Discovering Caliente and a testimonial for small-town life

Friday, May 5

Immediately after breakfast, I pitch a surprised Reggie into the Perfect Tow Vehicle.

“Something different for our walk, Reg.  You’ll like it.”

We ride into town.

The same walkway that goes past Young’s RV Park reaches across Caliente. I park the PTV at the curb, tether up the Reggie Man, and we set out down the sidewalk.

Come along with us for a tour . . .

As you know from reading my blog, I seldom eat in restaurants.  I show these photos for those of you who do.

At the Knotty Pine, gambling is on the menu.

I hear the burgers at J and J’s are very good.

A sign by the door boasts that “we don’t cook your food until you order it.”

We walk past Caliente’s crown jewel.

About Caliente Railroad Depot . . .

“Caliente Railroad Depot is located in southeastern Nevada. The once busy Union Pacific station now houses the Caliente city offices and a small public library.

“Freight trains still pass by the historic mission style station but since Amtrak pulled out years ago there is no more passenger service. There is a small box car museum next to the station Hours: 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m., Monday through Friday year-round.

“Caliente was at one time a Union Pacific hub.  Its location half way between Los Angeles and Salt Lake City made it an ideal stop over for trains.  Union Pacific had a roundhouse and repair facilities for steam locomotives at the east edge of town.

“When steam locomotives were replaced with diesel in the 1940’s operations moved to Las Vegas. ” —

Another landmark — not seen along this walkway because it’s located on the far end of town — is the Caliente Hot Springs and Motel.  (I took this photo previously in a quick drive-by.)

For groceries one goes over the railroad tracks to a strip of shops next to the railroad depot.

Food Town, the Thee Laundromat, a variety store . . .

. . . a shop for quilters . . .

. . . and another restaurant, The Brandin Iron.

“Open 7 days a week” serving breakfast and lunch. . .

I’m curious to hear a resident’s view of Caliente.

An opportunity presents itself at one of the stores.  A woman of middle-age is ringing up my purchases when I ask where one buys groceries.  I know the answer, but I want to hear what she has to say.

“You can shop at Food Town.  Family Dollar has a few items.  There’s a nice grocery in Panaca.  We go there sometimes.”

“What about the big stores?  Do you miss having a Wal-Mart?”

“No!  Not at all,” she responds with emphasis. 

“About every two weeks we drive into Cedar City, get what we need at Wal-Mart, put stuff in our freezer.  If you stay on the road to Panaca, it takes you to Cedar City.  I can get there in an hour and fifteen minutes.”

“And you don’t mind the drive . . . ”

“Not one bit.  I’d rather live out here.  We can buy stuff online, too, and have it delivered.  My son-in-law, he orders a side of beef or a whole pig for the freezer.  You do what it takes.”

Handing me my bag of purchases, she wraps up our conversation.

“No, I don’t need to live near a Wal-Mart.  I don’t need to live near Wal-Mart people either.  I like it here.  I like living in the country.”

Reg and I return to the PTV.

“Okay, little guy.  You’ve had your walk.  I want to go places today.”

On cue Reggie lies on his back in submission.  I pick him up, unhook the tether, and toss him in.

He drinks some water and settles into his bed.  I fire up the PTV and we leave Caliente, taking Route 93 north to Panaca and Pioche, for a day trip.

More about that in another post!



Every order, large or small, is appreciated.  Here are a few of the items readers ordered from Amazon during the month of April:

Big Fat Wallet
Trailer Hitch Rear View Camera
Mini Fridge Cooler and Warmer
Fitbit Zip Wireless Activity Tracker
Bluetooth Backlit Keyboard for IPads
Olympian Wave 6 Catalytic Heater


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68 Responses to Discovering Caliente and a testimonial for small-town life

  1. Dawn in NC says:


  2. Gail from Buckeye AZ says:

    Good morning! Great to receive a new post!

  3. Stephanie Albany OR says:

    Caliente sounds charming. And that walkway looks so inviting. Enjoy your stay and thanks for another great post.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re welcome, Stephanie! THIRD PLACE!

