Monday, November 26, 2012

Back to Midas

At long last, we're back on the Tuscarora Loop, with the turnoff to the small town of Midas just up ahead. On our loop trip, taken way back in early June, MOH and I passed Midas by, in favor of making it all the way to Tuscarora. At the time, I had been to neither place, but Tuscarora seemed more out-of-the-way, and therefore more exotic, so down the road we went.

We came back in mid-July, and instead of following the main road, old S.R. 18, to the right, we took the side road up the canyon to the left.

Signs at the turnoff to the Midas road.

Sign at the entrance to the town of Midas, and green trees.

Acme Beer sign, reportedly dating to about 1936.
I was on the lookout for a bar that had been open in 1979 or 1980, a bar I knew as Kirby's Midas Bar, a name given to me by a friend of mine, a young woman who was working as a geologist while staying in Midas in a company trailer. Seeing the old sign for Andy's Midas Bar made me somewhat hopeful about finding either Kirby's or Andy's bar, although Acme Beer dates back primarily to the early 1950s and before. Acme Beer did have a short revival in 1975 to 1979; could it have possibly been being sold in Midas while my friend was in town?

While in Midas, my friend could make or receive phone calls on one of the two phones in town, which had the phone numbers of Midas #1 and Midas #2. Phone numbers like these were fairly common in the 1970s and early to mid- or late 1980s in the small, outlying towns of Nevada. These numbers confused operators outside the state to no end. To place a call into Midas or Getchell, for example, you would dial 0 for an operator and then ask for Midas #1 or Getchell #2 as needed. If dialing in from out of state when trying to reach one of these types of numbers, one learned quickly to ask the out-of-state operator for a Nevada operator, because many outside operators didn't believe that phone numbers like that could even exist.

While I was looking for, and not finding, the bar I'd heard of long ago, MOH and I were hoping that the one known-to-be-operating establishment in Midas, the Midas Saloon and Dinner House, would be open, but it wasn't. This became a concern during a later, uphill, in-the-rain adventure of ours.

Mine dump, ore cart, and portal (?) a little ways up Midas Creek.

Old cabin, garage, or storage shed.

Road to somewhere.
After a quick pass through town, we headed up the hill to the west on this relatively innocent-looking side road. The partly cloudy weather became more and more threatening as storms to the south moved in, creating an unexpectedly muddy situation.

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