Even with my old eyes, I can still see interesting things way off the highway, while speeding by at 70-80 mph. Such was the case on Nevada State Route 266 near Lida, Nevada. I was heading east toward I-95 when I caught a glimpse of something unusual several hundred yards south of the highway. My gold mine senses were tingling, so I turned around as soon as I could and headed back to see what I could find.
And what I found were four large tanks. These things are pretty big and my guess is they had something to do with the mines I could now see up in the hills, just a couple hundred yards away to the west. Did they hold water, or were they used to mix some kind of solution? Were they used in refining ore somehow? I don't have any idea, but they are pretty big.
As mysterious and interesting as these tanks were, I had more interest in heading over to the mines to see what I could find over there. A dirt road led up to the workings, and much farther beyond as well, but I only explored the area within a few hundred yards of where I stopped my truck. There were a lot of mines.
There were drifts leading into the hills, there were shafts heading straight down into the earth and there were tunnels slanting in at different directions. It was amazing how many ways I could have died here. A few of the openings were fenced off, but the majority of them were open.
My favorite find of the day was this two-room stone ruin. It was a fairly large structure with an intact doorway and a couple of windows. Take a look at the tailing piles up behind the building. There must have been some frantic activity going on here for a while.
I didn't go into any of the mines this trip, as most of the openings were quite crumbly and some were very steep. I like finding places like this, but am not always that excited about venturing into some of the tunnels. It mostly depends on how they look and their state of preservation.
All things considered, this little side trip off the main road was a huge success. Lots of mines, a cool, mostly-intact stone ruin and some great photo opportunities. And it all came about from catching a glimpse of some strange, cylindrical metal objects from the corner of my eye while speeding by. Hmmm, I might want to slow down a bit. Who knows, I might catch sight of even more great places to explore.