Friday, August 07, 2009

Let the next adventure begin!

One way to get the most out of life is to look upon it as an adventure,

– William Feather

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

My New Mexico home is empty, clean and on the market. My furniture and household goods are in my Arizona home. It is somewhat organized and now looks like ‘my’ home. It’s time to get Jeremiah out on the road to another adventure.

Highway 89 took me through northern Arizona ranching country and joined up with I-40 at Ash Fork – besides ranching, this town’s major industry is mining flagstone. Hoover Dam bridge construction required me to detour at Kingman on highways 68 and 95 to my first night’s stop at the Elks Lodge in Boulder City, Nevada. I chuckled when I read the Lodge sign – “Friendliest Lodge by a Dam Site”.

When I got out of Jeremiah to get hooked up to electricity, it felt like a blast furnace – it was 110 degrees. Thanks to my super air conditioner, we were pleasantly cool inside.

Wednesday, Aug. 5

Overnight it ‘cooled’ down to about 90 degrees, pleasant enough for a walk through part of the town this morning. I saw what is most likely the classiest and cleanest McDonalds – yes, it has the arches, but that is where the similarity ends. The grounds were well manicured with lots of flowers and grassy areas. But the highlight was about a dozen bronze sculptures within the landscaped areas.

Since I was eager get on the road, I decided to have my first ever Egg McMuffin. Ugh! Once I removed the top muffin piece and the gooey orange stuff (cheese?), it was edible. But I won’t do that again.

I-515 that scoots to the east side of Las Vegas was fairly smooth driving until I hit the construction areas; fortunately it was late enough in the morning to miss the heavy traffic. My destination was Overton, Nevada. Highway 169 from I-15 to Overton passes through a lovely agricultural valley and the Mudd River.

Today’s highlight is a visit with my brother-in-law Bob Pray and his wife. A bonus was also getting to see my nephew Daniel (their oldest son) and his family. We got caught up on family news and events and I got a tour of Bob’s huge carpentry shop. Bob and Marilynn planned and built the house – and as with all construction guys – it is still a work in progress. It is spacious and well thought out. We took some photos, but somehow they have disappeared! I’m extremely disappointed!

With Tonopah, Nevada, my destination for today, it was all too soon to end my visit with the Bob Prays. Highways 169 and 168 took me to highway 93 north, and 93 took me alongside the Desert National and Pahranagat National Wildlife Refuges to the Extraterrestrial Highway.

So what’s with this highway? In 1996, Nevada designated its 98-mile state route 375 the ‘Extraterrestrial Highway’ that goes east-west between highway 93 and highway 6. As Writer Chuck Woodbury wrote in ‘Out West Newspaper’ in 2000, “…the highway leads from nowhere to nowhere with a tiny splat of civilization called Rachel – population 98 – in between.”

Having just driven this today, I’ll agree with the assessment. The highway also passes by Area 51, a top secret military area (the super-secret Stealth fighter flew here long before the Air Force publicly acknowledged its existence). UFO believers say that alien spacecraft are often seen in the area. And I read that there is a speed limit sign that says ‘Warp 7’, although I did not see it.

This two-lane blacktop highway – open range country – crosses three large high desert valleys; except for a couple of ranches, it is fairly barren land with cattle searching for something to eat. As I dropped into one of the valleys I could see plumes of some white substance. Was a lake of water there? Water spouts? Or perhaps a dry lake? Dust? Or? Even as I got closer I couldn’t figure it out and there was no place to pull off to go look, but I did take photos.

This ET Highway ends at Warm Springs, now a ghost town, and connects with Highway 6. About 40 miles later I arrived in Tonopah to spend the night at the Tonopah Station Casino RV Park.

Thursday, Aug. 6

200+ miles to drive today. Highway 95 seemed to draw me toward the town of Hawthorne; which changed my route into Gardnerville. As I drove north from Hawthorne and saw a huge body of water (Walker Lake), I realized that I had never been on this part of Hwy 95 before. And I encountered a fairly stiff wind for about 50 miles. The scenery made it worth the windy drive. From Yerington to Gardnerville was a pretty drive, too. I arrived at my sister’s mid afternoon, and later that day we settled Jeremiah into my nephew Tim’s side yard. I’ll be parked here for a week.

I'll close this blog entry with a quote by Pastor and Author Max Lucado:

"Ambition is that grit in the soul which creates disenchantment with the ordinary and puts the dare into dreams."

What are you dreaming about?


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