The Ghost Towns of Central Oregon – Part 6 – Friend

Due to some unexpected events, I wasn’t able to finish off the Ghost Towns Blog Series as soon as I would have liked.

The unexpected event….

This is the final in the Ghost Towns of Central Oregon.

Friend, Oregon

Welcome to Friend, buddy

In its prime, the town consisted of a schoolhouse, a store, a train depot, and a cemetery. The town Friend was named after George Friend who had the original post office established on his own homestead in 1903.

Like the nearby ghost towns that we have already visited, the town seemed to only exist because of the railroad. Friend was the end of the line for the Great Southern Railroad, but when a new rail line was built from Dufur to The Dalles, then the little town of Friend all but shut down. The Friend train depot closed in 1928, and Friend has been considered a ghost town since the early 1930’s.

Hi, Friend!
Friend Store.
Friend school.

The old Friend Store is located on private property now, but the schoolhouse was open for self-tours. Although there are a few ranches nearby, Friend was probably the ghostiest of the ghost towns that we visited during our Central Oregon Ghost Town Trip.

This building sits alone in the middle of a field. Rumor mill says it used to be a bank.
Inside the school house looking out.
A piano remains in the school building.
School’s out…
The only friend I actually met in Friend.

Now that our central Oregon ghost town tour has come to an end, we will begin working on our summer travel plans. What are you summer camping/travel/RVing plans?

Ghost Towns of Central Oregon – Part 4 – Rajneeshpuram

ghost town
noun
a town that was busy in the past but is now empty
or nearly empty because the activities that kept
people there have stopped

Rajneeshpuram

Chandra Mohan Jain aka Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh aka Osho (Photo Credit: Wikipedia)

Chandra Mohan Jain was born December 11, 1931 in India. He later became known as Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh. In the 1960’s he traveled throughout India as a public speaker sharing his philosophies and criticizing orthodox religions.  Bhagwan encouraged meditation, mindfulness, celebration, courage, and humor. His teachings on having an open attitude of sexuality is what caused him the most controversy during his life.

In the early 1970’s Bhagwan and his followers, which were called neo-sannyasins, settled in Pune, Maharashtra, India. The neo-sannyasins built an ashram for Bhagwan, which is similar to a monastery, where his followers could learn his teachings. By the late ’70s the ashram was in debt to the Indian government for back taxes of over $5 million.

And this is where Oregon comes in.

Central Oregon

Bhagwan became interested in the United States and sent his people to create a new ashram. His right hand woman, Ma Anand Sheela, purchased land in Oregon near the small town of Antelope with the money they had saved on their taxes.

Rajneeshpuram (Photo Credit: Wikipedia)

The Big Muddy Ranch in central Oregon became Rancho Rajneesh, and was later incorporated as the city of Rajneeshpuram. The commune was an enormous 64,229 acres. Rajneeshpuram had a 160-room hotel, a 2 acre meeting hall, shopping malls, restaurants, laundromats, city police, and even an airport. For being a spiritual leader Bhagwan sure had a taste for the finer things; like 85 Rolex watches and 93 Rolls Royce.

(Photo Credit: SIPA/Rex/Shutterstock)
Part of the runway for the Rajneeshpuram airport, and an old fire truck in the background.

Rajneeshpuram was a bustling city and its resident were the only ones happy about it. The following years were filled with legal battles between the Rajneesh and local farmers and Oregon government. Most conflicts were due to illegal land use by the commune and the commune’s unwillingness to compromise.

The main office of Rajneeshpuram, as it looks today.

After the Rajneeshees established Bhagwan as a religious leader in the United States, he began a vow of silence and Sheela became his voice. Eventually Sheela started using her own voice to gain local political power. At her direction some members of the commune moved into the nearest town, Antelope. In time they managed to get themselves voted onto the city council and they changed the name of Antelope to Rajneesh.

