Monday, May 31, 2021

It's Cold and Miserable in Dayton

 Dayton, NV   High 55 Low 36

It is cold and I'm miserable. There is snow on the mountain tops all around us. Really pretty as long as it stays up there. 

Our drive from Hawthorne to Dayton was only 110 miles but the wind was so fierce it felt like 1,110 miles. We couldn't stay another night in Hawthorne because they were booked. So we pushed on and finally made it. I sure was glad when that drive ended but not as glad as Jim.

There is so much to do in this area but I'm not sure how much we will do because of the weather. The wind continued to blow for most of the time we were there. We also had rain and did I say it was cold!!

 We are parked at the Dayton RV Park. We have never stayed at a park quite like this one. The majority of the spots are designed for motor homes to pull in. I guess they didn't have a fifth wheel or travel trailer spot available when we showed up so we were given a motor home spot which we backed into and which meant that all our utilities were on the wrong side of the Bungalow.  

These two were our next door neighbors. What a wonderful view they have out of their front windows. Directly into the window of the other motor home. And the second picture shows how close the fifth wheel behind us was. He must stay here permanently because he couldn't get out with us in our spot. (I took this picture through our dirty window with the screen in the way)



We did decide to drive up to Virginia City but once again, there was no where to park and it was cold. In fact Mother Nature had the audacity to actually snow on us while we were there. There is a 15% grade climbing up to the town and yet we saw an RV trying to get through the main street. We have been to VC a couple of times so we drove through and took a couple of pictures. The view from up there is stunning.

On our way back down to Dayton we stopped at the Chocolate Nugget. Just can't resist a candy store. Got some butterscotch bars and headed back to the warmth of the Bungalow.

I'm not excited about getting out and about so everything will just have to wait to see if we come back this way. However, my next post is the real reason we are in Dayton. 


Sunday, May 30, 2021

Surprise - We're Here

 Hawthorne, NV   

Leaving Beatty behind, we headed for Hawthorne, NV where our special friends, George and Sharon live. We met them back in 2010 when we went to Death Valley to help Sharon with her fund raising cancer walk.

I had talked to Sharon a couple of weeks ago to verify that they would be home when we arrived on the 19th. Sharon wasn't sure she would be there because she was thinking about going to Los Angeles to visit her daughter. She was going to decide if she was going to leave or wait til after our visit. 

I got a text from her saying that she was going to be home and was going to cook dinner for us. She wanted to know what we wanted and I let her know that I couldn't eat beef because of my gout. So she decided chicken parmesan would be perfect.

When we got set up in the campground, I sent her a text asking her what time we should show up and she told me anytime after 4 would be perfect. Jim and I knocked on their door at 4:15. I wish I had a camera to capture Sharon's expression when she came to the door. That's right - she had gotten the date wrong and dinner was definitely not ready for us. 

I need to claim some of the blame in the mix-up because I failed to mention in my text that we were in town. 

We got a big laugh out of the whole misunderstanding and decided to go out to dinner. Like I told them, it didn't matter what we did for dinner - we just wanted to visit with such good friends.

Friday, May 28, 2021

Ghost Town and Art (maybe?)

The train station depot

 Just outside of Beatty is the ghost town of Rhyolite. Gold was discovered in 1904 and buildings began springing up everywhere. One building was 3 stories tall and cost $90,000. They had a stock exchange, hotels, stores, a school for 250 children, an ice plant, two electric plants and even a miner's union hospital.

But in 1907 the US financial markets were rocked by a panic that saw closures of banks and mines. The mine closed in 1911 and by 1916 the town was gone. Its only claim to glory now is that it was featured in a few movies including The Air Mail, a silent film starring Douglas Fairbanks Jr.

One of the most famous houses in Rhyolite is Tom Kelly's bottle house.  In 1905 Tom arrived to try his hand at mining for gold. He wanted to build a house in the Bullfrog Hills but the only source of lumber were Joshua trees, not suited for building with. So Tom found inspiration at the bottom of his beer bottle. He collected 50,000 bottles in less than six months, enough to build a three room house. Inside the walls were plastered and the bottles were stuck in mortar on the outside.


