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Old 04-05-2009, 11:54 AM   #1 (permalink)
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The Ballarat "store"

Place is a kick, not much to buy but lots of stories
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Old 04-06-2009, 04:35 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Yup. I'll be headed there next Monday.
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Old 04-07-2009, 07:55 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Yeah, lots of stories.

Rocky and George (the current caretakers of Ballarat) lived at Chris Wicht Camp in Surprise Canyon until about 2 years ago. George surprises me in that he still gets around after a life as a miner, and he's a good way into his 80's.




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Old 06-17-2009, 12:59 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Thumbs down

If you know ANYTHING about the problems and closure of the Canyon you wouldn't piss on either one of them even if they were on fire. Rocky used to take pot shots at the 4 wheelers before the closure.

Just my 2 cents but don't support those buttheads.

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Old 06-20-2009, 08:12 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I heard they would harass you unless you left some beer with em
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Old 06-21-2009, 05:04 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I heard they would harass you unless you left some beer with em
You could also pay them the parking fee to "watch" your rigs. "Unwatched" rigs had mysterious vandalism happen.
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Old 06-22-2009, 10:10 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Yeah, lots of stories.

Rocky and George (the current caretakers of Ballarat) lived at Chris Wicht Camp in Surprise Canyon until about 2 years ago. George surprises me in that he still gets around after a life as a miner, and he's a good way into his 80's.




k.
Wow, he is still there? That is fantastic. If you catch him in a good mood he will tell some stories.

One refrigerated cooler in that store. If you can get past all the hamburger meat packs 1/2 tore open (scary), down in the bottom you can fine a 70 degree Coke to drink. LOL.

It's beyond description. Have to see it.

Parked on the Lake bed and camped. No issues.
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Old 06-22-2009, 12:19 PM   #8 (permalink)
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George turned 90 on April 25th. He spends most of the summer in Ridgecrest these days. Says he's got a girlfriend with an air conditioner.

In ten plus years I've only had one bad experience with the Novak's and that was only because I pulled into their camp at 2am while the Ballarat Bandit was still running loose. I wasn't too sure if I was gonna have to shoot George in order to keep him from shooting me. Luckily He became fully awake and realized who I was. Still bitched me out for coming into camp so late.
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Old 06-22-2009, 09:55 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Which one is the one with the scar on his face?

Ask him about the Mansons next time you get a chance...

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Old 06-23-2009, 02:44 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Never had a problem with them of course I generally go with a bunch of guys in red t-shirts.
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Old 06-27-2009, 07:35 PM   #11 (permalink)
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when we were there in April he said his girlfriend was in jail for a while

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George turned 90 on April 25th. He spends most of the summer in Ridgecrest these days. Says he's got a girlfriend with an air conditioner.
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Old 07-01-2009, 08:14 PM   #12 (permalink)
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when we were there in April he said his girlfriend was in jail for a while
That might explain why He was there Sunday when I stopped by to hang with Rocky on the porch. He was rather ill, but Rock says He's doing a lot better.
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Old 07-01-2009, 08:27 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Hm.

Ill like under the weather, or Ill like bad ?
I was there a little over a week ago and George even got out of his chair to say hi. Looked like he always does...


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Old 07-01-2009, 09:54 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I don't really recall what was wrong with him. Rocky mentioned a few issues that George was having last time I was out there. I think he mentioned kidneys.

Rock just said that he was doing many times better than when I saw him last.
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Old 10-19-2009, 09:43 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Just got back from Ballarat, my first time visiting the area. Met Rocky and he seemed like a very interesting character but was nice enough. I went up with a group of friends on dirt bikes and I was in my Tacoma chasing them. That place is awsome to say the least, went up Surprise to the road block, Jail canyon, Up South park and back down Pleasant. The Stone House on South Park is my favorite spot , I cant believe how well takin care of it is but the road leading up the canyon after it was kinda scary in my larger and wider Taco. Not sure if anybody else knows this guy but we met someone named Bill I think who met us when coming out of Jackpot Canyon, he said we were spotted on the camera they have up there and just wanted to make sure we didnt take anything. We got to talking with him for over an hour and he was a local and knew everything about the valley, he told us all kinds of cool stories about all the different mines and he knew all the old timers that had lived up there and all the families that owned the mines. He was driving a silver newer Tacoma exteded cab 4x4 and was probably in his mid to late 60's, I think he said he lived in Trona but not sure. He also told us about how he had met Charlie Manson once when riding up by his cabin. Had a great time and plan on going back.
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Old 10-19-2009, 09:51 PM   #16 (permalink)
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I've known Bill since 1998 and have shared many a campfire with the man. He's all that He said and then some. You were in good company.
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Old 10-22-2009, 05:03 PM   #17 (permalink)
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I've known Bill since 1998 and have shared many a campfire with the man. He's all that He said and then some. You were in good company.
This wouldn't happen to be Wild Bill would it?
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Old 10-22-2009, 05:11 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Yes
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Old 10-23-2009, 12:12 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Yes
Good man he is. He is my wife's Uncle.
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Old 10-26-2009, 09:48 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Good man he is. He is my wife's Uncle.
Right on!

I spent this last weekend with him out in Panamint. He never disappoints on showing us the cool, out-of-the-way stuff. He needs to write a book about his exploits in and around the Panamint Valley.

Happy Trails
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Old 10-27-2009, 12:20 PM   #21 (permalink)
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We had fun with Wild Bill, this past weekend. Now, where's that pic of someone sticking their head through the ass end of a dead horse?

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Old 10-27-2009, 02:03 PM   #22 (permalink)
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This one ?








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Old 10-27-2009, 02:22 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Aiyeee! the masked Yota driver.

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