      • Stephanie Albany OR says:

        Btw, house goes on market in a few days. Listing agreement signed and sorting belongings well underway. Market is a hot sellers market so hope to be on road by end of July God willing all goes per plan. I may be walking Toby down that path before too long!

  4. Ken Canada says:

    Hi Sue…
    Good morning.
    Have a resident rabbit back into the yard.
    So nice to see it…can get to within 10 feet.
    Apples, plums , cherries should bloom in the next week.
    Last year there were no bees……hope they come back this year.
    Ken zcanada

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Ken,

      No bees. Gee, I hope they do come back and get to work on those fruit trees. What a nice selection of trees you have. I bet the blooms are lovely… and the rabbit cute. 🙂

      That gives me an idea… I’d love to hear about readers’ back yards, whether from a sticks-and-bricks or from a home-on wheels. Maybe some comments on small-town living and what’s to like about it.

      • Archae says:

        We had apple and pear trees in the backyard of a house we rented in New Mexico in the mid 70s. Bees cross pollinated the trees and the apples tasted like pears!

  5. Pam and Maya, still in NY says:

    Ohhh, love that old train station, it’s a southwestern classic!

  6. Dave Reed says:

    Thanks for the report on the train station!

  7. Pat from Mich. says:

    Almost top ten, hehe!

  8. KelleyinSoCal says:

    I enjoyed the tour. Thank you!

  9. bess in oregon says:

    hi Sue and Reggie! it has been a while since i have posted a greeting to you both, yet i have been reading your blog every time there is a new post.

    i wanted to let you know that i have used your archives to plan a trip last year to the Tetons and in a month, Barry and i will go in our little vintage trailer on a 6 week trip to Colorado for our niece’s wedding. we are going to explore some of the campgrounds east of Salt Lake and Dinosaur National Monument on the trip there and on the way back we are camping in the Salina area of Utah.

    i like seeing how Reggie is zipping around and i am happy you each have the other for companionship. love to you both! bess

  10. Jenny J says:

    # 19 —moooovn’ on up — Now back to read

  11. Annie says:

    Greetings from the rainy Oregon coast. Although today the sun is peeking out. Yea!
    Loved the walk around Caliente. PattiIt’s always interesting and fun to see another part of the country.

  12. Lisa Williams says:

    Thanks for the views of Caliente. Seems like a nice little town.

  13. JoanneG in San Rafael says:

    Hi Sue, I had to laugh at the mental picture of Reggie flying through the air as he is pitched, tossed or catapulted into the PTV or BLT so many times a day! I know he always “lands” safely!

  14. Kevin in CO says:

    Awesome insights from the locals. I would rather not live near a walmart either, but I do appreciate other benefits such as proximity to family, quality health care, and access to my private fishing pond. 🙂 We will spend at least 1/3 of the year on the road in our truck camper, with 2 months already done escaping winter. That works for us, but I love to read about all the backroads and little towns you visit and wish it was in the cards to do the same. Take care Sue and Reg.

  15. Val R. Lakefield Onario says:

    I really enjoy the tours around the towns you visit. Thanks for sharing.

  16. Geri @ Florida panhandle says:

    top 100??? hahaha! Loved the tour and that train station is a real classic! So glad they didn’t raze it and build a parking lot! Good for the city that this be recycled into city offices and a library! Strange thing is….. the photo of the train station was the only normal sized image! The others were all postage stamp sized photos that were to small to see. Not sure if it is my computer or what since nobody else mentioned it. I am going to get on my tablet in a minute and look at it from there. Will let you know!

    • Geri in the FL panhandle! says:

      Well, all normal on the tablet so the laptop is at fault!

      • Don in Okla. says:

        I was having the same problem with the photos when I would go to Sue’s site from the Bayfield Bunch site links. When I would I would pull it up on my list of sites, the photos were normal sized. You might try that if you are clicking on another sites drop down list of bloggers.

  17. Norman in San Diego says:

    Hi Sue,

    What a nice small town. Hope you are having a good weekend. Cloudy, gloom, and rain here in San Diego. It is awesome to stay home and enjoy the rain. I feel like I am camping as my small apartment has a skylight making it sound like I am in a travel trailer when it rains.


