"Two roads diverged in a yellow wood... And sorry I could not travel both. I took the one less traveled by. And that has made all the difference." --Robert Frost

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Hotels for Clowns and Roads for Aliens?

Tonopah, NV



Alamo, NV

Alamo RV Park

Off to Tonopah where we'll boondock one night on some BLM land.  We were looking forward to visiting the World Famous Clown Motel and taking a Mining Tour.
We arrived in the late afternoon and parked in front.  The Clown Motel started in 1985 when siblings Leroy and Leona built it in memory of their father who loved clowns.  He died in a mining accident and is buried next door in the old cemetery.  I like their advertising:
"We'll do everything to make your stay comfortable, but what happens after dark is out of our hands."
(My sister would love it here. NOT!!)
Conveniently located next door to the Tonopah Cemetery!  Many miners are buried here from the Tonopah-Belmont Mine Fire of 1911.

That was enough excitement so we drove through the cute town of Tonopah and parked down the road from the Tonopah Brewing Co for a little dinner.
Just outside the town limits we took a right on a road for some BLM boondocking.  We found this place on Campendium, our usual Go-To.  Fairly flat gravel with just a bit of hiway noise.  Quiet at night.
The next morning I called the Tonopah Mining Park to see what their parking situation was and if we could fit our rig while we visited.  No problem, they let us park down below where it was wide and open.
Tonopah Historic Mining Park Visitor Center
There we are!
Instead of the walking tour we decided to take the Personal Polaris Tour.  They only charged us $10 each as there was no one else there.  Since it was cold an windy, this was great!
Looking down at the town of Tonopah.
Old mine shafts

They grated over many of them so you could walk over them.

This is the Mitzpah Mine and Hoist House.  This mine was the richest of all the Tonopah mines.
Looking down the 600 foot mineshaft.

One of the first steel hoisting works built in the country.

This is the Hoist House which contains the hoisting works, large compressors and huge tools.

A replica of an old tent camp.
The mountains surrounding town have pretty much all been mined.

Desert Queen Hoist House and Mine.
We spent several hours here and then it was on our way to see some of Nevada's strangest highways.
Instead of continuing south on 95 towards Goldfield, we chose to go more east on 6 to get to...
Hwy 375.  Better known as the Extraterrestrial Highway.
There's not much out here but open desert.  And Area 51.  Shhhh, it's a secret.

We didn't see any aliens.  Just this cow that would not move off the road.  We had to coax her.

The town of Rachel sits about half way through the 100 mile route.  It's a town of about 50 people that caters to tourists, UFO seekers and geocachers.  There is a string of about 1500 caches hidden along this route.  
In the above two pictures each green dot represents where a single geocache is hidden along the Extraterrestrial Highway.  Some people hide them in patterns which when viewed from above form shapes.  This is called geo-art.  This takes a lot of work and is very creative. We just looked for a few that had big enough turnouts and the famous one, the first one, hidden in the brush in a mailbox, guarded by an alien.
The first cache in the Geocaching ET Series is hidden here.

The old "Little A' Le Inn" in Rachel, NV.

Be careful where you walk!

We drove a few hours and ended up at a small private RV park in the Dot On A Map town, Alamo. It's called Pickett's RV now but it used to be Alamo RV.  We really wanted to make it a bit further to the Pahranagat National Wildlife Refuge to boondock but didn't want to pull in after dark not knowing the area.  I didn't get a picture of Alamo RV, but it was a simple side by side gravel lot.  W/E, $30.  Great Verizon at both locations.

No abduction took place so if all goes well we'll arrive in Boulder City tomorrow to meet long time blogging friends Pam and John of Oh, the Places They Go!


  1. Cool stop...we always just blasted thru Tonopah. Must stop next time. We’ve stayed at Pahranagat a couple of times. Nice stop for a couple of nights.

  2. We drove through that area and saw the Clown Motel. They wouldn't let us in it because we weren't clowns. But somehow you got in. Hmmmm.

  3. Cool cemetery and more. Added to the list which is now up to 398 places :)


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