[Caution for data-challenged readers: this post contains a heap of fascinating photos, so don’t click on the “-more-” link unless you’re feeling invincible. The photos are very small, but they do add up.]
If you’re driving about in sprawling suburbia and want a change of pace, like something to readjust your familiar assumptions that the entire world consists of huge malls connected by long strings of badly-timed traffic lights, Pioche is just the cure. I counted just one traffic light in town, and that was a single yellow caution light at one four-way intersection – and that wasn’t blinking because it wasn’t turned on. There’s also one yield sign downtown. Pioche tends to use those instead of stop signs. In the downtown area, unmarked diagonal parking is the rule, and long pickups like the Mighty Furd stick out into the two-lane Main Street, A.K.A. Business Route 93. No matter – cars idle around easily, since traffic here is defined by one or two cars, with nothing in sight in the opposing lane. There are no crosswalks – you saunter where you need to, in order to get where you want to get to.
Pioche pretty much started rolling when silver was found there in 1864. At that time, it was part of the Utah Territory, and when the border with the Nevada Territory was later moved, Pioche came with it. Didn’t matter much, since Pioche remained in the middle of nowhere. Its remoteness attracted opportunists along with the miners. In those days, it was sink or swim. If you could not find a way to put food on the table, Read more…