Dedicated to those of this community who throughout the Rajneesh invasion and occupation of 1981-1985 remained, resisted, and remembered…”The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” – Edmund Burk

Flexing their political muscles gave the Rajneesh even more bad press. Rumors that the commune was nothing more than a sex cult with rampant drug use irritated everyone…except for those having the sex most likely. Gossip was that even Bhagwan had his own drug problem of a lot of Valium and inhaling nitrous-oxide for fun.

Temporary housing for the 1983 First World Celebration. (Photo Credit: Wikipedia)

In the summers of 1983 and 1984 Rajneeshpuram held World Celebration Festivals. During the festivals there were up to 15,000 neo-sannyasins visiting rural central Oregon. The Rajneeshees were spreading through Wasco and Jefferson counties like a bright red STD.

Bhagwan driving one of his Rolls Royce to wave at his followers. (Photo Credit: Wikipedia)

In October of 1984 neo-sannyasins, following the orders of Ma Anand Sheela, poisoned multiple salad bars at restaurants in The Dalles, Oregon with Salmonella. The purpose? It was a practice run for election day in November. The goal was to keep the citizens of The Dalles home sick so they couldn’t vote, which would give the Rajneeshees even more political power. No one died during the attack, but the 750 people that got food poisoning probably wished they had. The incident is considered the first bioterrorism attack in the United States. It is still questioned as to whether Bhagwan was the mastermind behind the bioterrorism or if Sheela planned it on her own.

Rajneesh propaganda that is completely fake.
According to rumor this is the building that the Rajneesh grew their Salmonella.

By 1985 Rajneeshpuram was falling apart. Bhagwan began insisting that he was not a religious leader and ordered his neo-sannyasins to burn all his teachings and books. In October of ‘85 a grand jury indicted Rajneesh and several of his disciples with conspiracy to evade immigration laws. His lawyers, which were of course neo-sannyasins, made a deal with the US Attorney’s office. Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh was given a 10 year suspended sentence, 5 years of probation and a $400,000 fine – and the agreement that he leave the United States.

Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh left Oregon and went back to India. He changed his name to Osho and continued his spiritual teachings to new and old neo-sannyasins. Osho died January 19, 1990 in Pune, India of natural causes. His philosophies and teachings are still available, and you can still join his cult if you like. Just visit https://www.osho.com/

Apartment Buildings still standing
Currently there are signs saying that this is maintenance housing.

By 1987 Rajneeshpuram was empty of the followers of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh. The state of Oregon took ownership of the town for past due taxes and fines, and then sold it to Dennis Washington. Washington attempted to run a ranch for profit (The Washington Family Ranch), and when that failed he tried to sell the land back to Oregon to be used as a state park. Oregon said oh, hells no!

Welcome – Young Life – Washington Family Ranch

In 1996 The Washington Family Ranch donated the land to Young Life, a Christian youth organization. Since 1999 they have held various youth summer camps, festivals, and retreats.

Welcome to summer camp!

The city of Rajneeshpuram is so ghost town that it isn’t a town anymore…just a church camp where people congregate to hear the word of Jesus, a man who hung out with people of open sexuality and shared his philosophies and beliefs of prayer (meditation and mindfulness), church (celebration), and standing up for your fellow man (courage); plus he liked to brag about his 3-day hide and seek championship (humor).

A rainbow seen shining down on The Old Muddy Ranch aka Rajneeshpuram aka Washington Family Young Life Camp. Which one got the nod from God? Who knows. He works in mysterious ways.

Ghost Towns of Central Oregon – Part Three – Antelope

ghost town
noun
a town that was busy in the past but is now empty 
or nearly empty because the activities that kept 
people there have stopped

Antelope

Antelope Public School

The Antelope Post Office was built in 1871, and the tiny community of Antelope became the tiny town of Antelope. The town’s population peaked at 249 in 1900, after the Columbia Southern Railway completed a rail line between the Columbia River to just north of Antelope in the town of Shaniko. The State of Oregon incorporated Antelope in 1901 and the population has had a pretty steady decline since then. The 2010 census put the population at 46.

