Friday, August 1, 2008

Friday from the Road: Austin, NV

Perhaps by now, you've gotten tired of Middlegate Station and want to move on. Well, here's a place for you: the well-known town of Austin, Nevada, which sits in the center of Nevada, and which used to be the county seat of Lander County (until 1979 when it moved to Battle Mountain, amongst much consternation and outcry by the locals).

austinThere it is above - Austin - sitting on the side of the hill on the east side of Reese River Valley. You can see the old mine dumps and bits of granite sticking out here and there.

reeseOh, did you miss the Reese River when driving through Reese River Valley? It's easy to do. I just happened to get a picture of it from Highway 50. In the photo above you can see the Toiyabe Range on the east (left) and a bit of the Shoshone Mountains on the west (right). The Reese is not a big river, as you can see - usually you can leap across it with a large step. In places, it can be wide enough to put a canoe in, although that depends on the time of year, the year itself, and the section of river in question. Trust me about the canoe thing.

Well, here we are in Austin, at the Pony Canyon Motel, the first of three motels, all on the right (south) side of Highway 50 as you come into town from the west. If you happen to drive in from the east, all the motels are on the far, downhill side of town on the left (still the south!!). If you are going downhill at that rapid speed of 25 mph, you might just miss the motels. A higher speed, whether going uphill or downhill, is not recommended, because Austin has long been known as a Speed Trap. Be careful!

From the Pony Canyon Motel sign in the previous photo, going around the parking lot in a counter-clockwise fashion, we come to this little meeting room - I guess that's what it is (just a table or two and some chairs inside).

Then, a nice view off the corner of Room #5.

Coming around a bit farther, we have Room #3, and the front end of a Prius. As you can see, the Pony Canyon sits in the shade of some nice, tall cottonwood trees. Trees are next to nil at the two other motels.

All the way around the lot, and here is a view of the entrance to the office. You will need a charge card to stay here, because it is not cheap (at least by small town Nevada standards, IMO)!

MOH and I fell for the long-standing tradition of staying in this motel, and after all, it's the only stick-built motel in town. The long-standing tradition of prefering this motel over the other two dates back to 1977 when the Quito Gold Mine was being discovered by former employees of Former Mining Company, geologists who happened to include some of the very same geologists who discovered the Jerritt Canyon gold mine. (Those former employees did not include me; I was doing Other Things in Austin that year.)

One can see some nice greenery and a small garden out the back of the rooms, the back being the south and hot side of the building.

Ah, but one can step out on the cool, north side and sit in the shade, getting away from the heat that has built up inside the room. Sit awhile, smoke a cigar (there are ash trays on the table).

Another pleasant view of the office area, through the screened-in, north-side porch and deck area.

But hey, since there isn't any AC in this motel - next time I will forego long-standing tradition and consider staying in one of the other motels! Like the Mountain Motel.

mountainOr the Lincoln Motel.


And because there is no AC in the rooms at the Pony Canyon, you might as well head uptown and shoot some pool somewhere while having a pitcher of beer (if you can find pitchers and pool tables in the same bar, that is!)

beerDon't get me wrong, though: Austin is one of my favorite places, ever since I spent most of a summer working there and staying in the Lincoln Motel back in 1977.

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