Exploring Ballarat, CA.  A (true) Ghost Town 50 miles Northeast of  Ridgecrest, CA.   March 31, 2016

For starters, historical markers to give you an idea of what I was exploring.

Ballarat is truly, a ghost town.  I dry camped here for two nights which cost me six bucks total.  As a side note; it's annoying to me, how many town names  in the USA have origins in other countries or continents as Ballarat is.  Couldn't the people who choose to name a town, be original and not copy the name of a town in a far away place.  Bear Creek!  Do you know how many creeks are named Bear Creek?  It must number in the thousands.  Rock Creek, Deer Creek, out with them all.  Lets rename them one and all.  Lets rename Ballarat to "Mine Shaft."  Bear Creek to "Aunt Suzy's" Creek.  "Hey Frank, let's go fishing in Aunt Suzy's Creek on Saturday."

Oh, the other thing about Ballarat is that it's a play ground for training jets flying out of the Naval Air Base located in Ridgecrest.  One even hit me with a sonic boom so they do have the pedal to the metal.  Several of them will have each other in their sights simulating warfare.  The net of it is, this is a noisy place in the evening, until it gets dark and the kiddies park their planes.

Fixer upper, needs window treatment and new carpets.  Circa 1890s.  You wouldn't look so good either if you were 100 plus years old. lol

At least you can start building on top of the old foundation, if you can find it.

Same one as shown before, just a different view.  Notice that a doorbell is not needed at this time.

Fred, as near as I can tell, a wild male Desert Donkey.  I never did get very close.  It would snort at me if I got too close and then turn tail and take off.  At one point it started braying which was surprisingly loud and intimidating. I also heard some return braying up in a canyon a ways off.  Later in the evening, four Burroughs came walking on the edge of the camp grounds including this guy as well. So fun to see and watch that I didn't bother to grab my camera.  They were different shades of brown and gray.

Desert Donkey Dung, in case you ever run across it or heaven forbid, step in it, you'll know what animal left it for you.

Critters, and more critters.  Insects sitting on a Beaver Tail Cactus flower.

Same thing, only a drab black insect of some nature.

An Inch Worm, inching along.  This worm had a curious style of  moving by bunching its body together, bringing it's back feet up to the front feet, then releasing the front feet and stretching forward for a new grip, PRN.  It made surprisingly fast progress with this method.  Also fun and interesting to watch.

Of these two photos, I couldn't decide which to present first.  This is why I do this.  When I capture a very unusual critter as shown here, it's the equivalent of a home run for me.  I can count on one hand, the number of photos I consider home runs.  My first one was an Osprey pulling a fish out of the water, in Corpus Christi, TX..Ask me sometime what my other "home runs" are.  Maybe I'll dedicate a web page to show just "My Home Runs."

Who did his makeup, a clown school?  "Yeh baby, these orange spots will really turn the ladies on."

A Grass Hopper, or in this case, maybe a Rock Hopper.  Definitely has a cool camouflage motif going for it.  Did you have difficulty spotting it. In the center of the photo?

More Beavertail flowers, sorry?  Are you getting tired of them yet?

They are so pretty, if it wasn't a cactus, you might want to give it a hug.  I wonder if the donkeys enjoy munching on them.  I didn't see any evidence of being eaten so maybe they are well protected from that else the donkey is waiting for the fruit.  I just don't know. 

Pretty flowers on not so pretty foliage.  (The above photo is cropped from the photo below.)

Another Desert Five Star flower.  I still think they look a lot like the flowers in the Mariposa Lilly family.  Major difference is five petals for this flower instead of four for the Mariposa Lilly.  Both have that inside patch of color on each petal, though.

Check out the landscape.  Miles and miles of nothing.  My camper is in this photo sans my car because I dropped the trailer and took off touring dirt roads in my car.  I attempted three times to go up three different dirt (Jeep) roads with my AWD high clearance car.  On all three roads, the road got narrower and steeper and pretty soon it was just too risky to take an urban car any further into the wilderness.  Finding a semi wide spot in the road, I would laboriously inch the car 180 degrees around and return on the same road.  The biggest problem with my car wasn't lack of power or traction or clearance.  The biggest problem was the size of my car.  It was just too large for this type of road.  Turns were too tight, road was too narrow, and going through areas with huge vertical drops.  I rarely turn tail but in this case, totally warranted.  I was using the wrong equipment for these roads.  My vehicle of choice for these roads would be a RzR or dirt bike, not a car.  

Here's a challenge, let me know which dot on this view, you think is my trailer. This photo is not cropped so, if you want to see where my trailer is, click on the photo to view the 1:1 crop.  The original photo is 5616x3744 pixels, the crop is 1024x683.

Now an abrut segway back to Wagon Wheel on April 1.

Another desert memorial.  This guy looked deserving though as this appears to have been an actual mining claim. Harold Butler, 1914 to 1998.

A desert city of campers.  Apparenttly, a rally/race scheduled for Saturday April 2.

I hiked to the top of a small hill and then I heard a roar of OHV approaching.

A couple of RZR coupes.

A four seater sedan RZR (Razor).

A boy and his dog. 


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