One of the older buildings in Antelope. I am sure these walls have secrets.
City of Antelope Fire Department
An old hose house for the fire department.
Hose Cart No. 2

Antelope found it’s fame in 1981 when the Indian guru Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh purchased the Old Muddy Ranch land just 18 miles southeast of Antelope. It quickly became clear to the residents of Antelope that the Rajneeshees were not just there for some small town farming. The Rajneeshees turned the Old Muddy Ranch into their own city, named Rajneeshpuram.

Lead by Bhagwan and Ma Anand Sheela, the Rajneesh flexed their newfound local power and took over the city council of Antelope – and even went so far as to rename the town Rajneesh. After nefarious actions by some of the citizens of Rajneeshpuram were discovered and investigations began, the town formally known as Antelope began to dwindle. In 1985 the remaining citizens of Rajneesh (including some Rajneeshees) voted 36-0 to restore Antelope’s original name.

The Antelope Garage
School’s Out.
Yes, this is pretty creepy in person too.
An original building from the community of Antelope

The citizens of Antelope commemorated their resistance to the cult of Rajneesh by installing a plaque next to the Antelope post office.

Dedicated to those of this community who throughout the Rajneesh invasion and occupation of 1981-1985 remained, resisted, and remembered…”The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” – Edmund Burke

Want to know more about Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh and his cult followers?

The office building in Rajneeshpuram, now known as The Washington Family Ranch/Young Life Camp.

UP NEXT Ghost Towns of North Central Oregon – Rajneeshpuram!

Ghost Towns of Central Oregon – Part Two – Kent & Shaniko

ghost town
noun
a town that was busy in the past but is now empty 
or nearly empty because the activities that kept 
people there have stopped
Kent, Oregon

Kent

The town of Kent is located on Highway 97, south of Grass Valley and north of Shaniko. The town site was originally called Guthrie, and a smaller town site, named Kent, was in a nearby canyon. When the Columbia Southern Railway arrived in Guthrie around 1900, the people of Kent moved to the larger town, and the town of Guthrie was renamed Kent. The post office is the only active business in town.

Kent false advertising.
Kent Market
Cheapest gas in Oregon!

Shaniko

August Scherneckau moved to the area in 1874, after the Civil War. It is said that the town was named after the way that the local Native Americans pronounced Scherneckau’s name. The Shaniko Post Office was opened in 1900, and the town was incorporated the next year.

Shaniko Schoolhouse

The town of Shaniko became a transportation hub between the Columbia Southern Railroad and the Union Pacific Railroad. Between the years of 1901 and 1911, Shaniko was known as the “wool capital of the world.” The largest building in town was a wool warehouse, which still stands today.

Wool Warehouse

In 1911 the Union Pacific Railroad began using an alternative route to Portland, and Shaniko started losing businesses and population right away. Shaniko was first called a “ghost town” in 1959. According the last census the population is now 36.

The Shaniko Hotel
Inside the Shaniko Hotel
Shaniko – The hub of transportation.
Another example of the local transportation.
I bet there is some antique dog tinkle on this.

UP NEXT Antelope!

Ghost Towns of Central Oregon – Part One – Grass Valley

ghost town
noun
a town that was busy in the past but is now empty 
or nearly empty because the activities that kept 
people there have stopped

Grass Valley, Oregon

Grass Valley was established in 1878 and  was incorporated in 1901. The town is located in Sherman County, Oregon. According to the last census the town population is 164. Grass Valley earned its name because of how tall the rye grass would get in the area; it’s said that it was tall enough to be well over a mans head, even so when on horseback. Alternative history: the men were ridiculously short and made up a tall tale about mutant rye.

Grass Valley School was built in 1903, and closed sometime prior to 1940 when students started attending a school in nearby town of Moro – which is not much bigger than Grass Valley.

