What’s notable or surprising about this state? Plenty


Matt Hufman

This is a view of Highway 168 on Sept. 15, 2013. The highway runs from Interstate 15 in the Moapa Valley to U.S. 93 at Coyote Springs.

We’re in Beatty this morning and then headed south toward home to wrap up the first trip of the Finding Nevada project.

I was asked by a travel writer to describe the most surprising or notable thing from our travels, and that’s a difficult question. Every day has brought some surprise or something that’s notable.

Who would have thought we would find a man pushing his bicycle with his dog on it up a steep grade outside of Rachel? Or, that we’d come across a bizarre incident in Goldfield that ended with police trying to disarm explosives outside the Esmeralda County Courthouse? Or, that we would have deep discussions about preserving history in a largely forgotten ghost town?

(By the way, is there any place in Nevada that is NOT haunted? We’ve heard ghost stories at every turn, and stayed in a couple of places that were supposedly haunted.)

There are more stories from this trip to tell, and they’ll come out over the next few days, but let’s put it this way: This really is an incredible state, and it takes something different to make it here.

People have come in the course of the state’s history – and still come today – to do something different here. There are folks who see a vision in the desert or seek to make something here.

Yesterday, we saw an artist’s creation in the desert called the International Car Forest of the Last Church – he planted more than 40 vehicles in the dirt. We also met Carl Brownfield, a former Las Vegas cab driver who has worked with a group to make a real radio station in Goldfield – KGFN 89.1 FM.

In the days before, we met people who were revitalizing old property or creating something new in places we never expected.

Today, we plan to head to Rhyolite, which was owned at one point by Charles Schwab. (Yes, that Charles Schwab.) You have to wonder if Schwab, who invested millions, didn’t feel suckered because the boom didn’t last long.

And then it’s home to the ultimate boomtown: Las Vegas.

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