Bishop to Tonopah - A Sunday Ride
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GTV-300ie Touring
Joined: 12 Aug 2016
Posts: 315
Location: Bishop, CA
Mon May 07, 2018 9:46 am quote
So my wife and daughter were out of town on Sunday, so I thought I'd take the GTV out for a longer ride. I decided to head east to Tonopah, Nevada. It's an old mining town, and home to the creepiest motel in America, the (in)famous "Clown Motel," which is adjacent to the old town cemetery. You can see the gas can I took along, just in case, since the distance from Bishop, CA to Tonopah, NV is about 116 miles, which puts it right near max range of the GTV, when going highway speeds. Turns out I didn't need it - but only just!

I first headed out from Bishop on Highway 6, the Grand Republic of the Army Highway. It spans the country, and begins/ends right here in Bishop, California, and goes east for 3205 miles and ends in Provincetown, Massachusetts.

Went north along Chalfant Valley, through the irrigated alfalfa fields of Hammill Valley, over Montgomery pass, then across the desert to Tonopah. Had lunch at the Hometown Pizza ($7.99 all you can eat lunch buffet!). Good pizza, and very fresh veggies in their salad bar, which was a pleasant surprise.

I stopped by the Central Nevada Museum, which was closed, but had old mining equipment and buildings you could walk through, so I did that.

Headed back home the same way, with no issues, other than it was warm in the desert, cold going over Montgomery pass. And although it's open range, I didn't have any cows or horses wander onto the highway, so that was good...

Had a fun trip, so enjoy the photos!

At the western origin of Highway 6, on the north city limit of Bishop, California. Only 3205 miles to Provincetown, Massachusetts!

Just north of Bishop on Hwy 6, looking west to the Sierra crest. You can see the large wave of granite and snow that towers over Owens Valley. The local gravel plant is in the background.

Looking north along Hwy 6. Those mountains to the right are the White Mountains, which sit along the border between California and Nevada.

Just looking east across one of the irrigated alfalfa fields in Hammill Valley. That's White Mountain peak, in the White Mountains, on the horizon. It's over 14,000 feet in elevation, making Owens Valley the deepest valley in the US,wtih 14,000 foot pea

That's Boundary Peak, the northernmost peak of the White Mountains, and sits near the California/Nevada border, hence the name.

Just the GTV at the Boundary Peak turnout.

At the California/Nevada border, near the top of Montgomery pass.

At the top of Montgomery pass, elevation 7167 feet. The pass will take you over the White Mountains into the expanse of the Great Basin, and Nevada desert.

At Montgomery Pass, there used to be a small community, now abandoned. This is the old Boundary Peak Lodge, now closed and abandoned.

This is the old "Soper's Montgomery Pass Hotel & Casino." It closed in the early 2000's, and the building burned down (suspected arson) in 2010. All services are now gone, and no one lives in Montgomery pass anymore. There is a CalTrans s

This is the Grefco mine operation, in Basalt, NV, on the east side of the White mountains below Montgomery pass. You can see the snow-covered Boundary Peak in the background.

It's a long, dusty, road through the Nevada desert to Tonopah. Sort of looks like that scene from "Forrest Gump" when he's running across the country...

Stopped for a drink alongside the desert stretch of Highway 6.

Skipping ahead many miles, to the rest stop about 13 miles from Tonopah. It's a welcome oasis, with shade, water, and bathrooms!

This is the Crescent Dunes large scale solar plant outside of Tonopah. It's the first utility-scale solar plant using molten salt energy storage. Melting about 70,000,000 pounds of salt takes two months. Once melted, the salt stays melted for the life of

Pulling into Tonopah, you can charge your Tesla vehicle at the recharging station. Who'd have thought?

Before getting to the Tesla charging station, you'll find this monument to those lost in mining accidents over the last century...

And, of course, there is the famous Clown Motel, dubbed the "creepiest motel in America." Can't visit Tonopah without stopping by to marvel at its cheesiness.

It's a little run-down, with lots of junk piled up next to the office...

Parked at the Clown Motel, you can see the old town cemetery next to it. Creepy, right?

GTV-300ie Touring
Joined: 12 Aug 2016
Posts: 315
Location: Bishop, CA
Mon May 07, 2018 11:33 am quote
More photos from the ride. These are mostly from the Central Nevada Museum.

