It is quit now in the town of Shoshone, except for the sound of an owl and some birds, an occasional car passing by. The sun is slowly rising above the mountains, I can hear the rustling wind from the nearby trees, a cool breeze blowing in the inhospitable desert town situated south/west of one of the hottest places in the world, Death Valley. Shoshone has an allure about it, a town forgotten by time, a place were miners mined for gold in the late 1800’s. Behind the Shoshone Inn visitors can see the entrance to such a mine, closed with chicken wire guarding the entrance from trespassers. If one listens carefully one can hear the sounds of an encampment of miners discussing the zest for treasures buried in the ground below them. Those days are gone forever, but this town an oasis perched in the unforgiving Mojave Desert provides solitude to those who seek solitude.
I arrived in Shoshone late afternoon, the air was hot and thick, and I let my diesel engine idle for a few minutes allowing the turbo chargers to cool off. I registered at the motel, a place that reminded me of something my parents would find on their travels in the 1950’s, a one story U-shape building surrounded by trees. My room was located in the back, as tempted as I was to back up to my room, the towering trees with its thick branches detoured me from such a thought. Instead I parked my RV next to the Inn, away from trees. The room was modest, the air conditioner blasting, keeping the room at a comfortable temperature.
I was hungry; I prayed that whatever food I could find would be eatable. I walk across the street to the Crowbar Café & Saloon; I peered through the menu, a cross between Americana and Mexican food. Could this food be good, I pondered? The waitress seemed nice, I ordered an enchilada combo, the plate arrived hot, and the food was delectable. This was the best enchilada I had ever had the chance to indulge in, I was happy, very happy.
I went back to my room and grabbed my camera, this place was too tempting not to take pictures, and I took many pictures. In a world with more malls and mini-malls one needs to take time and make since of life, this is why man or woman must seek solace and explore new roads or in this case old roads, a way to link oneself to the past.
Shoshone is about a mile long, if one blinks their eyes for a moment, they could pass this town. This is a place one should stop at, smell the clean desert air, and discover the rich history, the museum, and rusting relics of a life melting in the hot sun. Wild life in abundance, the hot springs and the still of the air, far removed from the bustling city. At night one sees stars, galaxy’s from a far off place, the hollowing of coyotes in the distance, a darkness one could not find anywhere except in the deep caves that miners dredge in the not so distant past. To the south/east I could see the lights of Las Vegas, glowing like a fire.
On my next blog I am going to discuss the purpose of my trip to Shoshone.