At Walker Lake the boys and I stay snuggled in our beds until the sun comes up and warms the van a little. The night was as cold as it was in Burney when we left, but we stayed nice and warm. It ‘s just crawling out of a warm bed that isn’t so pleasant. Once the sun is up I feed and walk the boys and then drive into Hawthorne for coffee. Travel days are easy days in the food and drink department. J
Nevada isn’t a spectacular state in the way of scenery, but this part of it is especially bleak. The desert scenery is all the same, the little towns the worse for wear after years of neglect and hard times. Early morning and in the evening when the sun is beginning to set offer lovely vistas though. The mountains turn a pretty purple shade at times, and if the light is just right the bleak, barren mountains look like crushed velvet.
From Hawthorne we drive east and then drop south and head toward Tonopah where I will fuel up, passing through Luning and Mina both nothing more than a spot in the road, and both having seen better times; better times many, many years ago. Bleak looking and sad, there’s an air of desperation to things.
We continue south to Coaldale where there is NOTHING, and then turn east again toward Tonopah which is around 6000 feet. There is snow on the ground. It’s been 20 years since I travelled this way, and I am surprised to see The Clown Motel, unbelievably, is still open. Other businesses haven’t been so blessed and have closed their doors. A billboard advertises a Subway but it is nowhere to be found, so I fuel up and we drive on, dropping to lower elevations.
Down around 5000 feet stunted Joshua trees begin to appear and as we get lower and further south they become a bit bigger and more numerous. The boys see something that catches their eye. A small herd of wild burros! I slow down and see another herd and begin to look for a place to pull over. I am soon rewarded with what looks like a safe spot to stop. I sneak around the back of the van and grab a couple photos. The burros are pretty far away, so I enlarge the photo a bit.
Goldfield is the next town, a bit bigger and historic for the gold mining that used to take place nearby, but still rundown and has definitely seen better days. I don’t see much left of the house built out of mud (?) and beer bottles. Twenty years ago it was photo worthy, but now there are just a couple of walls left. Someone has them propped up with two by fours. We once again drop southward.
In Beatty I walk the dogs and grab a sandwich at Subway. It’s doing a brisk business. This was to be our second night’s stay, but it’s still pretty early so we push on to Indian Springs, about 40 miles out of Vegas. We find a parking spot behind a 24-hour Chevron station and settle in for the night.
I am anxious to be on our way early, get through Las Vegas, do the last leg of this part of the trip, get to our destination and settle in. I know the dogs would love to be out doing doggie things rather than riding most of the day. Pee mail awaits!
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