NevadaGram #3 – Pahrump, Beatty, Battle Mountain Bikes Fallon Dining, Burning Man


Among the e-mails we received in October was this one from Ray Ellinwood of Findlay, Ohio. Thanks, Ray.

Pahrump’s pioneer era is over.

Pahrump is having another growth spurt. Much of this rambunctious little city is still the modest pioneer amalgam of mobile home, cinder block and crackerbox, but new urban features are conspicuous.

As a reminder that Nevada is more than sagebrush and slot machines, these two items from Jack Rabbit Speaks, the oracle of information for Burning Man (subscribe here) from Maid Marian:

“I spent a good part of the day near the DPW installation where all the bags of MOOP could be found. It was rather amazing really to see that there were about 6 large 40/gallon bags of MOOP (inside smaller ziploc bags). This was just the loose moop picked up by 40 sets (80 hands total) human hands over the course of 2 weeks. It doesn’t include ash and other large debris.”

Request from Camp GoatRodeo
We were the ones with the giant Goat that had the Anus of Truth. You could stick your head inside to receive truth from the Oracles inside. Anyway we were wondering about what happened with all of the serious truth-seekers that solicited our help and we wanted to know if you would post something to the effect of if you stuck your head in the goat’s ass, who/what you saw, what truth you got and what happened afterwards to especially if our truth had any major effect on your life or BM experience.

Now three bright casinos compete for attention along the highway (Nevada 160), and the tasting room at the Pahrump Valley Vineyards on Winery Road is busier than ever. There are traffic lights, city-sized supermarkets and shopping centers, and asphalt covering more of the gritty downtown acreage than ever before. Critical mass is being achieved.

So how much longer will Tonopah be the Nye County seat? A smart man who has lived in Nye County all his life says Pahrump might take it within ten years.

Smoke Signals Trading Post, Pahrump

I stayed at the Best Western, very nice, with mature landscaping — another refinement of the post-pioneer era — and had my car serviced by the friendly crew at the X-Press Lube. I visited with Laura Rainey at the Smoke Signals Trading Post (I was most tempted by an obsidian knife with a horn handle and a beaded sheath), and with Kathy Pallares in the spacious new Pahrump Valley Chamber of Commerce offices over the bank. “This is the way Las Vegas used to be,” she told me. “It’s a small town full of friendly people.”

The Longstreet Inn, Amargosa Valley
The Beatty Club, a classic Nevada saloon.

Highway 160 takes you north out of Pahrump and offers a spur west to Crystal. There are locally-famous brothels located here, but my purpose in taking the turn-off was to find old friends Roger and Marty. Not home. So backtrack and go on to US 95, northwest to Amargosa Valley — it will always be Lathrop Wells to me — and then south again toward Death Valley Junction 16 miles to the California state line where Jim Marsh’s Longstreet Inn offers respite from the rigors of desert travel. There’s a golf course, an RV Park and all the comforts a small but spiffy Nevada casino hotel can offer.

At Beatty I stopped at The Beatty Club, a classic Nevada saloon with the bar along one side, a shuffleboard game along the opposite side and a pool table in the back. Dollar bills paper the walls and are beginning to blossom from the ceiling, which has a cluster of bras dangling near its center. It is the domain of Alpheus Bruton III, a former manager of the Furnace Creek Inn at Death Valley and a Beatty resident since 1992.

Dining Out in Fallon
Last month I asked for dining recommendations in Fallon. Ann Reynolds and family responded with a thumbs up for La Fiesta a half block west of Maine.Also, these suggestions from Rick Gray at the Fallon Convention Center:Visitors should try the Overland Hotel & Saloon built in 1908. It is on the Nevada Historic Registry and recently remodeled. George Machado is the owner and the restaurant serves great basque food. 125 E. Center (just east of Maine Street downtown), 775-423-2719.Also, the Sand Trap Restaurant & Lounge at the Fallon Golf Course has a new owner (Marsha Henry) and great food, 2655 Country Club Dr., 775-423-4616.For great stir fry, try The Wok, 255 S. Maine St.

Alpheus told me that Beatty was hurt badly when the mine closed in ’99, and then hurt worse by the attacks of September 11 as tourists, Europeans especially, cut back on travel. Still, there was an angel-faced Austrian girl in the crowd that night, elevating one of the local men to a state of bliss with her good looks and cute accent, so it hasn’t been a total bust.

The Stagecoach, Beatty

There are basically 3 choices for food in Beatty: the Stagecoach at the north edge of town, the Exchange Club at the center of town. For breakfast the Exchange Club

$1.99 breakfast is the popular choice, and I can vouch for it. I suspect that the Exchange Club is the only restaurant in Nevada with a gold record musician as its manager. Yes, Johnny Quick, the drummer with Bill Haley and the Comets, has posted his gold record (25,000,000 copies) for “Rock Around the Clock” on the wall. The food’s good, too. For lunch it’s a toss-up, but take the Stagecoach because of the exuberant landscaping. The Burro Inn is the choice for dinner on the basis of a somewhat more interesting menu, and definitely for the prime rib on Friday and Saturday nights (If you have a different take on Beatty Cuisine we welcome your comments). Stayed at the Phoenix Inn (Atomic) a block off the highway: recommended. For a list of hotels in Beatty, click here.

The Mozart Club, Goldfield

Also recommended: Bailey’s Hot Spring five minutes’ drive north of town offering natural hot baths for $3 from 8 am – 8 pm. RV spaces (baths included) are $12.

At Goldfield the Glory Hole Gift Shop was closed, Slim and Carol Sirnes were away from home, Alan Metscher was out, the Mozart Club has a For Sale sign tacked to the wall, and except for the television playing “Murder She Wrote” the Santa Fe Saloon was as quiet as the grave. Goldfield was like a ghost town. Creepy.

David W. Toll



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