A Desert Storm in a Ghost Town Called Ballart… 01/10/17

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Folks, what’s more exciting to see in #DeathValley than a #GhostTown? These little towns popped up where gold or precious ores were found… Enough #miners would show up in one area for the #GoldRush, so some smart #entrepreneurs would avoid the fight for precious ores and take the safer bet by making money off of the greedy #prospectors… All of these miners need a place to stay and something to eat, don’t they?

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And as soon as these miners left, most of these towns fizzled out because of the harsh conditions… Without some sort of big money making scheme, these towns couldn’t survive because no one else would be crazy enough to come out here to make a life…

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So, now #DeathValley and a lot of environments like it are riddled with old ghost towns that were once thriving communities…

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It was almost fitting we were visiting a Ghost Town just as a #SandStorm made its way through the #Desert… All I needed was a bushel of #tumbleweed to blow by for the perfect added effect…

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The desert is so mysterious and romantic… This type of extreme weather is one of the reasons these towns vacated… Without money coming in, battling such weather makes no sense… And without #Borax or #PreciousOres these towns would have never existed… That’s what makes them so special… These Ghost towns are exaggerated examples of how #capitalism works… What builds these towns is exactly what tears them down when it runs out… Without the money, the economy crumbles…

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And #Balart,California is a perfect example of these crazy, adventurous times… Times that helped create this great country and the wealthy who would soon control it… The Gold Rush raced civilization out to the west… It created transportation to the west, many towns and cities and many famous reputations…

Ballarat was named by a young immigrant from Australia… named after a town in Australia which is known for its gold… Oh, what’s that? An #Immigrant coming over to this country and contributing to its growth and greatness… I thought all immigrants were thieving murderers… well according to #CandidateTrump they are… If #Trump even bothered to read this country’s history, he would realize #America was built by poor people from poor countries… And when they made it rich they hired more poor immigrants to help build this great country… And wouldn’t you know it, if you look into every part of American history, there was always some boisterous #politician asshole screaming to ‘kick them out!

Imagine what our country would look like if we didn’t have the free or cheap labor to build it… This country has its priorities up its own ass if it actually believes this type of rhetoric… We should be honoring the immigrants of the past and of today because they are the ones who work their asses off and risk their lives to come to a country that doesn’t want them, just to build their families a better life… My Mother is an immigrant who came over here from England with two children and no money, raised us by herself and then started her won successful company in Boston… The hypocrisy of it all is, the ones who  complain about the immigrants are usually ones who came from struggling immigrants themselves… Just like Trump, who’s Grandfather came here to escape the shameful Germany immediately after WWI… Without Germany’s failure as a country, Trump would have never come here…

That’s what makes #America great idiots!!!! The fact you can come here dirt poor and make it rich!!! That’s the #AmericanDream which most citizens of this country don’t take advantage of because they take it for granted… It’s the immigrants who come over here and use this country’s dream to their advantage… A dream they wouldn’t realize if it wasn’t for their poor predicament before they came here in the first place… But how can a rich Trump understand such history? It was his Immigrant ancestors who suffered to create what he has today while he chastises the same immigrants for chasing such dreams today…

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Ballrat is also famous for being the home of the infamous #CharlesManson and his cult… They had a camp in a ranch south of Ballarat… Many people venture out here every year to visit the old Manson site… Not much to see but a bunch of graffiti and a shed that is rumored to be where Manson was hiding when the authorities took him into custody…

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And wouldn’t you know that #PanamintCity, which Ballarat is very close to, developed this impressive mining camp with a railroad and a whole town only for it to be washed away 20 days later by flash floods caused by sudden rain… The area that flooded is known as #SurpriseCanyon… It definitely earned that name… lol…

After this happened, the town couldn’t rebuild and it became a Ghost Town which is only miles from Ballarat… They say that the flash flood that wiped out Panamint City was the beginning to the end of mining in Death Valley… They say one of the departing miners from this disaster would cross the Desert terrain to discover #CottonBorax in the now famous #FurnaceCreek,DeathValley

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To get to Ballarat, #TheTravelingMac and Tracey had to turn off of the main road… We drove down this desolate road for a few minutes… The area was surprisingly wet… I guess in the 70’s there was a huge #hippie concert here where 2,000 people showed up… Well, about 200 of them contracted hepatitis A from drinking the water…

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So a little warning here, boil the water before you drink it or really play it safe and bring your own…

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This town used to be the home of 500 residents… You could see evidence of mines in the distant #mountains… Trails, mined mountain ridges and broken down equipment are all that remains…

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What a crazy yet exciting time to live in… I know I would have definitely been one of these people venturing out to make a few bucks… I don’t know if I would get into the hustle and bustle of the mining operation… I probably would have been an entertainer or bartender in the tiny town…

