Beth Deitchman

Reader, Writer, Knitter, Slayer

Battle Mountain, Nevada

Day two on the road and we’re in the middle of nowhere, staying in a hotel near the freeway in Battle Mountain, Nevada, which is apparently half way to nearly everywhere.  At least that’s what the billboard said.  And if a billboard says it’s so, well, then I guess it must be so, especially since the one I saw featured a picture of the Sphinx.

We left Truckee this morning around 9:30.  But we were up really early because Ralphie seems to think that wherever we sleep is home, and since his self-appointed job at home involves barking at things outside to keep us safe inside, he was busy.  We woke up many times to a low rumble that turned out to be Ralphie growling.  We finally had to get up  when Captain Vigilance started pacing and barking.

It was a really, really cold morning.  I mean, ice on the roof of our car cold.  Seeing your breath cold.  Freaking. Cold.  I did a fair amount of bitching about this cold as we hiked in the lovely Truckee wilderness.  So Dave, who was wearing short sleeves, told me that I would never have survived 100 years ago, and I said well, I probably would have died from asthma.  But, I continued, asthma is more prevalent now so maybe I wouldn’t have had it then.  So I would have died from the cold.  By then we had stepped into the sun, which was seriously warm.  So I stopped bitching and looked at the snow-capped mountains.  It really was lovely and worth braving the cold to see.

By the time we finished breakfast and checked out of the hotel, the ice had disappeared from the car.  When we were loaded up and ready, we headed out for Reno.  Dave found a food co-op there through the Google and we wanted to load up with some healthy deli stuff for lunch and dinner, knowing as we did, that there’s nothing but a McDonald’s in Battle Mountain.  (To be fair, there seems to be a pizza and steak house, but they don’t look terribly great.)  Unfortunately, despite the many wonderful things to be found in the little co-op (that we thought was closed because the parking lot was empty), they didn’t have a prepared foods section, so our dreams of fresh carrot and celery root salad or roasted beet salad were dashed.

That’s how we ended up, briefly, in Fernly, Nevada, a place so wretched neither of our electronic devices could tell us how to get to the grocery store, Scolari’s, we had discovered on the Google.  Samantha (our new GPS thingy) told us to turn left when we got off 80, but Google maps said we should go right, which turned out to be the correct option.  But then Google maps took us to a dead end in a sad little neighborhood and said we’d arrived at our destination.  Since there was nothing even vaguely resembling a grocery store in this dead end, the human at the wheel decided to turn the car around and see if the generic shopping center we had passed earlier might have anything useful.

I guess our robot friends just wanted us to avoid Scolari’s because, well, we are spoiled food snobs who live in Marin County, home to Good Earth Grocery Store, Mighty Leaf Tea, and lots of other fabulous things (like the company in Mill Valley that makes artisanal gluten-free granola using organic quinoa and a host of other organic ingredients–delicious with almond milk–see what I mean about the food snobbery?).  Scolari’s proved to be disappointing.  And I’ll leave it at that.

Once the car had gas, the coolers had ice, and we had lots of water, we hit the road again.  There’s not a lot to look at on the drive from Fernly to Battle Mountain besides the occasional rock formation.  But there’s so much empty space.  Both Dave and I keep remarking on how big our country is.  It’s been a while since I’ve been in this part of the country, but I can’t get over how much room there is to spread out.

We passed the time on the drive listening to Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me, which makes great road trip listening.  (Or sitting and knitting listening in case you wondered.)  We made it to our hotel by around 4:30, took the Ralphster for a little walk into “downtown” Battle Mountain, then returned to our room for some dinner (which included that lovely quinoa granola).

And now I’m starting to doze, like the mister and the puppy on the other side of the giant bed in our hotel room.  I think that means it’s time to say good night as it is a really late 7:30.  Who knows what time Ralphie will be up tomorrow?  There’s a group of people cycling across America staying here, too, and they’ll probably be out at first light, which means we will, too.

Tomorrow we leave Nevada and her slot machines in grocery stores behind and make it to Utah.  I’m looking forward to seeing the salt flats again.




  1. Nothing like a road trip to break Blog Block.

  2. I hope the wide open western spaces are inspiring you to think big!

  3. Vivi and Alex will be in Salt Lake City from tomorrow at noon through Weds evening. Give me a holler if you’ll be in the vicinity! (There’s a Whole Foods there.)

    • We’ll be there tomorrow hopefully by noonish and then we leave Tuesday morning. We’re relieved to know about the Whole Foods!

  4. I love to be on a road trip, they are so refreshing. Different sights and smells wake me up, but also, the lack of convenience does too. I’m glad you wrote about that part, because it’s such an integral part of making a journey. The jarring effect of not being able to find some place that sells good (food-snob-worthy) food, or being chilly at dawn, these irritants reset my whole system. Once I get past being outraged, or just generally irritable, I start to appreciate things more. I think I got a quiet little reset just from reading your post.

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