Laughlin, Nevada – Vegas for Introverts

Laughlin, Nevada – Vegas for Introverts

Golden living dreams of visions..This is the dawning of the age of aquarius.

So you want to gamble, drink, see some shows, and enjoy some buffets – but you really don’t like people all that much? Laughlin is the perfect alternative to Las Vegas.

Edgewater on the water’s edge.

The population of Laughlin is 7,323, and when compared to Vegas’ 632,912 head count you can see why introverts will probably enjoy Laughlin better. 

Colorado Belle Hotel and Casino, shaped like an old riverboat with a moat filled with mutant sized Koi.

It is really difficult to get lost in Laughlin as there is really only one road….Casino Drive. There are multiple casinos to choose from, and most of them are all within walking distance of each other.

Tropicana Laughlin Hotel & Casino.

The Colorado Belle, Harrahs, and Riverside all run poker tournaments and have pretty active live games as well.

Poker. Where (stack) size does matter.
Tournament at the Colorado Belle.

Laughlin also gets some well-known artists to play shows. Upcoming shows are Olivia Newton John, Paul Anka, and Pam Tillis. I said well-known…not currently popular.

Riverside Casino on the side of the river. The casinos in Laughlin are aptly named.
View of a Laughlin sunset from Bullhead City, AZ, just across the Colorado River.
Sunset over the Colorado Belle.

Laughlin has less excitement than Vegas…but that is exactly what the introverted travelling blogger needs, right?
No? It’s just me then, and I am okay with that too. 

Colorado Belle on the edge of the Colorado River at dusk.

And FYI – Just across the Colorado River is Bullhead City, Arizona and they have the coolest dog park we have found – you can read Milo’s review on that here.

Short Story Time (Valentine’s Special) – Tommy’s Will by M.D. Parker

Tommy’s Will

Tommy peeked around the corner. The morning was getting late and only a few scattered people were walking to and from the shops up and down the street. Most paid no attention to the little boy peeking around the edge of the pawn shop, though one lady did turn back, viewing him with furrowed brow before shaking her head and walking on.  

Tommy watched her pass the newspaper stand and walk three doors down. She entered under a sign that read ‘Katherine’s Kollectibles.’ He ducked back behind the corner and looked down at his feet. His breathing was fast and his hands slick with a thin layer of sweat. Deep breath in, he took another look around the corner.

The newsstand had been there for a long time, Tommy knew. Its cart-like design and fold-down wooden awnings had been on this corner since his own father had been a child. He could see rows of magazines and papers neatly arranged and labeled. From his corner he saw labels that read political, outdoors, fashion, sportsman, and on the top shelf, mens. Other labels were masked from his view by thin buckets that contained flowers. Most were single roses, but a few held bouquets of various types. Tommy knew the other side had those stupid teen magazines that littered his sister’s floor, and of course, a stack of the daily newspaper.

He had his target, now he just had to wait until the old man was distracted. He had heard the stories of what happened to kids caught stealing from his paper stand. He could not wait too long. This was his third attempt, he had been too scared and instead ran away without what he needed. Today was her last day. She would be gone tomorrow, so it had to be today; this was his last chance.

He watched for a minute longer, examining the old man as he handed out change to a guy in brown slacks. He wore a light coat, his gray stringy hair stuck out in tufts from under the fisherman style hat he had worn for years. The brim of the hat shadowed his upper face and brow, making the eye-patch he wore even more sinister. The kids at school made pirate jokes about him, and there were stories whispered about how he lost his eye. Tommy only believed half of them.

He moved back, fully behind the corner again. He looked down at his feet and saw the laces dangle, their knot loose, on his left foot. He knelt down and performed the loop and bunny his father taught him long ago. He stood and felt inside his coat. There it was, safe and sound. The folded piece of paper tucked into the inside pocket that made the jacket so cool he had begged his mother relentlessly for it. Shoes tied, jacket straight, paper tucked safely away, he was ready… deep breath.

He looked once before moving and saw a lady flipping through the magazines next to the label that read ‘Home and Garden’ before she turned to the old man. She slid one out from the rack. The one-eyed devil now had his back to him. Tommy knew this was his moment.

He put one foot in front of the other, trying to walk and not run. He had to move fast, but not too fast. There, up high, on the end corner. The flower buckets up high had the single roses. That’s what he needed. Just one, he only needed one. His hand reached out and up. Tommy had not realized just how tall the newspaper stand was; he was going to have to jump to grab it. Jump and run. He felt his legs tighten. His knees flexed. He sprang forth.

