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Saturday, January 18, 2014

My blog--New Series--From Sea To Shining Sea Part 8

Tuesday, Sept 28

Ely has a Shoshone Indian Reservation and “Jail House” Casino.  We’re out at 8:00 a.m. toward Carson City, Nevada, 325 miles west.  I called Michaeleleah and she sounded great.  I went to High School with her 100 years ago.  We had art classes together.  She’s a year younger than I.  I haven’t seen her for five years.

Nevada looks like Nevada, like Southern California without people.  We passed a shepherd’s trailer out in the mesquite that’s about the size of our Coyote.  The shepherd had parked a huge water truck next to his trailer, which we had not seen before.  The sheep get thirsty and they aren’t likely to find water on the ground in this location.  A little further up the road we found his sheep--about 500 of them.

Mike said she’d be at work today.  The house, the gates, the barn, were all unlocked so just help  ourselves.  She’d be back at 4:00.  I think today she was training somebody else’s horses.  It must be nice to live that way--her house is 500 square feet.

This road has zero litter or junk--there’s a posted $2000 fine for littering.  Next comes the Illepah Reservation.  Through high rolling hills we travel to Eureka, at 51* it’s mostly a ghost town.   A beautiful desert drive today--nobody out here but us climbing Little Antelope Summit, 7738 feet.  We see lots of deer crossing warning signs and no road fencing through the passes.  The peaks are over two miles high.  20 miles later, at 72*.  The radio tells us the west cost is having record 112* heat--more than 20 degrees above normal.  
My uncle Carlos--actually my mother’s twin brother, had TB in 1948 and thought he was dying in the hospital.So hetook himself to the desert and moved into an old miner shack.  I think he lived out there for a year or two.  How he managed water, food, and heat, I don’t know.  But he got over the tuberculosis, moved to San Diego and got a job as a mailman so he could walk everyday to keep healthy.  In those days, mailmen walked.

We visited him a few times in the desert.  I thought it was odd he’d live in a see-through shack when I was 5 years old.

Police have pulled us off the road for an extra-wide oncoming truck to pass.  Static electricity has attacked our shirts, noses and dog.  I’d almost forgotten that stuff.  Eureka is unfortunately under construction so we aren’t taking pictures.  It was a silver mining town as I recall and this road is called “The Loneliest Road In America.”  A huge backhoe blocks the opera house.  Eek.

Abby’s ears are sticking straight up with static electricity.  We’re laughing at her as I mop her down with “Bounce” Sheets.

Austin, Nevada, 7200 feet, is a Pony Express Station. We ate at the Toiabe Cafe and had a wonderful lunch.  This time we’re taking a few pictures--at least it’s not under construction.  Silver mines dot the hills by hand diggers.  An ancient town is nestled in a canyon halfway up a mountain.  It has a boot hill cemetery and Pony Express Roping Arena.  The Pony Express was only in operation from 1860 to 1861 and was outdated by steam locomotives.  The riders used to ride full tilt on a horse for 20 miles to the next station.  Then they would rope another horse from the herd at each station then run another 20 miles as fast as the horse would go.

We’ve now traveled 300 miles, straight as a string, and I’ve counted 18 cars besides us.  We’re grumpy.  We see the Piute Shoshone Reservation at Fallon, and keep on going.

Fallon looks like where I was raised in southern California--rolling barren hills--except for Springtime when the hills were covered in flowers and grass.  But not in September.

Fallon looks like an efficiency only dirt laden town.


  1. As famous as the Pony Express riders were, and they were only in business for a year????

    Well, that's a bummer!

  2. I know. Then along came the steam engine and put them out of business. The romance of the old west was built around these guys and their fame has lasted over 100 years.