What a shock it was after shoe-horning every possession we had into my car, and careening 200 miles across the desert to find ourselves suddenly in a quiet spartan room at the weird little Nipton hotel on the California/Nevada border.  It was a relief to leave behind the noise and traffic of LA, yet suddenly the setting seemed surreal.

Leaving Los Angeles
Nipton Hotel
Ghost Town Cat

Actually, initially it wasn’t all that quiet since it was the evening of the  California lottery drawing for $350 million and thus many people from Nevada were stampeding across the border to buy tickets at the trading post next door to the hotel.  The line for the tickets curled through the aisles of the store and out the door- you would think they were selling Rolling Stones tickets.  We felt uneasy with the crowd, some of whom took to drinking, but after sunset they dispersed. 

At last, we were alone, twelve million L.A. residents nowhere in sight, so we took a mysterious stroll along the Pacific Union rail road tracks.    Seeing stars for the first time in months, we wandered about in the darkness, looking up at the sky….

Mojave desert



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