Ballarat Ghost Town 2000


Ever since my cross country trip, I had gotten a very nasty travelling bug and found I enjoyed road trips. Thankfully I had friends who would indulge me. One weekend I drove on up to San Francisco to visit Kevin and take a wild road trip. We intended to get into Death Valley while it was still cool. On the way to Death Valley we stopped off at Ballarat, a ghost town on the west side of the Panamits. It really was my first 'ghost' town, even though it was somewhat populated being an entry point to great 4x4 trails through the desert and the road to Manson's ranch. We didn't get to go on those roads but wandered around the town.

We never made it into Death Valley, though. On the way in my car threatened to overheat, and we turned around and made it to lone pine on fumes. It was the only time the needle went past E. So then we decided to go to Vegas, but all the roads over the mountains were closed an we had to go way far up. We eventually made it to Vegas and Kevin doubled the amount of cash we had playing poker. We rolled back into San Francisco after a long trip, but with lots of memories...and a reminder to me to replace the cracked radiator in my car. It'd be another two years before I'd get back to Death Valley.

The Photographs

These were taken with my old Miranda camera on a roll of TriX 400. While I didn't know it at the time, shooting 400 in the desert essentially limited me to only the highest f stops, so some of these pictures have great depth of field. Thankfully it also kept my shutter faster then the point where I knew it would stick. Click "Next" in the upper right to begin.