March 25, 2010
I have come to the conclusion that Nevada only has too seasons: Too hot, Too cold and definitely Too windy. There is no vegetation that will indicate the wind is blowing. Since there are no trees and little vegetation that will move with the wind, the only indication is street signs and lamp posts dancing around. On Thursday the sky was overcast because the wind was blowing dust into the air. This was not the most comfortable day to be out on a bike, but off I went.
I headed north on highway 95 to just south of Scotty’s Junction where I stopped at the Shady Lady Brothel. This brothel is famous because it has the first, and only legal male prostitute working there. You have come a long way, baby. It was very quiet when I was there so I did not take the time to give the guy any pointers. He should not get discouraged as the President’s ‘Cash for Caulk’ program is not working out that well either.
I headed north again and after a while a came to the town of Gold Field. Nevada has some pretty down and out towns. There are a few ghost towns out in the desert. Gold Field is a town that not even the ghosts would want to live in. It has more derelict buildings, non working cars, junk and whatever. Some of the junk was rather interesting so I stopped and took a few pictures. Actually the entire town is so tacky it is almost worth a visit. Almost.
Further north I got to the tiny town of Mina where I stopped at the Wildkat Ranch and the Playmate Ranch. These are the last two brothels on the tour and I believe my total is 30 if you count the two that were gone. These two were not much and out in the middle of nowhere, which is not that unusual. It was anticlimactic in any case as these treks often are.
WildKat and Playmate Ranch
I had traveled the entire perimeter of the state of Nevada to get to this point. Nevada is a state for people who don’t fit any where else. Nevada has more mountain ranges than any other place in the world other than Afghanistan. Nevada is the Silver state and mining still seems to be the most common industry with a little ranching going on along the western edge of the state. Tourism is a big deal but nothing useful is produced with tourism. Legal prostitution is not keeping this state going. I would guess that there are no more than a couple of hundred legal prostitutes in Nevada. Judging by the number of brothels that have gone out of business I would not offer it up as a career path. Old hookers never die. They just get laid off.
Most brothels are sad little affairs that are based in trailers and are either in a very undesirable part of a small town or out in the middle of the desert. Joe Comforte came up with the idea of operating these brothels out of trailers. He is credited with making prostitution legal in Nevada. He located his brothel, Mustang Ranch, in trailers in an area where three counties met. When the law would come out to bust him, he would drag the trailers to another county and keep going. The government eventually took the Mustang Ranch from him for back taxes. They could not make a profit at it so they sold it back to him for 10 cents on the dollar. And you want the government to be your HMO.
I now started to make my way towards home. The weather continually got worse with it threatening snow as I got further north. A small storm was making its way across the Sierras. This made it imprudent to try the passes at this time. And I was beginning to suffer what I now know to be the first signs of hyperthermia. So I called it a day and checked into the El Capitan in Hawthorne, NV. Hawthorne is the home of the Navy Underwater Weapons Center and one very big ammo dump. I can understand the ammo dump but the Navy thingy is a bit baffling. Who joins the Navy to see Nevada?