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Simple Living has taken many guises over the years. Earlier generations with differing lifestyles struggled with much less than many of us would be willing to accept. In Gold Hill, Nevada, 1886, a one room cabin and outhouse was the plush life. Nails were hand made and wood beams hand carved. Wood for building had to be brought into the mining camp from long distances away. Water was scarce and leisure time even more so. (Click pictures for larger view)

Ore deposits brought about by the ancient upheaval in the mountain rifts and volcanic action of California-Nevada subcontinent striking the American continent made rich men in modern days. Following this dream, 3,000 miners worked several claims and lived in harsh living conditions in this stark desert community. The countryside hasn't changed much over the years. Nature quickly takes back its own. Now, all but a few of the mines are unsafe to even enter. Our RockHound Guide said gas you couldn't smell was the main problem, with sudden holes opening up in the earth for the unwary explorer being the second. There is scarcely a tree to stand underneath for shade. The only cool air during summer, the miners enjoyed was while working deep underground.

At it's height of glory, the town had a pool hall, church (complete with steeple), school and two-story, mercantile store, which remains the largest building in the center of town. It is the only brick building. The small town was totally dependent on mining. Residents' fortunes rose and fell with demand for the mines.

Gold Hill had a resurgence in prosperity during WWI, mining arsenic sent to kill off insects devestating the cotton crops in the South. A third rise from the ashes occured during WWII, mining tungsten. Only a few homes remain occupied now. The county has developed an area below town as a prison compound featuring a few mobile homes behind two rows of barbed wire fence. Even prisoners are getting into the simple living lifestyle (gryN).

The wind-swept mountainside, dirt road almost requires four wheel drive, even in the best of weather, to get up to the town. Gold Hill is situated an hour's drive, south of Wendover, Nevada. These days, it is frequented mostly by lost gamblers, rockhounds like my kids and me, and a rising population of rattlesnakes. Sunshine is free, bring your own water.

The treasures of the past were stored in the built-in safe at the Mercantile store. Simple Living treasures for my kids and me are jaunts into other worlds, that make us appreciate our own. It helps us know what is important to us. We become more grateful for the freedom we have to enjoy it, together.

Nothing lasts forever, materialism least of all. The choice times together as family and the cherished memories they bring are priceless bonding experiences that help weather the storms of life. Simple Living, it's having the "time" of our lives. (Click pictures for larger view).

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More Fine Columns by Bob Richardson:
Heart Drops  illustrated prose and poetry,  made tender and warm, just the way you like them.

Reflections  featured TS column with tips, humor and homespun philosophy on living in simplicity.
Exotic Web Tours humorous and strange sites to see with Juan Durfill's web armchair tours. Bring your own popcorn.

Bob's website offers Free Writing Resources and Illustrated Short Stories. Serenata does text & photo editing, as well as creates the unique graphics for many of his articles and offers free web design tips.   
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