Monday, October 12, 2009


DEEP DESERT HUMANITARIANISM-----COME WITH ME---I'LL PROVE IT! Austin got cold---I bid farwell from this mountain pass and head south.
See those white spots about 5 miles down? Several great hot springs--but it's cold and I've been there, done that--I'm going a hundred miles south and 2000 feet down to Tonopah.
Whirlwind--was warned to dodge them. I flashed on the book of Job where God speaks to Job out of the whirlwind--with a very weak explanation of why the righteous suffer: In essence he said: SHUT UP JOB AND TRUST ME---I MADE THE WORLD. The Bagavad Gita has a better answer: LIFE IS COSMIC DRAMA---EVIL IS PLOT THICKENER.
Settled overnight here on the outskirts.
ROLL THE DICE FOR FREE ROOM? Now there's a story to get to the bottom of. Do you doubt that I will?
Downtown Tonopah--Nothing to write home about----yet. Parked and walked all round--still chilly.
They're a touch proud to have participated in 1908--did they race west around the world toward Paris? I don't understand! Will google it later. ( I did so--and yes they went west--through here to Valdez, Alaska--then by ship to Japan and then to Siberia and on across Europe to Paris. Only 3 of the 6 cars finished. The US entry--a Flyer won)
This I understand: Area 51--the spooky, super secret air base is nearby.
OK here's the dice--for--free--room--rules: Sign in--get ready to pay--roll the 3 dice (by turning this cage)--three of a kind means you don't have to pay. The odds: 36 to one. Nice but hardly humanitarianism. I know--stay with me--I'll get to that.
Asking who conceived and funded this gimmick--I was directed to the Owner---found him, got the story and this clumsy one handed photo op. He told me the dice game was called chuck-a-luck; a favorite of the miners. He invited me to stay and look around. Turns out he is "Mr Tonopah" in the sense that he's built himself an empire here: Hotel, casino, restaurant, museum, bar, art gallery etc. I've seen this syndrome many times out west: Don Laughlin, founder of Laughlin, Nv is an example and the guy who owns Beatty, Nv is another.(more about him later)
Here is a tipoff of accumulated wealth---conspicuous consumption---a genuine Remington in the Lobby. (recognize it? It's famous--entitled Mountain Man) But I was going to illustrate Humanitarianism---- A shocker of a story--Begins here--saw several of these. The town council is obviously addressing a real problem. Another sign said it was a felony to abandon an animal.
Horses are especially beloved. See where I'm headed here?
Read this carefully and you will be as shocked as I was. Guess who felt strongly enough about this atrocity to post the $5000 reward? Yes, it was "Mr Tonopah" putting his money where his feelings are. That, dear readers, is deep desert humanitarianism.


Rob said...

People can't afford to keep the horses...
There used to be horse auctions where the animals were run into the ring over the scale. The opening bid was made by the auctioneer at the going rate for horse meat on the hoof.
I 'heard' that was outlawed, 'heard' but never verified.

Randy said...

Thanks Rob--I suspect you're right about the motive of the miscreant who mutilated the horse,cutting off the brand, because it would identify him. (Seems brands are registered) Something I failed to mention is that 50 miles east is the National Wildhorse management area. Perhaps the bad guy was hoping the horse would make its way there. Also puzzling me is how the guy physically managed to cut off the brand. Another point is that, having no predators, wild horses routinely outbreed the carrying capacity of their land--creating the necessity for humans to control their numbers. Should we eat them? Why not? We eat cows!

Nomad said...

The French already eat horses and it is said that horse fat makes the best french fries.
I don't have a particular opinion as to whether or not we should eat horses, but if we eat cows, (and as i recently enjoyed in a visit to America) Bison and other animals, there should be no moral reason to prohibit the eating of horse flesh other than the emotional attachment that many people have for horses.

The Traveling Alchemist said...

There's a nice horse rescue place in Pahrump, Miracle Horse Rescue, where they've taken in several abused and abandoned horses. They also find homes for horses that are adoptable. The URL is for anyone who is interested.

Jim said...

Horses may be the only domestic which can't pay its own way -- unless you sell riding lessons or rent 'em out by the hour (highly dependent on location).
This reality is WHY there is so little demand for the luxury of their ownership when times are hard. (It was a completely different story when they were our primary transportation.)
When my Grandpa was a child, horse meat was a common sight in the butcher shops. I've no clue why our culture moved away from them . . . it seems our appetite for rabbit is declining too; though they are the most efficient converter of plant protein to meat protein that I'm aware of = 3 to 1. By comparison, a cow is 250 to 1!