I’ve set out on a research trip to the neighboring states of Nevada and Oregon. Some time ago, I wrote some short stories about aging. One of them was set partly in Nevada, and one of them in Oregon. So here I am, on the road, taking pictures, making notes, and making sure that I get things right.
I had dinner with a friend of mine in Fernley, NV, last night. Vivian told me some spooky stuff about the Interstate 80 rest area where I’d planned for something important to happen in one of my stories. It seems that many years ago, a young woman was abducted from this rest area and subsequently found murdered. I don’t have any more details than that–I’ve had internet connection problems again on my laptop and am having to use the computer in the hotel lobby. But at any rate, that’s a compelling story that I think will find it’s way into my story. Vivian also told me that some older people have disappeared from that rest area or nearby. She warned me that it was closed the last time she drove to Winnemucca, and she was right.
When I pulled off the interstate exit for the rest area anyway, I found a sign for Raspberry Creek. If I’d been driving a different vehicle, and if I knew I could be there and back by dark, I’d have headed off for Raspberry Creek. As it was though, I parked the car in front of the barricade blocking off the rest area and walked around the gate and cattle guard and up to a point where I could take pictures of the place. Maybe it was Vivian’s warning to me not to stop there, or maybe it really is just the place, but it felt creepy, even in the middle of the day with the interstate traffic roaring by.
I also stopped in Lovelock before I got to the rest area. I love Lovelock! It’s clearly a ranching community. I was driving through, looking for a restroom, when I spotted the old courthouse. What a beautiful building! I took a lot of pictures and talked to a group of nice folks who were cleaning up around the outside of the building. Out in back of the courthouse is something one of those folks called a gimmicky, touristy thing. But I liked it. It’s a series of posts connected by chains, and the chains are hung with padlocks of all sizes and shapes. A sign explains: Lock in your love by leaving a lock in Lovelock and throwing away the key. Well, maybe it’s a bit silly, but rather sweet all the same.
I wish I could post a few pictures, but my laptop has gone cranky on me again. It connects to the internet here but says there is no internet access, so no pics. Maybe at the next place, but I think the laptop has an issue I just can’t diagnose or fix. I’ll have to add pictures later. From here, I head north on 95 into Oregon. Maybe the internet connectivity will be better up there. Here’s hoping.
Postscript update: I went out this afternoon looking for the Humboldt County Courthouse and county sheriff’s offices, and found them side by side. The courthouse is another lovely, old historic building. The sheriff’s offices are in modern building right beside the courthouse, and the district attorney’s office is catty-cornered across the street in a truly ugly building of indeterminate age. I did not take a picture of it! Susan and Seth are going to end up at the Humboldt County sheriff’s offices, I believe. If you want to read the beginning of the story, please go to my Short Stories page. It’s the first story in the samples.
When I got back to the hotel, I somehow fixed my connection problem and was able to upload pictures! Here’s hoping the fix holds.