why prostitution is illegal in Clark County (which would include Las Vegas and Laughlin). I also learned that Nye County collects an "entertainment tax" (yes, that is really what it is called) -- the county probably make nearly as much money on this rather sizable tax as they do in property taxes (the county is mostly undeveloped lands and otherwise economically depressed, and a good chunk of it is federal lands under the Bureau of Land Management or the military).
There is even a "brothel museum" at the head end of the road the one brothel I could see was on. One can only IMAGINE what is in THERE. I didn't get an opportunity to see it -- although it DID have visitors when we passed it over the next couple of days.
And what made all this exceptional to me is that this is the first time I've actually seen a brothel advertised and even had large signs indicating it's location, so I would know EXACTLY where it was. Even when I was in Germany where prostitution was legal (at the time -- I imagine it still is), there were no signs advertising the local brothel... and as long as I lived in Giessen, I didn't really know EXACTLY where the town brothel was.
WE stayed in the OTHER thriving business in Crystal -- the Short Branch Saloon and Inn. They have a six-room building out back and the rooms are $25/night, which is probably why we stay there. They seem to take exception to the working conditions at Crystal's brothel, so they refer people who mistake their saloon for the brothel to another one that must be in the area and well-hidden, as I never saw any other brothel in the area we were ranging in.
After lunch in Crystal, we went to sign-in in Pahrump (which takes its name from the Paiute Indian term meaning "water rock" or "place where big waters flow," depending on how you interpret it -- and the Indians were more on-the-beam than even they might have realized, as the local brochure says that Pahrump is reportedly on a huge aquifer of 22 million acre feet of water) and get our press passes -- and we were also issued an orange safety vest for the season, for which the company had to leave a deposit... mine is number 12... that way we can be identified if we do something wrong. The vest is supposed to be for our safety -- although in the history of off-road racing, there hasn't been a racer yet that has made any effort to avoid hitting a photographer when their car goes out of control... as they are usually concentrating on not getting themselves killed first.
Some of the places we went looking at for photo spots that afternoon left me with an awesome amount of respect for the Land Rover Discovery -- we were going in places I wasn't sure goats would make it through. We traveled into ravines that I wasn't sure we would be able to get out the other side of -- assuming we didn't crash straight into the bottom to begin with.
But the boss knows what he is doing -- and when he wasn't even sure about the route, he would get out and check it -- and I got my first opportunity to practice driving things I wasn't really sure we should be doing... and quickly adapted to a driving technique that I don't practice very often -- sometimes the best way out of being stuck is NOT stomping on the gas pedal.
The Short Branch Saloon makes a very good steak dinner, so that's where we ate.
And the race was Saturday -- at oh-dark-o'clock. I had the closest sites and was supposed to walk, although I was dropped-off at my first point and was picked-up and dropped-off by another photographer who was relocating from nearby.
And as I said, it was pretty much just another race after that. There was one rollover wreck by me that momentarily challenged my instinctive response as a medic and my work as a photographer -- but the driver and co-driver got out of the truck after they learned it was on fire (I was told by someone else who ran to help that they were sitting there -- sideways -- still strapped in their seats having a conversation about God-only-knows-what, making them slow in getting out, which makes me nervous and want to go over and see what I can do to help). As it was, when a lemming-like mass of spectators gathered to push the truck back over, I had to take off my orange vest and start flagging other racers, as it looks similar to the warning flags the race officials use (okay, so maybe it is good for something).
Not that it is all easy work shooting a race -- you need to stay on your toes…