Grand Canyon Road Trip Part 1, In Nevada: October 9 - 11, 2022
In 2021 we briefly considered a road trip to the Grand Canyon but failing in our attempt to get last minute reservations, we eventually scored reservations at both the North and South Rims for October 2022. On October 9, 2022, at 9:00 a.m. our day to begin this long anticipated road trip finally arrived. We packed up Dan's car, settled ourselves inside, and... his car refused to start! It made not a sound as he tried again and again.
So, we transferred everything to my car with its smaller trunk placing our belongings into the trunk much like piecing together a jigsaw puzzle. Still, somedays it looked like we were living in our car as things migrated to the backseat. My car started and we were off on our road trip to Arizona and the Grand Canyon.
Our first stop for the night was in the former mining town of Tonopah, Nevada. We've traveled through Tonopah several times passing on spending the night there because it always looked so depressing. This time, however, we booked a room at a former Bank building that had been renovated and converted into the very lovely Hotel Belvada on South Main Street.
It was late afternoon and before checking in at Hotel Belvada we continued south through Tonopah on Highway 95 to the town of Goldfield just to see the quirky International Car Forest of the Last Church.
Car Forest is a good description because the cars and busses are mostly "planted" like henges in the desert ground. As an installation art site along the free-range-art highway, the Car Forest is in continual creative progress. International Car Forest of the Last Church is "preserving the last church in us all" according to their website.
The mining camp of 1902 Goldfield became a boomtown in 1904. It was briefly the largest and richest city in Nevada. By 1910 the boom went bust and today there are just 300 citizens living in Goldfield. There's more to the living ghost town of Goldfield than the Car Forest but we didn't have the light or time to explore further.
The next morning we headed east on Highway 6 toward the NV-375 also called the Extraterrestrial Highway. We've been on the ET Highway before and there is truly nothing except desert and mostly monotonous scenery on this stretch of road. I did happen to spot a group of Desert Bighorn Sheep on a hill above the highway which was a nice distraction from this drive.
After the town of Rachel, we stopped to take photos of some really impressive clouds and Joshua Trees. Where we stopped was at the Black Mailbox. According to Google Maps this Black Mailbox is a tourist attraction. It is in the middle of nowhere next to a dirt road leading south from the ET Highway. A note is on the ground below the mailbox with a thought perfect for the ET Highway.