He went backward. Pulled by the collar of his really cool jacket. His body ended up two feet back, still on his feet, but no longer in control of where they could go. The old man had him. He bent down to bring his wrinkled face with the hint of gray stubble and coffee on his breath only inches from Tommy’s face.

“What do you think you’re doing?”

Tommy’s throat closed, his voice lost somewhere down low in his gut, sitting next to his heart. This couldn’t be happening. He had planned so carefully. She would be gone tomorrow. He had to get it today. Now she would never now. He would never make it to her.

“I said, what do you think you’re doing? You better talk boy!” The patch over his missing eye seemed to move in tandem with his chin as he spoke. “Can’t talk, eh? That’s okay, I am sure your parents will have plenty to say when they hear you were trying to steal those magazines.” The old man pointed to the top shelf, just inches from the top row of flowers. Tommy had not even thought about them. There, on the top shelf, the girly magazines like the one David Duester had shown everyone in the boys room at school. He had gotten away with stealing it from the newsstand. It had been the spark that ignited the courage in Tommy that he could do it.

“Wha… No, sir. No. I wasn’t tryin’ to…”

“Don’t lie to me son. That’s the problem with you kids. Think you can lie your way out of everything.”

“No. I mean… I wasn’t trying to take that. I mean…”

“Tell me the truth. Now boy.”

“I was trying to steal, but not that… I was …I was trying to get one of those.” Tommy raised his finger pointing to the single roses wrapped in the clear bouquet plastic. His arm fully extended made the coat tighten around his shoulders and neck. The old man still had his collar tight.

“Do you expect me to believe that?”

“No sir. I mean, yes, I mean… I wasn’t stealing the girly magazines.”

The old man stared at him. Tommy thought for sure he would be an old man like him before his collar would be released. What was he going to tell his mother? It didn’t matter. The most important thing was that he failed, and Emily was leaving tomorrow.

“Why?”

“Why?” Tommy did not understand the question.

“Tell me why. Why were you taking a flower.”

“I…’cause I…” Tommy couldn’t find any words to explain. How would this old man understand?

“Was it for your mom?”

“No, sir.”

“Ah. Well we have a situation here, don’t we?” The old man smiled. Tommy was sure the missing eye was boring through and eating his insides. He looked at the old man, his face contorting into a question. The old man chuckled, and Tommy swallowed, hard.

“I’ll tell you what. You tell me her name, and why you were going to steal from me, and maybe this’ll go easy for you.” The old man’s grin scared him. Tommy’s heart pounded so loud in his ears he could hardly understand the words spoken to him.

“Because, I mean, her name is… Emily. She leaves tomorrow. She leaves tomorrow and I don’t have any money. She doesn’t know. Please, sir, I am sorry, please don’t tell my mom.”

“Emily huh? And she doesn’t know?”

“No sir.” Tommy felt the grip on his collar loosen.

“Don’t move,” The old man said as he let go and turned and plucked the top most single rose from its bucket. He turned and squatted down to face Tommy again. “Take this. And if she leaves today, you better hurry. But know this. If I ever catch you hanging around here again, you better be handing me money, kid, or I’ll be takin’ you by twisted ear right to your mom, ya hear me?”

Tommy’s eyes widened and his heart started to crawl back out of the pit deep in his stomach.  The old man’s wrinkled hand passed the flower to Tommy’s shaking hand. Tommy never noticed the tear in the corner of the old man’s remaining eye, “Go. There’s nothing worse than never telling her. Go now.”

Tommy did not argue, he did not hesitate. Flower in hand, plastic making rustling sound as his fist tightened around it, he ran. He barely heard the old man calling out to him, urging him forward, but warning him about next time all as one statement. He ran; past the shops, and dodging people on the street. He turned the far corner and ran past the school. He did not stop running until the reached the tract of woods that marked the final blocks to where he knew Emily was.

He stopped at the edge of the trees and looked out over the undergrowth at the moving van in the driveway of her house. He watched as her mother called out to her father as he loaded a stack of boxes. He took the folded paper from his coat. The paper had become crinkled, but he did not care. The old man had let him go, and now he could see her before she left. He could tell her what he had to. He removed the flower from its plastic prison and wrapped the stem in the folded paper. He took another round of deep breaths and walked out of the brush and across the street to Emily’s house.

