Day 167 – Nevada 93, May 13, 2011
I don’t know, Route 93 from midway between Ely and Baker to Las Vegas could compete for the loneliest road in America. Attractions seemed to be spread at least 60 miles apart. I wasn’t feeling spectacular, so that could have subtracted from the amount of attractions I would have normally visited.
Our first stop was Pioche, known as the bawdiest, most lawless town in Nevada in the 1870’s. As the town’s population swelled to 7,000 during the mining days, legend has it that four dozen men died “with their boots on” and only two were ever brought to justice. According to my Reader’s Digest book, the local cemetery, boot hill, recorded some of the shootings and shenanigans. I visited the cemetery and saw some graves from the 1870’s, but must have missed any unique
I also visited the Million Dollar Courthouse. The town leaders floated bonds in 1871 to construct the new courthouse, and it took until 1938 to pay the debt off. Due to all the interest associated with the bonds, the courthouse earned its name! I’m certain a few other bond projects in more recent history have followed in Lincoln County courthouse’s footsteps.
After visiting Pioche, we stopped at Cathedral Gorge State Park. What an interesting place! Multi-colored buttes, about a foot wide, yet very long rose abruptly from the valley floor. Each one was separated by only a foot or so which created a maze that visitors could explore. As I entered an area, with Petey in tow, I met a few locals that pointed at about a three foot crawl space. They said if I didn’t mind getting dirty, I could crawl through the opening to a larger area and find a rope I could climb up to top. On my hands and knees I shimmied through the space, but Petey was not interested in taking part. And frankly, I’m not quite as adventurous as I used to be so I contorted back through the gap and promptly found a trail that led to an overlook. Stairs seemed like the more civilized (and easy) way of exploring.
After a few hours of wandering around the park and quick shower at the state park campgrounds, we moved on to Caliente. I just pulled off the road, rested, shockingly found a Radio Shack where I picked up a fuse for my inverter that wasn’t operating correctly, and tried the local pizza – another nice surprise. My book only called for one more stop between and the outskirts of Las Vegas, so I opted to forgo the Pahranagat National Wildlife Refuge and drive through the evening into a sea of lights where I found a Wal-Mart in North Las Vegas for the night. I plan to attend to a variety of issues while stores were open on Saturday. ETB