Photography rocks and lapidary Uncategorized video

Railroad Pass, Clark County Nevada

Railroad Pass, Clark County, Nevada — (second page here —>)

Railroad Pass is outside of Boulder City where the dam is located. Bureau of Reclamation land. I’m here above the Railroad Pass Travel Center where there is dedicated parking for the River Mountain Loop Trail.(external link)

This is a good place to explore from. Vehicle security is excellent and the convenience store provides food and restrooms.

A pretty day but no quartz. I lose interest without quartz. Must. Have. Quartz. Highlight was some blue tinged rhyolite, nothing else worth showing. No “U”, little “UV”.

Looking south. The Railroad Pass Travel Center is downslope. Railroad tracks make the best subjects.  As long as some train isn’t coming at you. Trains do not play well with others.

I thought this road might lead somewhere but it only went to the high tension transmission tower.

Setting the footings and erecting these transmission towers must have been hard work in this volcanic rock.

I’ll get my friend to identify this.

Looks like an optunia.

Working on it. For now, DYC. Damn yellow composite.

Didn’t go up that hill! Not with my wrenched back. Lot of rhyolite.
Simple geological map from

A hill of many colors, red, gray, tan, bleached. As if some mineral had leached out of the hill and then weathered.


“Volcanic rocks-[includes some unmapped dikes and small irregular intrusive masses. In north -central part of quadrangle (north of U.S. Highway 93) the contact with unit mapped as volcanic and intrusive rocks (Trvi) is arbitrarily drawn; near that contact most of the unit consists of highly fractured altered lavas and volcaniclastic rocks that are cut by dikes and bleached to various pastel colors as a result of argillc and silicic alteration; away from the contact equivalent(?) rocks are distinctly darker and less altered, such as east of Railroad Pass where conspicuous dark-reddish-brown exposures of grayish-red to grayish-red -purple highly faulted lavas of intermediate composition and interstratified sandy to conglomeratic sedimentary rocks are exposed. The lavas contain 5–20 percent phenocrysts of plagioclase, hornblende, and biotite and minor augite or olivine. The sedimentary rocks contain clasts of porphyritic plutonic rocks of probable late Tertiary age. Near the TV reflector the rocks are intensely sheared by several low-angle faults that juxtapose contrasting lithologies including altered tuffaceous sedimentary rocks and brecciated red and dark-gray intermediate lavas. To the east dark-gray more mafic lavas that are probably stratigraphically lower are cut by numerous white to light-gray dikes.”

Now, I have to read up on argillic and silicic alteration.

Did you notice the reference in the text to the “TV reflector”? That might seem impossible to locate today, however, since I collect old maps, I was able to find it on a 1960s Metsker’s Map of Clark County, Nevada. All old maps are valuable, most especially those showing township, range, and section.

From left to right: mountain bike trail, Union Pacific tracks, River Mountain Loop Trail, HWY 11/95

Blue tinged rhyolite. Hmm. I stop at all things blue. No cutting material.

Technical mountain biking trail. Part of the larger Railroad Pass Loop. My days of this are over. It was fun, though. While I’m sure you won’t believe me, this segment of the trail is so difficult that it’s called The Shit. Look at the Google Map at the bottom of this page. You’ll see.

Can you see what is happening here? Nothing mining related, someone has hollowed out a side in the hill.
I think this may have been a sleeping place for some worker, since daytime temps can exceed 110 degrees in the summer. Maybe best to seek cool earth.

A cloud came over! Clouds and weather played havoc with my magazine article photography. Notice how my other photographs are bright and sunny? And then you have this pall. Not good but you can’t control it other than waiting. What was really tough was when I had to come back to a site a week or two later to photograph some things again.  The look of an area might be completely changed and I’d have a goofy looking selection of photos. Also, FYI, editors want portrait orientation, even if you are shooting landscapes or outdoor scenes. Their layout people always want choices, so try to get a few shots in portrait mode. That arrow points to what I think may be andesite. I am going to find out later.

Really nice looking mud cracks with a popcorn top. I’m sure there is a reason. Life always has more mysteries than answers. That’s what it does.

The truck stop. When you need a powerful symbol for your tough, macho company, always use a cat.

Railroad Pass, Clark County, Nevada — (second page here —>)
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