Both her parents were back inside. As he reached the curb of the sidewalk he saw her. Walking out from the side of the house where she had been his whole life. He only took one step into the dry grass of their front lawn. He stood motionless staring at her. Her hair was the color of the biscuits his mother made. She saw him and walked over to him. He kept the paper wrapped flower behind his back. He noted that she was wearing the shirt with the glitter, that he had made fun of once before. He wished he had never teased her.

“Hi, Tommy. What are you doing here?” She asked her ponytail dropping to one side as she plastered a quizzical look on her face.

“I have to give you something.”

“What?”

“It’s, well, I mean. Emily, I love you!” He thrust out the rose with the paper folded around the stem.

Her face froze on his words, the colored at first drained and then a second later replaced by glowing red in her cheeks. She took the papered flower and looked at the words written on the outside of the fold. ‘last wil and testimant’ it read.

Tommy took a loud deep breath, “I had to give it to you, because, because you’re leaving. My Dad gave one to my Mom, before… before he was gone. He said it was because he loved us. I wanted to give it to you before you go. In case we don’t see each other anymore.”

Emily looked at him. Tommy could not move. The color of his face joining hers. She turned and began to run away. Tommy started back toward the strip of trees and brush, he had to get home soon. He had told her. He had given it to her.

“Tommy!” Her voice sang in his ear. He turned around to see her running up to him. Her smile and the red in her face was all he could see. She stopped only inches from him, reached up and kissed him. A peck, not on the cheek, but right there, on the corner of his mouth. He smiled.

“Don’t tell anyone, but I love you, too. You tell anyone and I will punch you in the nose.” She turned to walk away again. When she reached the sidewalk again she looked over her shoulder at him, “We’re not going far, I’ll still see you at school, silly.”


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Women’s March 2018: Power to the Polls – Las Vegas, Nevada

Women’s March 2018: Power to the Polls

Lines for the Power to the Polls event started forming many hours before the event started.
There were plenty of signs…and pink hats.
Keep your hands off my kitty. Meow.

On January 21st 2017, between 721,000 and 1,005,000 people participated in the Women’s March by taking to the streets across our nation to protest the incoming president, Dondolf Twitler. The Women’s March was the largest protest that the U.S. has ever seen. That march turned into a organization and a nationwide movement. On January 21, 2018 the Women’s March organization celebrated their one year anniversary in Las Vegas, Nevada at the Women’s March 2018: Power to the Polls event.

This lovely message of trusting Jesus was backed up by screaming about how evil women are…

Thousands of people attended this event at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas. Speakers included the four co-chairs of the Women’s March organization Linda Sarsour, Bob Bland, Carmen Perez, and Tamika Mallory.  Other speakers included Cecile Richards, the president of Planned Parenthood, Reverend William Barber II, Cher, and many, many more. Entertainment guests included Ledisi and Faith Evans.

Female dancers from the Las Vegas Tribe of Paiute Indians. Their dance was to honor the women who have lost their lives to violence, or are still missing.
Text P2P To Register to VOTE!
He knows that he is not qualified to regulate women’s reproduction…

I can’t say that I agree with everything that every speaker had to say, but I can say that I firmly stand behind something that they all spoke of – GO VOTE.

My Neck. My Back. My Pussy Will Grab Back.

So, what could people learn from an event like the Women’s March 2018?

  1. Being a feminist does not equal being a manhater. Quite the opposite, really! Equality does not knock men down a notch – it just makes them share the ladder!

    Vote for Democrats to STOP Trump
  2. We need to break the traditions of decades past when women were expected to vote the way their husbands did – she can vote the way she actually believes AND still love her significant other. Yes, really. 
  3. Bring your sons and daughters to events like the Women’s March and teach them that it is not wrong to stand up for their beliefs and it is right to stand up for those that cannot stand for themselves.
  4. You don’t have to agree 100% with someone to be able to stand with them for human rights.
  5. VOTE
“If you don’t VOTE, you don’t have a voice.” -Cher

You can find out more about the Women’s March at www.womensmarch.com

Searchlight, Nevada

Searchlight, Nevada 

We prefer to stay in small towns and find the cheapest space rent possible, which is how we ended up in Pahrump, Nevada and Searchlight, Nevada. Pahrump was a bit of a bust, but Searchlight was a nice little town.

There were coyotes and booplesnoots galore!
And roadrunners!

We stayed at Cree’s Mobile Home and RV Park for one month. $400 for full hookups and great WiFi. Netflix was a big part of our January.

