Saturday, October 25, 2014

Trip to Sparks, Nevada - Pt 8 Tonopah to Vegas

I knew when our trip up to Sparks, Nevada was finished we'd have at least a week's worth of blog posts from it. Today is the eighth and final installment so I was pretty much on-the-money. The scenery was stunning and although we didn't have a lot of time to play tourist, we did enjoy the trip and we hope you've enjoyed the photos of the beautiful Southwestern scenery. With that, let's complete our journey. Enjoy! Opa Fritz and Oma Bettina

The little town of Tonopah is nestled in the folds of these little bumps on the landscape and, being at a higher elevation, was cooler than the desert floor.

Like several of the towns we passed through it still retains some distinct Old West feel to it.

We didn't stop to play tourist here but I did have somewhat of a surprise. Just before leaving town we got gas at a Texaco station. Texaco? This surprised me because I know Texaco merged with Chevron years ago and all the Texaco stations with their Big Red Star went away - either sold or re-branded as 'Chevron'. I never paid attention to the fact that the Texaco brand was actually in resurgence. As a matter of fact, once we got back into Vegas I did notice another Texaco station in town. Holy cow, where has my mind been all these years? I really have to get out of the house more!!!

We are now in the town of Goldfield, Nevada. This is definitely a historic Old West kind of town. When we passed through on the way north it was dawn and on this leg of the journey it was dusk. I had previously noticed an old hook-&-ladder fire apparatus when driving through and made it a point to stop this time.

The old fire house turned fire museum was closed but I peeked inside and glimpsed a couple of nicely restored engines.

little story: As I was taking this photo, one of the locals came walking down the hill and asked me, "Did you see Wyatt Earp's house"? HUH??? He said, "Yeah, about 200 yards (ca 195 meters) away" and he pointed to a house just barely visible behind some other houses. We talked a little and he said it was a house once owned and lived in by the famous lawman Wyatt Earp. And he pointed out that there was a lot of things of historic interest. Unfortunately we just couldn't stay that long but driving up here to Goldfield would only be a day trip soooo, one day perhaps we'll get up this way again.

However! I did get some shots of two cool old fire apparatus :-)

A '20s era Ford but I don't know the exact year

Also a '20s era vehicle but I couldn't find any identifying logos so I don't know who made this truck.

An old steam tractor on display just before town's end

Leaving Goldfield the sun had pretty much called it a day

little story: By the time we got to Beatty, the gateway to Death Valley, it was dark. We stopped at a place called 'Eddie's World', a combination hotel, gas stop, restaurant, souvenir shop. Actually it was a real nice set-up. All recent construction, numerous pumps for the petrol, a spacious interior for the gift shop/restaurant. Not a bad place to stop. It's also the most lit up place in town. There are a few paltry street lights barely illuminating the flies that flit through the evening air, but overall a rather dark town to drive through. However, as a result of the dim lighting we manged to see quite a sight.  

Going through town, slowly, because of the 15mph speed limit and dim street lights, we came to the only four-way stop on the main drag. We turn left to get on the road to Vegas and, still going very slowly, I noticed a pair of legs wearing what I thought were white sport shoes. Then I noticed another pair of legs wearing the same kind of shoes. THEN I noticed all four legs were attached to the same body! Hey wait a minute. I came to a stop and a donkey passed right in front of us!! To the left, on the other side of the road was its buddy! I wish we could have gotten pictures but we were on a main road and cars were beginning to come up on us so we drove off.
Cool! :-)

After our close encounter with the donkeys we were toolin' back to Vegas at a decent clip. About 30 miles north of Indian Springs all of a sudden I spied this big ol' storefront to the left of us. We had totally missed this on the way north the day before. This was a rest stop/junction so the speed limit was lower and I turned around to enter the lot. Now why is this so special? Well, I've seen this place featured on TV shows and supposedly this whole area is a hotbed for UFO sightings. Personally, I can''t vouch for that. After 23 years living here, the weirdest things I've seen are two-legged earthlings that looked like they belonged on another planet! The store itself is really nothing to brag about. Just a big space with convenience store goods and some souvenirs BUT we did manage to get a couple of cool things there

After stopping at the Area 51 Alien Center the remainder of the trip home was uneventful and we pulled into our driveway about 10PM about 12 hours after we checked out of our hotel in Sparks. That concludes our little road trip to Sparks and we hope you enjoyed it!

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