Nevada – Blog 19

I didn’t want to come to Nevada but I’m staying two nights in the Clown Motel in Tonopah.  There are clowns everywhere – in the motel office, on the doors, on the walls and, yes probably, as guests.

All I knew about Nevada was that Las Vegas was in Nevada – a rather popular but pointless place where people quickly get married or divorced and indulge in mindless gambling.

However, Nevada carried on where Utah left off so I am now a lot keener on Nevada.  It has more desert and semi-desert.  But the hills are different.  Gone are the red sandstone bluffs and cliffs.  Now we have rounded hills sticking out of a flat matrix.  It’s rather like a dry version of Caithness and Sutherland – the hills are very similar.  There are some like Scaraben, Ben Loyal, Ben Hope, Ben Griams, Maiden Pap and, more distantly, the Arkles, Canisps and Suilvens appear.

I half expected a greenshank to fly across the road but instead a coyote crossed about a quarter mile ahead of me and I couldn’t find it when I got there.  And a pronghorn, not a red deer, was grazing in the mid distance.

I ate at the local Mexican restaurant (two veggie days in a row!) and people stared at me.  It might have been because I am taller, it seems, than anyone else in town. Or it might be that i am a stranger in town – but I think there are a few of them. Maybe I look foreign?  I was certainly one of the few men in town not wearing a baseball cap.  Maybe it was because I was walking – quite possible.  The two men in the rooms next to mine drove the two blocks to the restaurant whereas I walked – that’s enough to make anyone stare in most of America.  Walking is done by people who are tired from jogging or people with dogs.  And I was carrying a book in the streets (Sibley’s field guide) and that is odd too.  I think it may have been the combination that made people stare – a tall foreigner without a cap walking in the street with a book!

Today I have written.  This place is cheap and the internet works.  All that time in the car gives one plenty of ideas and i am getting them down as fast as I can. This isn’t a holiday you know!

Tomorrow – Yosemite for a few days.  And then on to San Francisco for an appointment with an extinct insect.



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5 Replies to “Nevada – Blog 19”

  1. Mindless gambling! People in the UK gamble with £5 billion a year just to make their gardens look like the one next door. Just imagine what that figure is in the USA!! Even adding fertillisers so they can cut the grass more often. If only a fraction of the people gave the money to conservation and managed their gardens for wildlife we would have a much better world.

  2. You need to stop playing at being Peter Fonda and get back home where the action is. Just heard the Natural England Chairman is standing down at Christmas and I reckon you should write to Defra to offer to take his place! It will only be about £80k a year for a three day week which will give you plenty of blogging time.

  3. Moab brought back memories. Was there in 1979 with 4 other Fleet St hacks on a travel trip. We got there late and dying for a drink and found the only restaurant open, which had a separate alcohol counter (it being Utah). We asked the guy behind it if he had any wine. He said he would go away and check. He came back and said: Sir, I have half-bottles of Paul Masson Emerald Dry. We looked at each other and said to him : how many? He said he would go away and check. He came back and said: Sir, I have nine. We said: We'll take 'em
    He thought us strange. But then, we thought them strange. All relative, innit?
    Keep going, Marky lad

    1. Mike - great story. Looked pretty easy to get a drink there last week. May treat myself to a nice glass of wine when I get to the Ocean. Not long now.


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