wild west was about. That was a great time I drank brews, bought my sheriffs, star and had a nice meal.

This time though things would be different I had two days to complete our projects actually less then that. I also had a two bedroom hotel room for my family which they quoted me at a really inexpensive price in Austin. So with that in mind I was pretty excited that after a hard days of exploration I would have a place I could bunk up at or even bring some microwave food. This trip had to be done timely and I had allot of place to pack in and a jeep full of gear.

Our trip would be very extensive as some of you are aware when we go on these expeditions they can be nonstop for two or three days straight. So their is not much time to rest especially when you explore Austin Nevada, Austin Cemeteries, Clifton, Hess Ranch, Toiyabe Mountain Range, Groves Station & Lake, Kingston Nevada, Kingston Cemetery Big Smokey Valley, Toquima Mountains, Toquima Cave, Monitor Valley and Spencer Hot Springs. The reason I list these locations is so that our viewers understand how intense and how far I would go to create epic journeys of our own that we can share with the public. The only downside to this expedition is we ran into some very high winds which made this trip a little more difficult even for producing films.

I left at 1 or 2 am in the morning as the moon was bright as ever and the eclipse was close to transpiring. I was excited to drive through Nevada on the loneliest highway in America under a blood moon. Who would not be everyone loves to pack up their family, gear and just go off see the sites. Believe me when I say this I drove over 500 miles on this trip half of it on back country roads high up in the mountains as we took on this ghost town bonanza including even a creepy mine.

I spent a few years to wait to see one of the greatest ghost towns in the Nevadan west the blood moon over my jeep and the freedom of the dark road less taken. At night as I drove all I could see are the Silhouettes of mountains as if they were blending into one another. Everyone else was dozing off however I had an eclipse to catch so time was of the essence although before I took off for Route 50 I did get some awesome coffee what else do I have besides a cigar into the night.

When I begin to ride down highway 50 where we left from the skies were clear at the eclipses highlight there was allot of cloud cover. When I arrived in Austin it was cold all the little houses and historic sites were lit as it still was dark outside. I had gotten out at the eclipses peak only to stand on the highway with my tripod and realize that no stars or even our moon was visible. I was a bit frustrated to say the least because I wanted a good moon shot to put on the website once we get Austin transloaded to PGS as you can understand.

Austin Nevada

Believe it or not Austin sits at a reasonably decent elevation and everywhere you look your surrounded by wilderness. One wrong move out here and its all over as each mountain range surrounding it contains woods followed by vast deserts.

Before you get into town at night is a nice spot you can park along Highway 50 and take photos or glance at Stokes tower up on the mountain. Its lit up at night so that the tower itself or as some call it a castle is glowing as if it were made of gold its pretty cool. I still checked for the eclipse could not see anything under the cloud cover the moon was blurry behind the clouds and so I had no choice but to head for higher ground.

At night when you head into town the churches, old International hotel, courthouse and a few other smaller older homes are little up. Its a very quaint little town although its been reduced to a few hundred residents as opposed to thousands in its hey day.

At night there is a creepy or eerie feeling downtown maybe because its so desolate or maybe its because almost everyone one of the structures within the town have haunted history. I did allot of research about strange tales surrounding Austin I mean death did occur whether it was local justice, shootouts or even wax yielding men who tried to chop the locals up to even murderers. So at the time the laws were upheld by the people here and not allot has changed really.

If you were to compare this town to others think of Virginia City accept that this town is a little more confined or smaller within this canyon up in the Toiyabe Range. Therefore the town kind of serves as a gateway for people who like to offroad, hike, explore ancient sites or go ghost towning. Once you leaving the pavement here the true adventure begins and there is no way to see everything out here as this frontier is hundreds if not thousands of square miles in the Great Basin.

Everyone was asleep so what I did is took some pictures just before the sun came up of Austin at night then some at dawn. The town is tiered with downtown being its lowest point while roads run parallel and perpendicular on both sides of main street a few hundred feet above downtown. The adobe homes, old wood cabins, dark church and old historic sites gave me a little bit of a foreboding site.

But all I did was walk around at dusk grabbing my cam starting filming what was left of the blood moon which was virtually halfway through its cycle and took some photos of the full moon partially red above Austin. I may have not seen the full eclipse but to see the moon full above the town as I sat above it was more then I could ever ask for!

I went back downtown to wait for the skies to lighten on up so I took some pictures since during the day allot of tourism goes on you really do not want to take them of vehicles. I was trying to think of a good area to put the cam on a tripod and get a money shot of the eclipse and I did it. I went to the very top of Austin which overlooks a ridge that extends off the Toiyabe Mountains and looks out over the desert. I captured the full moon partially eclipsed as it just was dipping behind some mountains a totally beautiful shot. I was really the only one to witness the moon everyone else was to tired to care and me I was pumped with caffeine through my veins ready to hike, climb, dive, run or chase some spooks lol.

Downtown they have a building which was turned into a visitors center which has all sorts of plaques that commemorate some of the towns history in the region. They have restrooms here also just so others know and its a good place to start. Nearby is also the old Gridley Store which has a truly fascinating story which will talk about more in depth when I do my historical thesis about the town on our website.

The town is fairly preserved its almost like stepping through time you have your saloons, restaurants, businesses downtown while beyond that some places have been turned into homes through renovations. Can you imagine what it would be like to live in the old Wells Fargo Bank or upstairs from one of the saloons that dated back to the 1800's? If the walls could only talk I bet they would say such locations are haunted right?

I drove back up to some old homestead throughout the town some of them are abandoned although boarded some of them are original to their very own time period. I seen some old vehicles parked near one of the homes then spotted two deer who joined a few more then they went off up into the mountain range disappearing in the woods. That is right folks deer just walk through the center of town its pretty cool and their are other animals such as Black Bear and even Antelope.

My goal was to walk around the old school house now it does not date back to the original time but lets just say its vintage and on the side wall is a massive colored mural of Nevada. It had all the counties within the state painting. Their was also two buildings connected by a corridor in the middle or hall so I could not cut between the buildings only go around. One of the buildings said it was the elementary school but the other large one could or may have been the highschool I really do not know. I did look inside seen a flag and some furniture with it being for sale this might be a good buy!!! The view from the school of the woodsy ridge and vast desert beyond that is worth a million dollars friends.

After the school I just started driving in the residential area to take photos of old shanties, shacks, cabins, historical homes, out houses, towers and even an old steam boiler probably used in some mining operation. I seen this big adobe house in some wiring some chickens and a rooster were running around. Some people have horses also in corrals which I can understand their are some great equestrian trails here.

There is a little city park it has an outhouse, face on the tree, swing and its a bit over grown. Its a creepy little place but it is the west so your going to see relics scattered all over the town from its past including things like gold pans nailed to the side of some wooden cabin or hub caps hanging off a wooden garage. Not to far away is a tree house. The flowers blooming in Austin and the variety of bird life including this red headed and blue bird really shows you that life does thrive even if it is in the middle of no mans land.

When you stand above the town you can really get an idea of what the entire town looks like in a matter of a single glance. There was a few massive stone walls that were crumbling that once probably were businesses or even saloons. Allot of the structures were built on top of huge stone walls with wood serving as a second maybe a third story. There was also this massive smoke rusty iron smoke above downtown

On the hillsides are three churches there is a plaque in town which talks about the brief history of them. Just so everyone knows these are some of the oldest and finest churches in the wild west well at least in the state of Nevada. I did photograph all of them and each one I gave a proper respectful visit to but all of them were locked up some of them even looked empty in the windows. Those churches was St. Augustine's, St. Georges Episcopal and Methodist Church/Town Hall.

I found a few foundations above the town some were made of brick not sure if they were homes, businesses or part of some mining operation. The town is very unique because many buildings are scattered composed of different materials some sheet metal, wood, stone and brick. It just depends on when the structures were built and some came later in the towns hey day.

There is also an old hospital but today its a house and has been completely modernized but I bet if the walls could talk you would hear some ghost stories. The problem is with Austin is its full of electrical lines all strung throughout the town that means no EMF readings can be considered valid as the electricity flowing through them could have been causing interference. So what I did is blast Austin with photos hoping to capture a ghost on camera and I took allot of audio recordings which will be used as evidence to prove that the town itself may have some haunts throughout the town.
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The old bank today is now the library in town and well there was this one old brick home I visited that had a rusty iron bed post just laying out in the high grass. Not to far from the LDS church there is also this old wood fence not built with post but just old branches impaled into the ground not to far from the community part. The community park was having an Easter Egg hunt on Sunday I wanted to go with my rabbit ears but unfortunately my work already sealed my fate and this was the only the start to my adventures.

I would climb up to the top of the town or south of it up these very steep dirt roads to the top of the mountains that overlooks the town. Wow what a view the Toiyabe Range from above is absolutely gorgeous with snowcapped peaks, cliffs and almost for a 100 miles you can see nothing but Nevadan green forest.

Just on the other side of the hills is the Manhattan Mill and Mine site. I did not drive up to the mine dump pile the road was nearly out and it would have really cut a portion of my days plans out of the picture. But I did find the original mill site and for those that want to know what this place is well lets put it this way! The mine and mill were the cream of the crop that processed silver for many years. Allot of the miners in Austin could take the old mining road above the town and over the hills to work the mines back here.

