Click for larger image“All he wanted to do was drag me to Harrah’s to see the goddamn queez.  Queez, queez, queez.  That’s all he could talk about.”

The group of southerners with heavy accents were seated at the next table.  I tried to listen to see what the woman was saying.  “Queez, queez, damn queez.” She repeated.

Was she talking about queers?  Sister Betty entertained thoughts of dropping a little queer activism at their apparently small-minded southern table.  Then her husband said:  “I just love those trivia queezes.”

Click for larger imageI conned MUNI Guy to take Monday off work and travel with me to Ely, Nevada.  We drove east across the Sierra, stopping for lunch in Truckee, and then across the border through Reno.  Once you leave Reno, there is a whole lotta nothin’ – not even a radio station.

Turning off Interstate 80, we sped eastward along Highway 50.  Labeled by travelers as the Loneliest Highway, we zipped across the state at 80 miles an hour.  It is clear why UFOs choose Nevada as a prime landing spot.  There is plenty of space to land and a plethora of cows.   There are also lots and lots of historic markers and countless piles of dirt.  The Click for larger imagemarkers I suspect help orient the intergalactic travelers to the history of this empty space.  The piles of dirt are baffling – they are everywhere, clearly placed by human hands, and yet seem to be untouched and unused.

As queer as the piles of sand are the words written in rock along the side of Highway 50.  For miles outside of Fallon, the Highway is lined with names of states, people, lovers and other odd sayings.  (I even saw “Monkey” written in stone but sped by before I could snap a photograph.)

Click for larger imageEqually baffling is the Shoe Tree 50 miles west of Fallon.  Scott told me about the Shoe Tree before we left San Francisco and I would have missed it had MUNI guy not spotted it.  Growing up from a ravine, a giant tree covered entirely by shoes:  big shoes, little shoes, boots, high heels, rubber galoshes. 

We arrived in Ely around 7:30.  The front desk clerk of the Ramada Copper Queen Casino stopped calling Bingo numbers long enough for us to get our room keys.  Then she grabbed the microphone and yelled “B-10”.  I replied “Ouch!”  None of the elderly players seated at the slot machines seemed to understand…

Today, we go in search of the Nevada Northern Railway
Click for larger image

Road Trip 2003 Statistics
Day Number
Ely, Nevada
Miles to date
Funds Raised
Guess odometer readings, win a valuable prizes.  [More]
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The Plan - Road Trip 2003
It’s time for a road trip - a really, really big-ass road trip...[More]
The Route - Road Trip 2003
San Francisco to Maine, twenty two states, two countries and 8,000 miles...[More]
The Vehicle - Road Trip 2003
An itty, bitty car with just enough space for a suitcase, GPS unit and...[More]
Road Trip 2003 Captain and Crew
Who would be crazy enough to drive 8,000 miles in a really small car...[More]
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