Traveling Through Nevada by RV Hawthorne, Nevada

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At our overnight in Hawthorne, we learned another lesson. Be sure to check which way the wind is blowing. Then, go up wind and park WAY OVER in the corner, making it as difficult as possible for anyone, especially big diesel trucks, to park so their exhaust and engine noise can filter into your dreams.

We’d planned to eat breakfast at Maggi’s but decided to be on the road before too late, even though no one would have noticed our departure time since everyone else had left at dawn. Besides, brunch along the way was more appealing. We left the parking lot, this time at a real driveway and not over the curb masquerading as one. Tracks going over the curb had lead us, actually me the driver, to believe it was OK. I’ve read cowboy stories where a person following a trail is lead into quick sand or other traps. Maybe we were just another number on someone’s snowbird scorecard. During our trip over the curb we discovered towbars and asphalt don’t mix well. Nothing was damaged and the asphalt in the threads of the bolts cleaned up quite nicely.

We’d gotten off of I-80 onto 95 at Fallon, NV and continued south from Hawthorne on 95 toward Tonopah. Our next stop was brunch at Miller’s Rest, a leisurely two hour drive south to about ten miles north of Tonopah. Miller’s Rest, a Nevada State rest area, has good water, clean rest rooms, lots of room to park, picnic tables and a dump station. The dump station was closed for the winter but we didn’t need it anyway. Another big plus for Miller’s Rest are the signs that say ” NO TRUCKS, violators will be fined.” You can stay for 18 hours and then have to be back on the road. 18 hours is plenty of time, otherwise some people seem to want to set up permanent residence.

While Celinda fixed a delicious sweet squash soup and roast venison brunch, I took a walking tour and met a couple with a fifth wheel from Prineville, Oregon. I’d been magnetically drawn to them since they had kayaks on top of their pickup. They were on their way to California across the Colorado River from Parker, AZ. They told me the kayaking was excellent, plus they’d spent five months there the year before and it never got below freezing. Sounded inviting but we have relatives in Cottonwood, AZ and had commitments in Bullhead, City. We were seriously considering spending time on the Colorado before heading back north and I made a mental note to investigate further.

We’d gassed up in Fruitland, ID and didn’t need to stop in Tonopah. If you do need fuel, drive past the first ones on the edge of town. The first station coming into town was $3.08 and the next was $3.07. In the center of town Gasoline Alley was $2.77 and Super 7 was $2.85. Coming from the south it’s a hard right turn into Gasoline Alley but doable with plenty of headroom for tall rigs.

From Tonopah it was 92 miles to our next scheduled overnight at Beatty, NV. We had plenty of time to make the distance before dark and were cruising south at about 60 mph. A big diesel pusher motorhome pulling a faIrly large “stuff” trailer passed us doing about 85. When they passed they honked. We saw them again between Goldfield and Scotty’s Junction.

Before we actually saw them, we saw pieces of tire in the roadway. We crested a hill and the rubber pieces turned to gouges in the pavement. Quite a ways down the road we could see a rig on the shoulder. The gouges got deeper and turned from one grove to many. When we got to where the rig was, there wasn’t any rim left on the driver’s side of the trailer. The axle, u-bolts, spring, or all of the above, had been in serious contact with the tarmac. A man and woman stood by the side of the road. The man had a cell phone next to his ear and the woman didn’t look pleased. We couldn’t help them, and our horn hadn’t worked since we’d bought the motorhome, but we waved. I wondered how much time they saved at 85 mph. I seldom use a horn and hadn’t checked it out while at the farm. I found the problem when we got to Cottonwood, AZ.

There a lots of RV parks along the way but since none of them answered my e-mails, we stayed in a freebie; the Stagecoach Casino, Death Valley Candy Company and Motel 6 parking lot. We ate in, since the casino smelled heavy of cigarettes and we didn’t want to. We were getting smarter by the day with no big trucks close until after the dawn patrol had hit the road at daybreak. The night before we’d met Delton and Kathy Wolff from Alberta, CA. They were going to Laughlin, NV with no real plans after that. A good way to spend your winters.

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