As a matter in fact there was quite a few dump piles but based on my zoom I did not see an entrance into any of those mines so they probably were sealed off. What I did find though is a couple old bottles and even a really awesome rock. I like to collect rocks and find old bottles time to time its very rare that this ever happens. From what I seen at the mill site it appeared to have been heavily in ruins as glass was broken everywhere. About 20' away we found a beam that was massive made out of wood that was a couple feet across and burnt. Its possible that the mill burned many years ago leaving very little behind but besides a few scattered remnants the dump pile behind the mill where the main mine tells a story about a very wealthy boom town during its hey day.

If I remember correctly the mill site also had a bunch of rusty metal cans, piles of wood, some sheet metal and a few post. Their was also some wood beams and some rusty can on a post. You could tell people come out here to shoot at the site unfortunately this is all that is left of the mill including a wall. So it is what it is. Just above the mill site we also found the foundation made out of stone of a miners cabin. Then again if you walk around Austin there are massive stone walls everywhere which the Masons within the town built. Some of the walls stand as if they were built yesterday yet date back to 150 years ago! The real key is the pivotal role the Masons played here it is just a stone cold fact they built this town with their very hands that is respect!

When I drove to the top of the mountains above Austin I could see a vast desert expanse little did I know that this massive valley or open desert I would be offroading through the next day. Even from afar you could see over a half of dozen dust devils massive not ass massive as the three mile high ones on Mars but still if you can see them 30 to 50 miles away that has to say something. This would be only the beginning as the next day my goal would be to head south along the range and eventually go up into and over it which is a daunting task no matter how you look at it.

Eventually I went back into down town the museum was closed that was a bummer but across the street they have sort of an outdoor museum where you can walk the grounds check out some relics of the past. I would find a couple ore carts, wagon wheels, old Landers county search and rescue truck, steam boiler and some other piece of machinery sitting under a metal car port. Its very easy to miss because it sits up near this old garage on a steep hill but the machinery is what caught my eye.

I did park downtown again wanted to buy my son a snack one of the gas stations shelves were clear honestly that was a bit scary. How do people eat or even survive here with the lack of supplies? Downtown is quaint there was an old barber shop, brick Masonic Hall, old hardware store and even an old Coca Cola sign etc etc. We did stop again at the court house and behind it is some amazing walls probably built so that it prevented mudslides. The Masonic work done throughout the town is flawless then again it had to be done the town was always flood and a cesspool of mud.

I also walked over to the International I should have gotten a brew but the kids were with me. But nearby the old hotel and saloon is an empty lot full of historic relics. You will see old ranching machinery, massive wagon wheels, mining equipment, ore cart, wagon, tools and other rusty old stuff. I even found an old saw cutter and this massive foundation nearby made out of stone.

After we made our rounds all over downtown Austin I decided to take a trip out to a place called Stokes Castle. There is a few different roads that lead up to it in the forested area of the Toiyabe Range just above the town. My son and I we passed quite a few people just walking there dogs or in a group hiking down from the location.

When I arrived at Stokes Castle there was a man there who had a key as they keep it locked up and he did let us in. Not sure if that was sheer luck but it sure was nice to be able to have access inside the tower. I took Jarrod with me he seemed to be as fascinated as I was. Behind the tower is an ore chute and some tailings of some kind. It was apparent that the brothers who resided in the tower also were able to watch the mines below.

The view from the tower with a vast desertscape and many mountains including great views of the entire range. The inside of the castle was gutted the second, third and fourth floors are all gone. However the first three rooms still had there fireplaces while the fourth was an observation deck for the brothers. I almost stepped on a nail so I can understand why its kept fenced off also to help preserve what is left of this amazing place. I think alone Jarrod was amazed with the fact that we were able to physically stand inside the tower it was a real treat. But today its just a mere shell of its former glory with rotting and split wood caused by the elements, crumbling rock and a dirt 1st floor filled with debris. Outside of the tower is a picnic bench and ill tell you what if you want to have one this is the place to do it.

After my adventure at the castle it was time to check into our hotel room. I stayed at the Cozy Blue Mountain Hotel and honestly in my opinion its one of the better places. The prices are reasonable, across from the International which was the first commercial business in Austin, rooms are clean and the people are friendly. Granted their was a spider on the ceiling here everything worked fine we had direct TV, heating and cooling in both rooms, fridge and a microwave. The lady at the front desk gave us a map of all the major sites to see around Austin which by that time I nearly hit everything because all of you know how I am and that is thorough in my work!

We would unload our things such as the cooler, dinner, suitcases etc then decided it was time to head out to Clifton which is just a couple miles over the hill. Nearby is also the Austin Cemeteries which includes the I.O.O.F., Masonic, Mount Calvary Catholic, Citizens and Native American Burial Grounds is what they consist of. I will do a separate report for the cemeteries since they are outside of town and one could spend hours doing research in them so they all are rather extensive in size.

When I finished investigating the cemeteries I drove down to a place called Clifton. You have to understand that the ghost town of Clifton is now part of Austin. But at the time both sister towns were in competition to get a county seat and when one lost it the other one went bust.

To get down to Clifton you have to take a series of roads which go up and around the Austin Cemeteries in a place called Pony Canyon. There are allot of dirt roads here but the one thing you cannot miss is the massive wood mill built into a hillside. Also back here is the old Austin Rodeo, ranches and some corrals with horses in them. But at one time this little area had stores,shops and a more complex residential neighborhood much like Austin during its hey day.

I consider Clifton to be a part of Austin so therefore I am including it all together afterall one may not have existed without the other its hard to tell. There is allot of things back here that are noticeable such as rusty water tanks, old rusted car, mill and a series of stone ruins. I also found an abandoned old house but its so overgrown all the way around it and you cannot see it till your physically above Clifton and just happen to look down into the woods.

I did walk around old Clifton went inside the mill which was completely gutted inside. There was birds up on the rafters, nails everywhere, stone walls towards the back which was laid out against the hillside and through the wood slats I could see my jeep. There was also a collapsed stairwell and a couple rooms. There was also a few foundations within the mill which probably held up mixers or other equipment. The roof had aluminum on it and many of the beams holding this place up were not very strong. So anotherwards its dangerous do not go in it lots of nails and other hazards inside.

Next to the mill are a few very massive stone walls one of stones fit together with mortar the other a brick wall. I have no idea if these were part of the mill or they served some other use. Just above the hill I found an old black powder keg room where they probably stored the explosives used in some of the mines.

Clifton was not that extensive but it played a huge part in Austin's history since most of its residents flocked over to there. It also appears to me they are getting ready to demolish the mill so I may have gotten lucky or to see it in time. I seen some construction equipment around why its near the mill makes me curious if they are getting ready to just remove it. I am sure kids go here to party and others have gotten hurt. But it would be ashamed to see the history lost since this is all that remains of the original town site. It was a big town so all the little ranches at one time were homesteads and downtown.

The only thing I regret about Clifton is that their was a turntable from the railroad that I just could not find. Its listed on my map as a historic site and the lady at the hotel gave me a chart that had it listed. But when I went to where it should be I never found it keep in mind that Clifton did have a train depot which is gone so the turntable would have been great to see and sometimes its easy to miss things in such a vast place.

After the cemeteries and Clifton head on back to the hotel as Tammy and I wanted to check out some of the shops in downtown Austin. They have allot of shops that sell all sorts of gemstones, minerals, glass bottles, historical remnants from the town and native American crafts which includes arrowheads and dream catchers. I would have bought something but here is the thing.... you can get most of this stuff for less then half of what its worth up in Virginia City. However allot of Turquoise sold in Austin is native to the area. Actual this region is one of the biggest Turquoise Mecca's in America and there are a variety of types but it does not come cheap. One of the customers browsing the shop told me to open a box to see a pretty gem a big ass fake spider jumped out of it at me and everybody was laughing at ME at the shop ME lol!

They also sell I survived Hwy. 50 the Loneliest Road in America T-shirts personally my videos and pictures so I made it lol. You have to understand only four towns are found along this highway Austin being one of them. There is a sign downtown that I had my photo taken with because personally I never been this deep into Nevada or almost driven all of Hwy. 50 till I decided it was time we brought our viewers Austin with our own little spin to it.

Back at the hotel Tammy wanted to take a nap she really missed most of the trip except for shopping and the cemeteries our first day. When I had gotten back at the hotel I wanted to go for another walk downtown take some more video, photos and EVP's. My work never ends there is no such thing as relaxation when it comes to the paranormal.

I did walk up to St. George's Church, Courthouse and behind this hotel I found a series of massive stone walls and foundations. There was also the owl club and some other saloon that was closed. The sun was going down some clouds were coming on in and it was starting to get a little chilly out. Amazingly when 6pm rolls around Austin dies completely. I did not see a single person out except a few locals driving past me who waved as I took a break at the firehouse to relax. The old firehouse was across the street but it was renovated but no less the old fire bell could be seen in the wooden tower across from it which probably rang out when fires occurred in the 1800's.

