Living in Nevada, mining culture and ghost towns are apart of regular life, it’s just a fact…a really cool fact. I’ll be the first to admit it: I got cocky. Spending hours upon hours of field trip time at surrounding mines, I thought I had seen and heard it all before boarding my Pink Jeep Tour to Eldorado Canyon. To my delight, I couldn’t have been more off-kilter.
Aligning with my know-it-all attitude of the day, prior to embarking the pink-mobile, I had some thoughts swirling in my head, a perception of what I thought it was going to be like. Let’s just be serious for a minute, does anyone under the age of 30 want to partake in a guided tour of any kind? Unless it’s skydiving or snorkeling, it’s probably not likely. I had some negative stereotypes mind, and was keenly taken aback and after setting foot on these wheels.
Feeling like I was on the latest episode of Pimp My Ride, I snuggled into my plush seat. The jaunt to Eldorado Canyon was about 45 minutes outside of my Vegas motel, and with an 8:00 am pickup time after a blur of a debaucherous evening, I was relieved when presented with a noiseless, relaxing ride.
I had heard that Techatticup [say it slowly, tea-chatty-cup] was a "photographers dream". Holy smokes, that was the understatement of the century; It was like I had teleported to the set of Tombstone. The remains of this funky little mining community sprawled through its narrow canyon, much like the thick veins of silver and gold embedded in the valley walls themselves. It had a compelling quirkiness, immediately prompting the urge for more and more info.
Jeff, the Pink Jeep guy turned us over to the Techatticup guides and we were off and running. It came as no surprise when they informed us that dozens of films, television shows, and commercial shoots had been filmed at Techatticup. To my surprise, Queen Bey herself had traversed this terrain [that’s Beyonce for those of you living under a rock.] The mining history alone was enchanting, but the star factor most definitely kicked it up a notch.
The buildings and surrounding ‘artifacts’ were kind of like the hippie love child of How the West Was One and Mad Max: definitely represented that rugged, old west ambiance, but there were also an uncanny amount of skulls [as in shelves of them] and old mangled industrial equipment of sorts that almost presented a sort of post-apocalyptic vibe. What made it even more intriguing, was the fact that the silver screen had such an obvious presence here. Trying to decide what was a historical artifact versus movie magic was bewitching. I could’ve effortlessly spent tons and tons of time here, but the tour was onward-ho and I was barely keeping up as it was.
To make things even more endearing, the guides really got into character. Not on a cheesy, elementary level, but more of a ‘here is some cool stuff people, so pay attention’ kind of way. It was raw, and I think that’s what made it exciting. After an informative and punchy excursion in the actual mine, we packed up and headed down Eldorado Canyon to the Colorado River. It was incredible how the landscape morphed so quickly down to the water. One minute we were knee-deep in yucca plants and a sea of sagebrush Nevada is so well-known for, and the next we were down to the barren shores of the Colorado River. She was a beauty, a scene straight off of a postcard.
Reeling in all the mystifying factoids of my morning ramble, my sour attitude had vanished. I loved tours, I mean how easy was this?! You just sit there and get paraded around, not having to do any of the planning and work yourself. And sure, you could deviate, it wasn’t like anyone was holding your hand. It got even better on the ride back when Jeff practically spouted off Nevada’s natural and economic history. Wow.
I was enlightened, and a changed [less snarky] woman. Whether it’s a Pink Jeep Tour, a trek at the Techatticup Mine, or both, balance out some of the bad decision you’ll make in Sin City and tour your heart out. #NVGhostTown