Travels in the American Southwest

On The Road to Spenser's Springs

Friday, 8/22

Arrived early to pick up the RV. MSO mentioned how customer service oriented Moturis RV Rental was. The company caters to German tourists, the fellows next to us spoke only German but this was not a problem for Moturis' multi-lingual staff.

A 29 foot RV awaited us. Off loaded the van filling the meager storage areas under the RV. Cruised by the Golden Nugget and quickly checked out. Finished loading suitcases on the RV and secured the bikes and lounge chairs on the bike rack. While I piloted the craft, MSO handled the unpacking duties. It was more important for her to know where things were and in a couple of days, I started to grasp the theory!

I wanted to reach Tonopah before 4:00 so I could gas up at the less expensive Rebel gas station. Timewise, it was going to be tight, as we cruised through Beatty. I knew we'd either just make or just miss closing time. Some 17 miles north of Beatty, I was surprised to see a U-haul truck towing a car. The truck was parked in the middle of the northbound lane of US 95. I muttered a curse as I pulled around the solo driver. As I was putting on the turn signal to pull over, MSO asks, "Aren't you going to stop?" Suddenly, cheap gas didn't seem that important. The U-Haul driver was Nancy. Her truck suffered a rear wheel blowout and she was rather flustered. She was open to suggestions. Priority one was to have her pull her vehicle well off the road, then I broke out and placed the emergency triangle reflectors a distance down the highway. Returning to the U-Haul, I hear Nancy yelling. She's remembered she has a cell phone but can't get her preferred carrier which offers roadside assistance. I diplomatically ask her why she's bothering to use her cell phone carrier's roadside assistance? It's a U-Haul problem, call them. She calls, only to have the U-Haul call center imperiously tell her that there is no Beatty, NV. She's getting irritated; I stop smiling. As I reach for the cell phone, the crunch of gravel catches our attention. It's Nevada Highway Patrol. "Tell 'em milemarker 77, Nye County." Knowing Nancy was now in good hands, we thanked the trooper for stopping and high-tailed it to Tonopah but it was one of those good news/bad news scenarios. Bad news: we missed the cheap Rebel gas by 20 minutes. Good news: There's a new cheap gas place in Tonopah. The Giggle chain has opened a place on Main Street.

Tanked up and continued on to our evening's destination, a good couple of hours away. MSO wanted to spend the night at Spenser's Springs, a popular hot spring near the center of Nevada. I couldn't wait to soak in the hot spring after a full day and many miles of driving. We were one of three or four visitors but there is plenty of elbow room among the widely spaced, primitive campsites. While I set up the charcoal grill and rotisserie, MSO prepared the roast. As the sun set, the stars and Milky Way made their appearance. Without the light of the moon, it was truly a celestial masterpiece. We ate, and ate well! It was to be an early night. Tomorrow, we have plans to visit Grimes Point and Hidden Cave near Fallon. On that specific day, a tour was being given of the usually locked and inaccessible cave. I was loathe to let a photo op like that go by!

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