December 12th, 2019

SMOF License

Winter Road Trip Day 16: North Las Vegas to Tonopah NV (via the Extraterrestrial Highway)

Today's journey was ambitious, especially during the third week of a road trip, but I've never been over the Extraterrestrial Highway (NV-375), and the weather was good, so we decided to take the Road Much Less Traveled. We'd booked our hotel last night up at the north side of Las Vegas to give us a slight head start. It's wise to start such long trips with a full tank of gas, so we hit the Pilot truck stop near the hotel and left Las Vegas.

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It's surprising to me just how abruptly Las Vegas ends. Mind you, I didn't particularly miss it. While apparently some people don't think any place with fewer than a million people sprawling in it is real, I'm not especially fond of Las Vegas.

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I was surprised to find that we had pretty good 4G cell phone coverage during most of this part of the trip, although the phone was working hard to keep connected, and would lose the connection now and then. And then we were pleasantly surprised to stumble across something we'd not noticed, like an oasis in the Nevada desert.

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Soon enough, we found ourselves at the south end of the Extraterrestrial Highway, Nevada state route 375. Note that except around Rachel and for the first few kilometers of the south end of the road, cell phone coverage is all but nonexistant. After sending off a few final tweets, I put the phone into airline mode to keep it from working so hard to try and connect to towers that weren't there. The phone cooled off considerably and recovered its charge — even though I kept it plugged in to the car charger most of the time today, whenever it was online, it lost ground on the battery.

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Rachel, Nevada

We learned from our stop here that the town name is pronounced RAY-shell, not rah-SHELL. It was roughly the two-third point of today's trip, and it was time for lunch.

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Lisa was tickled to see pictures of Bob Lazar on the walls here. She knew him back in her Los Alamos days and once towed his jet-powered Honda to a car show in Albuquerque as a favor for him.

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We made it to the Mizpah just before dark.

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After getting moved in, we went to the Mizpah's Pittman Cafe restaurant for dinner.

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Because of the big meal, Lisa and I elected to walk up and down Main Street for a while before turning in. Lisa took a bath and I tackled a Day Jobbe task that has been bedeveling me for days, answered a request from CoNZealand regarding video Lisa shot for them during Loscon, and (mostly) classified all of these photos.

We'll be here two nights, and tomorrow is the last half-day of work I do before returning to full time next week. I'm really looking forward to getting some extra sleep on Saturday morning. While I am grateful to my manager for allowing me to stretch my days off the way I have done during the past two weeks, it's still wearing me down, and I feel like I could sleep for a week.