Home Sweet Home for January

Searchlight has two casino’s (small rooms with slot machines), a Terrible’s Steakhouse (in one of the casino’s), a McDonald’s (in the other casino/gas station/mini-mart), a laundromat, a post office, and two old motels.

They also have abandoned buildings.. a lot of them.
A lot of old mines in the area…

At one point in time Searchlight was looking to be the county seat of Clark County – back when it had a larger population than Las Vegas.  The current population of Searchlight is 539 and Las Vegas’ population is 612, 932.

Our old friend, the Joshua Tree.

If you want to be able to easily visit Las Vegas or Laughlin but not have to stay there, Searchlight is great middle ground. Las Vegas is 60 miles north, and Laughlin is 40 miles east.

The desert sky in Searchlight was an amazing setting for the Super Blue Blood Moon Lunar Eclipse!

We visited Laughlin often for poker tournaments and groceries. We only drove to Vegas once while staying in Searchlight — for the 2018 Women’s March -COMING SOON! 

Out of Searchlight…
Beep, beep, bitches.

Weekend in Vegas!

Weekend in Vegas!

A few days before Christmas, we decided to head to Las Vegas for a weekend getaway. And instead of wasting valuable poker money on hotel rooms, we decided to take Matilda with us. The plan was to park in the Rio parking lot, and stealth camp for two nights there.

Matilda

Plans are fun. And pointless.

As we were leaving Preferred RV Park in Pahrump, we stopped at their on-site propane fill and filled up. I napped the 60 miles to the Rio. Upon arrival we found a level spot in the back of a large parking lot and went to turn on the propane. And it was broken.

We went to Lowe’s to find a knob replacement, but they didn’t have one. We called multiple camping and RV supply stores, but no one sold just the knob. We finally called a place called CampOut Inc. and Trailer Supply. They didn’t sell just a knob either, but said they would take one off of an extra tank they had in storage.

Not all heroes wear capes!

Mr. Write and the customer service guy at CampOut Inc. tried their best to fix the knob. But to no avail, because the older fellow that had filled our tank that morning at Preferred RV was actually an undercover superhero that forgot to check his strength while making sure our propane was turned off, and now it was fucked.

I’m just gonna turn this knob a little bit more, Bub.

The entire valve needed replaced. CampOut Inc. became our own superheroes when they told us they would be able to get us in the next day for repairs. Yay! We had to empty the freshly filled propane tank before they could work on it. Between the emptying of the tank and the repairs, it would take about 3 hours and  $300.00 – so much for saving that valuable poker money.

Without a working propane tank, we needed hookups, so our stealthy parking lot camping was out. We ended up getting a space at Main Street Station RV Park – $20 for the night…but they also hold a $100 deposit. It was a bit of a hassle getting the space, but we did manage to have a good night anyway.

Why do you need a $100.00 deposit for a $20.00 RV space? …”because it is our policy to have a $100.00 deposit for all of our rooms…” Um…what?

We ate dinner at a Las Vegas buffet, and we played poker at Binion’s Gambling Hall – the place that made poker famous.

Shuffle up and deal!
The Original Home of the Poker Hall of Fame
I’m not the short stack, yet!
The place that made poker famous.

Leaving the Main Street Station RV Park the next morning was almost as much hassle as getting in, but we managed to get back to CampOut Inc. with time to spare for our repair appointment. We wandered around with the dogs for a few hours while the repairs were being done, and got to see a few cool things.

Like this RV that pulled in for repairs, too! 
The Mighty Thor
Bumblebee and Wolverine
I may have had a nerdgasm while checking this thing out.
It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s an RV!

also…

Whatever the fuck this is…

CampOut Inc. got us up and burning again pretty quickly, and even filled our tank back up for us. If you’re in the Las Vegas area, go check them out on Fremont Street – great people!

Upon arriving back at Preferred RV Park in Pahrump, we told the manager about the repairs we had to have done, and they issued us a reimbursement check with no problems.

Good customer service can make crappy situations so much better!

Thank you, CampOut Inc., and Preferred RV.

Dumps and Chumps of Pahrump (Nevada) – and one great place!

Pahrump, Nevada

What can you say about Pahrump, Nevada?

Well, a few years ago the LA Times had quite a lot to say about Pahrump, when the entire city council was almost taken to jail by their constituents – you can read that here

If you read that article and you’re still confused about the kind of community Pahrump is, then you should try this article. Just 11 years ago they passed a law in Pahrump; you had to speak English only.  Yes, really.

