The Terrible's Town 250 Adventure!
As far as races go, the race was fairly ordinary. But the race course is probably anything BUT ordinary.
Part of the fun was in getting there -- we left I-15 in Baker and headed-up a highway I knew was there, but didn't know anything else about. I drove the last leg on Friday night.
As we headed-up the highway, we kept getting hit by things that sounded like snowballs -- a bug that had to be big enough to eat most of the birds that might have preyed on it. As I was driving nearly 60 mph and we were taking winds from the front and sides that were 30-40 miles per hour, assuming some of these bugs were flying with a wind assist, they could have been hitting the windshield at 100 miles per hour.
So, of course, the only thing I can really tell you about the bugs is the color of their insides -- I couldn't even tell you if they had wings -- although obviously they did.
But I got to thinking (strange what a body will think about in the middle of the desert), these bugs had to be pretty exceptional to fly under those wind conditions -- able to fly against winds of 30-40 miles an hour, they would HAVE to be a pretty sizable thing with powerful muscles and wings -- a pretty well-developed creature.
But you would think they would have spent some effort developing their BRAIN -- as despite their development, they seemed to be capable of only flying DIRECTLY into the car windshield. One managed to hit smack dab in the MIDDLE of my view.
Of course, on the other hand, maybe I was helping to strengthen their gene pool -- as obviously something that is all muscle and no brain shouldn't be allowed to reproduce...
...except in humans, of course -- otherwise we wouldn't have pro wrestling, extreme sports, and off-road racing.
We stopped for the night at a place I didn't know existed -- the Longstreet Casino and Hotel -- in a town I had never heard of -- Amargosa Valley, Nevada. The brochure says it is located at the foothills of the aptly-named Funeral Mountains, and is named after "Wild West Everyman, Jack Longstreet." He was supposedly a gunslinger, settler, miner and gambler.
The place was nearly vacant and the casino had a few people playing the slots -- the table games were closed the entire time we were there. But I was told we couldn't have a room beyond Thursday night -- they were booked solid for the weekend. At $54/night for a room on a Thursday night and for what they charged for breakfast, I am surprised they even had the customers they did Thursday night and breakfast Friday.
However, they do welcome truckers and RV's and feature a golf course and pool thing that is nicely done -- for those of us who would be there for that... they charge less for rooms on the "street side" without a view and as we weren't there for the view, that's the side we took.
After a leisurely (for the Trackside Photo crew) start and breakfast, we "pre-ran" the course, looking for places to take pictures from, in that area. The race starts in Pahrump and heads north-northwest into the desert in a loop north of Amargosa Valley, before returning to Pahrump.
And the place the course passes the closest to the outbound and inbound legs (aside from the checkpoint and pit outside of Pahrump) is in a place called Crystal, some 30 miles north of Pahrump. So we made our way in that direction.
While looking at some spots on a dry lake bed, we saw a B-2 bomber and a couple of A-10 "Warthog" fighter aircraft practicing. The A-10's seemed to be buzzing what seemed to be a farm building in the distance, leading the boss to remark that they were "buzzing the whorehouse."
Now I knew Crystal was in that direction and I thought that wasn't a very nice thing to say about a sleepy farm community like that, but the boss is the boss, so I just thought 'yeah, whatever.'
Well, as it turns out, Crystal, Nevada, is the home of either one brothel with three names or three brothels and I could only see one and from what I did see of it wasn't impressive: it is a central building for what I would guess was a reception area to go with their advertised bar, but it is surrounded behind it by trailer homes, giving the appearance that you go from the front to a trailer home to complete your... ummmm... business transaction -- and some of the trailers seemed run down.
And it turned-out the boss' observation that the flyboys were "buzzing" the brothel(s) was probably true -- from locals I learned the ladies employed thereat have a tradition of "flashing" the Air Force guys that "buzz" their place.
Encountering a legal brothel was quite a surprise to me, as I had forgotten that prostitution is legal in parts of Nevada -- in a later discussion with a couple from Tonopah at the other end of Nye County (where Crystal is located) and shoot for Trackside when they can, I learned that counties choose whether or not to allow prostitution, which is