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  • Heather Tanguay

July 18 (3) - All in, in Primm, Nevada

After Baker, I continue to drive on Highway 15 up a long , long hill. The numbers on the dash drop rapidly again, although I am beginning to get the hang of teasing more miles out of the car (staying at 50 mph, speeding up only when I must, etc.) .


I am headed to Primm just over the California/Nevada border. It sounds like a small town. I have picked a place called Buffalo Bill's. I imagine a hole-in-the-wall, old timey motor lodge. I pick price (cheap) and the promise of Chargepoint chargers in the parking lot.


NEVADA

Primm is not a small town. It seems not really to be a town at all. It is three large casinos, all blaring neon light into the darkening sky. Buffalo Bill's Hotel and CASINO has a giant roller coaster (not operating) swooping over the hotel.

The place is so big I can not find the front door. I go in a side door promisingly marked Hotel Entrance. I spend fifteen minutes wandering deserted hallways. Doors are open to random rooms. One is filled with broken furniture, another has mattresses thrown higgity-piggity. I stop looking in. Too much Overlook Hotel, too much Shining.


The jangling whirl of slot machines draws me into a cavernous space, as abuzz with neon as the signs outside. The room is full of fake trees. Built for crowds, the few of us who are there only make the room more empty.

I find the charger using comments on the Chargepoint app, across the street at Whiskey Pete's. (Bill and Pete are brothers maybe, who go tired of wrangling on the range.)


The charger is an older model. It does not have the cell phone option of the newer Chargepoint model at the Rancho Cucamonga Lottery office. (Is this a Chargepoint theme - charging and legal gambling?) I call a phone number on the machine and they start the charge remotely. It is no problem. I am very relieved.


Two middle-aged guys, who to me do not look as if electric cars would interest them, approach while I am sorting the charger, and ask questions. They are very interested, it turns out. One man says he tried to invent a system by which the rotation of the car wheels would continually recharge the battery but he could not make the charge perpetual and abandoned the idea. We talk about the process of innovation, early automobiles that ran on steam and how the auto industry killed the Los Angeles street cars years ago. After a bit, they wish me luck and head back into Pete's.


My room, on the 11th floor at Bill's, is nice. It is not in the deserted, scary part of the hotel.


Having done nothing all day but worry, I am exhausted. I fall asleep over my computer, fail to do any work for my class back in Maine.

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