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The Adventures of Furthermore, the Masonic Raven
Written by Skip Boyer



FURTHERMORE GOES TRAVELING

My Masonic pet raven Brother, Furthermore, and I have been traveling recently. This is what Masons do, of course, but it is always something of an experience for both of us, as you can imagine. And this time, we actually discovered a place more surreal than Furthermore.

Our odyssey began in Phoenix and involved three friends and colleagues. We were heading for Cedar City, Utah, on the legitimate occasions of my employer. Having finished our shooting (video, not the other kind) in Cedar City, we were scheduled into Carson City, Nevada. They have a very nice lodge in Cedar City and the old bird and I were sorry we arrived too late for the stated communication.

Now, if you’ve ever looked—I mean really looked—at a map of Utah and Nevada, you will have discovered this amazing thing: You can’t get there from here. We examined all sorts of flight arrangements, including bizarre connecting flights in other countries. We came to the inescapable conclusion that the only way to get from Cedar City to Carson City is to drive. That would be 500 or 600 miles on two-lane highways across parts of southern Nevada that Nevada doesn’t even know exist. Being seasoned travelers with a strong knowledge of rough and rugged roads, we decided to divide the trip into two sections. Section one began in the early afternoon of a Wednesday and took us as far as Tonopah, Nevada. Section two began on Thursday morning and dropped us into Carson City in time for a late lunch. It was an agreeable drive with agreeable company and plenty of time to read, discuss current work-related projects and marvel at the landscape—truly the most barren in North America. Even Furthermore was impressed.

Now, at this point, you must go get a map of Nevada. From Cedar City, Utah, you head west on highway 56 until you reach the metropolis of Panaca, Utah. This is a few miles west of Uvada, so you can’t miss it. At Panaca, you pick up highway 93 and drive through Caliente until you hit the junction with highway 375. Here, the odyssey really begins.

Highway 375 begins the famed Extraterrestrial Highway. It runs just north of the equally infamous Area 51, where the U.S. government hides all the aliens and their spacecraft. This made perfect sense to us. The aliens could have been running a major intergalactic spaceport in this part of Nevada and no one of our species would have spotted it for centuries!

Locals named the highway because this is where they are always spotting flying saucers and aliens are always abducting someone. We were sorry we had left some people at home, when we realized this. After a time, it occurred to us—during one 35-mile straight-as-an-arrow stretch of highway—that it wasn’t a highway at all. It was a landing strip. This made us very nervous.

We did see a few aliens. Furthermore recognized them right away, which figured. The first we saw were disguised as cows. They weren’t half as clever, however, as the two who disguised themselves as an elderly couple from Iowa driving an RV.

We also saw the Little AleInn, a small motel and gas station in the middle of a place that gives new meaning to being nowhere. One of our group argued that it was only a mirage and I was prepared to believe it until that evening when we spotted a bumper sticker for the Little AleInn on the rear of a Porsche. Well, right away, we knew the driver was an alien. No self-respecting human being would put a bumper sticker on a Porsche, after all.

The Porsche was in Tonopah, a old silver mining town that is still in business more from force of habit that any clearcut economic reason. The mining theme is important in Tonopah. The high school mascot is a grizzled miner who is pictured in cartoon form as he mucks away at the rock and ore. I mention this for its educational value and to reduce any confusion on the next point. The high school, according to large signs, are “The Fighting Muckers.” This is a reference to the brief history lesson I just shared with you and not, as Nevermore (Furthermore's non-masonic cousin) claims, a major typographical error.

There was also a sign in Tonopah, claiming that the community is the official home of the Stealth bomber. We didn’t see any, of course, but then that was the whole point of the Stealth, you know. The local lodge was on the second floor of a building on main street, above the florist shop. It was better in the old days when we were above the grog shop. Just an observation.

From Tonopah, we continued up the Extraterrestrial Highway through Mina, Luning, Hawthorne (where they are proud of their Convention Center, which doubles on Friday nights as the local movie house), and finally up through Fallon and back to civilization as we know it. Anyway, enough of this travelogue. Southern Nevada is striking in its barren beauty, lonely miles and far-ranging vistas. Just the sort of place you’d want to visit if you are dropping in from the Alpha Centari quadrant. Actually, it’s probably one of the great vacation spots of the entire galaxy. Which accounts for the fact there is a very nice Best Western property in Tonopah that is doing very well. I did wonder about the sign on their complimentary continental breakfast, however. I mean, who ever heard of a complimentary planetary breakfast, anyway?




BACK TO THE HOME PAGE?

To all Lodge Trestle Board editors: Feel free to use any of the tales of Furthermore. Should you choose to do so, however, we deny any responsibility for actions by your own lodge. If, after the first couple of columns, the brethren appear restless and begin to surge toward you as you enter the lodge room, we suggest you flee and deny any connection with Furthermore.






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