A Landing a Day

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Posts Tagged ‘Desperation’

Ruth (revisited) and Jakes Valley, Nevada

Posted by graywacke on December 1, 2014

First timer?  In this formerly once-a-day blog (and now more-or-less a once or twice a week blog), I have my computer select a random latitude and longitude that puts me somewhere in the continental United States (the lower 48).  I call this “landing.”  I keep track of the watersheds I land in, as well as the town I land near.  I do some internet research to hopefully find something of interest about my landing location.  To find out more about A Landing A Day (like who “Dan” is and what the various numbers and abbreviations mean in the first paragraph), please see “About Landing,” (and “Abbreviations” and “Cryptic Numbers”) above.

 Landing number 2136; A Landing A Day blog post number 564.

Dan:  OK.  This is getting out of hand.  Six OSers in a row, with this landing in . . . NV; 85/77; 3/10; 2; 148.1.  The odds are roughly 50/50 OS/US, so six in a row = one chance in 26 = one chance in 64.  Enough already.

Anyway, here’s my regional landing map:

 landing 1

My local landing map shows that I landed fairly close to Ruth, Lane & Ely:

 landing 2

Here’s my Google Earth (GE) landing video:


Zooming back a little, you can see Ruth, Jakes Valley and the low spot where drainage from my landing ends up:

 GE 1

Speaking of the low spot, there’s a low spot in the valley labeled “Circle Wash” on StreetAtlas.  I Googled Circle Wash, and I found this hilarious website:

circle wash fishing

Just imagine how many other places one could find where “there are no fish here.”  Anyway, while perusing GE (and after I had turned on the “roads” function), I saw this about a mile south of my landing:

 GE 2

Old Lincoln Highway, eh?  As regular readers know, I’ve landed near the Lincoln Highway a number of times and have featured it in several posts, including Hazen NV, Earling IA, Truckee CA, Tippett NV, Dugway UT, and Dugway UT (revisisted).  Anyway, the Lincoln Highway was the first coast-to-coast road that could be negotiated by the automobile.  It was completed in 1913.

For this part of Nevada, nearly all of the references say that the Lincoln Highway follows Route 50, which it did in the 1920s.  But not in 1913!  In 1913, the road followed the route I’ve added in white (which includes the portion shown on the above photo):

 GE old lincoln highway

The road still exists, except for the far western end and the whole section around Ruth, which was obliterated by the mining operations (I just guessed at its location there).

From the University of Michigan Lincoln Highway photo archives is this back-in-the-day shot taken quite close to my landing:

old LHW shot

Here’s a shot of what the road looks like now (by Dale Southern, as posted in SierraTraveler.com):


Imagine crossing Jakes Valley on a dirt road in a Model T . . .

It turns out that I landed near Ruth back in February of 2009.  I started A Landing A Day in November of 2008, and this Ruth landing was just my 63rd post.  Click HERE to learn all about Ruth (it’s a cool post!).

Here’s a shot from that post of the town (from Sangres.com):


Since that post, I found this back-in-the-day shot (from IHPWorkshops.com):

IHPworkshops.com town back in the day

Also – my old post stated that the mine closed in 1999 (correct) and is still closed (incorrect).  It’s open and here’s a Panoramio shot by Thomas Galenbeck of the current mining operation:

 pano thomas galenbeck the liberty pit

And a current (and definitely not very exciting) video by Grover Cleveland of a dump truck dumping mine tailings:


Here’s a 1940 picture from my earlier post of which I am particularly fond:


Something else that I missed before was the Stephen King connection with Ruth.  From Wiki:

Stephen King was inspired to write Desperation as a result of a cross-country drive in 1991, during which he visited the small desert community of Ruth, Nevada, near U.S. 50. His first thought was that the town’s inhabitants were all dead. He then wondered who had killed them, and the idea occurred to him that the town’s sheriff had done so.


I’m reading Desperation, and it is creepy indeed.

I’ll close with this Pano shot by QWilleran of Route 50 as it crosses the northern end of Jakes Valley:

 pano qwilleran

That’ll do it.




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