I did eventually get back to my room Austin was truly done up PGS style I had brought a cooler so we had plenty of meals, food, drinks and snacks. I was just happy to sit back kick my feet up and relax it had been a long day. At night there was a couple chairs outside our room with glowing lanterns. I sat outside burned one and just relaxed. I was going to go to the International and found out that on Easter Eve they were closing on up so I never really had gotten my beer.

The next day I woke up at sunup we had a long itinerary ahead of us for Easter Sunday. When the boys woke up I gave them cards with a bunch of treats. Of course my youngest by the time we had packed up the jeep and started riding on off into the Toiyaybe Mountains ate everything chocolate bunny and all lol. I was still wearing my ears then again I wore them for almost every single location I went to except Kingston because it was to windy at that location. As a matter in fact our time spent in Austin was very windy the entire time and with the electrical lines I really could not do the ghosthunt I wanted to do but you never know.

That morning in Austin I fueled up and had gotten some coffee let me just say the one thing I do not like about Austin is the coffee taste a bit odd. I really wanted some good coffee and just could not find it here. I heard the International has great pizza and beer I never did get to find out. I was just to much on the go investigating and exploring the entire time.

There is on the East side of town high up in the mountains an awesome area you can park and see the entire town below. But its on a curvy road so its very dangerous but if you can manage it its worth the photo op. I would head on off as the sun rose behind the mountains into the Toiyabe Range where our adventures would take us to the Hess Ranch, Kingston, Toquima Cave and Spencer's Hot Springs.

Austin Cemeteries

The Austin Cemeteries are truly an important part of the towns history. For me this would be a treat as you have two cemeteries on one side of the road and three on the other side all bordering one another. The people buried in these cemeteries were pioneers, miners and those who were victims of the towns wraith.

It was very windy here as the cemeteries sit on a hill over looking this big open desert so there is not to much to stop the winds from whipping on up here. It would also appear that the cemeteries are well visited I mean you have other ghost town enthusiast doing research here also because of its accessibility to the highway nearby. The view of the Reese River valley is very amazing however it appeared the river nearby was dry which may have attributed to all the dust being blown up.

The cemeteries are the first thing you really see right before you head into Austin. You can also see behind them up on the mountain Stokes Castle. How can you go wrong with the views here? These gravestones were carved by Masons and those who really put effort into the people who once braved the Nevadan frontier.

This is your typical wild western cemetery with ornamental wrought iron and wood enclosures, wooden grave markers, beautiful engraved as well as sculpted marble monuments. Right away what was noticeable is that the Masonic, I.O.O.F. and Calvary Cemeteries had steel gates. The Citizens and Native American Cemeteries just had some chain link fencing up. No less the graveyards kind of blended into one another so you had to pay very close attention to the extreme changes in the gravestones.

My goal was to do allot of photography in every cemetery and also bring our viewers some really good video footage. I mean I could talk about what I seen here all day or I can show you. I prefer to just show our viewers how grand and great of a location this is in connection to Austin's early history dating back to its first interment in 1863.

I started off at the I.O.O.F. and the Masonic Cemeteries which were on the north side of the road. Out of all the cemeteries many of the graves here were heavily damaged. Some graves were toppled, pedestals with out a monument, overgrown or broken.

The I.O.O.F. graves often have a handshake or a chain link engraved on them while most Masons had the Masonic symbol on them. Many of the burials here were fraternal members some of them were there families. The ornamental cast-iron, monuments and beautifully engraving really shows you the pride they took in the passing of their loved ones. In the center of the cemetery there is a giant monument someone with wealth and power. Some of the gates and fencing was broken or tilting at various angles. This place is an testament to its time for sure.

What I found a little odd about the cemetery is you had quite a few Masonic graves mixed together with the I.O.O.F. interments. I am not sure why as both cemeteries are supposed to be side by side not mixed together. But then again there is no boundaries and if they ran out of room in one of the graveyards they may have had no choice but to bury their dead within the other fraternal cemetery. I did notice quite a few children graves here its obvious that when the diphtheria epidemic occurred in Austin it was the younger generation that was effected. These two cemetery combined lacked trees unlike the cemeteries across the road which had more foliage and shade.

When I walked across the street I entered Calvary Cemetery this is the Catholic interments who were mainly of Irish decent and other pioneers who shared the faith. Like most Catholic Cemeteries this one is full of angels, crosses, white marble monuments and contains a majority of the enclosures of wrought iron found between all five burial grounds. The Calvary Cemetery is said to be one of the most gorgeous in these parts of Nevada.

One of the statues is of a giant angel surrounded by wrought iron which is being overshadowed by Stokes Castle. Aside from that in the center of the cemetery is a giant cross and some gravestones that are nearly 8-12' in height. Seeing crosses, prayers, poems, angels and rosaries on gravestones is not uncommon in this section. The shade was really nice as I took the Calvary Cemetery row by row visiting many family plots. You know as well as I do that the families buried here had wealth and were upper class. Granted it was the later 1860's to the later 1800's when the town renovated the cemetery adding enclosures of iron, wood and bigger more prominent monuments. That includes all the vernacular stone, metal, granite and marble gravestones.

The Catholic Cemetery was in really good shape compared to the other ones. However their were a few wood enclosures that were falling down and maybe a few tilted stones. The views from the cemetery are simply stellar as dust devils are seen for miles off in the Reese River Valley.

As you beginning to work your way west within the cemetery you go from dozens of tall monuments and beautiful sculpted stones to more lower to middle class interments here. The graves only stand a couple feet high and the enclosures begin to lessen with each step you take. Its apparent that the cemeteries were all segregated to some degree as the wealthier individuals were closely buried next to one another. The poorer the gravesites the more vandalism I seen such as a grave broken in half mended together, another stone broken with a piece missing and another grave leaning on the bigger one.

As you head west one can look down and you can see in the valley below the Clifton Mill ruins. The cemetery resides above them especially the Citizens Cemetery which opens up to a giant series of rolling hills where the views here are some of the best in the area. I could see snow up on the peaks of the Toiyabe Range and thought wow on Easter I am going to drive right over that. I certainly did and id do it all over again because offroading here is fun.

The Citizens Cemetery today is still used by the Austinites as I found many newer gravestones here. Although many are newer this is where the cemetery takes a sad turn. Many of the graves are spread out more meaning that in between could be quite a few unmarked burials or what others refer to as potters fields.

This portion of the cemetery is sad most of the graves are small metal marker or little marble flat stones. Some are just mounds of dirt others are enclosed by stone or bricks. The flags and fake flowers are torn as the wind blows through them. There is one wealthy family plot but its near the road and one of the marble markers is that of a giant urn. Most of the interments here are not of any denomination but you will see some crosses maybe even a Mason mixed among the few. There are no fancy monuments and some graves are just concrete slabs low to the ground while others ones are overgrown with brush. Most of the stones I checked out here were not as old many from the 1950's to current times.

Beyond the Citizens Cemetery if you keep heading west you will end up in the woods. If you follow the hill down there is supposed to be the Native American Cemetery. I did not see one marker, grave or even sign that this cemetery exist. But from what I read that it is there but the interments are just not marked. So technically when your walking through the forest your also walking over the graves unfortunately which might freak some out but I been to potters fields for years and that is just the way it is. A majority of natives in the area were Shoshone it would have been nice if I could have at least found a few graves to take pictures of.

There are no boundaries with any of the cemeteries they kind of just blend into one another its a bit odd. The only difference is that each culture or religion erected certain types of gravestones. So you kind of knew when you entered a different burial ground here. These are amazing cemeteries no less and are just as well visited as the town of Austin. After the cemeteries I would head up to Clifton below then eventually back to Austin so I could prepare for our adventurous trip Easter Sunday into the Nevada wilderness.

Hess Ranch

Honestly I found this by accident but being a paranormal investigator and an urban exploration anything off limits is really my kind of thing. I was trying to head up to Kingston which is through and over the Toiyabe Mountains but instead of taking my turn off to the left I went miles down the road where I found this old ranch from the 1800's.

As you drive into Reese Valley a few things are obvious such as the fact that the river that the road follows is completely dry. There is also allot of jack rabbits around possibly antelope that come down from the mountain ranges surrounding the valley.

There are ranches found along this road so allot of cattle just grazing in the open range. There was some kind of stone station it was very far out did not drive to it especially after the Hess Ranch caught my eye I was hooked at going on in to explore this phenomenal place. At the entrance to the ranch is a sign with the family name but the sign is in such bad shape you can barely read it as it was blowing in the wind.

Its very remote but the views are scenic and nearly at every ranch is a series of trees maybe a pond or two. Rabbits were running across the road and the sun had just come on up. My son was eating his Easter goodies in the back and I was just cruising down this dirt road for miles. When I first seen the ranch I could not believe the size of the complex between the large brick Victorian Mansion, Guest House, Barn and other structures on site.

I grabbed the gear and went to the very back of the ranch so that way I could work my way towards the front where the house resides by the road. The one thing that struck me as intriguing is that their was at least 10 to 14 structures on site all made in different time periods. Some structures were adobe, brick, wood, stone and even aluminum.

