Southwest Exploration—USnomads: FEB 2020 — part4


SOUTHWEST EXPLORATION: Day 4 — PAHRUMP TO GOLDFIELD TO BEATTY


Pahrump, NV — 12 February 2020: We were up early and grabbed a quick breakfast before getting on the road. The light was just beginning to come through the palm trees in the hotel parking lot as we pulled out …

Alien Cafe, Amargosa Valley, NV — 12 February 2020: We made a stop at the “Alien Cafe” “just because” and took some time out to be silly, starting our theme hashtag #WeirdShitYouFindintheDesert …

Beatty, NV — 12 February 2020: After leaving the Alien Cafe we continued heading north to Beatty and then beyond towards the town of Goldfield. Just beyond the outskirts of Beatty Niki noticed these cows. The scene was too iconic for me not to stop, as the herd was kicking up dust and with the mountains behind it was classic. I didn’t notice the cowboys in artic cats until later. After clicking off a few frames we got back on the road…

Goldfield, NV — 12 February 2020: We stopped just before the actual town of Goldfield to check out the “International Car Forest of the Lost Church,” an art installation in the middle of the desert similar to “Cadillac Ranch” or “CarHenge.” It was a bit difficult to find the actual entryway, but eventually we found our way in, and what was so cool was that we could actually drive right into it…

Goldfield, NV — 12 February 2020: We were just getting ready to leave the Car Forest when another vehicle arrived, so it was perfect timing, and we heading into the actual town of Goldfield which is something between a ghosttown and a tourist attraction, or maybe an almost-ghosttown trying to become a tourist attraction…

Goldfield, NV — 12 February 2020: We decided to try to go for lunch at the Santa Fe Saloon, which we saw signs for and which I had recalled hearing was a “must visit” in some article I read. But we weren’t really sure where it was and driving around hadn’t found it. We stopped in an open store and got a map of the town and bought a few things to support the town’s tourism. Talking to some ladies at the store we learned a bit more about the town and how people are coming there from other places to live a bit off-grid and/or try to build small niche tourism businesses. There is some restoration of old places going on that we could see. But for now, or at least for today, it seemed more like a ghost of a town. Though the ladies told us the elementary school was open, but for high school they had to drive their kids to Tonopah, and one of the ladies’ husbands would go to another isolated town to pick up the kids from there and with them and his kids he would drive them all to school in Tonopah. I could imagine it isn’t easy for families to choose to live in a place like this, but I could also see the attraction of remoteness, freedom and a quirky town where you are mostly off-grid but still close enough to supplies etc. Anyway, we went in search of the Santa Fe Saloon on foot…

Goldfield, NV — 12 February 2020: We followed the map to the location of the Saloon, but it turns out it was exceptionally closed today because the owner had to go to the doctor in Tonopah according to the handwritten sign on the door. We would have to have lunch in Beatty instead…

Beatty, NV — 12 February 2020: On the way back to Beatty we had one more stop on the #WeirdShitYouFindintheDesert theme — the plane crash at Angel’s Ladies brothel…


Beatty, NV — 12 February 2020: Back in Beatty we checked in to the Atomic Inn where we would stay for two nights because it was still too cold at night to camp in the desert this side of the mountains. Outside the hotel in a tree across the way there were these blackbirds that had a strange kind of call. We couldn’t figure out what kind of birds they were. We walked the two blocks back to the main street and went to get our lunch at a local Saloon, starting out with Margaritas…

Beatty, NV — 12 February 2020: Took a stroll outside as the sun was going down behind the hills turning them golden (and I thought about the irony of the golden hills and the gold prospectors of old) and the local burros were gathering in the street nearby…