Beveridge Ghost Town

This true story is placed here as an example of what you
can do to tell the stories your life adventures.

Beveridge Ghost Town

About 1973, our friend David Howe heard about an abandoned ghost town in the Inyo White Mountains. I guess that’s redundant, since all ghost towns are abandoned, but it sure makes the story sound more exciting. As was my reputation, I organized a group of about 15 people to go find hoards of gold left behind by the prospectors of Beveridge. Our group included John & Bette Todd, Angelo Bellomo, Richard Feeney, Vince Latham and me, plus nine others who have faded from memory. It was spring and the temperature was suppose to be a comfortable 75 degrees. Unfortunately, dangerously hot weather came in and we ended up hiking in 100+ degree temperature with little water. Any organizer with a brain would have rescheduled the trip to a more favorable time. Not me! It didn’t even cross my mind to modify anything.

We each started with a gallon of water which was completely gone by early afternoon. We were still 3 steep miles from Beveridge so we decided to not proceed further. At that point we were on a ridge about 500 feet above the narrow bottom below. We had two life or death choices. Without water, there was a very slim chance that we could make it back to the car before becoming four more souls who lost the battle with the burning desert sands. Our second choice was to descend a very steep, 600 ft to the bottom of a ravine where we could see some scrubby green bushes that may indicate a spring. However, if there was no water, we would have found our last resting place.

Thanks to God, there was an abundance of crystal clear, ice-cold water! As we’ve all seen in western movies, all four of us sprawled out with our heads dangling in the water drinking madly like camels at a lost oasis. We drank about 2 quarts in minutes, then filled our canteens and laid back against hard, sharp wonderful rocks and drank another quart. We rested for 45 minutes, filled up again and started up the steep. Yikes!

We were extremely exhausted when we reached the ridge again about 5pm. At that point, we just wanted to crash for the night. Luckily, I was 27, the oldest, and had read a few survival books! I knew were still far from the car and dying was still a possibility. They all agreed we had to keep hiking down till we couldn’t take one more step. We crashed on this giant bolder and were all asleep in 2 minutes. We agreed, at first light, that whoever woke first would wake the others so we could start hiking when it was a little cooler.

We crashed on this wonderful gigantic bolder for the night. Why a boulder? In our minds that would protect us from the mountain lions and coyotes! BTW, we had no idea that the round trip hike was over 18 miles!
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