Depending on the kind of person you are you may really like the idea of Pahrump, or you may really despise the idea of Pahrump – either way, I wanted you to have a little history on the area.  We didn’t do our homework and we were completely caught off guard by the regressive attitude toward laws, politics, and human rights.

So, again what can you say about Pahrump, Nevada?

They have Preferred RV Resort!

Preferred RV Resort – The light in the center of darkness.

Preferred RV was the shining light in the middle of a shadowed community.

Beautiful views…upwards…toward the sky, not toward the town.

The park was beautiful! There was a heated pool, hot tub, shuffleboard, crafts, woodworking, and a  lot more. They scheduled daily events like breakfast in the club house, water volleyball, Bingo, and casino nights.

Horseshoe pits
Shuffleboard
Heated indoor/outdoor pool – the roof is retractable.
Hot tub
Playground and grassy areas for their over-population of bunnies!
Shaded picnic areas
Cute and clean park
Picnic areas near the Koi pond

Preferred RV also has large outdoor BBQing areas, along with shaded picnic areas, fenced pet areas, and a Koi pond. Also, if you tend to squeal with delight (I may have been known to do this….) when you see wildlife, then you will love the crazy amount of wild rabbits that come out at dusk. Bunnies everywhere! The dogs and I enjoyed the bunnies very much, but probably for very different reasons.

See? The light in the middle of darkness…
Koi pond
Koi are not even close to being coy – what’s up with that?
There is fish food, too… if they manage to convince you that they are starving.

The only issue we had at the RV park was while filling our tanks at their on-site propane fill. There was a mishap and our tank knob was damaged so much that it needed to be replaced. We brought the issue to the manager and we were reimbursed in just a few days – no hassle!

Also, Preferred RV park is gated with 24 hour security at the gate, which gives you a nice safe feeling of being cut off from the rest of the town.

What we discovered we didn’t enjoy – so, maybe it is one or the other…

If you are into crappy customer service, sad attempts at masculinity, and a poker room with dealers that think rape jokes are funny, the Nugget Casino is just across the street.

What?! Who knew?!

Sadly, it was the only poker room in Pahrump, so we didn’t get to play as much poker as we planned. But if slot machines are your thing, Irene’s and Saddle West are nearby, both of which had good customer service and didn’t make you feel unsafe.

You may have noticed by now, but I have a bit of a pissy attitude toward Pahrump. We witnessed men being sexually inappropriate in public (around children), sheriff officers not caring, random citizens displaying their racism and ignorance like it was something to be proud of, and heard stories from female Nugget employees that are scared to go to work unless they share the same shift.

Pahrump has grown really quickly over the past 20 years…as far as population, anyway. Growth, such as being decent humans, seems to have slipped right by them. And as much as we loved Preferred RV and the people there…we will slip right by Pahrump next time, too.

Fuck Pahrump.

Little A’Le’Inn and Area 51

The Little A’Le’Inn and Area 51

About 100 miles southeast of Tonopah, Nevada (on the Extraterrestrial Highway) you could blink and accidentally drive right through Rachel, Nevada. So, don’t blink and definitely stop in this little town!

Extraterrestrial Highway
Population: Humans: YES Aliens: ?

In Rachel you will find the Little A’le’inn and that is pretty much it – and still totally worth the drive! This place is a dream come true for movie buffs, conspiracy theorists, and geeks of all kinds.

Earthlings Welcome at the Little A’Le’Inn
At night this flashing UFO, in the Little A’Le’Inn parking lot, can be seen from miles away.
Will the insurance cover this tow?
UFO art on the outside of the building
This little feller is friendlier than he looks.

The Little A’Le’Inn was founded over 25 years ago by Pat, and her late husband Joe. Now Joe and Pat’s grandkids, Cody and Samantha are stepping in to help and eventually take over the family business….serving people, hunting aliens.

Outside seating area at the A’Le’Inn
UFO lights up the night
Money from all over the world hanging from the ceiling. This was started by the Grandpa when he put some foreign money on display, and then it turned into a tradition – people leave an extra bill to hang from the ceiling.
Use of Deadly Force Authorized.
Little aliens, and littler aliens, for sale in the Little A’Le’Inn

The restaurant and bar is filled with memorabilia, alien novelties, and fun merchandise. Including Alien Tequila – which is quite fine, and seems to get you messed up just like human tequila.

He picked a hell of a day to quit drinking…I should have joined him.

The Little A’Le’Inn has some cool cinematic history, too.

