Live Trip Map Day 10: August 24, 2009
Nevada 1
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There's not a whole lot going on at 5:00 AM but they leave the lights on. The two casinos with all the lights are, of course, open and there are even a few folks sitting at the slot machines in the Nevada Hotel; don't know about the Jailhouse. August 24,1999
The bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City had occurred four years before this visit. Construction had recently started on the memorial and museum that I would see in 2003. I can comprehend the mentality behind this devastation no better in 2009 than I could in 1999.

The oldest licensed pharmacy in Nevada is directly across the street from the hotel and it has a working soda fountain. They were closed when I arrived yesterday but were open this morning. I may have been about 9:00 AM in Nevada but it's twelve o'clock somewhere and a root beer float is a good road trip breakfast. Both Tanna & Leann handle the fountain as needed but it was Leann who did the work on my float. An excellent way to start the day.

Alrighty. Here we go.

A century and a half of wear with little maintenance will do this to a stage coach station. This is the Overland station at Rosevear's Ranch.

The normal speed limit on this part of US-50 is 70 MPH. It drops as towns approach. I lifted when I saw the 55 MPH sign near Eurecka but left the brakes untouched as I passed it and the 45 MPH sign, too. When I saw the deputy, a 35 MPH sign was just coming into view beyond him and he was starting to roll. He stopped me to borrow my license & registration and to let me know that he had clocked me at 60 in that 45 zone. He asked a few questions then checked my papers from his cruiser. We parted as friends with a verbal warning (from him) and a big thank you (from me).

I proceeded into town at a measured pace then photographed the Jackson House, the Keyhole Bar, and the Opera House all in one shot. I also got inside two of them and I bet you can guess which two. That's Jim I captured beneath the deer. Back in the car, I checked my Lincoln Highway Companion to see if it was also Jim in Brian's similar photo and I'm convinced it isn't. But I did make two startling discoveries. I had remembered something about the deer singing and queried Jim about it. He responded by prodding the deer into a gripping performance of "Suspicious Minds". My first discovery was that the Lincoln Highway Companion suggested asking for "Rawhide". Right deer, wrong song. My second discovery was that including hotel, bar, and opera house in one picture wasn't entirely original. In fact, Brian has the three in a similar pose in ...Companion. But no one can confuse the pictures or accuse me of copying. The pickup trucks in front of the opera house are completely different. And "Suspicious Minds" is a darned good song, too.

This construction delay popped up just west of town and lasted for about fifteen minutes. I think that may be the fellow who greeted me earlier about four cars up.

In Austin, I stopped at both the International Cafe and Bar. I had a beer at the bar (right side of building) and a sandwich in the cafe (left side of building). I also became a lifetime member of "Drinkers Helping Drinkers", with dues going to help restore the second floor Grand Ball Room. The bar side began life as a hotel in Virginia City. It was dismantled and moved in 1863.

I remember reading, in Roughing It, Mark Twain's telling of the tale about a guy who carried a sack of flour around the country and repeatedly auctioned it off for charity. That true story started in Austin, Nevada, and this is the store that the guy, Reuel Gridley, owned when he lost the bet that triggered the flurry of carrying and auctioning.

The third picture is of Stokes Castle at the west edge of Austin. The structure itself is alright but the view is spectacular. That's Route 50 running diagonally all the way across the picture and (I believe) an older and fainter alignment of the Lincoln Highway running almost horizontal across the left two-thirds. The last picture was taken on the way back down the well maintained winding 1/2 mile dirt road that leads to the tower.

I haven't sorted out where these ruins fit in the entire Rock Creek/Cold Springs Station scene of stage lines plus pony express and telegraph activities. This was obviously a big time operation.

This is really easy to spot. Partly because of the simple fact that it's a big tree. There aren't many of those around here. Next time through I'll work on figuring out how many people have contributed to this roadside attraction. It should be pretty easy. You know, just count the shoes and... divide... by... two.grin

OK. No modern 1929 high-rise tonight. Nope. it's the back to basics 1908 Overland Hotel in Fallon, Nevada. A hotel room, with toilet and shower down the hall, might not appeal the everyone, but, even if you require a bathroom all to yourself, at least check out the bar. It seemed like a fun and friendly place from the start. The decorations were certainly interesting but they got more so when I asked owner Mark Christopher if I could take some pictures of them. "Sure", he said then added "We've got dead people."

That's Mark in the second picture along with Jan the bartender. He explained the "dead people" then gave me a tour of the place. There's a "pig pit" in back where they roast a pig for big holidays like the upcoming Labor Day. The restaurant (which is only open Wednesday through Sunday so I missed out on) holds the hotel's original restored and working neon sign. I intended to get a shot of the current one when it was lit but forgot. The porcupine now resting on the US-50 sign was once kidnapped by some sailors and traveled around the world for four or five years. Teddy Roosevelt stayed here multiple times; always in the same room. The hotel was and is (you can see the radiator in the corner of my room) heated by steam. To make sure Teddy was toasty, an extra radiator was mounted below the floor of that room. There are plenty more stories but I have to get to the "dead people". The ashes of four people, with more connection to the hotel than to family, set along the wall of the bar and others have expressed there intentions to do the same. That fish in the last picture set a Nevada record when it was caught in 1998. The guy who caught it, Billy Foster, is in the box on the shelf above it. Right where he wanted to be.

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