Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Joshua Trees & Searchlight, Nevada

Gene and I are both pretty fascinated with the Joshua Tree.  There is a Joshua Tree Highway (see Nevada_State Route 164) in Nevada that takes you out of Las Vegas, through Primm, Nevada and on up to Searchlight, Nevada, home of the 10-cent cup of coffee.  It's our favorite stopping place for lunch or breakfast. They have the old-fashioned slot machines that still spit out nickels when you win. We're not gamblers but we usually donate a dollar each to the old Nugget Casino when we stop there. We stopped on our way home from Phoenix a couple of weeks ago but didn't leave our dollar this time. Gas prices are on the rise ... seems like we'll be needing those extra dollars ... every one we can scrounge up ... just to get around town.

We have some favorite places everywhere we go.  Whenever we have traveled in the Southwest, I always tell Gene, "let's be sure to go through Searchlight".  I don't know why ... there's nothing really there.  It just seems like a great destination.  Truthfully, I love that it's this funky little spot out in the middle of freakin' nowhere.  And, the fact that Harry Reid is from Searchlight just cracks me up.  Who'd a thunk?

When you go into the Nugget Casino restaurant in Searchlight for your 10-cent cup of coffee, you'll be greeted not by young, hot, skinny waitresses like you'd expect in a Vegas casino, but by grandmotherly type women who are serious about taking your order and gettin' it to the table. I'm intrigued by the fact that we've been stopping in Searchlight on our many ventures for 9 years now and the same women are always there, always a year older and always with a little less happiness on their faces. It's tough to get a conversation going with them. I've watched Gene try ... and they are tough old bats.  As you drive out of Searchlight, it's easy to see that it would be a tough place to live. It's literally in the middle of nowhere. What's to talk about  ... the weather???

Still, when I visit places like Searchlight, I try to imagine what it would be like to live there. In Searchlight, I'll bet it's a bit like living in Haines, Alaska, without the snow and water.  When I lived in Haines as a teenager, we loved seeing the cruise ships come in and people driving through to put their vehicles on the ferry to go south. There was a wealth of information about other places in the world, and if you are brave enough to talk to strangers, you can learn a lot about the world in just a few minutes asking questions like, "so, where are you from?"

This last time we stopped in Searchlight, the restaurant was full and we ended up sitting at the breakfast bar to split a yummy burger & fries. There were two cooks in the back staying busy with orders and instead of slipping my dollar in a nickel machine, I opted to just sit back and watch the waitresses do their thing. There were 3 of them behind the breakfast bar, which is very narrow and crowded. It's sort of like watching a ballet without the the fancy outfits & tights and ballerina shoes. I knew what Gene was thinking as I watching these wonderful women plucking bread out of the toaster and reaching around each other for butter and salad dressing, etc.  He knew I was cringing at the thought of having to work in such tight quarters. We talked about it as we got going down the highway. I have a pretty big kitchen and can hardly stand to have anyone in it when I'm cooking & cleaning. I'm weird that way.

Wrapping this up.  I love watching people.  I also love Joshua Trees and Searchlight, Nevada.  I know we'll travel through there again ... even though we've been there a gazillion times.  It doesn't seem to matter how many cups of cheap coffee you've had or how many times you've seen a Joshua tree, there are some things that you just want to experience again because it's always just as good as you remembered.

Do you have a favorite place?  Do tell!

love, susan 


  1. I loved this post. You just gave me a pass to not help you when we visit. Love you Sue...;-)

  2. Ah ... Nancy ... you are welcomed in my kitchen any day of the week! You know how to do the "kitchen dance". That's another topic for a post .....

  3. An empty kitchen to cook in? What is that like? I'm feeling good if no one is trying to vaccume or swifter under my feet as I cook and if I don't have a toddler clinging to my ankles. I am often heard hollering above the chaos "if you aren't helping cook, get out of the kitchen!" It doesn't usually get rid of anyone, they just all offer to help....and keeping 5+ kids busy with jobs is harder than just doing it myself!

  4. my favorite place would be home. Nothing beats just plain coming home!


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