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What a story to tell… Packing up all of your stuff and letting the country decide your fate… The chances of striking it rich were very slim… And the chances of getting killed were quite high…

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Ballarat alone would send the precious ores they found out in 400 pound blocks, just so the #TrainRobbers couldn’t steal the ore before it got to #LosAngeles… And yes, Los Angeles was a huge part of the gold rush… #Railroads were built to go straight into this city from these mines and they usually ended there… Not only did the prospectors have to risk everything to mine the precious ores, they also had to take painstaking steps to make sure it arrived to its destination safely…

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Because we are all too familiar with the curse that comes along with money… And where ever greed lies, you will find crime, murder and theft.. Here we are in the 21st century and we still can’t figure out this ever so simple disease…

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This town was magnificent to look at and it still has one resident living here named Rocky… This guy runs the general store on afternoons and weekends… He is also paid by the Government to fix the water pipes supplying this town… I guess the hepatitis epidemic prompted some action…

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I was actually invited to a concert out here by two girls who came to my bar at #StovepipeWellsVillage… The concert actually took place when Tracey was supposed to visit her family… I didn’t go for obvious reasons… lol!

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Ballarat was definitely something I had never experienced before… It was one of those rare places which had its own feel… Everything I looked at made me think about how thriving this place must have been at one time… I kept on thinking about all of the stories and adventures that happened out here… This used to be a community full of gossip, rumors, hope and business deals…  And I guarantee the people who lived in this special place at its peak, would have never dreamed of it turning out like this…

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This town had seven #saloons, a post office, a wells fargo station and even a hotel… It’s crazy to think that this little broken down #MiningCart above was once the big technology of the time… Now it just lays there, a broken down, forgotten relic of what a thriving, rich town used to be…

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And isn’t it fitting that one of the only buildings that still stands is the #JailHouse… The building that was once built to keep people from leaving this town is now the building inviting people to show what a town once used to be…

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I guess the #Sheriff and his #Deputy sat here…

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While some drunk poor soul waited to see what his fate was in this remote town in the middle of the #Desert…. I’m sure wrong things were said during a drunken conversation at the saloon… I can guarantee it was over either money, women or land… Same old story we can relive anywhere we research throughout history…

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I guess a lot of these vehicles became victims of the floods out here also… there is actually a place in the desert where a bunch of abandoned cars are all bunched together… I guess these folks were passing through Death Valley when a #FlashFlood hit them… It was so intense that it killed some… Most of the cars were just left in the desert because it was way too expensive to rescue them…

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The desert is such an interesting place because it seems to hold onto a lot of its relics where other historical places usually lose theirs or build over them… But the desert keeps mostly everything that enters… It’s like a natural museum filled up with relics from the past… Nature is left to nurture and display them for the visitors to see… The desert is so powerful and extreme that no one dares to try and rescue anything that is not extremely important to them…. And lots of times they lose the important things also…

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Even though the General store said it was open, it wasn’t… Rocky needs to keep up on his shit out here… lol…

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This would actually be a perfect place for #TheMillenniumFalcon to reside… I could write throughout the day and man the store in my free time…

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Actually, a cool project to take up out here would be to remap the whole town and put plaques where everything once used to be… A lot of people travel through the desert every year… Death Valley had record numbers in visits last year… I believe tourists would flock to learn the history of a small mining town that once existed in the ever volatile desert…

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Who knows, maybe that’s why Rocky is fixing the water pipes… I’m guessing this is where Rocky lives, above… He’s smart parking his trailer under some sort of cover… Even the winter sun can be extremely damaging out here…

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A lot of the old roads still existed and now they are trails for hikers and historians to enjoy… Every trail had some sort of old mining equipment telling its story… The mining equipment was so heavy, it just cost less to leave it rather than spend the money to take it elsewhere…

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Once these little towns crumbled, it didn’t mean that everyone left all at once… There is always that hopeful, late prospector who believed there was still gold and silver to get out here… So, they took their chances in this ever remote area…

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It wasn’t a horrible plan and I probably would have tried to take this path also… Hoping to get some gold residual left over from the elaborate mining operation out here… I mean, you had all of the equipment and mining areas there for you… And if you have a small operation, it doesn’t cost as much to mine… So, any small prospect a big mining company would probably laughed at could very well be a huge win for a small group who didn’t have to build the whole operation over again… they could just use what is here…

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But eventually even the diehard ones had to leave… Be it the heat or flash floods, #MotherNature always seems to win out here…

As Tracey and I were leaving, we stumbled upon this fella… One of the few remaining residents of Ballarat… I wonder what scraps are out here for him…

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