Wednesday, October 31, 2007
My big Sunday adventure...
About an hour and a half north of Las Vegas on US93 is the Pahranagat National Wildlife Refuge. Unfortunately, we were there at what must be the worst possible time because the lakes were mostly dried up and there were maybe ten birds total in the whole place. Still, I could see where it would be nifty at the right times of year.
After the refuge we drove through the small town of Alamo (proud home of the Panthers)and the even smaller town of Ash Springs (proud home of one gas station and a natural hot springs swimming hole.) About two mile before Caliente was a turnoff for Kershaw-Ryan State Park. We hadn't intended to go there but we decided why not. It's a very small park but so pretty. Grapevines planted in the 1800s by the original settlers cover the canyon walls and wildflowers line the creek bed. I was craving some fall color since Las Vegas is pretty lacking in that department so I was extremely happy to stumble upon it by accident.
Kershaw-Ryan also had the scariest bathroom I've ever been in. I had just finished reading the rattlesnake warning sign when I noticed it so I was already freaking out over every step I took. I actually didn't know it was an outhouse at first. I went up there to figure out what it was. The second picture is using the flash. It was very dark and creepy in there. I didn't even go in to take the picture, I just held the camera as far in as possible and clicked the button. I'm pretty sure if I had lifted that lid there would have been a whole family of rattlesnakes just waiting to attack. Rattlesnakes and rats. And a bat.
A couple of miles past Kershaw-Ryan was Caliente. Every street in this town has some sort of cool old house or building. I was going to post a picture of something else because everyone who ever goes to Caliente and then puts it in a blog posts a picture of the train depot but...what the heck...it's a pretty cool train depot.
A little ways past Caliente is Cathedral Gorge State Park. Now, I've since learned that I missed like half of Cathedral Gorge State Park because I didn't know there was more to it than this part at the beginning. This part was neat, though.
Pioche is about three hours away from Las Vegas. It's a living ghost town filled with buildings & mining equipment from the 1870s through the 1920s. They haven't all been turned into gift shops and cutesy flower marts either. I hate that. All the buildings are pretty cool but the Mountain View Hotel was my favorite by far. I totally want to buy it and fix it up and live in it. Maybe hire some women to dress trampy and loll around the upper balcony waving at the street every once in a while. I can't tell you how much I wanted to break in and roam around that place. It was probably the closest I ever came to criminal activity. I didn't though. I'm kind of bummed about it.
(By the way, nothing in Pioche looks as good as the pictures in that link. I don't know what year those people were there but those buildings have seen some hard times since then.)
So that was my big road trip. It was fun and pretty and interesting but I was happy to get back to the city at the end of the day. Not much chance of a rattlesnake biting me on the bum when I go to the bathroom here and that's the way I like it.