There was a barn towards the back of the ranch which had a giant wooden wheel and a stone wall in the back. As a matter in fact some of the stone buildings and walls here are so extensive that I felt like this was a fortress or some kind of castle seriously!

I was by myself I told my family to stay back because I did not know if some hermit was living here or how dangerous the place was. Allot of investigations I do alone so my family does not have to get hurt and more then often I end up doing something crazy like stepping on a nail or something lol.

Everything found here at the ranch was made with someone's hard work and hands. For example I walked inside this huge structure which had wood troughs probably for cattle or hogs. The beams were trees cut down in the mountains while the roof was made of branches and the walls were probably native stone.

There was a couple old garages on site one of them had this monster truck tire while this adobe home was empty with collapsed wooden shelves. One of the buildings I entered had a few rooms there was a mattress inside, furniture, boxes, books and allot of dust. There was also allot of rat defecation which is a bad sign because if I stir it up breath it in it could kill me literally so you really have to be careful going into these places and I do have a mask but forgot to bring it with me so yeah!

There was brick building that I went into made of wood and stone which had veterinarian medicine for livestock. It also had a variety of appliances inside, wooden shelves, boxes and tools. Everything was just broken, toppled over, rusting away or collecting dust. I also seen on the property surrounding the ranch allot of broken beer bottles so it was obvious that others come here just to party which is probably not a good idea considering that rodents have kind of taken residence here.

The corral here was amazing sure parts of the old wooden fence were down but if you looked through the stable windows you could see it. Imagine a 120' area by 120' maybe larger that is surrounded by massive stone walls and stables encased all around it where the livestock could be walked into there for feeding, dairy or the night. It would appear this ranch had horses, cattle, chickens and hogs based on the different types of stables I came across.

I also found a room for cold storage that had a deep freezer and shelves. Out back behind that was a building that had a shower and a toilet. Behind that was a water tank that protruded just a little above the ground. My son found the well he came to join up with me a little bit just to show me what he seen. The well was very deep and made completely of stone. If you fall in there you wont get out that is death or at least a place you do not want to be stuck in looking up at the sky.

There was also a generator house or room and a few smaller wooden structures that I am not sure served a purpose. One of the structures had a circular window looking out maybe it was a playhouse for the kids who lived on the ranch.

I found a few homes on site as well or guest houses so its possible that their were structures built for the ranch hands to live in on site. I found a few cabins on site also including a small little wooden and brick structure. The power lines were ones of the vintage type where you could climb up to the top of them and were very low to the ground. I am sure power was not brought up here till the middle 1900's as the ranch and homestead are literally in no mans land.

The Victorian House towards the ranches entrance is monolithic inside. Its more then a house its a mansion with the old wood floors, bay windows, multiple chimneys, great room and many other rooms that are found down various halls. All the doors are wood and the wallpapers found in each room were different.

I found what appeared to be a massive gas furnace but all the fireplaces were gone here. Its like they were removed or just missing very strange to say the least. While some windows were boarded other ones were wide open so I could see my family hanging out by the jeep and the kids running around. But also no matter what window you looked out it was very scenic as the views of the mountain ranges that surround it are incredible.

I found a broken wall and it appeared that the entire home was made with bricks over two feet thick. Its probably safe to say that the cabins, guest homes and other structures came before this mansion. Its obvious it gets very cold out here as well so the brick home was built extremely thick and appeared to have these ducts that may have allowed heat to circulate throughout the home itself.

Whoever lived here had a big family you could make out what was a little boys and girls rooms. While most of the drapes, flooring and ceiling was in peril the floors were stable. I was not even sure the staircase was stable or if I would go through the floor upstairs since there were holes in the wood. But the second story had a double layered wood floor so it actually was pretty safe.

What was not safe is that the house was overran with rats everywhere. There was feces all over the place on piles of wood, bathtub, blankets and even an old suitcase I found. Most of the rooms were missing windows the place looked as if it were gutted or damaged by the elements something there was nothing left to protect it from them.

I found a pantry also found a door that went into a part of the house that I could not get in it was sealed shut. Kind of eerie if you ask me. The pantry was very large as it branched off the kitchen. Just by studying the kitchen I could tell someone had probably lived here up until the mid 1980's whatever happened after that one must wonder.

Even though the home was very large the rooms were small granted the home had more rooms then most homes but some of them were extremely little. Probably more so for a child or infant to have. Downstairs there was a bookshelf and the home was very dark had a hard time seeing my way around even with a flashlight.

I have to say that out of all the structures I explored at the ranch this one was the most eerie. I could not help sensing something was standing over me in the home at all times. You start to explore dark rooms, halls and closets realizing that everyone of them holds some kind of surprise. Ripped drapes blowing in the wind, ripped wallpaper and the attic floor collapsing just added to the homes character.

There was a curio cabinet, head boards, crutches, old furniture, boxes, piles of wood, broken floor tiles, mattresses and yes even massive hornets nest all throughout the house. I tried very hard to hold my breath to not breath the stale air knowing that breathing in any rat feces particles could my demise. If you think I do not take risk think again I risk myself over and over again so that I can bring our viewers places like these. Because I know someday a ranch like this will no longer exist even if it at one time stayed in the Hess Family for many generations its now in peril and people are destroying it.

There was no access to the attic anymore and through the collapsed flooring I could see the three chimneys but again no fireplace. The home had a living room but it also had a den plus upstairs was its only bathroom which was a bit odd. There had to be at least seven bedrooms also inside and the wood flooring was covered in dust so it had been awhile since anybody had been here. I did not even see a single shoe print in the dust so it appears most people who come party here try not to do it in the creepy house at least.

On the second story there is a doorway that leads out to nowhere. More then likely their was an upper balcony but its long gone. I stood at the doorway my son snapped a picture of me hanging out in front of it. There is another house next to this one its a white guest home allot more modern and in much better shape. I guess my kids were exploring it and it probably was allot safer for them then the big mansion. At one time this huge mansion was picture perfect with a fence in the front of it now rotting away and each structure came from a different time period. Its kind of odd walking on the property and seeing something built in the mid 1800's then other structures were built in the early 1900's.

Its quite the ranch and I am not even sure I seen everything. Many of the structures were surrounded by fence post cut from the hillsides a few miles behind the homestead. Just walking around the range is like stepping into a time machine and with each step you take you start off in the past working your way into the future as the ranch becomes more modernized the closer you get towards the entrance.

I would finish up my time doing some work at the white guest house next door. The door was unlocked and this probably was the cleanest of all the structures. The roof, windows and doors were all in tact. The guest house was not very large it had den, two bedrooms, bathroom, pantry, kitchen and a dining room. The walls were painted different colors and in the dining room is a chandelier with some food cabinet. The den had a sofa bed its obvious someone was using it to bunk up for the night maybe a hermit or someone homeless for awhile.

When I left the ranch Tammy asked me if I was happy and the answer is yes. I mean with our trip to Austin at this point I have gotten to see a little of everything all the way to cemeteries, historic sites, wilderness areas, castle and even a historic ranch that during its hey day probably provided for the towns of Austin and Kingston. Whether that was dairy, crops or meat this ranch was a massive operation which probably had a very large family. You probably had the parents, kids, grandparents and other intermediate family living on the ranch.

I am sure life had to be hard afterall it was about 20 miles from Austin in the middle of a massive valley overshadowed by forested Nevada mountains. I am an explorer it is what I do therefore I filmed the entire exploration visiting just about every site at the ranch and even taking our viewers through the homes its pretty sweet. I also took allot of photos and hopefully the EVP reveals that the ranch is haunted by the family that may have once lived here.

After my investigation here I had to smoke one it was very exhilarating and exhausting for me. You never know what you might encounter in abandoned places bats, rats, hermits or dangers around every single corner. As I left the ranch I had more questions then answers such as was the wood hauled in from the mountains that surround the ranch? Who originally built the ranch and when was it built? Why is it in this condition? I might never know if this place was fully renovated and restored it would be a truly great location to live.

Whoever lived here was very independent and they were self sustaining. Everything made here except for the bricks that were used in the mansion were probably gathered or hauled in from the surrounding area. Its very possible a mason lived here because some of the stone buildings, walls and structures are very complex as well as intricate!

With that in mind I would have to retrace my steps as journeyed through the Toiyabe Range and into Kingston Nevada another semi ghost town with allot of history and scenery.

Kingston Nevada

I retraced the roads from the Hess Ranch and actually found this dirt road that took us right on into the Toiyabe Range. To be honest with you when you look at it from afar you ask yourself how do I even get over or through the range because it looks so impenetrable.

As you enter into the mountains you enter this canyon its very narrow with mountains on both sides but it also follows Big Creek which believe it or not was actively flowing. I believe it is because many of the peaks including this 12k one was full of snow. So as the snow melts it fills the creeks with rushing cold water which definitely keeps the area much greener then these desert valleys.

