Saturday, June 5, 2010

Twain Harte Road Trip - Day 09 - Bishop, CA to Beatty, NV


After a Sunshine Comfort complimentary breakfast at the Comfort Inn, the two old buzzards and Maggie Mae left Bishop California at 9:55am where the temperature was a sunny and warm 83 degrees. We got gas for $2.99 at Giggle Springs Gas. The prices seem to fluctuate wildly from place to place. A few blocks away gas was $3.16. Near Bodie yesterday we saw gas for $3.99. We also stopped at Looney Bean Coffee Roasting for John's mocha and an iced decaf for Linda. Just out of Bishop we entered the Inyo National Forest and got about a half mile down the road before John had to pull off and shoot a cattle shoot. He ssems to have a "thing" for cattle chutes. We soon passed a sign that said "NO SERVICES FOR 97 MILES". That would really sober you up if you were doubtful about your car's health. What a deserted area (that word desert is making more sense all the time) but yet beautiful at the same time. In those 97 miles we saw such a variety of plants and rocks. Lots of wildflowers are still in bloom and there is still lots of snow visible on the mountain tops which makes the warm temperatures seem quite out of place. Soon we saw Death Valley Road branching off to the right of our route. Little did we know that was an omen!

We arrived in Nevada at 11:37a.m. The sign read "Welcome to Nevada. You have now entered Hell". We soon had stopped at a historical marker and some old ruins of Palmetto, Nevada. It was a silver ore mining town started in 1866. It had died out by 1906 but there are lots of the stone walls left that can be easily seen from the road. We had started noticing Joshua trees a few miles back. The miners named their town Palmetto because they thought the Joshua trees were a type of palm tree.

On this one day, we have probably had the windy-est, rollercoaster roads and we're sure the straightest flattest roads ever. When we get around to posting the video for today, you'll see what we mean.

Tonight we are staying in Beatty, Nevada where the temperature when we arrived just after noon was 99 degrees. We unloaded at The Atomic Inn, turned on the air conditioner in the room and left to cruise around town for something good for lunch. What we found that sounded best was homemade ice cream at the Death Valley House of Nuts and Candy. John had rocky road and Linda had almond joy.

Today's history lesson: Gold was discovered just outside Death Valley, CA in 1904. Several small mining towns developed and Beatty was the most prosperous of the camps in what was called the Bullfrog Mining District. Beatty is now the only surviving town of those camps and it is the 1st community of any size north of Las Vegas.

One of our tricks when checking in to a place is to ask the local person at the desk where their favorite place to eat is. In this mecca, a Mexican-American place called La Ensenada was recommended. I took Joyce Rigby's advice and ordered a chili rellano (but in this case it was a chili rellano burrito). Joyce always her true test of a Mexican Restaurant is their chili rellano. It was excellent - like a hidden treasure inside of a flour tortilla along with rice and beans. John got a combo plate of chile rellano, cheese enchilada, shredded beef taco and rice and beans. We didn't see anybody ordering American food so obviously Mexican food is their forte'.

When we left our nicely air conditioned room to go to dinner it seemed cooler but the temp actually showed to be 102 degrees. Buzzard # 1's theory is that it seemed cooler because by 6:30pm there's a lot more shade that there was when we arrived. And, he is going to attest that there is a difference when it is a "dry" heat. The humidity here is -15%. Oops, just looked on the laptop weather channel and it's +15%. Still, your mouth dries out and evaporative coolers work well.

Linda is thankful for funny socks, ice and cool clear water. John is thankful for ice cream, air conditioners/swamp coolers and a road out of Beatty!

Today's photo gallery can be found by clicking here.

Today's video takes you from the fire straight into Hades in Beatty, NV, a strange little town of around 800 folks, one casino, several hotels (that used to have casinos with them) and a great ice cream place. Check it out by clicking here.

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