Looking at the mountain behind Main Street - it says Tonopah Mining Park"

Looking west down Main Street. The Mizpah Hotel sign marks the famously haunted building!

Up in the residential streets above downtown Tonopah, looking down to Main Street.

At the Central Nevada Museum. It was closed, but had several old mining buildings to walk around

The mining buildings included a saloon, general store, and tent cabins.

Monument to servicemen...

Soon enough, my GTV will be an old relic. I doubt it will end up in a museum, though...

Old rock crusher...

Mining tools.

Sign explaining next photo...

Granite rock used in mining competitions.

Two kinds of old water pipes.

Cow skull...

Old rail cart...

Looking into the old saloon.

Explanation of "Tank house" used by Chinese laborers.

This tank house did not look big enough to lie down in, much less live...

They even preserved an old outhouse...

Mining carts and a mining crane

Lineman house & train cart

GTV-300ie Touring
Joined: 12 Aug 2016
Posts: 315
Location: Bishop, CA
Mon May 07, 2018 11:47 am quote
Photos from the old cemetery next to the Clown Motel, and the ride home. The cemetery was interesting, with many unmarked graves, and several with etchings that said, Unknown, Killed in Mining Accident of 190x."

Last photo is just back in Owens Valley, overlooking some old lime kilns off to the west of Hwy 6 in Chalfant Valley.

Hope you enjoyed the photos!

The gate to the old cemetery, next to the Clown Motel. It's got plenty of pretty old graves.

There were lots of old wooden grave markers, but the words were all weathered away. Many had stamped tin plates, which can stand up to the blistering heat, sand blast of storms, and rains.

Looking back toward the Clown Motel, across the cemetery. The old, tattered flag flapped in the light breeze.

Before I left the Clown Motel, I noticed "Joe's Clown Suite." I wonder what's special about it?

Back in Chalfant Valley, with the Sierra Nevada on the horizon, and some old lime kilns dug into the bluffs below.

Molto Verboso
2004 Vespa ET4, 2009 Vespa S150, Suzuki Burgman 200
Joined: 08 Oct 2006
Posts: 1793
Location: Florida Keys
Fri May 11, 2018 6:02 pm quote
Wild country and great pictures
2006 LX150 (carbed) | 2007 GT200
Joined: 29 Jun 2016
Posts: 686
Location: Toronto
Fri May 11, 2018 7:34 pm quote
Thanks for posting!!
2006 GT200
Joined: 23 Feb 2016
Posts: 2693
Location: Moscow, Idaho
Fri May 11, 2018 9:14 pm quote
Looked through these twice -- love 'em!
Veni, Vidi, Posti
2007 LX150 2015 GTS 2013 BV 350
Joined: 13 Sep 2012
Posts: 8519
Location: Fond du Lac, Wisconsin
Sat May 12, 2018 4:11 am quote
biffnix wrote:
Hope you enjoyed the photos!
Sure as heck did!

Thanks for sharing.
Honda elite
Joined: 19 Jun 2007
Posts: 499
Location: California
Sat May 12, 2018 8:02 am quote
amazing report thanks for posting
Molto Verboso
Vespa LX150 GTS250ie GTS300x2
Joined: 11 Dec 2009
Posts: 1980
Location: St. Pete, Fla
Sat May 12, 2018 10:53 am quote
I just passed through there last week myself.....
St. Pete to Oakland



Vespa PX 150 E 1989, VBB2T 1965, Primavera 150 2014, Honda Vario 110 eSP 2017, Vespa PTS Malossi 1983, Vespa Sprint V 1975 (soon)
Joined: 12 Sep 2012
Posts: 212
Location: Jakarta, Bali, Surabaya, Indonesia
Wed May 16, 2018 4:59 am quote
Blue sky
Good ride, thanks for sharing
2006 Vespa GTS250ie
Joined: 28 Nov 2017
Posts: 77
Location: Christchurch, New Zealand
Wed May 16, 2018 2:25 pm quote
thanks for sharing. Enjoyed the photos and ride report.
1986 Honda Elite 150 (sold), 2009 Scarabeo 200 (sold), 2007 GTV "Pazzo"
Joined: 15 Oct 2008
Posts: 299
Location: Talent, Oregon
Wed May 16, 2018 8:27 pm quote
Gorgeous scenery, biffnix - and truly nice photographs.

You are lucky to live in such a beautiful corner of the world - and luckier still to have such a fine scooter to explore it on.

Thanks for sharing these.
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