When the house was completed in 1906 Kelly was 80 years old and he decided not to live in this house. Since everybody thought this place was like a castle, Kelly decided to raffle off the house for $3 per ticket. The Bennet family won the house and lived in it until 1914. When Rhyolite died all but 20 people left the area. The house had a caretaker from 1936 to 1954. The final inhabitants were the Thompson family who lived there until 1969. The house is maintained by the local historical society.

 Right down the road a few yards in the Goldwell Open Air Museum. I am the first to admit I do not understand most art and these even less than others.

In 1984 the Belgian artist, Albert Szukaiski built 12 life-sized figures patterned after "The Last Supper". They consist of empty flowing robes (made of fiberglass) and look like ghosts. Not sure what happened to the table.

Several pieces of art were destroyed in a wind storm in 2007. These remain.


The Artist

A miner and his penguin

Sit Here

And I find this one very bizarre. Lady of the Desert - she is 20' tall and made of pink and yellow cinder blocks. Not sure who put up the frame (or maybe hallway) leading up to her.

This picture of her is taken from the Goldwell Museum website. She was created by Hugo Heyrman.


Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Welcome to Beatty, NV

 Beatty, NV   High 87   Low 64

We left Kingman on Sunday morning and headed north into Nevada. Sunday morning is a great time to drive through Las Vegas without having to deal with much traffic. Our destination was Beatty, NV.

Highway 95 through Nevada looks pretty much like this.

 To entertain myself I took some cloud pictures. I love cloud pictures.

Beatty was a supply center for all the mining towns in the Bullfrog Mining District. Beatty boasted hotels, saloons, a newspaper, meat markets and a general mercantile. They also had a supply of one of the most important necessities - water.

We camped at Beatty RV Park. The park is for sale and there is really nobody running the park. Nobody answers the phone and there is no one at the park. Directions are posted on the door about how to park and where to put your money. There is a man who comes by to collect the money and just check on the place. $25 for full hookups is a pretty good price but since it's located three miles north of Beatty on Highway 95 and the road noise is pretty bad. Our first night there, there were only two other rigs. The next two nights we actually had a few neighbors.

While we were camped at Beatty, we had a thunderstorm go through. Been a long long time since we have been in a thunderstorm. I am not a fan of lightning but the rain was more than welcome.

 And after the rain, a rainbow.

If you are in Beatty you need to visit the Death Valley Candy and Nut Company. It claims to be the largest candy store in Nevada. They also have homemade ice cream.

 A couple of miles north of Beatty, just before the campground, you will see a plane on the ground near the highway. It has a bit of interesting history. The plane belonged to the Angel's Ladies Brothel. They thought it would be a good advertising idea to promote a challenge with a prize. A mattress would be placed in the center of a large star painted on the desert floor. Then the men could parachute out of the airplane and land on the mattress, they would be the lucky winner of a night with the lady of his choice. 

Well, as expected, things did not go as planned. The ladies of the brothel were very distracting to the inexperienced pilot. Along with cross winds, the plane crashed. No one was hurt in the accident and the owners decided the wreck was enough of a spectacle to attract people. So there it sits since 1978.

We were also treated to a beautiful sunset.


Sunday, May 23, 2021

Route 66 Museum

You can't visit Kingman (which is located right in the center of the longest continuous remaining stretch of Route 66) and not take in some of the Route 66 sights. 



One of those is the Route 66 Museum.  We arrived shortly before they were closing so our time there was limited. It would make for a great return trip.

It is located at exactly 3,333 feet above sea level and is located inside the Powerhouse Building. The building was built in 1907 and powered Kingman and local mines until Hoover Dam was built.

 Jim calling the past.


The museum shows that the future Route 66 was used by Indians, provided an easy route for white surveyors, and settlers along with a railroad line, an escape route for Great Depression refugees, and then the tourists and roadtrippers along Route 66.


Route 66


The museum also has an electric vehicle museum inside. 



The world's first electric hot rod 1929 Ford Roadster

A high performance electric drag bike, the “Kawashocki”. 

After our visit to the museum, we headed to Mr. D"s Diner for a root beer float made with real homemade root beer. Fabulous treat.


Happy memories of America's highway.