  18. Karen in Pacific NW says:

    My backyard is constantly wet…as in the saltwater of Puget Sound 🙂

  19. I love the little town of Caliente…we drove through and didn’t really look around much. The lady is right. My father in law use to buy whole pigs, cows, sheep from Cortez, CO then take them to Farmington, NM to a butcher and in the same area he rented a freezer locker where he stored the meat. I remember one Easter my father in law gave us a whole ham and it was just my husband & I and an infant daughter. We took the ham to the same butcher and had it cut in half…freeze one and bake one for Easter. Father in law also bought other freezable foods i.e. ice cream, frozen fruit, etc. About twice a month he drove from Shiprock to Farmington, NM to shop from his freezer LOL Needless to say husband and I never really had to buy meat.

  20. Laura - Illinois says:

    Wow, I just googled that hot spring motel… I would LOVE to soak in one of those soak rooms!

  21. DawnfromCamanoIsland says:

    Hi Sue! I admire your enquiring mind–you learn a lot about places you visit! We really enjoyed the little garden area at the top of the canyon near the state park. There’s a public road that goes up there & it’s lovely–especially on a warm day. Enjoy!

  22. Gene in Ohio says:

    I have been to Caliente, but didn’t know it until I saw your photo of the old train station. After finding out what it was used for and that you could not tour the building, I decided that we would go across the railroad tracks and park in the shade and have dinner. A train signal never warned us about an approaching train and just as I got across the tracks, a train came barreling through scaring the crap out of me. I think I am still suffering from PTSD.

  23. ValGal (westernWA) says:

    Cute little town. Love the train depot.

    When I was a little girl, we lived next to active train tracks. My mother told me if I got too close to the train, I’d get sucked under. Her admonition worked. I was terrified to get too close to the tracks if a train was anywhere near by.

    Now, I live in a small seaside town. There are pros and cons. It’s very beautiful, charming, has a historic downtown that’s enjoyable to walk, no traffic, and is quiet. The people tend to be quirky, progressive, and art lovers, with a lot of retirees.

    Cons are it’s a long way to go for services not available here; that gets old after some years. There are few family wage jobs. Things can be more expensive here. And sometimes small town politics and gossip can be unpleasant, but not too often.

    There are few cities I would consider for living. I find them way too busy, noisy, stressful and difficult to get around. I find suburbs to have some of those problems, too. It’s much better here.

  24. Julie, Molly & gizmo (Idaho) says:

    Interesting history in caliente hot springs motel. Ever hear of warren jeffs ? Bad things happened there. Someone has cleaned up the place. I bet you will tour spring valley & echo. Love the area.

    • Laura - Illinois says:

      I did not know who Warren Jeffs was until you wrote about this, so very sad to read about how this motel was being used!

  25. Elizabeth in WA says:

    It looks like a sweet little town…and an enjoyable place to live…but doesn’t its name mean HOT? I am wondering how hot it gets in summer, Sue? Maybe it is high enough elevation to be cooler…but an interesting location…thanks for sharing these things!!

  26. weather says:

    What a quaint little town. The wrought iron lampposts instead of plain street lights is a nice touch. I especially like The Brandin Iron with those chairs placed outside. I pictured people taking a cup of coffee out to sit and visit after a meal. If someone would enjoy seeing the box car museum and gambling a daytrip to Caliente might be fun.

    “…we drive into Cedar City, get what we need at Wal-Mart….I don’t need to live near Wal-Mart people either.” Huh?! Oh my, made me laugh!

    • weather says:

      Hi, Sue,
      Just popping in to wish you and Reggie a nice day 🙂 . I hope you find a new camp that you really like .

    • Geri in the FL panhandle! says:

      We also have to drive 90 minutes to the nearest Walmart, or any box store, or McDonald’s, even a movie theatre ! We live right on the Gulf of Mexico in a very rural fishing community! We wouldn’t have it any other way! I can relate to the folks in Caliente!

  27. Chey (WA coast) says:

    Hi RVSue! You will soon see vanilla beans on your Amazon account and since I know you will ponder it’s destiny, Flan! 🌵🌞🌴

  28. Barbara (Nashville) says:

    Nice tour of Caliente. It looks like a nice place to live, based on your photos. My sister once said she might like to live in NV, so I looked, just out of curiosity, at Zillow homes in that area. Shows a whole different perspective. Loved the history of the train station/depot. Enjoy your stay that walkway is delightful.

