"What you’ve done becomes the judge of what you’re going to do – especially in other people’s minds. When you’re traveling, you are what you are right there and then. People don’t have your past to hold against you. No yesterdays on the road."
~ William Least Heat Moon, Blue Highways ~
The path ahead is again wide open. It was in Beatty an emotional and all at the same time reunion with my Dear Friend Tyler Risk. A miracle of striving for an existence she is now enjoying almost a couple years ahead from her accident. I have written about it, the emotions never leave. Life is so often filled with hardships, the cards are dealt not to our choosing, dark ones are overturned facing us demanding an attention for survival so often so harsh, we then later wonder how we overcame those moments and stood straight and solidly planted. She is. I am. We all must.
Morning came, no decision yet as sometimes, I would say often, I think it is “Old Faithful” who decides which direction we will take. A couple days earlier we had stopped in “Gold Point” to meet the riders from the always kind to us "my2wheels.com" forum. I felt an attachment toward this Ghost Town where we could then only spend a couple hours. All is now changed. Under a shady overhang, cool weather, Spirit laying down comfortably, here we are now till ready to leave. No time set as always. We are a bit over 5000 feet, the weather is just right with a blanket of clouds hanging above us, there will not be hot days.
Gold Point is a gem, it is a unique one blooming since 1908, a little town, was, a village where yet now has a population of 7 on a good day. 1000 at one time have lived here through the many booming eruptions. The striving force behind it’s continuance within these present times is Herb Robbins. I met him Friday and again today as his fervor towards these ancient acres once a slice of Life in the unfortunate state of disappearance breathe and lives it’s reenactment for today.
The History of Gold Point also in past times called Hornsilver is of a long one as has been the growth and decline of the many called today "Ghost Towns". This space here today is however livable, Spirit and I are the proof of it laying around within these quiet and solitary lots once buzzing with the excitement of the one word passed around "mining". Dollars. We are stepping into History, Main street is quiet and yet not. I don’t need to close my eyes to feel the locals going on about their businesses, horses and carriages going on back and forth, the shouts and the whispers, maybe the gun shots? There is today smells of food, it is not however of the past. It is all about Herb’s doings. What is it about Herb?
The "gold fever" stage caught on with Herb when he was only 15 while he lived in Carmichael, California. While panning for gold on the day when a few flakes brightened up his past moments, he was ignited and the heat, the passion of his newly found interest never came to rest. The fascination has never left him as I quote "I wanted to go where these people lived and see how they existed and what was left behind".
While in Gold Point in 1978 he stumbled on some property for sale. There was no turning around. His future was decided right then and there carved throughout these past years and the many more to come. His Friend Walt met in 1981 has been all along on the ride. They use the money made from their respective jobs to maintain the Town, the part they own. They have established a few RV sites, have restored some cabins for overnight camping, built a shower, outhouse, and the marvel and biggest accomplishment, "The Saloon" on Main Street.
"The Saloon" was the old telephone office. A 16×24 foot dwelling, now a 16 x 110 foot Museum housing the artifacts Herb and Walt have discovered and accumulated while on their own discoveries of the West. Nothing humble about it all, a rare array which I yet have to absorb within my feel and certainly an immense and so pleasing times I could spend photographing it all. The bar lays in the front space, the old manual cash register is present, shuffleboard, early 1900’s pool table and an out of tune piano. It is, I have heard it. Photos of cowboys and old maps covers the walls, old bottles and eye popping collections of bric a brac are everywhere on the dusty shelves.
Herb’s food in this isolated oasis tastes as never before. With a normal hunger, after being beat up all day by the sun, bounced around on the dirt roads, well, I managed to eat twice as much as I would normally do. With the nearest store miles away I can say that he does have the upper hand on the logistics bringing in the ingredients considering the large groups he feeds so well for breakfast and dinner.
But more than all of the above is the friendliness present. I understand so well why the riders and their wives, and their children and dogs and all have Gold Point as a destination more than often throughout the years. How can I convey this? Maybe only by saying "it feels right being here, comfortable…. and I really don’t want to leave!". We have some new Friends now. Sandy always present and the many more always ready to land a hand with such a big smile. Life on the road, there is really nothing like it.
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Ara & Spirit
Be Safe and well
Peace, Love, Courage