When we last left our intrepid adventurers, they were sleeping peacefully away in the glamorously creepy Clown Motel, a place I had picked out because of its cult status. Not only was it known for having creepy clowns and being cheerily located next to a century-old cemetery, but for also possibly being --- HAUNTED! And there we were, sleeping away in our anything but deluxe accommodations...
I had been asleep, but woke up. I don't know if it was cheap sheets, bed bugs or fleas, or just the IDEA of bed bugs and fleas, but I woke up itching and scratching and generally uncomfortable. I lay there trying to fall back asleep when suddenly I hear this little tiny, high-pitched voice--barely a whisper--saying "shawn...." there was something after that, but I couldn't make it out. What the heck? And there it was again. "...shawn..." something, something, something... I sat up in my bed and looked over at Erich. Was it him? It HAD to have been him. My eyes were adjusted to the dark somewhat because I had been asleep. I looked over at his bed and there it was again, that creepy, eerie little voice calling my name in a tiny, high pitch followed by some indecipherable squeaky mumbling afterwards. It WAS Erich, sleeping on his side and apparently having a bad dream of some kind. I said, "Erich, it is okay. You are just having a bad dream." That broke his spell. He came fully awake and gasped as if he had been held underwater for too long.
"Oh my God, It was so weird. It was so real," he said. "I knew where we were. I knew we were in the Clown Motel and in this room and that you were laying in the bed right here across from me. But it was like someone laid down right next to me in the bed." The poor guy was absolutely terrified. "I could feel them right up against my back."
He said he had been trying to call out for me, to scream, but he was so terrified, his voice was paralyzed. I reached over and patted his leg to reassure him, which momentarily freaked him out all the more. Was it a dream--or something else? Who knows? It was so real to him and he was unnerved all the rest of the night, saying his back was still quivery feeling, like the flesh was almost crawling on its own. "It was so real," he said.
Dream or not, something very strange happened the next morning. As we were getting ready to leave, I picked up my phone, which had been charging across the room at the bathroom sink. The ringer was off, but I saw I had missed a call from my mom. She had called just after midnight, at 12:05. Her message was pretty simple. "Hi. Give me a call when you can. Good night." That's it. Why would my mom call me at midnight? I called her back that morning to ask what she wanted after midnight. She said I had called her, but that there was no one there when she answered. She had been worried about me and called me back. I never called her...but that all would have happened about the same time Erich was being "Bozo-ed" by his phantom visitor. Coincidence? Creepy....
After an awful night in such an awful hotel, we decided to AVOID the showers and just leave. I took some quick shots showing how miserable the hotel room actually was. On top of all of the crappy, cheap repairs (or lack of repairs), there was very little toilet paper on the toilet paper roll...and NO replacement roll. Thank goodness there was at least a box of Kleenex to use. GEEZ! Take a look at these fabulous accommodations. It makes Motel 6 look like The Ritz! Cult hotel or not, this was the WORST PLACE I have ever stayed.
I did get one last souvenir for the road...
We said goodbye to Tonopah and headed off for our next stop---the semi-ghost town of Goldfield. Goldfield is just 30 miles from Tonopah on the western (i.e. the shorter ) route to/from Las Vegas. The western route is dotted with ghost towns, which would be what the other half of my Las Vegas side trip article would be about---if/when I ever do it. Goldfield would be the only actual town I visit though, as we needed to push west---not south, But Goldfield is probably the best ghost town (according to my research) and I figured I could throw Belmont (the town we explored the day before) in as well.
Bye bye, Tonopah...
Goldfield was, at one time, the largest city in Nevada. It still has a scattering of residents and businesses, but the decay of the abandoned and forgotten is everywhere. The desert heat and other elements are really unforgiving on these structures. The high school (above) is undergoing restoration as is the Goldfield Hotel (below). I read somewhere while we were in town (on a brochure perhaps?) that the hotel was supposed to re-open this year. By what I saw, it has a long way to go. And really, it's a beautiful building and all...but, who is going to stay there?
There are tours of the school and hotel sometimes, especially during an annual community celebration called Goldfield Days, which are held in August (!?! Who wants to visit in August? GEEZ!). Unfortunately, all the shots I got were taken through windows.
The Courthouse is still in use and is still very true to the original era in which it was built.
I know it's hard to make out in these small photos, but this abandoned house is made of adobe and bottles.
There were lots of "abandoned" buildings...but everything was privately owned, so no trespassing!
We had breakfast at the Dinky Diner...nothing special, but edible (and about the only place I think I saw to eat in the town).
I was hoping to finish off the adventures with this post...but even though I edited out a LOT of photos, I still think I need to break this in half and do a separate one for the conclusion. So I'll see you next time. There are still miles and miles left to go-go on this road trip.
(Click to the next section HERE.)