Monday, January 28, 2013
I have another small group of photos (circa April 1966) featuring the old silver mining town of Calico, located out in the Mojave Desert. For about 15 years, Walter Knott, who had purchased the town in 1951, had been restoring Calico and created a sort of museum/tourist attraction. This neat sign tells us what Walter was thinking when he embarked on such an unusual enterprise. Notice that the woman is dressed for cold weather in spite of how hot the place looks!
I'm pretty sure we've arrived! My "spidey senses" are never wrong. It's amazing to see what kind of harsh living conditions people were willing to endure in the hopes of striking it rich. In 1966, Walter Knott donated Calico to San Bernardino County, and it is now a County Regional Park.
Imagine crossing that vast desert with wagons and mules or oxen, and one of those early wooden iPads. I wonder if that is smog? San Bernardino can get pretty darn smoggy. I choose to believe that it is a cheerful alkali dust storm.
If it wasn't for the few man-made structures, this could pass for a photo from the Mars rover. That is some serious desolation. The little Calico and Odessa Railway used to actually haul silver ore. Now visitors can take a short ride and see what it feels like to be a nugget! Admit it, you've always wondered.