What lies beyond the last exit to Sparks, Nevada, down that inviting four-lane freeway known as Interstate 80?


Big beautiful skies.



This is Battle Mountain Nevada, well the gas station anyway:


Rain was trying to come down. A few drops found our windshield.


There are interesting towns I never knew existed like Mote, Dumphly, and Green Saddle Ranch in Pahrump Nevada (where you can buy 3 acres of land for 10 thousand dollars, according to a sign by the road). I thought of a character who might do that and park an RV on the land, so she can drive off to get stuff, or a character who might dig a well, build a septic tank, and set up solar power. One would have to separate the well from the septic…but there’s a real sense of freedom out here and pretty views. I looked it up and you can also just buy a house there for not too much.

We passed a place that smelled like onions just beyond Fernley. Why do they process onions there? Well I did find out from the good old Internet that Olam Spices and Vegetables dehydrates onions there from May to December. Who knew? I don’t think onions are grown here, just dehydrated.

We saw a lithium processing plant near Fernley too, in salt flats that I thought only existed in Utah. The salt flats are part of the Great Basin. We also passed the exit for Great Basin National Park.  Now that’s on my list of places to visit.

I was surprised to see streams, a river (Humboldt River), and standing water (the water was in Pumpernickel Valley, a close neighbor of Rye Patch), an amazing abandoned mill from 1892 that was used to process tungsten and other metals in a ghost town called Toulon. Near there, way off in the distance, there were clumps of trees hugging the base of the mountains and what looked like buildings in those trees.

There is mining, lots of mining, and some grazing. Those cattle work hard for their grass. There are two prisons around which it is illegal to hitchhike.

In Elko Nevada, too tired to explore, I did noticed a nice courthouse, a store for mining supplies, an airport with a long runway,  and a bail bonds service.

Nevada is an intriguing place. I’d like to explore more of the towns in this harsh but beautiful environment.

3 thoughts on “Road trip!

    1. Hi Mary! Yes, that’s a good way to put it. There’s something kind of wild and free here. All that open space. I was surprised to be drawn to it. I find I like the wild west. Maybe the population density is getting old. I think of myself as a city person but some parts of my spirit longs for open space and solitude.


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