Some footage for the movie, Independence Day, was supposed to be shot near the Little A’Le’Inn, but 20th Century Fox ended up using footage from Utah instead. But to show their appreciation toward the Little A’Le’Inn they gave them an Independence Day memorial with a time capsule. Sam says that she can remember putting stuff inside the time capsule when she was a young girl. You can see the memorial just outside the restaurant and bar.

We will not go quietly into the night…

The restaurant was also featured in the movie, Paul. Paul is a comedy about a couple of comic-con nerds that come across a real alien and they help him escape earth to go back home. It’s a hilarious movie starring Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, and Seth Rogan. If you haven’t see it, treat yourself!

Paul!

The Little A’Le’Inn also includes an inn! The rooms for rent are in multiple double wide trailers on the property. It is way cooler than that sounds, trust us. They also have a small RV park on the property, which is were we stayed for the few days we were there. $20 a night includes everything except sewer. The restaurant and bar is about 50 feet away, which is awesome if you partake in too much alien tequila while you’re there (just in case that were to happen to anyone…else…).

It’s a double-wide…but it’s a cool double-wide.

While visiting, make sure to enjoy one of their Alien Burgers or a Galaxy Wrap (low-carb!). Their food was good, the coffee was great, drinks were pretty cheap and all of the people working at the Little A’Le’Inn were amazing. They were fun to hang out with, and they had some great stories about their family and the area.  I literally cannot wait to visit again!

I could go on and on about how much I loved the Little A’Le’Inn, but I do realize why you are all here…you’re either members of my family that feel you are forced to read my blog to know what I’m up to these days or….Area 51 – the governments worst kept secret.

What does the fine print say? I forgot my glasses.

Area 51 is said to be located inside the Ellis Air Force base near Groom Lake. This location is said to be where they took the alien bodies from the Roswell crash in 1947.

Since this was our first alien hunt, we took a tourists map with us to find the key points of interest. 

You can purchase the same exact map at the Little A’Le’Inn, so you know it is official Area 51 information.

The Black Mailbox

In 1989 a man claiming to be an ex-employee of Area 51 stated during an interview that he had been employed to assist with reverse engineering of flying saucers in the S-4 program near Papoose Lake. In his detailed interview he stated that he went to work every day via the road with the black mailbox. The mailbox became a strange meeting area for conspiracy theorists and tourists. People would leave messages in the mailbox for aliens, or other alien believers. Over time the graffiti, garbage and destruction became too much. The mailbox was eventually stolen and the rancher, that the mailbox actually belonged to, didn’t bother to put it back up. Remaining is a pile of rocks and a pole that once held the mailbox. People still leave letters, items, notes, and garbage at the mailbox site.

The Black Mailbox Site
Our contribution is there.
Apparently stickers are big tradition along this stretch of highway.
We didn’t leave any stickers, but we did take one down..shame on you. Yes, you know who.

After visiting the mailbox site, we drove down the very long dirt road toward the restricted area.

This very long dirt road…very, very long.
This way to the alien autopsies!

Arriving at the gate…you see a gate. Well, you see some signs labeling an invisible line between freedom and jail. 

STOP
Here’s looking at you, kid…
Here is photographic evidence that photography is prohibited.

On the hill, overlooking the gate area, a guard sits in his official-looking white pickup. Not so much Men in Black as Men in Camo, which just doesn’t sound as cool. We hung around for a few minutes taking pictures of the signs telling us not to take pictures. Rebels without a clue.

Men in Camo – I wonder if their flashy-thing is camo, too?

After an uneventful time at the restricted area gate, we headed back toward Rachel. But being the observant, sleuthy alien hunters that we were quickly becoming…we saw a road and chose to drive down it because “there’s something shiny down there!”

This was not “the” shiny thing, but it was “a” shiny thing – Most likely a camera on the tallest mountain near there, Bald Mountain

And then we found a sacrificial altar. A large, round cement foundation with poles lining the circle. Nearby there were some cheap solar powered lights, plastic back massagers, a hotwheel, and a dead cow – picked clean. Obviously, an experimental probing got carried away.  We later asked Cody and Sam back at the Little A’Le’Inn if they knew anything about it as they knew everything about everywhere in the area – except they didn’t know about the sacrificial altar and were just as intrigued as we were.

Did you think I was making that up?
Hotwheels for alien children to play with while the cows are being sacrificially probed.
Spare ribs, anyone?
Nothing to worry about, I’m sure.

