Tuesday, May 6, 2008

lotsa drivin' and nobody's cryin'

The El Portal Motel in Beatty, NV isn't much on amenities--no clocks among other things!  But we all managed to get up on time and start the day at Eddie's Place, which calls itself The World's Most Beautiful Gas Station.  And it does have some pretty nice brickwork, roses and flowering shrubs to ease the stench of high gas prices!  Also lots of snacks and candies not found in your normal convenience store.  Wasabi peas and sour cherry gummies.  Yum!

Beatty's on US95, a road that's lined with casinos and bordellos, none of which got any of your public TV dollars.  Our destination was Goldfield, another of those mining towns that at one time was the largest city in Nevada. Til the gold ran out, and everyone left, leaving behind several crumbling bottle houses, and a few grand old buildings that we've seen in movies like "Vanishing Point" and "Cherry 2000."  Really, some of us have seen those, though no one saw "Butterfly" with Orson Welles and Pia Zadora, which also shot some of its scenes here.

A folk artist and art car owner named Slim Sirnes also lived in Goldfield until his death a few years ago at age 75.  His wife Carol welcomed us in to see to what's left of his sculptures and recycled artwork, the most impressive being the pieces he made with beer cans on a loom.  That's right, a loom that wove with metallic strands!   Purses, flags, dogs, images of Burning Man (which he attended a few times) and other colorful creations, some of which departed with us.

The photo above is from Tonopah, previously known only to me as a reference in a Little Feat song.  The Clown Motel sign pretty much forced me to grab that Big Ball of Tape and whirl around until dizzy.  That outburst was followed by a serious haul through the mountains and onto the so-called Loneliest Highway in the World, US 50.  It definitely has its share of scenic diversions, but the one we came for was the Middlegate Shoe Tree.  We've seen shoe trees before, but never quite like this.  It's pretty much the only vertical thing around.  Since we'd brought no footwear of our own, we opted to play some catch in its shade.  Slapping leather of another kind, you might say.

The clouds were dipping lower and lower as we passed the salt flats and Sand Mountain, the singing sand dune that might be fun if you had the time to play that tune.  We didn't, and Fallon is where we're down for the night.  This place does have clocks...

Music In the Van--Loose Fur "Born Again In the USA", "Classic Voices In American Soul",
Eric Clapton "Unplugged", Ben Folds Five "Whatever and Ever Amen", The Kinks Greatest Hits
Highest Gas Price- $4.99 (diesel) wow!

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