We set modest goals when we depart. Takes awhile to get it all together. Never plan to leave early. Never plan to go far.
So about a year ago, we pointed RVoyager in the direction of Tonopah. En route North and West into the desert away from Vegas, we eased onto the dirt streets of Goldfield and found, to our delight, an open bar…
Santa Fe Saloon, that is, not technically an open bar, but a bar that was open.
We welcomed a pre-sunset stop after the hectic checklist of leaving our long term spot in Las Vegas RV Resort.
RVoyager Camped at Tonopah Station Casino RV Park
- Roll to win your stay
- Loose slots
For this segment of the journey, our friends the Lewises joined as crew aboard RVoyager.
After enjoying desert scenery for the first three hours from Vegas, we steered into Goldfield to see sights.
In this ghost town of some fame, several decent early 1900s buildings remain, even the high school. Some of these sites possibly open for touring during regular hours, but we arrived for Happy Hour.
Supposedly the longest running saloon in the state, the inside of the ramshackle Santa Fe provided for us at least one inexpensive beer’s worth of entertainment as a mini museum of the turn of the 20th Century Wild West and its continuing saga of gold rushes.
This strange assortment of relics and memorabilia entertained us throughout the creaky watering hole. We learned that Wyatt Earp perhaps once called this town home. Certainly his brother Virgil did, and if you care, you can read more about that “conflicting story” on the Goldfield Historical Society website.
Across the street, we lingered around the rusting transportation hub that once hauled off 90M in gold. And maybe several bodies too, judging by the size of the hearse barn (in our header pic).
A few years back, we bought a book about ghost towns. Goldfield made it into an entire Nevada chapter.
This map hanging in the Santa Fe blew us away with even more sites than our book.
Zoom in and allow the mind to roam. Maybe even start a quest to find the “FAMED” Lost Blue Bucket of Gold…
After this bit of ghost town exploring, we tried but couldn’t beat the setting sun to Tonopah.
We pulled RVoyager into a slot in a decent lot behind the Tonopah Station Casino. Talk about a gamble. This place hands you the dice and gives you a chance to roll trips to win your hotel or campsite bill.
Our roll was like, awwww, craps.
So we had to pay the fee to camp overnight.
A reasonable fee, we thought, for a spot with hookups.
Next, we drove Delta Flyer for a quick bite and tour of the town.
On the outskirts, we spotted the Clown Motel.
Something about this place — proximity to the Old Tonapah Cemetery, perhaps? — evoked the visceral sensation of scenes from a Stephen King movie.
We snapped a couple quick pics and U-turned back to the Tonopah Station.
There, three of us tried a few slots to wind down before bedtime.
Perhaps clowns by cemeteries bring good luck because all three of us cashed out for a lot more than we put in.
Much better result than had we won the roll of the dice.