We finally managed to pull ourselves away from the creepy circle of cow death to go back to hunting down a shiny object in the middle of the desert.

We found live cows awaiting their turn for sacrificial probings, and we found the shiny thing. It was standing alongside another restricted area gate. We pulled up and took pictures of the signs telling us not to take pictures and of the shiny thing. What was the shiny thing, you ask? I have no idea. Camera? Helmet? Alien sportsball?

Eat. Sleep. Crap. Probe. #cowlife
Desert Disco?
Alien Balls. Shiny.
My alien hunting partner pointing out the fine print…
If you look closely at what is still visible from the sign underneath…I guess deadly force is no longer authorized?
Ok…no deadly force, so lets take just one tiny step on to the other side….

It was about that time that we could see a large dust cloud flying across the desert toward us with an official-looking white pickup showing it the way.

Here come the Men In Camo – It’s the MIC’s, uh, here come the MIC’s – Here come the Men In Camo, Men In Camo – They won’t let you remember.

What happened next was a ridiculously slow speed chase that took 45 minutes. We drove slow, so they drove slow. We turned down a side road, so they waited at the end for us. We pulled back on the main road and sped up, so they sped up. We pulled over to let the dogs pee, so they sat in their pickup and watched. I am sure that by the end of this absurd encounter with the Men in Camo they must have known everything about us…after all, aliens or not, they are a top secret facility.

Nah nah nah – The good guys dress in camo, remember that – Just in case we ever face to face and make contact – The title held by me, MIC…
Means what you think you saw, you did not see – So don’t blink be what was there is now gone – The camo suits with the black Ray Bans on – Walk in shadow, move in silence
Guard against extra-terrestrial violence – But yo we ain’t on no government list – We straight don’t exist – no names and no fingerprints – Saw somethin’ strange, watch your back –
‘Cause you never quite know where the MICs is at

I felt that we had helped their day along by giving them the thrill of a slow-speed chase, but they did not seem to appreciate it like I thought they might. When we reached the main highway again and I waved at them – well, it was not Men in Camo happy faces giving me the stinkeye.

We didn’t see any aliens, or alien spacecraft, or even weird human spacecraft. There were plenty of jets, trucks, helicopters and military activity though. It is a very active base, and they mean business about staying out of the restricted area. If you visit don’t go getting yourself put in jail, they’ll probably probe you harder than the aliens. 

 

While we didn’t find any evidence of extraterrestrials along the Extraterrestrial Highway I can still say …

Walker Lake – Hawthorne, Nevada

Walker Lake and Hawthorne, Nevada.

16 miles northwest of Hawthorne, Nevada is the Bureau of Land Management Walker Lake Recreation area. The lake is 50 square miles – but nowhere near as large as it was at the beginning of the 1900’s. There are signs as your drive through the campground displaying where the water levels used to be.

No worries. It’s only water.

The campground is only $6.00 per night, with 50% discount if you have the Golden Access Pass. It is dry camping, but there are vault toilets.

Only $18 for a 6 night stay.

Even if you’re not a morning person, make sure to get up early at least one day while camping along the water. The sunrise is breathtaking.

Good Morning!!

We really enjoyed the view and the peace and quiet.

View out our front door.

Nearby, the Town of Walker Lake has not done as well as the lake has, as it has already dried up.  

A tumbleweed made it to the water…a tumblewood’s dream.

Along the southern border of the lake is the Hawthorne Army Depot, which is the largest ammo depot in the world.  

World’s Largest Army Depot – aka The Big Guns

With such a large Army depot nearby, one would think that the town of Hawthorne would be thriving – and one would be wrong.  Hawthorne is doing better than the Town of Walker Lake, but not by much. There are multiple motels that are closed, stores that have shut their doors, and buildings that are falling apart.

But they do have large…
…balls.
And adorably painted propane tanks..

Hawthorne is very proud of their Army depot, so they have an ammo museum (free admission!) with all types of bombs, missiles and other exploding fun. And a tank.

What’s this bomb for? Oh, just general purpose bombing.
Bunk replica…no, you can’t take a nap. I checked.
Top secret stuff.
Gas mask. Are you my mommy?
Boom.
Tanks. You’re welcome.
Smiling missiles are the best missiles.
…I bet.
Um. Sir? Could you cross your bombs somewhere else?
Bomb Cart

While patronizing a local store an air raid siren went off and all the locals just kept shopping like it was no big deal. Apparently it just means that it’s noon, so we don’t worry about air raid sirens in Hawthorne.