For this central Oregon tour of abandoned buildings and ghost towns, we stayed in Grass Valley for the week at the Grass Valley RV Park. It is not a five-star resort…but it centrally located for what we needed, and the owner was really nice – like hands out little bags of candy when you check in kind of nice. It is a tiny park with most residents being long term, but it isn’t a mess. The RV park is right on the highway, so expect some truck noise.

The Old Methodist Church in Grass Valley. The church was built in 1902. The church stopped holding service between 1946-1947.

There are a few abandoned and historical buildings in Grass Valley, including a beautiful abandoned Methodist church and an old school building, plus 99% of the buildings along the highway, but don’t be too impressed since that is only like 3 buildings.

One of the closed businesses along the main street on Highway 97.
Old Methodist Church.
On the inside, looking out.
Inside the Methodist church.
Grass Valley, Oregon School Building.
An old abandoned car on the school property.

However, there is a store/cafe that has found The Facebook. Yes, they even have The Facebook out here in ghost town country.

Country Cafe in Grass Valley appears to be the happening place in town…and they close at 6 p.m. every day.

Up Next Kent and Shaniko!

https://www.grassvalleyoregon.com/

Northern State Hospital – Sedro-Woolley, Washington

Northern State Hospital – Sedro-Woolley, Washington

The first thing you see at Northern State Hospital.

A barn that was part of the dairy farm.

The spirits of cattle graze the spirits of the hay in the shadows.

Northern State Hospital is located four miles northeast of a small farming town, Sedro-Woolley, Washington.

Photo Courtesy of Town Map USA

The first building on the hospital campus opened in 1910, which was a the planning and administration building. The campus was finished in 1912, which is when the first 200 asylum patients were transferred in.

Looks to me like the planning department didn’t plan for a 100 years.

What kind of spirits haunt this building, you ask…(you did)? Sad ones that wish the planners planned better and they still had a roof over their ghostly heads.

There are stories of menopausal women who were admitted to the hospital by their husbands for being “hysterical”. The doctors, orderlies, and husbands were never diagnosed for the inner-rectal crainiumitis that they obviously suffered from.

One of the menopausal woman sticking around to show some men what hysterical actually looks like? I hope so.

She got 666 problems and menopause ain’t one.

That’s one way to fix the hysterical problem.

Back in the day the townsfolk of Sedro-Woolley “affectionately” referred to the hospital as the Bughouse. Isn’t that just cute and affectionate?

Ghost graffiti

A lovely spirit fixed this Republican graffiti.

Oh. Republican graffiti in response to gun control.

Northern State Hospital campus was quite sizable. When the hospital was open the grounds included housing facilities, offices, custodial buildings, farm and gardening buildings, crematorium, a cemetery, and a chapel.

Oh shit. I know what’s in there.

Spiritual advice.

Over the years there were many rumors of “treatments” that went on in the Northern State Hospital. Electric shock therapy, heavy sedation with experimental drugs, Insulin coma therapy, and Transorbital Lobotomies…and it was considered on the more compassionate mental institutions during its peak.

Dairy barn.

I think the roof has a leak.

They got sick of trying to get their bughouse ducks in a row, so they experimentally cemented them to the foundation.

How did they keep the cows in?!

Um. Yes. That shutter did slam shut while I was in this building. I may have left behind a urine sample.

One of those tall towers that are on dairy farms that I never know what they are actually used for. I imagine there are not princesses at the top of the tower.

Thousands of people died while confined there, and if they did not have family listed in their medical records, they were cremated in the on-campus crematorium. Before the crematorium was constructed, patients were buried in the cemetery.

Do you see the spirits at the end of the barn…walking their ghost dogs, Boo and Casper.

In 1973 Governor Dan Evans ordered Northern State Hospital to be closed. The residents of Skagit County were devastated by the loss of over 500 jobs. About half of the patients at the time were sent to Western State Hospital and the other half were given bus tickets and sent to Seattle.

