Monday, July 4, 2011

Day 4–Caliente Nevada–07-03-2011

Our RV Park in Caliente

Today was spent exploring Caliente and the local area.
The area that now includes Caliente was originally settled in the early 1860's by Ike and Dow Barton, two Negro slaves who had escaped from Arkansas. In the early 1870’s the area was known as Dutch Flat, with Jackman Ranch being established. In 1874, ranchers Charles and William Culverwell purchased the Jackman Ranch and renamed it as Culverwell Ranch. It was later referred to as "Culverwell." Along with ranching, the family earned a living by providing hay for the mining camps in Pioche and Delamar.
Culverwell became "Calientes" (the Spanish word for hot) after the hIMG_0222ot springs found in a cave at the base of the surrounding mountains. The town was surveyed, and on August 3, 1901, a post office opened and postal officials renamed the town Caliente, dropping the ‘s’. The railroad line was completed in 1905, and by 1910, Caliente was the largest town in Lincoln County with 1,755 residents.
A two-story wooden structure served as a train depot until burning down in one of Caliente's disastrous fires. In 1923, the impressive Caliente Train Depot was built, a classic Mission-style building constructed of tan stucco. This two-story building included the railroad station, private offices and a community center on the first floor, while the second level featured a hotel.

Caliente Nevada

After lunch, we toured Cathedral Gorge State Park.

The spires and buff-colored cliffs are the result of geologic processes occurring over tens of IMG_0227millions of years. The beauty enjoyed today had violent beginnings, starting with explosive volcanic activity that, with each eruption, deposited layers of ash hundreds of feet thick. The source of this ash, the
Caliente Caldera Complex, lies to the south of Cathedral Gorge.
About five million years after the eruptions ceased, block faulting, a fracture in the bedrock that allows the two sides to move opposite each other, shaped the mountains and valleys prevalent in Nevada today.
This faulting formed a depression, now known as Meadow Valley.
Over time, the depression filled with water creating a freshwater lake. Continual raIMG_0230ins eroded the exposed ash and pumice left from the volcanic activity, and the streams carried the eroded sediment into the newly formed lake. The formations, made of silt, clay and volcanic ash, are the remnants of that lake. As the landscape changed and more block faulting occurred, water drained from the lake exposing the volcanic ash sediments to the wind and rain, causing erosion of the soft material called Bentonite clay.




Cathedral Gorge from Miller Point Overlook

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