‘Merica
The city park has windmill art made out of old bomb casings.
This art is the bomb.
Freedom windmill

The El Capitan Casino and Restaurant and Joe’s Tavern appear to be THE happening places in town.  El Capitan has an excellent burger and Joe’s Tavern has a Sunday Football Potluck with cheap beer. 

The people of Hawthorne were kind to us out-of-towners, which is harder and harder to come by these days. They appreciated our business, and wanted to share their history with us. If we find ourselves nearby again, we will definitely stay a few days to see the sunrise over the lake and go enjoy an El Capitan Mountain Man burger. 

Biggest Little City in the World – Reno, Nevada

Reno, Nevada

RENO – The Biggest Little City in the World. What happens here, might stay here – except for alcoholism – that shit will follow you home.

People visit Reno to drink, gamble, or get married. We’re already married – so drunk gambling it is.

Silver Legacy and Circus Circus
Eldorado
It is said that all you need is a chip and a chair, but just in case you lose both, Reno has you covered with these chip chairs…

Seriously though, if you are considering visiting Reno, plan ahead to remain hydrated because…free alcohol.

Look at all the flashy stuff…
…while we distract you with alcohol…
…and take all your money!! Fun times!

We stayed at the Grand Sierra Resort and Casino RV Park. It was inexpensive, clean, and quiet, with laundry and showers on site, and just a short walk away from their casino.

Grand Sierra Resort and Casino

We spent the week casino hopping, playing poker and feeding the slot machines for free booze. There is plenty to see in Reno, and most of it can be seen from the main strip.  Enjoy a daytime walk, and then go back at night to experience it even flashier.

The main strip…
And you thought your power bill was high!
This is a crazy ass tall building with rock climbing pegs.
And this a crazy ass woman kicking ass on it!

It was a fun, exhausting week that reminded us we are a little too old to be partying into the wee hours. And although we didn’t become rich on the poker tables, we didn’t end up losing much either…

Except liver function. We lost liver function. 

 

 

Virginia City, Nevada

Virginia City, Nevada

I have spent way too long sitting here trying to figure out how to type out the theme song to Bonanza so it would get stuck in your head…now it’s stuck in my head and I don’t know how to spell out musical notes.

Shit.

 

(On a side note – while searching for this tune for your earworm pleasure, I discovered that the song actually has words…who knew?) 

So we visited Virginia City, Nevada. It was off season so all of the museums were closed, but the businesses along Main Street were open.

Did the earworm go away yet? You know you want to hum it again, Hoss!
Samuel Clemens lived in Virginia City for a few years, and was employed as a reporter for the Territorial Enterprise…writing under his pen name, Mark Twain.
Barrels of candy! Sounds like the place to be…
At the candy store….that’s what he said?
Inside the specialty shop, The Super Chicken. Tons of metal art, posters, and movie and sports paraphernalia.
Example of metal art. Make sure to stop by the Super Chicken if you’re in Virginia City.

The buildings are old and rustic, and the wooden sidewalks are perfect for your boot heels to thump on as you saunter down the street.

On the city sidewalk. No, there isn’t gold in there. I looked.
This saloon got its name after a shooting occurred in the bar, resulting in the mop bucket turning red.
To the Opera House!
Beautiful details on the buildings.

Even without the museums open, there is plenty of history to be had just by visiting a couple of the restaurants and bars.

The bar inside the Delta Saloon.
Delta Saloon Antique Jukebox…it plays the Bonanza theme all day, every day.

We joined a trolley tour for a drive through town. The tour guide was full of history and Virginia City facts, and was a super nice guy (he gave Rusty and Milo some water, because their peoples are dumb and forgot theirs)! At only $5.00 per person, it was a great way to see the town.

Tour trolley
The Washoe Club (as seen through the tour trolley window) was originally a club for millionaires only.

There is a lot of history, and each historic building has its own story to tell.

The Forth Ward School Museum. This building is breathtaking.
The Forth Ward School Museum. Beautiful historic building with a lot of history and stories to tell.

And we’re all just stories in the end, right? So, let’s make it a good one, eh?

Found at the Virginia City free parking lot – The Pit Stop.
This sweet ride did not age as well as the TARDIS
The Cartwright’s have the phone box?
I looked up and down the wooden sidewalks for the Doctor, or a companion…
I found him at the Super Chicken hanging out with Elvis.

Great history, beautiful buildings, and fun shops. Virginia City was a great way to spend the day!