Skip to main content
| Vicki Hill | Trip Reports

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.