Nevada...It's Time to Join the Modern World!
Windmill Ridge- Alamo, Nevada
Equal Rights for the Whole State
Last week I got to see far more of Nevada than I ever wanted. My son needed to move up to Washington to play hockey, and we decided to drive his car there. He thought he could do it alone, but I realized that if something were to happen, he might just need his mom there. We headed down the highway at 8am with the goal of arriving in Boise by dinner. Everything was great until his car lost all power a few miles north of Alamo, Nevada. For those of you outside of Nevada, Alamo is about 100 miles north of Las Vegas, on the highway that goes through the Great Basin National Park. It was 9:20 a.m., 105 degrees, blazing sun, and a two-lane road filled with cars who didn’t care to stop and help a stranded motorist and his mom. So, we started walking…and walking…and walking. It was hotter than hell (And I am serious). We had no water, no cell signal, no help. We walked about three miles and finally arrived at a very nice business called Windmill Ridge. As I entered the door, my face beet-red and melted off, the staff rushed over to us and gave us water. It seems only Verizon works in rural Nevada, which is partly what this blog post is about. I am not a Verizon customer, nor was this information available prior to our travels.
We were trapped in Alamo. I had to wait hours for a car hauler that never materialized, and had it not been for the great people at Windmill Ridge, we would probably be the remains of some vulture’s dinner. My husband drove up to Alamo from Las Vegas, and we had to drive 140 miles north to the misfortunate town of Ely, Nevada, to get the car hauler. As we headed up US-318 I noticed few cars, one gas station in 140 miles, and NO call boxes. The temperatures in the summer reach well above 110 degrees, and if your car breaks down, basically, you will either need to hitchhike or die. No one stopped or even slowed down to help us. I can imagine what it is like at 1:00 a.m. when the car sputters along the road, and all a poor soul has to look at is dirt, broken bottles, and a whole lot of darkness. Highway 318 eventually turns into Highway 6, which eventually delivers you to Ely. We picked up our car hauler (another ugly story for another time), headed back down 140 miles to Alamo, got the car, headed right back up Highway 318, and made our very behind-schedule way to Washington.
Ah yes, the point of my story…Why don’t we have emergency call boxes on Nevada highways? Had I been with someone elderly, or even young children, there would have been no way they could have made the trek down the road in the Nevada summer heat. I watched every inch of roadway we traveled up and down in Nevada, never seeing an emergency call box. Like an idiot, I believed I would have a cell signal…WRONG. The only thing that would have saved us would have been a CB radio (Breaker-Breaker 19…) but who the heck has those other than truckers? I feel like it is the responsibility of Nevada to protect people who drive its lonesome highways. We need to fix this.
Next gripe…why don’t we have rest areas? Utah has beautiful rest areas. Idaho has spotless rest areas. Nevada…well, I saw one with a picnic table. Do we assume people all fly only to Las Vegas and/or Reno? Isn’t there anything in between the two cities??? Why do we ignore the people in the middle of our state? The people in Alamo were nicer than any human being I have ever met in Vegas. They gave us their phones to use, and one waitress even loaned us her Mustang so we could drive to my son’s broken down car and get some belongings.
As I sat in my husband’s truck driving home from Washington, all I thought about was how disappointing Nevada was. We are the laughingstock of the West. We are a good time sister, and nothing more. We don’t care about the people who live here, or the people who visit. People are unfriendly…well, rude is more accurate. No one offers to help. I am ashamed. My son was so surprised to watch the cars and trucks speeding by us as we dragged our bodies down the burning highway back to Alamo. He didn’t understand why no one would even check to see if we were ok. After all, it isn’t every day you see a teenage boy and his mom walking down a highway literally in the middle of nowhere. I’m not sure what the solution is. We seem too wrapped up in our crappy economy and foreclosures to care about what kind of state we are. I’m so tired of living in a selfish, egomaniacal place. I just thought I would share this with everyone because it makes me sick to call myself a Nevadan.
Windmill Ridge, Alamo, NV
- Windmill Ridge Restaurant & Lodging
If you happen to get stuck in Alamo, Nevada, this is the place you want to find, Windmill Ridge