  29. Jean in Southaven, MS says:

    I love Caliente. What you have shown us looks very clean and well kept. I like where you are located now. Looks like the kind of place that would be easy to settle into and feel at home right away.

  30. rvsueandcrew says:


    Thank you for your kind and thoughtful messages. I also appreciate your sharing a bit of your life from fruit trees in the back yard to narrowly missing being hit by a train to buying vanilla beans at Amazon via my blog (Thanks, Chey!) and a lot more. 🙂

    Yesterday was a very full and fun day! I was up late last night editing photos. Today marks the end of our week at Young’s RV Park which means today is also move-camp day.

    I hope to have internet signal at our new camp as there is much I want to share with you. Thanks again for participating in my blog. I so enjoy hearing from you!

    Happy Monday!

    Bye for now,

  31. Cheryl Tucker in The Lower Thumb of MI says:

    Here’s what I like about “Small-Town Living”, to quote “Cheers”, ‘Everybody knows your name’; when I walk into Family Dollar, I’m welcomed by name, unless they are stocking shelves and you get, “Welcome to Family Dollar!” Shouted at you because they can’t see you…or leaving my local IGA (Independent Grocer’s Assoc.) grocery store with Sue’s favorite, “Have a Good One!”. Plus the advantage of having a Wal-Mart 45 minutes away from my home!

    Sorry about the run-on sentence in the above paragraph, hope I’m NOT getting gr8ed on this, Miss Sue! LOL!!

  32. We are definitely missing small towns, been too long in the cities the last couple months!

  33. Cinandjules (🌵) says:

    Quaint little town. Love the banner for Julie Bingley!

    We had rotisserie chicken tonight…and of course thought of you, Reg and Spike and Bridgeeeeebabeeee! Ar bor ree tum!

    Had a friend we met on a past cruise, up for the weekend from Texas. She wants to full time but was apprehensive. So we browsed thru your blog and I showed her some of the places you’ve called home! She was amazed with your journey! You really don’t know how many folks you inspire by just being you! She told me to thank you…for giving her a bit more of confidence.

    Have a great evening.

  34. Dan A. says:

    Hey Sue! Don’t know if you knew of the history of the Hot Springs Motel in Caliente as it relates to Warren Jeffs and his polygymous sect. I investigated the Marshall’s office in Hildale UT and Colorado City AZ for about 2 years. Definitely a strange time in my life. Check out the link below for the low down! Be safe. Dan A.

    • Elizabeth in WA says:

      Yikes…the things we don’t know…thanks for the “rest of the story”, Dan!!

  35. Chuck Hajek says:

    This is one nice little town with very friendly folks. Brandin Irons steaks are fantastic. Wish I could show it to Geri but your great pix do very well !!! Thanx for horse pic !!! Hope you get a chance to see Ruby Wilderness…beautiful.

  36. rvsueandcrew says:


    Reggie and I are camped in a canyon. Internet signal is spotty. Tomorrow we move camp again and I hope to post soon thereafter.

    While we’re gone, please feel welcome to share your own updates. Thank you again for being a part of my blog.


    • weather says:

      Hope today’s move is a quick and easy one for you, Sue! Thanks for leaving the updates that you have so far 🙂

