Eventually, it was feeling a bit too warm in Gila Bend, so I headed off to Beatty, Nevada and the coolness it’s elevation promised. A couple reasons to do so other then the better temps. One was that I could give the V-Spoilers I’d installed in Mexico a good work out on a 440 mile trip with nothing to distract me from my observations…in other words, I wouldn’t have a friend following me on this trip. In addition, the car was running well, and I didn’t feel the need to do any more work on her for a while. Finally, I’d applied and been accepted for a volunteer position with the Tallac Historical Foundation which works with the Forest Service maintaining the several properties on Lake Tahoe given them by families, mostly because they couldn’t afford to maintain them any more. Built at the turn of the last century, I’d enjoyed working there several years ago and was eager to revisit some of my repairs. To see how they’d held up. And Beatty was a way point on that travel route.
First though, the trip up to Beatty was a trip through many and varied topographies, with various weather events. So it should be the great test of the V-Spoilers I hoped for. And there were to be a couple weeks hanging out in Beatty. Weather looked nice didn’t it? This is just a few miles north of Gila Bend. I’d left at 6 AM because I woke early. Had a long trip today so the earlier the better.
And after 45 miles, I was near Phoenix and took the I-10 east on ramp. Stayed on I-10 just a few miles, than turned north on 303 which skirts the western edge of Phoenix, than a few miles later, onto 60. I was concentrating on how the V-Spoilers were doing so didn’t take any pictures. Plus I’ve shown you that area before. It’s basically just freeway. But soon I was on a two lane highway, with this lake somewhere along the route. Came as a surprise. I imagine it’s a reservoir for Phoenix. Might be Lake Mead. Odd looking hill. Every once in a while the road would turn into a freeway. And of course, I passed through Kingman, over that new bridge that bypasses Hover Dam, and than headed straight through Las Vegas. But between towns are these desert areas.
I finally had to get fuel as I was down to 1/4 tank of diesel. I’d been checking for a place to stop for fuel since I’d passed Boulder Dam south of Las Vegas, and this was the first convenient truck stop on the entire route so far that I felt safe driving my big rig with toad into. And it’s at a brothel. Hah! It’s so strange that I couldn’t see any truck stops along the route. Damn, I went right through Las Vegas. I saw gas stations, but when you’re on the freeway at 60 MPH, you just can’t tell if they are appropriate for a big RV until you’re just past them. Sucks. I think I’ll buy that truckers book of semi appropriate diesel stations. Maybe that’ll help. But…on the other hand, I didn’t run out of fuel. Still had a quarter tank when I finally filled up. Price was surprisingly good for clear out here in the boondocks. Big ol’ black hillock in the middle of nowhere. And there’s mining there. Iron ore I think. The flora changed as we got higher in elevation.
Late in the day, I arrive at Space Age RV park in Beatty, but I was too tired to get any pictures. And when I unhooked the car, the battery was dead so I had to drag out my charger and charge it up.
My schedule allowed two weeks in Beatty and I’d planned on staying at this campground the entire time, but they had reservations and were booked so I could stay 2 nights only, and moved 3 miles out of town to the Beatty RV Park. That park handed me a sheet about their Wifi, but I barely glanced at the rules. I wish I’d paid more attention. The speed test I did showed it was blazing fast. So I watched a movie on Netflix. A few days later, read the rules and discovered Netflix is forbidden, than I found it’s a Hughes Satellite network. I was able to get into the modem for a look around at usage. And found that the park was very near their limit of GB’s for the month. Lucky that I’d made my boo-boo very close to the end of their download month so the internet wasn’t shut off. A few days later it reset and they had their full monthly allotment back so no harm done. I did refrain from watching a movie again during my stay though.
My entire stay here the weather was really nice. Mid 70’s daytime, and 50’s at night.
And then I did a drive up to the ghost town of Rhyolite on highway 374. Wanted to visit the town and along the way took this shot on the road to Death Valley because it was totally empty. Hardly any traffic. This is the best time to visit DV, because the weather is mild, but many silly people actually wait for summer. Dummies.
And here’s the valley the town of Rhyolite is in, wow, and of course there’s a working mine right there. That’s the tailing pile that looks like a grey finger tickling the desert. And I turn onto the access road. The weather was mild. Not to hot, not too cool. Looks like that mountain has been heavily worked over. And here we are. Wonder what amazing sites I’d find? Huh? That’s not amazing. The mountain behind looks a bit worse for wear, too. So the town was established in 1904, had it’s boom period, and then the lights were turned off in 1916. Didn’t last long.
This crow was harassing me for a while. Very big valley. Not enough water to attract people to live there for any reason other than mining I suppose. Everywhere you look is evidence of prospecting. There were once 2,000 miners with claims here. Some big mines, big claims too. And than all the bar owners, ladies of the evening, kids, bankers, gamblers, shysters, etc. And this house was a miners bottle house. Looks nice. But I couldn’t get very close to really tell. Turned out that Hollywood refurbished the house in 1925, for a movie I suppose. With a little rock garden. They were doing what they could to keep vandals out of the glass bottle house with this annoying fence, I suppose. Not much left of that bank.
This use to be downtown of a thriving city. Hmm, what’s that white thing over there in the middle of nowhere? OK, curiosity got the best of me on that white mound in the middle of a mostly empty valley. Took a telephoto of it. Looks like mining equipment on the top of it. Bauxite? The old railway station. It’s privately owned and as a result of that, the only building in town that’s complete. Have no idea who owns it or if they are ever going to open it up to tourists to visit.
There’s really not much left of the town. Been empty for far too long and it’s mostly been damaged by vandals, and nature. There are caretakers here but they couldn’t be bothered to come down and visit with me as I was the only one here visiting. Here’s the front of the old RR station. I’d have liked to have gone inside that building.
And heading back out of town.
This was at a roadside attraction calling itself a museum. Just outside the Rhyolite area. But mostly, it’s claim to fame is the artwork that world famous artists have put up here. This was by…um mm, someone…weather took the head off. And the meditation walk. And over there is the famous sculpture by some Norwegian guy. This was his style of work. He’d drape shawls over models and have them stand still while the plaster of Paris dried. Pretty starling if you just happened across one of these things in the dark. He was famous for these works for a few years. Came over here to leave a ‘forever’ sculpture, problem is it’s not really being cared for and it’s likely it’ll crumble to dust in a couple more decades. I have no idea… This guy really is well done. Imagine bumping into this on a dark and stormy night. On the way back to Beatty, that’s recent strip mining there. Terra-forming. What in the world are they after?
Opposite that hill was another one where they were mining something else. In the foreground is the tailing hill and road up to the dumping site. Got back to Beatty and find this hand painted bus outfitted as a RV. Those things amuse me as I’d never put that kind of effort into making an old bus habitable. But…to each his own. It was early so I stopped at this little cafe just inside town for b-fast. Not that good. And soon I was back home at my RV. Well, that was a fun way to spend the morning. Rhyolite is only 6 miles from Beatty so an easy couple hour visit.
Next time a bit more about Beatty, and the trip to Lake Tahoe. Thanks for reading!