The campus became silent.

Voices silenced… except for their spray paint.

Since the closure of the hospital a lot of the housing units have been renovated and are currently being used by a job corp program. In 1991 about 700 acres were turned into the Northern State Recreation Area, which includes trails through the campus to abandoned buildings and barns of the dairy farm, and a Frisbee golf course (Frisbee golf at the bughouse sounds like fun, no?).

Make sure to dodge the spirits as you play Frisbee golf!

If you are into abandoned places then definitely visit Northern State Hospital/Recreation Area. Don’t forget your camera and frisbee’s.  

For more information visit http//www.skagitriverjournal.com/nearbys-w/nsh/nsh1-intro.html and https://www.atlasobscura.com/places/northern-state-hospital-farm

Tonopah, Nevada

Tonopah, Nevada

Between Hawthorne, Nevada and Area 51 there is Tonopah.

Welcome to Tonopah – Home of some old holes in the ground. 

We only stayed one night in Tonopah, and used the time to stock up on supplies and gas for our upcoming visit to Area 51. 

We stayed at the Tonopah Station Casino and RV Park. The RV park is really just part of the parking lot with electric and water hookups. It was pretty difficult to get the motorhome level, which kind of sucked for just a one night stay.  The Tonopah Station does have a cool assortment of knick-knacks and mining equipment in front of their building, though. 

A lonely big boy, a horse, and mining equipment. When you can’t quite decide on your outdoor decor, put everything out! 

It’s frickin’ freezin’ in here, Mr. Bigglesworth.

There is only one grocery store in the town, but they were super cool about us leaving our motorhome there for a few hours while we ran errands. Go say hi!

Thanks!

Tonopah has a rich history of mining. They have the Tonopah Historic Mining Park ($5.00 per adult) and the Central Nevada Museum (free admission). Although we did not have time to visit the museums, we did do a drive-by for photos. 

Tonopah Mining Park

Stamp Mill

Maybe I would know what this piece of equipment was used for had I visited the museums.

Mobile jail? Don’t worry about where you commit the crime – we’ll come to you!

Another cool thing Tonopah has is the Clown Motel. Now before you get all weird about clowns – there are over 600 clowns in just the motel lobby, so it’s really no big deal. 

If you can’t get friendly service at a clown motel, you should just give up. Amiright?

If you are lucky enough to get a room upstairs at the Clown Motel, your room will probably have an awesome view of the Old Tonopah Cemetery.  The old cemetery only accepted new residents from 1901 -1911. It filled up quickly due to mine fires and a 1902 epidemic known as the “Tonopah Plague.” So, you’ll probably forget all about the clowns when the ghost of miners past come to visit you in the middle of the night – on fire, with plague boils.

Welcome clowns on every single door!

Park here. I won’t touch you, I promise. Bazinga!

Clown Bikers. Cool?

The office is filled with clowns, and the cemetery behind it is filled with plague victims. Good times.

Although our visit to Tonopah was brief, we will probably not visit again anytime soon. It was pretty…meh?

Maybe if we had more time to visit we would have a different opinion?

But on our way out of town we were reminded why we were passing through…

Tonopah Test Range – located on the northern fringe of Nellis Air Force Base – home of Area 51.

Why, yes. Those are unmarked vehicles with no back windows and an absurd amount of antenna’s escorting an unmarked semi-truck…

…toward Area 51.

Up NEXT – AREA 51!!

 

Fort Stevens – Hammond, Oregon

Fort Stevens near Astoria, OR was constructed in 1863-64  to defend the mouth of the Columbia River. On June 21, 1945 Fort Stevens was attacked by a Japaneses submarine – for reasons still questioned, the fort did not return fire.

Structure known as Battery Russell.

In the event of the zombie apocalypse, we at Write on the Road have stated “Claimed.”

I have always wanted a winding staircase.

