Sperry Wash (Rondy trip)
by Vicki Hill
Saturday morning the wind was blowing hard enough that the planned hike to Ibex Dunes was cancelled. We didn’t want to spend the day rubbing sand out of our eyes, ears and mouths. Instead, seven vehicles left for the Amargosa River near Dumont Dunes. The sun was warm, and there was plenty of water in the river. As we drove up the canyon towards Sperry Wash, we crossed the river several times. Part of the road is bumpy from lots of motorcycle traffic. Part of it actually has asphalt pieces left from when there was an actual stopping place at Sperry. Nothing is there now but cans, metal and glass and desiccated pieces of wood. An occasional telegraph pole (one still standing) and the berm from the Tonopah and Tidewater Railroad is still there, although in the past few years, rains have breached it in many places. Pieces of metal culvert material lie around disintegrating. We stopped at the site at the same time as 3 hikers from BLM. One told us about the wild Longhorn cattle that had just been removed from the area. Apparently remnants from the old days. They were extremely unfriendly and a threat to hikers. No need to keep looking over your shoulder now. We hiked up river a way and walked on the berm. Our group included John and Nancy Hoopes. Allan Wicker, John Page, Bob Meador and Nonie Desurra, Jim, Ryan Colleen and Jeff Kay, Don Summers and myself. A nice sized group!
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We drove up Sperry Wash afterwards, stopping to admire the balanced rocks, eat lunch and make our way slowly over the spots where the road no longer existed. As we came up out of the wash, the views of pink, cream and chocolate colored hills were fabulous. The road ends up going through old talc mines, where we ended the trip looking down into the deep, gouged out pit of one. The talc mining ended years ago when asbestos was found in large quantities. From that spot off of Western Talc road, we saw Resting Springs below, the Nopah range and spectacular views of the Tecopa lake beds. Jeff and Ryan raced up the hill in their Jeep to get a better view as the rest of us headed back to Shoshone to take a dip in the hot water before Happy Hour and our annual banquet. Thanks to all of you for making it a great day!