For the record: I’m not a fancy, gotta-have-posh type of woman; I’m OK with “rough around the edges.” I’m instinctively drawn to character, whether quaint and endearing or quirky and eclectic. I like spice, color and texture; I appreciate layers and depth.
Shoshone’s got all the above, and I picked that much up first pass.
A blink of a town whose population is sixty at best, it serves as the southeastern gateway into Death Valley. Located between Las Vegas and San Francisco, Shoshone sits along a thoroughfare for globe trekkers on tight schedules wanting to see a lot in a short amount of time.
The Crowbar Café and Saloon is a good place to sit and watch the international mix stream through day after day. One of two eateries in town, the café and pub have a minimal menu and basic bar, but hands-down one of the all-time best people viewing platforms. With ample outside seating that extends around the corner to a stage area equipped with makeshift straw bale benches, it’s got good food and c-o-l-d drinks, if not slow service.
Slow’s OK with me; I’m not in any rush, and remind myself that it’s good for me to practice patience anyway. Gives me time to look around and chat with those sitting beside me. Nancy, the barkeep originally from Tinsel Town, assured me that there was rarely a dull moment. I believed her.
Café C’est Si Bon, a one-room vegetarian bistro-style café with an array of outdoor seating, is tucked unpretentiously behind a drapery of mesquite trees on the corner of highways 372 and 178.
Sitting beneath the trees, waiting for my crepes the following morning, I watch a pig named Pizza roll in the muck inside her pen. Bamboo and cattails grow in a shallow ditch along the periphery of the front porch, where a steady, steaming stream of hot spring water trickles.
As I slowly scan the property, I notice it. IT being the sense of spirit infused into my surroundings. A rusty metal toy truck, a shutter hanging off-kilter, a worn antique leather-bound edition of Charlotte’s Web. If you give it a moment, the art of it all comes through.
As has been said, life has a way of taking you where you need to go. Resistance only results in rug burn. So I go willingly these days, blowing where the wind moves me. And am ever-humbled by the sanctity of those moments when things seem to align: past/present/future, mind/body/spirit.
I ordered a large passion fruit iced tea to take with me on the road south through the Mojave. In hindsight, I wished I had left with a gallon.