GHOST TOWNS If You Ever Come To … (No. 33)

Posted by on 4. Juni 2011
Rhyolite Today

The Ruins of Rhyolite ...

Rhyolite

... and Ryolite in 1909 ...

Albert Szukalski

... Albert Szukalski's Apostles, the saints of the ghosttown ...

Naturally you visit the Death Valley first. If you d0 it my style, you need at least one week. Then you drive up to Zabrieskie Point and leave the valley (on the 190), follow the signs to Beatty (and the 95) – and on the way, to the left up the slope you see it: Rhyolite. Nothing but hot ruins and icecold mining shafts. A bank, a saloon, a train station, private houses (one build of empty bottles), a lot of wind (very nice) and an atmosphere of a ghostly presence (a bit menacing). I know that there are dozens of ghosttowns in this part auf the United States, but Rhyolite is special, because the change was so rapid in a very short time – from 0 to 40 000 inhabitants and back to 0 in just 15 years, from 1905 to 1920. Gold and Borax lured them to Rhyolite, now it’s a tourist attraction and movie set (I never saw either one) and for me a place where a genius from Belgium left exactly what you expect here – the lifesize white gypsum ghosts (aka apostles) of Albert Szukalski, frozen in a field when you branch off the 90, in a garden to the left. And then remind yourself that Las Vegas is 120 mi or 190 km away only …

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