2010 Trip Reports - DE Rendezvous - Dublin Gulch
Dublin Gulch & The Ash Beds
By Vicki Hill
Sunday morning Susan Sorrells met 14 Desert Explorers at 8:00 a.m. in Shoshone, near the cemetery that holds the remains of those who lived in Dublin Gulch. She kept us fascinated for 2 hours while she elaborated on howtthey lived, dug their homes out of the tuff, grew gardens and even made beer. They had a good old time back in the 1880’s! Contrary to thought, these were not ne’er-do-wells living like the homeless in caves. Instead, they had made their fortunes in mining and decided to retire in beautiful Shoshone. They created 1-3 comfortable rooms that stayed cool in the summer and warm in the winter. The British lived on one side of the Gulch and even held high tea in the afternoons. It sounds like an idyllic place to live in retirement with friends on all sides. Susan has photos and stories of these tough men that she will share with us another time.
The second half of the morning was spent walking in the area behind the Gulch and discovering how important the entire area is to furthering our education. Because the Amargosa Basin is so rich in geologic features, it has become the place for scientists to come and study. Geologists, geobiologists, paleomagnetists, astrobiologists, to name a few have made Shoshone their home base. They have come to the area and formed a non-profit organization….Shoshone Education and Research, or SHEAR. Now, the area has become an international destination for those who study the volcanic ash, which has recorded the changes in the magnetic fields of the earth.
As we walked, we saw layers of ash that had been disturbed by ancient earthquakes, fossilized footprints of horses, camel, birds and other creatures. Susan calls this her “prehistoric zoo”. School children come from the local schools regularly to see it. Education, conservation and ecotourism is the goal for the SHEAR center, which may help discover the unknown facts of our planet and the evolution of life. Who knew that this wonderful area might hold the key to discovering if there could be life on other planets? Every one of us came away from that walk with a sense of wonder and appreciation that we didn’t have before Susan opened our eyes.
We want to thank Susan for her time, interest and dedication in making Shoshone known in the scientific world. It was a morning that was filled with surprises, information and history. We would all like to go back and learn more.