Kevin Standlee (kevin_standlee) wrote,
Kevin Standlee

Westercon 2017 Road Trip Day 8, Part 2: More Goldfield and Tonopah

I did not get the rest of my Goldfield and Tonopah photos uploaded until this morning, so here's some more about both.

Tonopah Station Hotel

Here's where we spent last night: the Tonopah Station Hotel, about which we've written many times. This was the venue for the tongue-in-cheek Westercon bid inspired by Lisa getting stranded here for three days once when her pickup broke down. This view shows better than most one of the flaws of the property: it's built on the side of a hill, and the upper floor (where all of the sleeping rooms are) stair-steps up the side of the hill. There are only six sleeping rooms (and two suites) that are accessible without climbing stairs. We were grateful to have one of the relatively close-in rooms that only required lifting our bags up a few stairs. Nevertheless (and I reiterate that we are not bidding for anything right now), every time we stay here, we find more things that make it more plausible as a venue, albeit a pretty remote one. There's a basement function room with a full bar that would make a dandy con suite, and the weather here, although warm, is like a walk-in freezer compared to Tempe and Las Vegas. They even have public transit, now that a once-daily bus service between Las Vegas and Reno is running.

Central Nevada Museum

After dinner last night, we took a walk that led us to the nearby Central Nevada Museum, which preserves a bunch of mining and military history of this area. Although the museum itself was closed when we got there (and is not open on Sunday, so we'll miss that), much of their grounds are open, so we went for a wander around the old buildings and equipment. Because of the harsh weather conditions here, placards are stamped into metal plates instead of being printed. Printed signs would rapidly deteriorate here.

I also have a couple of more Goldfield photos from yesterday.

Vehicle Graveyard

While Lisa talked with the owner of the Goldfield Radio Museum, I took this photo of what I later learned was the International Car Forest of the Last Church, billed as the "world's largest junk car forest." I can't zoom the camera any more than this, and we didn't have time to go investigate further.


Goldfield was apparently once one of the largest cities in Nevada during its short heyday in the early 1900s, but there's very little of it left now. However, it has some impressive bluffs and other interesting geography. Part of the Central Nevada Museum includes different kinds of rocks labeled as to type, and a collection of different cacti, again all labeled so you can Know Your Cactus.

I would describe Goldfield as "quirky." It has to be a challenging place to live, with nearly all services (such as the nearest gas station) 30 miles away in Tonopah, but it does seem to have some attractions, and there are still people who care about it, like those trying to restore the Goldfield Hotel to make it more of a tourist destination.
Tags: goldfield, tonopah, travel

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