We would be heading into the national forest prior to entering it I seen this massive eagle on this pole. Oh man how could I not ask for more? I took photos and some video of the bird on the pole and of it flying in circles over the valley floor. Besides almost hitting the Easter bunny crossing the road on Easter the eagle was a nice way to begin our journey through the range. Its not everyday you get to see these graceful birds and ill tell you what I was completely in awe.

As you follow the road through the Toiyabe Range the creek consistently crosses the road and yes you have to drive through it. So if you do not have a jeep you may not make it lets just be honest. There is allot of dips, rocky areas and flood zones to drive through. But it was fun going through the water it kind of cleaned off the jeep as water splashed up and onto the windshield.

As the mountains close in around you there are multiple canyons where you can just park and hike. Some of those canyons are home to mines I know of one mine that has up to 20 miles of tunnels but I told Tammy that might have to be another expedition because you just cannot fit everything into a day or two its impossible. I did see near one of those canyons a wooden ore chute so that was one of the signs that back in the day mining was probably booming in this range. Just as some of the hillsides were tiered for hundreds of feet signs that some sort of strip mining may have also taken place.

We took our time going through the pass we stopped a couple times to use the bathroom it was frigid. The winds were whipping and the temperature dropped about 15 degrees compared to the Hess Ranch where it was much warmer as well at a lower elevation within the valley. The one thing that caught me off guard offroading back here was that their were cattle roaming around and some of them would just stare at you through the brush which was a bit creepy. But then again Nevada is a true cattle state its an open range here just as it is anywhere else just catches you by surprise a little is all.

Another thing we noticed is that we found multiple wooden kiosk and billboards completely tipped over on their sides. Every single one we came across was broken in two places as if something big pushed them over causing the wooden post to break and split. It could have been a wind storm or maybe the forestry is putting in new ones or perhaps a vehicle went around smashing into them. Those are just some theories if you want to get crazy maybe a giant did it or bigfoot right? Anything is possible! But I thought that was a bit odd to see that at every little trail head or primitive camping area these huge wooden boards were just literally laying on the ground.

There was some amazing cliffs and peaks back in the mountains. This is truly a Nevada gem not allot of folks know about this pass or even how to traverse the range. Eventually as you go through the mountains you begin to climb once you get past all the meadows, cross the creek multiple times and zero in on some of the taller peaks in this range. Right before my climb I came across a group of four guys on an all terrain vehicle. I stopped them asked them how the road looks they said I could make it so I took there word. I can always tell the experienced outdoorsmen from the ones who have know clue to what they are doing.

The climb is very steep and I had to drive through snow there is no guard rails one mistake its over. We went right over this peak with snow everywhere on the road and up the side of the mountain. Then it switchbacks near Toiyabe Peak and eventually down into Kingston Canyon which follows Kingston Creek then. I was not sure we would be able to make it up over the mountain plus once we starting going downhill its a very scary situation as the road is very muddy so I had to put my jeep into second gear. By the time I was more then halfway through the range my suspension was making noises and my brakes were screeching from dust all caught up on the rotors.

When we reached the bottom I took another break near the Kingston Guard Station which is really awesome. Its this old fire station where rangers stay to keep watch over oncoming fires that way if there is one they can catch it in time because despite as woodsy it is the area is rather dry. If I would have waited a couple more weeks most of the trees would have had leaves and Spring flowers would have been blooming but everything when I drove in the range was dry or dead. In the summer it gets brutal back here it takes just one lightening strike to burn down the entire forest in this range.

The guard station was very nice it had a main headquarters, cabins, outhouse and a few other buildings. I was really angry when I see a few broken windows WTF is wrong with people? These rangers live here for months in isolation to protect the forest and people go vandalizing the place? I was really pissed about it like I said I have allot of respect for rangers I spend allot my time on hikes talking to them and I almost went to college to become one. So whoever did it had no given right to do that its just disrespectful considering these people live here for months to protect the very area you camp, hike and fish at.

Just beyond the Guard Station is Groves Station and Lake. This probably was one of the most favorite parts of my trip. This lake is so remote and not allot of people know about it. Its very blue this is caused by the sky above but as you get to it closer it does lose its hue but no less its clear to a point that you can see the very middle and there were some fish jumping out of the water when we arrived feeding on bugs. I heard they stock it with rainbow trout I also heard it was constructed in 1969 so its really not that old. It is about 20' deep and well if any of you know about northern Nevada their just is not that many lakes and the ones that do exist you really have to work hard to get to them.

This little open area in the pass not only contains the lake but it also contains Groves Station. The station is made of stone there is a couple entrances inside including one that is almost three doorways wide. There is no roof on it and more or less its in ruins. You have to understand that Pony Express and Central Overland Routes were the reasoning behind the building of such stations. Miners traveling through could bunk up for the night or water their horses even gather some supplies. Some stations traded other ones had a small saloon while some strictly handled the mail courier service in Nevada.

I spent sometime photographing the station but also I could see through the wood framed windows the kids playing. I like to see my sons be boys nowadays kids are stuck on their cell phones or the Internet. But here there is no technology so to see them running around playing for me gives a sense of happiness.

There is allot of scenery back here, cottonwood trees, woods, bare and forested mountains. One of the peaks off in the distance had snow covering it. The boys and I went gem searching there was some obsidian and other unique rocks I have never seen before. Groves Lake is also a camping area but its primitive which means no amenities. I seen a few fire pits made out of native stone and the red rocky cliffs are also very beautiful back behind the station.

This area reminded me of the high sierras where I spend most of my time searching for bigfoot. So the thought of maybe finding even bigfoot evidence in this range could be plausible. Besides the fact that the great basin has strange stories in regards to giants that once roamed the region. So its good to explore because their are parts of this range nobody has been to because this area around Groves Lake is extremely rough terrain. You have very high peaks, cliffs, heavy brush, sharp rocks, steep mountain sides and allot of inhospitable wilderness.

At the other end of the lake is this wooden deck that extends to the edge of the lake. The problem is the entire wooden walkway is falling apart and its sways. I am sure at one time the water actually reached to the bottom of it so that people could fish from it.

Further down the road to my left something caught my eye which looked like a foundation hidden on the hillside made of stone and wood. It was very steep to climb to it I was just about on all fours trying to get to it. Jarrod on the other hand climbed beyond it through the woods and found piles of rocks. He then called out to me and said Dad I think there is a mine up here. Most of the mines found in this area were part of the Kingston Mining District so it did not surprise me what surprised me is that its so well hidden yet he found it.

I am not sure what kind of mine this was afterall you have many mines and mill sites. Most of them no longer exist because they were shut down or closed. But it could have been the Kingston Canyon Mine possibly others in the area are the Horton, Victorine, Bi-Metallic and Adits Mill all nearby. To even get to the mine is a little bit of a rough climb I fell and slid so my leg was bleeding from the sharp rocks. As I said earlier the terrain back in this mountain range is unforgiving.

The mine entrance had a wood door it said keep out but honestly do you think I would ever abide to that? I have been wanting to explore a mine for weeks now because generally our group does haunted mines time to time. You cannot visit these locations if you do not get to see a mine or two considering such locations is what gave rise to towns like Austin and Kingston Nevada.

The mine was very odd there was no ventilation shafts, pits, equipment, ore cart tracks or multiple tunnels. Basically it was just this long tunnel that was wide enough for two people to walk side by side and tall enough where you would not hit your head so id say a ceiling of about 7 and half feet! I must had went a half of mile to a mile it just keeps going and going. The deeper I went the light from the entrance started to fade. The oxygen levels here were not very high either due to poor ventilation. However it was a very safe mine as there were no signs of erosion and the type of rock found within the mine was extremely resilient. Strangely their was no splits or shafts like most mines have.

After I left the mine we finally further down the road came out of the canyon and at the mouth was the remnants of the massive Sterling Mill. You could also look down into the semi ghost town of Kingston and beyond that a massive open expanse with the Toquima Mountains beyond that. It was quite breathtaking to say the least.

Across from the Sterling Mill was some old restaurant but it was abandoned. The mill site is probably the biggest historic site in Kingston. The walls tower over 20' in height and their is multiple sets of ruins. Their is also this massive wood frame and some rusty ore bin or some piece of machinery. I spent sometime exploring the ruins and its just so amazing to see how extensive the stone work is here. Granted the roof is gone and its a mere shell of its former glory but its one of the only mills remaining in the Kingston area.

Next to the mill is another unique site not as old but it looks like someone took some of the stones from the collapsing Sterling Mill making there own walls from it and creating a property they could reside at. There was a very old station wagon, box truck, brick and stone walls on site. I also found these odd iron smoke stacks or steam pipes that were protruding out of the ground. I believe some of the walls not all were part of the Sterling Mill and someone decided to make it kind of homey. There was also an old oddly shaped trailer on site, rusty water tank and even a cinder block area used like an outdoor garage. Next to some stones someone made what I call a redneck grill using a rusty grate with a dish pan next to it with glasses. This place was a little backwoods or creepy not sure who lived here but whoever did seemed to be collecting anything rusty or that they could find nearby.

Just up the road I visited a small little old white chapel almost looked like a doll house. In front of that is the Kingston Church of course this is fairly newly built so it is not historical but the wooden chapel might be. I believe that downtown only has a few original historic sites but its not very extensive like Austin or even as large. The oldest part of town resides in the foothills of the Toiyabe range while below in the vast high desert valley is the newer part of town which btw has an airport believe it or not.

