They Only Come Out at Night

They say that nothing is as it appears.

Rhyolite near Death Valley, CAWhile I never knew who “they” were, I can attest to the validity of that statement. Take this place, for example. One old and dilapidated train car discarded at the end of an abandoned road, in a town that doesn’t exist anymore. To most people, it’s just a wreck.

But to me it’s much more. It’s a few hours of pure joy setting up my camera, imagining how I can make it look amazing and then experiment with flashlights, for example. Now that’s a good time!

And a really good time can be had when there’s even more than one crappy, dilapidated structure for me to explore. This was the case while visiting Rhyolite, NV, located 4 miles west of the town of Beatty, NV on Highway 374. It’s closest to the east entrance to Death Valley.

3 deciplesClearly not a tourist attraction but a magnet for photographers who have been visiting this spot for many years. There are several interesting areas to explore in Rhyolite, the ghosts are a big attraction.

But for me, the best stuff happens at night. It’s one of those areas that can be really dark.

At the right time of year, most of the milky way is visible.

When you find something interesting like this abandoned miner’s shack, the sky is usually beautiful enough to enhance everything.


The night we were there, several beer-drinking teens in cars with loud radios make the area even more entertaining. They were harmless, but their headlights sometimes made for some interesting lighting situations.

If you are headed to Death Valley, don’t stop during the day, come play at night where the ghosts come out to play.







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