Gone But Not Forgotten

Death Valley, California
Rhyolite, California is a ghost town in the northeast part of Death Valley National Park.  There are several ghost towns within the vast boundaries of the park, but Rhyolite is noted for its still-standing structures, one of which still has  part of the second story intact.  The famous “bottle house” is located in Rhyolite.  
Less than a quarter mile outside of “town” is the Rhyolite Cemetery, literally out in the middle of nowhere.  If you didn’t know it was there, you’d never find it.  The land is pancake flat, sandy and rocky, bone-dry and dusty, lying between two mountain ranges that block out any life-supporting rain clouds.  Sage brush is about the only evidence of life.  There are no signs directing you to the Rhyolite Cemetery, no large tombstones or iron gates to break the horizon and call your attention to its existence.
But someone knows the cemetery is there.  There are 15-20 grave sites there and none of them look well attended, but its not like it needs a groundskeeper either.  No grass to mow or weed problem in this cemetery.   This particular grave site was one of the few that had a fence around it — must have been the banker’s.    It also had some “fresh” plastic flowers, fresh because the colors in the plastic were still vibrant, not faded by the sun.  No legible markings could be seen on the wooden grave marker, but someone still remembers.
Thought for the day:    Here lies Lester Moore.
                                                             Four slugs
                                                             from a 44.
                                                               No Les
                                                            No More.
          Boot Hill Cemetery, Tombstone, Arizona

3 thoughts on “Gone But Not Forgotten

  1. I went to the Mojave Desert a few years ago and wondered how much different
    “Death Valley” is. If there is still some semblance of a town there, has Hollywood
    made use of it? Are all their Westerns filmed out in Utah somewhere or in California
    near Death Valley or Mojave? Do you like to hike in the desert?


    1. Death Valley is an amazing place, lots of diversity in landscapes, sandscapes, vegetation, rock formations, elevation, etc. I’d highly recommend Scotty’s Castle, up in the northern part, if you decide to go there–quite a story.

      I was in Death Valley in late March, hoping to catch the desert flowers at their peak. Its so desolate there, I think it would be scary to even travel by car in the heat of the summer, let alone hike. We took lots of “walks”, less than two miles, but I wouldn’t try any hikes unless you really know what you’re doing.

      Nice to hear from you.


  2. Hi Larry. Enjoyed this blog. I wonder about things like that too: solitary gravestone markers with no identifying features. Good to be reminded of the old Les More chesnut :}


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