The fort is now an Oregon State Park that includes camping, hiking, biking and the ability to explore Fort Stevens remains and buildings.

Big Boom Maker – even better than a boomstick, baby.

Jeep outside the Fort Stevens Interpretive Center

Large gun pointing toward the mouth of the Columbia River – and they say size doesn’t matter

Display inside the Interpretive Center.

Historical artifacts and information on display. Also –  this guy know what you did last summer.

Ancient bowling ball used by a giant-thumbed man in prehistoric times (he was also really good at hitchhiking). Also – that is made up – it’s a cannon ball.

The majority of the buildings and structures in Fort Stevens are still intact. You are able to enter most of the structures, though some only on scheduled tours. There are plenty of volunteers around for the guided tours, history lessons, and information. We did not take a guided tour while we were there because once we arrived, we knew what we needed to do right away….

 

As always, our trusty sidekicks were up for anything!

And that was the of the start of Completely “Real” Analysis of Paranormal & Psychic Entities Research, or CRAPPER. CRAPPER is a team of two travelers seeking made up stories and fictitious hauntings, using imaginative falsehoods to fib to you about hauntings, possessions and all other kinds of paranormal malarkey.

Inspiration for CRAPPER

Mike – Co-founder of CRAPPER

MeLisa – Co-founder of CRAPPER

Our CRAPPER investigation started at the structure named Battery Russell, which is a gun battery that sits away from the rest of Fort Stevens. This building stands alone, which means that ghosts and spirits that are more introverted will haunt these types of areas.

Knowing how the ghosts are likely to be introverted, I avoided taking pictures of them as much as possible.

This pit on the upper floor of the Battery Russell was obviously used by the military for getting pumped up for battle by playing “THIS IS SPARTA!”

These holes were meant for something very militaryish, but are now used as glory holes for spirits with a sense of perverted humor.

Hooks in closets for storage of hoses, chain hoists, and shell tongs. Paranormal entities may now use them for storing their own chains, and shrouds during hot weather.

Lantern Niche originally used for…lanterns. There are also blind niches found throughout the battery, which is convenient for the spirits with optical impairments.

Concluding our investigation at Battery Russell, CRAPPER moved on to the main areas of the fort. The ghosts and spirits that reside in the main area should be more extroverted, which means we may find some interactions.

This large iron hoop was used for hoists and pulleys, but is now used to control gargantuan hell hounds.

The structures at Fort Stevens have multiple staircases, which means that the ghosts can float or climb the stairs depending on their personal preferences.

First interaction here! We are the Parkers – the haunting spirits here are obviously trying to make contact!

The remnants of an angel bursting into flames on the wall leads me to believe that there was a great battle between good and evil here – and evil won. Does it still remain?

Indisputable evidence that it does.

We continued on with our investigation, exploring as many nooks and crannies that we could. There were rooms in complete darkness, old weapons in storage behind locked gates, and even more evidence of attempts to make contact with CRAPPER.  

A few sections of the buildings were off limits due to not being structurally sound. It is unknown if this was caused by natural elements or by battles between the light and the dark.

The tracks along the ceiling were used to move the large ammunition throughout the battery. While walking underneath them I heard an eerie voice crying “An upside-down roller-coaster! Look Ma! No hands!”

A locked portion of the fort that leads to underground bunkers. I am unsure what may remain behind the gates.

Behind these locked gates is sporting equipment that more adventure seeking ghosts have obviously stolen. – They lost everything when they died, don’t you think that includes athletic equipment?

Here is an example of a blind niche (mentioned earlier) that is used by the visually impaired spirits.

Another message received from the spiritual realm. We tried to assist with GPS coordinates, but seemed to only cause frustration.

The spirit showed CRAPPER their frustration by possessing this harmless bird. After possession, the bird swooped toward us with fury and anger on it’s little bird face. Eventually it flew down a dark corridor to find it’s master.

A lantern niche with iron gates to keep the spirits from blowing out the lanterns and then yelling “BOO” in the darkness.