  37. Terri From Texas says:

    Hi All, I have to get in on this! I was born and raised in San Antonio and moved to Houston for work and lived there for 19 years. We finally got out of there and moved to the country-between two small towns about a half hour either way to get there. We love it! We love the wildlife and the flowers and the darkness and the quiet. The towns are lovely-I love going to pay taxes, or vote, or get a drivers license renewal all of which usually takes 5 minutes. People are friendly. Our well water on the property is the best I have ever tasted! the water in town tastes like chlorine! Took about 5 years before people in the feed store actually struck up a conversation. They like to get to know you first! (I guess by looking at you and seeing what you buy.) A very German and Bohemian background in this area. The Shiner Beer Brewery is about an hour away and my is that beer good!! I grocery shop an hour away in the town of La Grange but its a pleasant drive on a winding highway up and down through the hills.
    We have a fenced backyard for the dog and its mainly just grass with a grapevine on the fence and honeysuckle. I don’t plant much cause we like to keep it clear so we can watch out for the copperheads which come in some time. Our dog has a “snake bark” so I know when he has found one. He has the vaccine and that’s the best we can do. He doesn’t usually attack-just barks. We don’t kill snakes unless they are too near the house-we saw a beautiful Coral snake cross the driveway the other night. Their mouths are very small and could only hurt you if you got bitten between the toes or fingers. Still, best not to get too close. The mantra to remember for the difference between the harmless King Snake is Red and Yellow Kill a Fellow and Red and Black Friend of Jack. These are the different colored bands on the snakes. If red and yellow touch-its a Coral. Yep-I have learned alot about snakes since we moved out here! Okay, this is getting long winded. But, we do love the country and small town life. Safe travels, RV Sue!

    • Cinandjules (🌵) says:

      Shiner bock…..jules has distinct memories of that beer! 😳 But she doesn’t much remember much in regards to the town of Fredricksburg!

  38. Pamelab says:

    Sue and crew – I enjoy your blog and all the good information and photos. Thank you for that and the wonderful and compact list of your camp sites. I decided to follow you path on my Benchmark atlases.
    Not sure why I haven’t done that all along. Happy Travels.
    Pamelab in Houston for now.

  39. Toni CT-NH says:

    Today, May 10 marks one year smoke free for me!!! YAY me!

    • Deena in Phoenix, AZ says:

      Congrats Toni, that is a marvelous feat…continued success!

    • Dawn in NC says:

      Yay Toni! Your lungs thank you!

    • Laura - Illinois says:

      Hi Toni!

      I quit once for 14 years and then got the silly idea in my head that since I was going through stress in my life I would start smoking again and then quit when the stress passed… well it took me about another 10 years to quit again and that was only after watching my Father on oxygen gasping for breath and still smoking while on oxygen he was that addicted. When he passed I found that I was starting to have trouble walking and talking! I could not walk to the parking lot easily without getting really out of breath! So I quit again just 2 years ago. The bad thing is… I still get out of breath really easily! So, I know I should never ever start again! I say congrats for passing the 10 year mark and if you can learn from my mistake… don’t think you can start again “only for a little while” like it did! So very happy for you!

      • Toni CT-NH says:

        Thanks everyone. Laura, it’s been a year, not 10.

        I had a cancerous tumor removed from my tongue last March. Years before that, a heart attack and stroke, I still didn’t quit. The addiction is a powerful one for most of us. I used Chantix and quit after three weeks on it. The warnings about smoking don’t stress oral cancer enough. I had regular chest xrays and felt “safe”. I never thought of oral cancer.

        I still think like a smoker and still miss smoking. But, it’s not that much of a struggle not to. My tongue is a constant reminder not to.

  40. Jackie Dolan says:

    Sue this is my kind of place. It has the beautify God gave it. The camp ground looks wonderful compared to some I have seen. I am so ready to get on the road but I have to now get rid of things
    with no meaning and get the Casita. I have thing in the process but it will probably still take a year unless a miracle happens. My cousin is dying with liver cancer. He will be staying with me until his time is complete. I will continue reading your site and dreaming of that day not so long away. I pray that it is gods will for me to see more of his beautiful country in addition to what I have already seen. Give Reggie a hug for Pepper and I.
    Happy Trails.
    Jackie- NC

  41. Mert&asiasinKY says:

    Hi sue and reg,
    Love the pictures. I live in a very small town in NE Kentucky. Population about 2000. One red light in town, 1 store and its a high priced convienant store 1 high school/Jr high combined and 1 grade school and thats about it , there are other small little towns connecting. The largest only about 15,min drive and has everything. (malls,restaurants,Etc),good thing of living here -,you know most everyone.. Bad part. You know most everyone. Lol. Safe travels to u and all. Meet and Asia

  42. Suzette (TN) says:

    Thanks for a peek at this lovely little town. Now I want to go there!

    And scratch Reggie’s belly! 🙂

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