Nevada Telephone & Telegraph Co.
SILVER PEAK, Nevada  -  1980's

In the 1980's Vern was working here to supervise the cutting over to newly constructed cable plant.
While locating the subscribers he stopped to explore the VOLCANO just north of town.

In image above you can see the Tele-Co site where Vern worked at in January of 1981.

Railroad HISTORY    This is really a GHOST TOWN!

Perhaps the trailer is Scott's  -  THE SILVER PEAK CENTRAL OFFICE

SILVER PEAK (also Silverpeak) is an unincorporated community in Esmeralda County, Nevada, United States. It lies along State Route 265 south of U.S. Route 6 and west of Goldfield, the county seat of Esmeralda County. Its elevation is 4,321 feet. Although it is unincorporated, it has a post office, with the ZIP code of 89047. Silver Peak lies near a dry lake bed that is rich in lithium and other minerals. Silver Peak is currently the major supplier of lithium in the United States.

The community gained some fame during California's 1999 electric power crisis. In the first major act of the power crisis causing an outage, on March 25, 1999, Enron energy traders allegedly rerouted 2,900MW (megawatts) of electricity destined for California to this small Nevada community. This caused a large shortage on the California power grid because the largest power feeder (intertie) from this area to California had a capacity of 15MW (about 0.5% of the required wheeling capacity).

News accounts claim this single action created an estimated $7 million dollars of revenue for Enron. The company was fined $25,000 for their action, suggesting to some that this was a viable way for the firm to make money.

Road as Vern drove to Sunshine Mine - January 1981

At Sunshine Mine, looking back east with  small lake in center.

This is a  1500 year old Cinder Cone (Caldera), located just north of Silver Peak.

Click image to view rock Vern took home.

Caldera Formation: A collapse is triggered by the emptying of the magma chamber beneath the volcano, usually as the result of a large volcanic eruption. If enough magma is erupted, the emptied chamber will not be able to support the weight of the volcanic edifice above it. A roughly circular fracture - the "Ring Fault" develops around the edge of the chamber. These ring fractures serve as feeders for fault intrusions which are also known as ring dykes. Secondary volcanic vents may form above the ring fracture. As the magma chamber empties, the center of the volcano within the ring fracture begins to collapse. The collapse may occur as the result of a single cataclysmic eruption, or it may occur in stages as the result of a series of eruptions.

Magma Chamber: A large underground pool of molten rock lying under the surface of the earth's crust. The molten rock in such a chamber is under great pressure, and given enough time and pressure can gradually fracture the rock around it creating outlets for the magma. If it finds a way to the surface, then the result will be a volcanic eruption; consequently many volcanoes are situated over magma chambers. Magma chambers are hard to detect, and most of the known ones are therefore close to the surface of the Earth, commonly between 1 km and 10 km under the surface. In geological terms this is extremely close to the surface, although in human terms it is considerably deep undergrounds.

A former worker for Foote Mineral Co. in Pennsylvania,had to do some tests at the plant in Silver Peak in the 80's, . We turned brine from under the playa into Lithium Carbonate via solar evaporation followed by precipitation with sodium carbonate. The cinder cone did not seem to have any Obsidian on its flanks or in the sand nearby although he did find an Obsidian indian artifact there. He remembers picking up Apache Tears farther south near the sand dunes. Silver Peak is in the Clayton Valley, a large bowl shaped valley with no outlet. At the south end of the valley there is a swarm of sand dunes up to about two hundred feet tall. The Apache Tears are at the north end of the dunes and maybe a little to the east. This may not, in fact is probably not, the location that others will tell you about but they are there. Be alert for buzzworms (rattlesnakes). There were sidwinder trails in the sand. In the mornings, after a calm night there are myriad tracks on the dunes; Coyote, lizzard, insect and snake. In the evening there are none as, the dunes have been resculpted by the daily winds.

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