:: burningman.com :: roadtrip.burningman.com

today ::
posted :: 16-May-2001

N 38.01.643
W 117.52.974
Elevation 4678
196 miles from the Man..
N 37.42.088
W 117.14.169
Elevation 5643
236 miles from the Man.

:: the journal :: < last :: next >
* Danger and the Silver Seed reach Coaldale and Goldfield Nevada, Tuesday, May 15th.

[COALDALE, NV] :: Many of the interior towns in the state of Nevada are in a state of decline. Cattle production and farming are gradually shifting to other states and other countries. Land-use restrictions are affecting mining operations and cheap air fare is leaping over small-town highway stops.

[05.15.01 COALDALE]
Silver Seed with Electrolux in tow. [BIGGER]
<--Silver Seed with Electrolux in tow, in the center of Coaldale, NV. You can buy the whole town for a dollar, but you'll need 2 mil to clean up the toxic ground that it sits on.

[05.15.01 COALDALE]
Stencil Art on the trunk of the abandoned car at the Coaldale gas station. [BIGGER]

[Goldfield, NV] :: I stopped in to visit Slim Sirnes and his wife Carol. Slim has been coming to Burning Man since 1997. He retired to the ghost town of Goldfield about 23 years ago and is a folk artist/ journalist/ inventor. He makes things out of aluminum cans. Lots of things. Much of his house is sheathed with cans- and his car and his trailer. He also cuts the cans into long strips and weaves them with a home-made loom into an aluminum fabric which is turned into purses, clothing and animal sculptures. He makes machines to flatten cans. He melts aluminum cans to create other things. His house is a wonder to behold, featuring a greenhouse living room with bricks on an earthen floor, support posts made from telegraph poles (complete with glass insulators) and a wood stove made from the insides of a rusty water heater. He also built an earthen greenhouse with a roof made from bed frames and bottles and has an entry way through an old refrigerator.

[05.15.01 GOLDFIELD]
Slim with woven aluminium dog and purse. [BIGGER]
[05.15.01 GOLDFIELD]
Danger at the greenhouse door. [BIGGER]

Slim is at home in Goldfield, a rustic ghost town, which once had a population of over 20,000 some 80 years ago and is now down to 300 and declining. My arrival here co-insided with the bi-weekly meeting of the Esmeralda County Commissioners. Since Slim is active in local affairs, I accompanied him to the court house meeting. Esmeralda is one of the smallest counties in Nevada with only 3 elected Commissioners. At this meeting, two of the three were in attendance, just enough for one to make a motion and the second to second the motion; all those in favor say Aye. Interesting discussions were held, including how to find a supplier to refill the courthouse soda and candy vending machines (since the last gas station/mini-mart in Goldfield closed last week), and how to improve the local economy by allowing the US Department of Energy to store nuclear waste nearby.

Slim still has great hope for Goldfield. In a bare lot, in the center of town, he has erected a 15-foot high aluminum Man and parked several of Rocket Bob's art cars. This is a great symbol of hope for all of us. Next time you are in Goldfield, stop and visit Slim. His houseguest book lists many, including a group of protesting Shoshone Indians, B-movie film crews, 15 Buddhist monks and now—

-Danger Ranger



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