Exit through Junkyard *

Saturday morning…up with the glare of the sun, last loadings, closings

and so we go down

the dirt to Gardner, 69 to Cotopaxi, Highway 50 west…a perfectly autumnal day over

Monarch to lunch at Gunnison Reservoir, pause for roadwork on Cerro Summit

and descend to Delta.

[’64 Suburban]…Grand Junction;

[’16 Taco]…Rabbit Valley;

70 West…

further west…

50 to that other Delta


the Nevada Border for merlot, a martini, bad Utah TV and sleep.

Sunday in the parking lot met a cheerful little guy in a camo Duck Dynasty cap needing a ride to Milford; his girlfriend got drunk Saturday night, threw him out of the truck and drove the 84.6 unpopulous miles home on her own, leaving him to walk back [from where?] broke to the motel. “I’m through with wimmen” he said, smiling [probably as good a pickup line as any in the Border Casino] on his way to the bar.  Seven in the morning; we weren’t going to Milford but

seventy miles west

to Ely for breakfast where the restaurant in the Nevada Hotel is now proudly a Denny’s so continued another seventy-seven to the Owl Club in Eureka to avoid disappointment.


it was White Boxes Day all day [Austin, ever attuned to the zeitgeist, continues to applaud American Greatness – bring on the Nukes, Chump; Austin’s ready!] as far as Fallon.

By Pyramid Lake the boxes were inbound, making it easier to navigate not to mention

less perilous than swimming upstream against early September’s Burning Ineptitudes of yore.

We were at Wall Spring by three o’clock, where Storm Queen abides, as did we for one



before Cali’s disastrous smokes began blowing in

and we went over the hill to the source.

From Wednesday Benicia, nearly too smoky to walk the dogs, we rushed to Vallejo to cash in

our advance tickets for an anticipated mobbed-even-in-the-morning 3D screening of “Blade Runner 2049”, ending up instead in the nearly deserted multiplex for two and a half hours

of a dystopia whose atmospherics were not dissimilar to what awaited outside.

California’s burning…wasn’t there a Clash song along those lines long ago?  London, maybe?

Something, anyway.  Let’s just nuke Korea [North? South? Who cares?] and precipitate …something. Yeah, we saw this shit comin’, WAY long ago, but how ya gonna stop it?

Just set up some bleachers out in the sun and call in Kim Jong Un and The Chump…

*[as a lifelong connoisseur of junkyards there’s no way I can dignify the pathetic mess that we  passed through as a “junkyard”, but the phrase does resonate nicely with Banksy’s “Exit through Gift Shop”]


11 thoughts on “Exit through Junkyard *

  1. Fred K

    Re: “Then”, I’d forgotten those about those squiggles of black tar. But even if they weren’t there I thought about why a B&W photo evokes more memories of the past than a color photo of a road which is essentially unchanged. Curious.

  2. Steve Stern

    Glad to read that you are back on the Left Coast, and I enjoyed seeing your interpretation all the familiar road places but the Christoesque fence was new.

    1. mikesmoore Post author

      That was on 70’s unnamed summit before the descent to Salina, and definitely a new development; maybe it’s to keep the ORVs on the dirt frontage road from flying off onto the freeway?

  3. Fred K

    On family trips from Twin Falls to San Francisco Ely was always the first pit stop. If I ever do it again I’ll know to push through to the Owl Club.

  4. mikesmoore Post author

    We went for years – years! – to the Nevada Hotel; coming from Winnemucca it was for pie and coffee in the eighties, later for breakfasts or dinners [they had a ridiculously cheap prime rib special that wasn’t on the menu] depending on our timing, amazing western memorabilia the original owners had collected…now plastic signage, plastic booths. Gone; yep, head for Eureka…the cast of characters keeps changing at the Owl Club but it’s still Nevada.

  5. Kirk Moore

    I knew I’d missed the trip west; don’t know how….just found it today. Thanks for the ride.
    BTW, I just emailed Kim Jong-un the coordinates for Austin, saying we have a huge stash of ICBMs there, pointed at him. Hopefully he’ll take the bait.


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