We spent the first night of our road trip in Beatty, Nevada, the Gateway to Death Valley. Pretty area—in a desolate kind of way. When we asked for a AAA discount at our motel, the clerk told us other motels in town offered discounts, but not them because they were fancy. Fancy seemed hyperbole. Our room was comfortable, but basic. The room appeared to be designed by a left hander seeking revenge. The water faucets were reserved and the door handles worked in the opposite direction. It was fun sorting things out.
When we checked in, we also asked for a recommendation on a place to eat. She told us the finest restaurant in town was a Denny’s in the casino. When we asked for something with more local color, she suggested a bar that was famous for chili. We told her that was more our style, so she directed us to the second bar after making a turn at the first right. (There was no second right.) She said don’t go into the first bar, and then emphasized that we should avoid that particular establishment. She offered no explanation and we sought none, but we didn't wander over to the first bar after dinner for a nightcap.
The second bar was great. The people were friendly and the ambiance was a mix of cowboy and Sons of Anarchy. Chili was indeed on the menu. You could have chili in a bowl, chili on a hot dog, chili on a hamburger, or chili on Fritos. That was it. Except for beer and wine. They had a good selection of beer and two varieties of wine; red and white. Thank goodness, the chili was excellent. When we complimented our server, she told us the awards on the wall were a smidgen of the prizes won by her grandmother’s chili. She claimed there was not enough wall space in Beatty to display all the awards. Then she said something surprising: her grandmother had not yet trusted her with the recipe … or anyone else for that matter. I hope her grandmother remains healthy because she makes a hell of a good chili. We returned directly to our fancy motel after helping to roll up the sidewalks at nine o’clock.
Tomorrow we leave for Garnerville, just a hop, skip, and a jump from the once rowdy Virginia City. More fun in the offing just over the horizon.