Not to far from the church is the old general store since it was Easter it was closed so I did not get to go inside to take pictures. Next to the general store is a large foundation its very old and their are signs to keep out to help preserve it. Its okay to look as long as you do not walk on the ruins themselves. Its strange because Tammy took a photo of me at the General Store was wearing my rabbit ears and we cant find the picture anywhere lol. I was a bit upset by it because this General Store is a wonderful piece of history as its made out of wood with a wood porch in the front.

Next to the General Store is a pond with benches, bridge and even an island you can walk on out to. The pond is very serene and adjacent from it is a town park with a baseball diamond. Life here seems to be very quaint I liked it personally as its extremely quiet. You might see a few folks drive around but honestly its so remote and I did not hear anything while walking around town let alone folks talking. You will not get that type of peace and serenity just anywhere it was really relaxing.

Across from the General Store is also the Miles End Bed & Breakfast Lodge which has an original stone building. The stone work is amazing and done with such precision I have a great appreciation for the pioneers who built such structures in the wild west out of native stone. While I was taking some video footage a border collie came up to me I pet her what a great dog. Then the owner came out to say hi to me told me her dog is friendly wont bite. I kind of figured that her dog smelled my dogs but her tail was wagging and I had made a new friend.

The owner here was also very nice to me you have to understand that life is a little more secluded here so my tats, piercing's and black nails might scare folks. But Kingston was a very welcoming place as much as Austin was towards me so they will get rave reviews and PGS will boost their tourism trust me. This is what we do promote history and bring these journeys to light so that our viewers can enjoy them for years to come.

Overlooking the town is a hill on top of it is a windmill and some smaller casino. Surrounding the windmill is all sorts of historical relics such as ore carts, rusty farm equipment, wagon wheels, wagons, ox carts, steam boiler and other museum worthy pieces. I believe on the windmill their was the words from top to bottom that read Lucky Spur. The casino looked more like a house maybe someone renovated it hard telling or maybe the casino is gone and the only remnants of it are the windmill.

If you continue to go past it you can go up to the old Kingston Cemetery which looks down into Big Smokey Valley where the newer part of town resides. The airport is much older and you can see all of it from the graveyard below. At the entrance leading into the cemetery is the iron gates which say above them Kingston Cemetery. On each side of the gates are Joshua trees and inside I could see a few cactuses growing. Its not a very large graveyard but it is a part of the town and unlike Austin this place is fairly close to downtown so we can include it all together on our website.

By the time I reached the cemetery the winds were heavily whipping and you have to understand that we cant change mother nature. When I plan these expeditions the weather can literally ruin any chance of getting an EVP and well EMF also does no good when power lines are not to far away. But the cemetery is still worth a visit and ill tell everyone why.

Many of the older grave sites have iron bed frames rusting away which I thought was pretty cool. While another grave site had an old Tonka truck. Some of the graves are newer therefore they are just marble slabs while others are just simple an engraved rock. Some plots are outlined with native rock and one of the family plots surrounded by an enclosure has a couple newly planted trees. There is also a stone bench here and another notable thing that caught my attention is that most of the interments were veterans hence the many American Flags found at each grave site. In total their could not be more then 20 to 30 grave sites and its very rocky no grass. Their is a type of cactus that grows here that is very dangerous when I was on television for the SYFY channel when I seen the actors acting I went off by myself hiking and landed on one. They can pierce a leather boot and you need pliers to remove them from your skin or clothing.

As I headed away from the cemetery we were going downhill past the airport and into the Big Smokey Valley which is just another desert expanse that is between two forested mountain ranges. The first one being the Toiyabe Mountains the second being the Toquima Range. My goal was only half complete I conquered the Toiyabe Mountains but what was next I knew ahead of me probably 40 to 50 miles I would be heading over my second mountain range of the day.

When I passed by the Kingston Airport it became very rural and behold right in the middle of the road was a few Antelope while off to my right in the high desert was a couple more. I drove very slowly then what I did was filmed them and did some wonderful photography as they leaped around playing. You have to understand that seeing antelope this close is a rare event. I remember in April of 2015 around the same time of year I came across some up in the ghost town of Grantsville. So to be able to park the jeep and just enjoy them for so long was a really nice treat. When I go out looking for the paranormal I also try to preserve and enjoy nature. That is why now the last few years I share nature with the public because we want to give our viewers a sense of reality and show them that their is more to what we do then just chase the strange.

I would be leaving Kingston to my back I mean this was a large expedition that covered a multitude of sites and it took up a huge portion of the day. Although I did make good time it was only mid afternoon and I really accomplished allot. I mean I crossed the Toiyabe Mountain Range, visited two creeks, Groves Station & Lake, Toiyabe Guard Station, Sterling Mill, Downtown Kingston and of course the historical cemetery. This area was so scenic there was snow capped peaks, large rock formations and forested mountains. I mean its very breathtaking here and I even seen out in the desert a beautiful butterfly that I almost stepped on and well that just did not go so well because it flew so fast I could not get a photograph of it but no less pretty cool!

We would head on off into Big Smokey Valley towards the Toquima Mountains to our next destination which was Spencer Hot Springs and Toquima Cave. I was off on my next adventure to see some ancient pictographs that were thousands of years old. Where would I go and what would I see? We were heading into the heart of Shoshone Country!

Toquima Cave & Spencer Hot Springs

We started to head north through the middle of Big Smokey Valley right between the Toiyabe Range to our left and the Tomquima Range to our right. You kind of feel small when you are driving for miles through the very center of Nevada. Allot of people do not realize but Nevada is a massive frontier and its vast here. You do not have allot of towns or cities but you do have more mountains then any other state in the lower 48.

We came up to a plaque near the road which talked about Toquima Cave also how the Shoshone used such caves near natural springs. In this case were talking about Spencer Hot Springs which I wanted to take my kids there so they could enjoy them so this trip was more about the family then it was me but still pretty cool.

You make a right turn towards the Toquima Mountains then you literally drive for around 30 miles. The eastern side of the range did not have any snow well at least where we were heading but then again this range does not have peaks that tower as high as the Toiyabe Range does.

As you are driving through the desert you start to see desert foothills that are bare but contain layers of pretty rock which glisten a bit in the sun or perhaps look a little red in color. Once you enter into the range itself their is nothing but woods on both sides of the narrow dirt road. You really cannot see to much but above the trees within the canyon are rock formations. One must always wonder if a Bigfoot like creature may roam such a forest afterall its dense and anything can hide without ever being seen. This range does not have an intricate series of dirt roads or hiking trails.

Eventually we would reach this camping and hiking area for the Toquima Cave. I thought it was perfect because we had picnic benches nearby with views of rolling woodsy hills and a glimpse of Monitor Valley to the east. We could not see Big Smokey Valley though as the Toquima Cave area is further east deeper in the range.

This area is known as Pete's Peak its not the highest in the range but at it are red rock formations some of it looks porous like their might be caves or small dens where a coyote might live or where the natives may have used for shelter. So it was easy to understand why this area held just a giant rock shelter or cave.

We grabbed our backpacks it was very quiet up here to a point that you could hear a pin drop. Their was allot of bird life and I seen a few hawks just gliding over us which I thought was pretty awesome. Sometimes when I hike with my family I tend to stay back to study things. Just remember even though we are a paranormal group everything I do is scientifically based that includes studying the local fauna all the way to the nature that exist here. Everything ties into eachother with the work that we do here even the paranormal.

The trail ran along the crown of Pete's Peak following the edge of it so as we were hiking we could look down into the forested canyon below. We could also see some views of Monitor Valley that we were heading towards and other peaks found here within the range. Their was a very pretty lizard on a rock that I photographed I also seen a much larger one but it was fast and disappeared before I could get its picture. Different parts of Nevada have different kinds of birds, reptiles and wildlife.

Its not a very long hike and its very arid here so I am surprised the trees are even alive because there is not allot of water like their is in the Toiyabe Range. I kind of felt watched up here I have no idea what was bothering me but the entire time I just did not feel alone here. I cant explain it some places I investigate I get hits on others I do not. But this is sacred ground its ancient and the Shoshone made it a home for thousands of years. So there are spirits in the forest that are here I am sure of it.

When you reach the end of the hike you begin to climb a series of stone steps or rocky tiers till you reach the cave entrance. Access into the cave is barred off to preserve the pictographs inside even though my younger son begged me to go behind the bars because he wanted to go deeper into the back of the cave I told him no but boys will be boys mine are just more curious then others. My camera has a great zoom so with that in mind you do not have to enter the cave to physically photograph the pictographs found here.

Their probably is around 200 pictographs found here all over the walls to the shelter and ceiling to it. These ancient depictions to me look like portals and one of them looks like it might be a UFO. I like to visit these ancient sites so that I can look for anything that might collaborate the ancient alien theory.

