Sunday, 2 August 2015

The Loneliest Road in America

Nevada is a good place to stretch out your arms, catch some rays, and breathe clean air. I'm not talking about Las Vegas, of course, which is all about fear and loathing. Nearly everybody in the state lives there, but no one goes outside, except to get the next casino.

Most of Nevada is big, empty, and sunny. The people are friendly and helpful, on the rare occasions you actually encounter any people. Wild horses are more common. Jackasses, too. Calm down, politicians, I wasn't referring to you. Unless it was my Freudian side.

It's odd I know, but nearly every town along US Highway 50 ("The Loneliest Road in America") once had a population of about 10,000. I think the same 10,000 people kept moving about as gold and silver mines gave out in one place and lodes were found in another. They even moved hotels from one town to another. One built in Virginia City ended up in Austin, where it remains today.

A good example of all this is Eureka, between Ely and Austin. You know where that is, I'm sure. During the mining boom, Eureka had 10,00 people. Now it has around, 1900, the sign says.  I never saw more than about 25. That was at the Opera House, a Victorian era building now beautifully restored. It is a good venue and we were lucky to be there for a performance of western music by Ms. Belinda Gail. I honestly had never heard of Belinda, but she was damn good. Better than our hotel.

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