This looks similar to the “THIS IS SPARTA!” hole from earlier, however this one has tiny bleachers for audiences of gnomes or fairies to watch the Spartan pep rally’s.

The shell room originally used for storage. Sadly, there are no remains of the sea shells that were stored here. We believe they were moved out of the fort to be used in a Grandma’s ocean themed garden.

The final contact. Upon leaving the shell room, we discovered that the spirits changed the name – we assumed it was another attempt at contact with CRAPPER. Upon this discovery we rapidly re-considered our decision to CRAPPER, and left before we shit ourselves.

DISCLAIMER – All CRAPPER “facts” are crap.

Fort Stevens State Park and Historical Site

 

 

Plomosa Ghost Town & Quartzsite, Arizona

About 10 miles east of Quartzsite, AZ are the ruins of the old ghost town, Plomosa. Plomosa was a lead mining town in the late 1800’s, it even had it’s own post office for a short while. Plomosa has one house that still stands, but is in horrible disrepair. There is a mine shaft nearby that has been gated off to protect people, but you can peek down it pretty safely.

The opening to a left over mine shaft. We peeked in and determined the fence is there for a solid reason…

The land is now BLM dispersed camping land, which means you can stay for up to 14 days for free. We parked Serenity right next to the only house that remains and prepared ourselves for getting spooked by some ghosties for a few days.

The only building still standing in Plomosa.

Left over foundation in the tiny ghost town

The night we arrived my cell phone worked well with a signal good enough for watching online videos. By the next morning, I had zero signal. It was that way for 24 hours and then it magically reappeared. Cutting communication is the first line of offense, right? I’m thinking the ghosties didn’t want us communicating with the outside world. In an effort to make the situation more creepy for us our dog, Rusty, would spend way too much time just staring at the carcass of the house; his tail down between his legs while looking as suspicious as a fluffy golden retriever/chow could possibly look.

Plomosa; a Spanish word that translates to creepifying.

The hubby and I have different ways of dealing with the spooks, apparently. He spent time looking in the building, shining the flashlight on it at night, and staring at it just as suspiciously as the dog. I took the “ignore-it-and-it-will-go-away” approach. Don’t look at it, don’t shine your light on it, don’t walk the dogs that way, and for the love of all that is holy, don’t read from the Necronomicon

senza-nome4

After the second night there the cell service came back with a strong signal and I figured we must have passed some supernatural test…or the ghosties got bored and wanted to watch online videos with us.

Plomosa, and the surrounding area, is an interesting place. There are still active mining claims in the area and you will see plenty of traffic because of that. A BLM ranger told us that there was a natural springs nearby and after hours of driving around the desert without finding it, we decided that was some sort of prank they must enjoy playing on the tourists.

You can find less creepy and more beauty in the area, as well

We stayed for three days at Plomosa without the spooks doing anything to bad to us (other than cutting our communication, of course). The hubby even managed to write a ghost story while we stayed in the ghost town. We ended up leaving after the third day due to having to hold our dogs down and pull Jumping Cholla cactus burrs out of their feet more times than they would have liked.

This is a Jumping Cholla cactus. It’s evil.

We left Plomosa for the up and coming RV mecca, Quartzsite. And it was fairly awful. There is nothing in Quartzsite, other than short-term and long-term BLM campgrounds, private RV parks, and a tiny grocery store. There is a small bookstore there, which I was quite happy to hear about, until it became known that the owner is an elderly man that operates his bookstore in the buff; except for a crocheted sock around his junk. For once in my life, I willingly passed on visiting a bookstore.

Quartzsite was a brief stop for us, as there is really not much to do there unless you are a rock hound. There are some beautiful (and valuable) rocks to be found in the area, but you could smack me upside the head with a $0.10 rock or a $1000.00 rock and I would just say WTF either way.

Quartzsite did have some amazing sunrises and sunsets, though.