The view from the cave was splendid we took a break here my sons stacked a bunch of rocks. To the right of the shelter was a bore hole and I think it was made by the Shoshone as they grounded up different materials to be used to paint the depictions. Basically years and years of grinding certain materials up caused erosion then you could take the material mixed with water and gypsum to create a certain pigment. The natives would trade for certain plants which could be ground up and used in the creation of these pictographs.

Within the cave their were tally marks, spirals, squiggles, dots, chevrons and circles. I read that in the Great Basin this is a common style used. I have another ancient site which dates back to 10 thousand or more years but I just could not fit the other location in since they were many miles apart. However it is on my way to some other ghost towns past Austin therefore I will eventually visit it to see if the Toquima Cave is similar to this other location.

I did do an EVP session at the shelters entrance I hope I get something you never know. This is a very ancient site one could picture warriors from the tribe standing at the shelter entrance and seeing the same view I was which has not changed in thousands of years. Its very picturesque here and I can see why the Shoshone chose this as one of their sacred places to create these depictions.

After spending sometime up by the cave taking it all in my family hiked back I stayed behind. I bet some of you can only imagine me hiking by myself wearing rabbit ears on Easter and walking around with a pipe sticking out of my mouth lol. I enjoy nature its my second home and I definitely like to be out in it. My family went back to the jeep we were getting ready to bring out the cooler and have a really awesome lunch.

Lunch was great a nice breeze was flowing through the area at the time you could tell a front was on its way. I was pretty overheated from our hike it was much warmer here then up in the Toiyabe Range for sure! I actually took off some clothes up here while eating lunch just to enjoy the fresh air. We had fruit, pepperoni, sandwiches, berry muffins etc etc. What more can I ask for? We were the only people in miles and well you definitely do not want to go to deep in the woods its easy to get turned around here trust me when I say that.

We packed it on up left the cave site then began to descend eastward leaving Pete's Peak. This mean that I was basically crossing a second mountain range all in one day which is pretty sweet if you ask me. I was able to park the jeep and take photos of Toquima Cave from the bottom of the canyon which kind of puts things into perspective and it was kind of hard to believe we were all the way at the top. From the bottom of the canyon the cave looks like a dark hole up around the crown of the peak and you cannot even see the bars surrounding the shelter.

There was allot of beautiful rock formations as we headed up into Monitor Valley named for this massive rock formation or geological plateau also known as Table Mountain. It was named after John Ericsson's USS Monitor warship which played an important role in the civil war and was used all the way up until WWII by the Navy. The massive mountain is very creepy because it exactly looks like the warship only in rock form.

By the time I began to reach the foothills of the range we came across cattle just cross the road as this area was an open range. The beautiful high desert foothills just below the forest as you cross into Monitor Valley is definitely worth the trip. But by this time I must had driven a hundred miles down dirt roads so you have to understand that this took everything I had to finish the journey.

When I made it to the valley there was a large ranch my goal was to find an old geyser called Diana's Punchbowl. It is fenced off because if you were to fall in the water is over 200 degrees and the sides are very steep. No less it just shows you that the earth below us may still be quite hot hence the underground springs found in the region and this very hot pool of water.The ranch itself owned allot of land on both sides of the dirt road so we seen plenty of cattle some just standing in the road others just staring at me oddly as I drove by lol. Sometimes ill stop and moo at the cattle or take photos of them staring at me weird. Its kind of creepy when your out in the middle of nowhere you yell moo out the window and twenty cattle just lock eyes with you in a showdown of who blinks first lol.

As far as the geyser goes I never did find it which brings me to the point that the hotel I stayed at gave me an inaccurate map the mileage was off and where the number was at was totally off regionally. This is supposed to be a site to take the entire family and instead I was sent on a wild goose chase that took me 60 more miles then I should have gone. What if this was someone from another country or someone with lack of experience driving to this location? They could have been sent to their deaths seriously!

We were suppose to make a left turn up at this road instead we continued to take the road south through Monitor Valley. I was okay with that I mean to our right we had beautiful views of the Toquima Ranges western side which had some snow capped peaks. Actually on both sides of the valley was quite a few snowcapped areas. So the extra road trip was not in vain it still was extremely scenic but it also ate into my Hot Springs dipping time also grrrr that hotel needs to fix the homemade maps they are handing out to people in Austin. I realize its not to scale but everything is off all the way from mileage to certain locations so that might throw folks off lucky for me I already drew my own maps except the one to Diana's Punchbowl.

What really threw me off is that so much dust was being kicked up that I thought it was steam from Diana's Punchbowl I literally chased a mirage for 30 miles. No less it was a fun road as it was so hilly that each time I sped downhill you could feel your stomach turn as my jeep kicked up a cloud of dust behind us. The kids and Tammy were loving it I was doing some bad ass offroading lol. To our left we found an area that we thought was water or a lake it actually turned out to be salt flats from when an ancient sea covered this area so that was a really awesome find.

Their was a few people coming from Belmont further up the road giving me the peace sign. Actually three different vehicles passed me and all of them seemed to be like me explorers just toking up and saying peace to me as I drove by. You have got to love Nevada most people smoke bud here and us Nevadans we love the adventure. Their is hundreds of miles of dirt roads that take you through canyons, ghost towns, over mountains and through the wilderness. You had to be careful because the road is so hilly with dips that you could have a head on collision with another offroader because everytime you go down a huge hill you go straight up and cannot see who is coming from the other direction its a bit scary almost like gambling. So what you have to do is at the top of every hill check for dust being stirred up from possibly oncoming vehicles in the distance just a safety tip.

We did run into a bit of a problem a massive front rolled in the entire sun was blotched out and the skies darkened greatly. As a matter in fact the skies were so gray I thought that it was going to rain or we were going to have a thunderstorm. Its such a dismal road there is absolutely nothing 360 degrees around us and that can be quite scary for some folks but for us the more secluded the better.

This road actually takes you to the ghost town of Belmont which is on my list of locations we will be investigating but since we had to get back home and were a couple hours from sundown I did end up turning around. I never realized how close I would get to this ghost town and do not get me wrong its a great place but I already have plans to do some paranormal work here therefore next time I head up here ill visit the punchbowl as well now that I know how to get to it. Belmont has allot of ghost stories the courthouse also is considered to be a very haunted site. We will return to the area but at least I know what to expect when I drive back out this way.

I had a long ways to go which meant heading north then making a left ascending back over the Toquima Range. I guess what makes it harder is that you have to retrace all your steps luckily I would not have to cross the Toiyabe Mountains again because once you get into Big Smokey Valley their is a highway that takes you right up to Route 50.

But my last journey of the day would take us up to Spencer Hot Springs now keep in mind there is no signs to this place. There is allot of dirt roads below the Toquima Range and a few of them lead to various hot springs that are found here. Often people come up here to camp and take a dip in the various springs. By the time I reached the Springs I so wanted to take a dip but due to the cold front it was so cold outside and there was no sun out which meant I would not want to get out lol. My body was very sore I had been driving, hiking and exploring from early Saturday all the way into the evening of Easter Sunday almost nonstop.

The first set of springs we found consisted of three pools the hottest one was surrounded by a metal cage which had a hose that ran into a central pool then drained into a lower pool below that. There was also a wood deck you could stand on. I tested the water and its very very important all of you do this with any hot spring to make sure its not to hot because you could get burned. The water in this case was about 85 degrees like bath water and Jarrod wanted to get in. He has never even heard of a hot spring before let alone took a dip in one. My older son well he is a teenager so he was in a bad mood the entire trip did not want to be there tough luck the younger boy got his trunks on sat back and relaxed. When you sit in the hot springs you get beautiful views of the mighty Toiyabe Mountains which were heavily snowcapped. To me my friends that is paradise to be in a hot spring with a view its like a natural Jacuzzi sort of lol.

I was taking photos while my son was relaxing when an older gentlemen and I started talking. He told me he took a dip in some springs further below then the ones we were currently at. I did not realize there were other pools of water in the area but I should have known because the lady at the hotel told me that their is some springs there that have gold fish in them. So before I left sure I wanted to see this for myself! The man actually told me that he had trouble getting out of the springs because its so steep and slippery. He actually lives not to far from me so we both were a long ways away from home and he drove like me a Jeep Cherokee. A pretty genuine man and sometimes when I go out I meet some pretty interesting people.

Not to far from these springs is also concrete ruins of a massive mill sorry did not have time to check it out but I did photograph it from the Springs. Welcome to Nevada the only place you could have mines, mills, springs and ancient Shoshone Pictograph Caves all in the same given area.

I would eventually take my journey by jeep below the first set of Springs my son who was drying off in the jeep thanked me for letting him take a dip. He told me its one of the coolest things he had ever done. It just means as a dad I succeeded at giving him an entirely new experience and I was just happy to take my time taking scenic photography of the mountains under a very dark sky.

I did find a second set of springs I also heard of a third set but I never found them. The second set of springs however was as unique as the first if not more intriguing. Once again you had a separate spring with a cage around it then not to far away from that you had these four pools of water each one below one another in a series of tiers. So that each pool drains into the next and it looked a little mystical perhaps.

In the second pool there was a bench seat from a mini van sitting right in the water. I thought that was a bit odd I guess some people are afraid to sit in the mud or maybe wanted a comfortable seat with a view. Between two of the pools is this little land bridge which you can walk across.

