Monday, November 28, 2005

Pahrump – strange name for a town

Monday, November 28, 2005

My morning got off to its leisurely start – coffee and a time to read before the sun ever managed to rise. I only had a 60-mile drive south on highway 160 to Terrible’s Lakeside Casino and RV Park in Pahrump.

Along the way I saw a sign for “Matthew’s Short Branch Saloon” (as opposed to a “long branch” saloon?). Actually it should have been named “no branch saloon” because I don’t see any trees around here. And then there was a sign declaring: Madame Butterfly’s Spa and Massages – Truckers Welcome.

After going through so many tiny map-dot towns, I was surprised to find that Pahrump was a good-sized town. I saw the “welcome to Pahrump” sign about 10 miles before I actually saw the main part of town. Woo-hoo! It has Walmart, Walgreens, Sav-on, Albertsons and Smiths grocery stores. I spent some time exploring the town and getting some groceries.

It has five casinos and a winery (gets its grapes from California) along with plenty of small businesses strung out on highway 160 that runs through the town. After so many days at high altitude, I’m now down to 2,600 feet.

This area was originally inhabited by Shoshone Indians, and then was slowly inhabited by American settlers in the late 19th century. The name – Pahrump – comes from the indigenous name “Pah-Rimpi” (Water Rock) because of the abundant artesian wells.

The park is lovely. About 160 RV spaces surround a large man-made lake that is used for fishing, pedal boats and kayaks. The lake is home to ducks and coots; the park has a lot of trees and grassy area and level (yippee!) RV parking sites. (see photos)

It’s been getting dark about 4:30 in the afternoon, giving me lots of evening time to map out the next days route. And this evening’s project included putting a set of tiny, battery-operated lights on the little artificial Christmas tree I bought in Genoa (Nevada). Looks good in the evening with the lights twinkling.

Tomorrow I’ll travel about 150 miles, going through Las Vegas before heading south to Bullhead City. Sounds like a simple route, but I’ll actually be on eight different roads/highways/Interstates to get there.