I think I should start a website... Strange Things Found in the Desert. On a recent exploration of the west desert we explored a few more ghost town, Merkur and Ophir.. We originally headed to Merkur in search of eagles, as a friend had told me that was a good eagle winter ground, and considering that a developed are nearish by is called Eagle Mountain we though he might be right. We'll no eagles, and no ghost town either. The drive up Merkur Canyon ends at a gate to a mine, with nothing to see along the way. The only remaining ghost town remnant is the cemetery, which is located up a goat trail of hill that starts at the beginning of Merkur Canyon and overlooks Rush Valley. What we found there was a cluster of graves with illegible or no headstones each surrounded by individual picket fences, and a handful of rock marked graves interspersed amongst the junipers. It looked like a scene out of an old western, except... grave that was adorned with modern dolls and toys and there was even some money, a dollar bill and change, on top of the headstone. One had to wonder why such offerings were left to a 100 year old grave out in the middle of nowhere.
According to our subsequent google search, the site is popular with paranormal investigators, who pick up a lot of 'activity' from that particular spot, which is the grave of a young child, who likes dolls. Interesting and sort of creepy.
From there we headed to the town of Ophir, which has become a bit of a modern ghost town... there are still some old ghost town buildings in the canyon, and the remnants of mining operations, but a lot of new homes have populated the canyon. The town, population 40, has put together a historical display of old mining shack outfitted in period furnishings, a school house, post office and there is a kind of odd mine exhibit and small store(closed for the season) in the center of town. The mining spot was kind of weird, we were not sure if it was a real mineshaft spot, or some Disney like fabrication. It did have some fake trees on the rocks, and seemed to be decorated for halloween. That was sort of ghostly, in a fake sort of way. So again not really a ghost town, but the drive up to the end of Ophir Canyon was quite beautiful, I see why people are populating it again.