Also the two middle pools we found schools of goldfish how cool is that? They were fairly decent sized gold fish and they swam back and forth. If you really wanted which I almost thought about you could take a dip with the gold fish. But with the storm coming and nightfall not to far off I just did not have time to take off my cloths take a dip then dry off and try to head for home which was very far away.

Also at the site of these Springs there was a metal water tub or pool of some kind. I believe that maybe they use this to put the goldfish in at first then transfer them to the hot springs when they are adults. But the springs serve not just for recreational fun but also as an ecosystem to these fish and they are put here to eat away any algae so that people do not slip or fall.

There was also next to the springs this rectangular hole surrounded by these cement walls. I told my kids it looks like a casket could fit in the hole or like it was some burial site. I am not sure what was here but the type of stone or concrete that was used was not from any recent time period. I am not sure if maybe Spencer was buried near his springs at one time or something else was here at the time. Its so hard to know over time things change this could have been anything even a pump could have been here at one time.

I closed off our expedition at Spencer Hot Springs we had over 20 miles of dirt road to get to the pavement then another 15 through Austin and a couple hundred miles to get home. I once again crossed through the Toiyabe Range but this time on the highway but still the curves and cliffs are a bit of a rush. The views of Austin below are also very awesome as you head west.

When I was at the top of the range looking down into Austin the Reese River Valley was so dark with dust, fog and dark clouds. I was heading into the storm then again back home it was snowing. We were getting some really cold weather enough that powder was coming down so I was not really sure what I would be driving on into.

The drive home was rather nice even though their were dark clouds about halfway home they broke and the sunset was gorgeous. In the wild west we have some of the prettiest sunsets in the world with bands of orange and pink. There is so many peaks and mountain ranges that the sun makes a pretty back drop. It even gives some of the rocks a red to orange glow so when your driving west its extremely scenic. Its a scenic ride home so honestly do I mind driving it? No that is why I live here! Even though its one of our final trips till cooler weather in the heart of Nevada it will be one most of you will remember for a long time with allot of locations and adventure. How often do you get to watch the blood moon from the top of some mountain in a ghost town? I think driving home I had a bit shit eating grin on my face because I was not sure if we could pull all of this are it was an testament to our hard work. We crossed in one day over two mountain ranges and offroaded through three large valleys with vast desert expanses.

I passed an Overland Station on my way home as some of you know there are quite a few of them including Pony Express Stations along route 50. Its a lonely ride but there are allot of valleys and vast expanses. There are also allot of dirt roads off of the highway that lead to some of the most remote places in Nevada. Their is an area where you can go see fault lines and another road that takes you through some of these valleys. One could explore this region for their entire life and probably not see it all.

I would like to some day head further east on Highway 50 visiting semi ghost towns like Eureka and Ely Nevada. As some of you are aware Ely has a haunted rail yard and charcoal ovens. Someday will check those sites out but the west was not won over night. I have so many places left to do and explore I am not sure ill get to do them all but one thing is for certain ill keep the work coming. It might take me time to get it on our website or youtube but every single journey I take eventually makes it public.

On this expedition to Austin Nevada, Austin Cemeteries, Clifton, Hess Ranch, Toiyabe Mountain Range, Groves Station & Lake, Kingston Nevada, Kingston Cemetery Big Smokey Valley, Toquima Mountains, Toquima Cave, Monitor Valley and Spencer Hot Springs we really packed in allot of adventuring. It may take weeks to months for me to study the EVP, video footage and photos for anything paranormal. Actually we did succeed at capturing some paranormal evidence from our expeditions to some of these places that I can say at this point. We work hard at what we do its not just the exploration but its trying to get back into these locations. I did allot of filming hours upon hours so trust me when I say it there is so much content from these locations were going to wow you.

On my way home when I managed to reach civilization surviving the loneliest road in America I went to Sonic's to get me a shake and an awesome hotdog. As some of you are aware Sonic's has some awesome shakes especially the chocolate ones are so good especially when you have driven over 500 miles in less then two days lol. I have to say that was the best hot dog I think I have eaten in years and I even stopped at a Maverick in Fallon and had a Bodacious Coffee. I deserved to treat myself after driving through three desert expanses all the way from the Reese River Valley, Big Smokey Valley and Monitor Valley then crossing multiple mountain ranges there was enough adventure to go around to last for weeks afterwards lol. I mean just imagine me smoking a cigar, eating a hot dog and sucking down a shake so hard that you hear the straw sucking up air in the cup. I am sure my family loved that one but hey I was their chauffeur and their guide they had it much easier then I did. I had to memorize all the locations, history and do all the filming it was allot of work.

When I came into town we were getting blasted with major snow coming down and it was really cold here. I thought being in the Nevada wilderness was cold well when I arrived home it was winter all over again. I almost started up the fireplace when I arrived home but instead I put some frozen pizzas in the oven unpacked some of our gear then went to bed because we did not get home till later at night. It was definitely a very eventful and full itinerary this Easter. On a good note this was one Easter I went out journeying that I did not hit a bunny and I swear those things have a death wish. When I was up at the Hess Ranch one rabbit ran right under my jeep so you do have to watch out for the fur babies.

Sadly I could not relax very long I had to wake up 6 am for appointments so no rest for the weary. I could not even believe how dirty my jeep was. I had more dust and mud on it then the fiery red paint. I had to take the jeep in for a car wash in the A.M. get an undercarriage wash so that I could get the dust off my brakes. My cam had really suffered also as dust had gotten inside from being out in the desert and I could not get it out had to send it in the shop to have it professionally cleaned. It was a costly expedition that is why its so important people try to donate funding for our research so that I can continue to work at bringing the history, mystery and the paranormal to the public. These expeditions cost allot in fuel, tires for the jeep, new gear and equipment. But I promise when places like this end up on our website they are works of art all the way from the history to the beautiful photography and videos.

I look forward to returning out this way only next time maybe it will be Belmont that will explore or I might visit another set of ancient pictographs that are much older then the Toquima Shelter ones we visited. This is a region full of mines, mills, ghost towns, ancient and historical sites. Its really a new part of Nevada our viewers have never seen our team work with before and so with that in mind we have our work cut out for us. I cannot wait to see what else their is to explore here. I would like to also return to do this mine up in Kingston that I heard could take a few days to explore and sometimes such places turn out to be super haunted other times they are just good explorations. I like adventure this is what we do its who we are and along the way were also truth seeking not just to find ourselves but to find the unknown bringing it to light.

Their is allot of things people need to know before heading into the NV frontier. You have to bring extra food, water, clothing, foot wear, medical supplies, medicine, blankets, weapons, survival gear and make sure you have allot of fuel. There is no grocery stores, hospitals or gas stations where I went. This is a new area of Nevada so ill be returning here probably many times to see other locations. This is a place you can scream but nobody is going to hear you. Once you leave Austin or Kingston its gets remote within minutes then again both semi ghost towns are literally in the middle of no mans land.

This is a good time of year to explore because your not battling major snow or to hot of temperatures or even rattle snakes. You have to have the know how to make it out here one mistake and its over trust me like when I was driving on these high cliffs in the Toiyabe Mountains. Remember safety comes first so some of the work that I do like how too videos are directed at teaching others how to handle being outdoors. I do all the producing even when I am driving it is me behind the cam not something that is acted out by some television network for ratings. The work that we do here is crafted from our own hands its an art much like the Masons in their construction of all these massive stone walls found in the area. The Shoshone braved this region for thousands of years and we only braved it a couple days no less I could see why they remained it is absolutely a place of purity, beauty and mystique that I can bet my life on friends.

I know some people spent their Easter with ham on the table I spent mine in the frontier. I am not sure ill ever forget this trip or standing above Austin Nevada during the shortest blood moon eclipse of the century. I experienced so many different things all the way from wildlife to a mine all the way to cemeteries and even a ranch. This expedition took allot of resources and planning but it was a three year project in the making so it felt good to succeed. We really managed to pull it all off plus some and people ask us how we do its simple dedication, heart and hard work. When the pavement ends the adventure begins you never know what you might find but if you do not put yourself in that situation you could miss a UFO or a Bigfoot sighting. You have to be there in order to experience the world most people are blind to.

This was the adventure of a lifetime or perhaps the month nahhhh of 2015. Every early Spring I try to at least do a major ghost towning trip Austin and Kingston filled my void everything in and around them was quite extensive with so much to see that it was epic!!! This report could never compare to the things I experienced, seen and traverse through but all of you will live it too! The great basin is awesome and it seems Landers County in Nevada offers an endless amount of adventure.Now we will hit up the high Sierras and transition from Ghosts of the wild west to Bigfoot of the forest. Our Spring event up around Austin was one of our finest trips we have ever done in Nevada and some of those areas we explored will make our viewers feel your not even in America because out there its another world in itself believe me!
Peace,
Lord Rick
PGS Founder

PS This report is a rough draft the final may go through a rendition onto our website along with all media content, research and evidence.

_________________
Love is like a ghost sometimes you cannot see it but it is There


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