Tuesday, April 12, 2011

We left Las Vegas Bay Campground on Saturday morning and drove into Henderson to do shopping. Our first stop was Camping World, then the Shell station to fill up an empty propane tank. Our next stops were Petco, Costco, and Circle K where we filled up with diesel ($3.959).

We headed back out East Lake Mead Parkway., and then took Northshore Drive north to its junction with I-15, stopping in Overton to pick up additional groceries. A short drive south on I-15, and we got off onto NV-168 and then US-93 north. We had planned on staying at the campground along North Pahranagat Lake in the Pahranagat National Wildlife Refuge, but it was full, so we went across the street and spent the night in the gravel pit.

On Sunday morning, we continued our trip north on US-93, stopping in Ash Springs to top off our tank with diesel ($4.159). We then headed west on NV-375, The Extraterrestrial Highway, which runs near the famous (or is that infamous?) Area 51.

We stopped to take a picture of the "Black Mailbox," which is now white. The mailbox belongs to the people who own the only ranch in the Tikaboo Valley. The original mailbox was, indeed, black...just a regular ol' mailbox. The story goes that people thought the mailbox belonged to Area 51, and the owner kept catching people going through his mail looking for secret documents, plus he kept finding his mail shot up. So he finally replaced the mailbox with a bullet proof mailbox and put a lock on it. (My questions: Why would a supposedly secret military installation have any mailbox, let alone one on a public road that anyone could open? And, let's assume for a moment that the mailbox DID belong to Area 51, why would they have secret documents delivered to it? Can you say, DUH?) We stopped in Rachel for breakfast at the Little A'Le'Inn where we had an excellent food.

Once we got to US-6, we headed east toward Ely, planning on driving out to Lunar Crater National Natural Landmark, but when we got to the road, which we knew was unpaved, we could see standing water in the road. We didn't want to take a chance on driving nine miles down the road and getting stuck, so we turned around and headed toward Tonopah. We'll save Lunar Crater for a time when the weather is better and the road is dry.

We stopped in Tonopah to top of our tank ($4.159) and then drove out to Miller's Rest Stop, our usual overnight stopping place in this area.

The next day, we drove up to the ghost towns Belmont and Manhattan.  Not *really* ghost towns, in my opinion, since they each do have people still living there, but they're both a former shadow of themselves.

Last night found us camping at a parking area on US-50 west of Austin.

I'll post pictures later...this area has too slow Internet access to even consider trying to upload a bunch of pictures.


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