The original plan was to drive to Tonopah NV which was about 250 miles. I woke early and while I took my time getting going and doing a trip to Walmart to get some supplies I was still on the road at 8:15.
The route thru central Nevada goes thru some more remote land, though not quite as remote as yesterday. The roads are pretty good, straight as an arrow and posted at 70mph. I took it easy and cruised at 65mph, and while there was not much traffic it was all faster than me including tankers and semi-trucks.
The highlight of the drive was a giant gold mine at a place called Round Mountain Nevada. Gold was originally discovered there around 1880 and it was a very large and initially easy strike as it was surface gold. Over time while there was quite a bit of gold still around it became much more difficult to get at, and according to the signpost at the mine all of the different techniques for gold mining have been used there. At one point it was abandoned, but as mining technique became more sophisticated the mine was reopened and now it is quite a spectacular operation. It is now a pit mine and there are extremely large trucks moving the dirt form the hole to the site where it is processed. I stopped and watched these oversized dump trucks run up and down the hill for a while before moving on to Tonopah.
It was only about 12:30 when I got to Tonopah, and thanks to the miracle of satellite technology I was immersed in the Arsenal v Chelsea game on the radio so I decided to press on to Death Valley today. This turned todays drive into 380 miles. I arrived about 3 and went into the visitors center to register when I realized I was now eligible for the Golden Age pass which is a lifetime pass for all of the parks in the US. It also gives you 50% off at campgrounds. So taking advantage of my senior status and $80 I now have lifetime access, and half off in the campgrounds. Publishing this is probably going to be delayed as there is no internet at the campground, and really marginal phone service.