I did a blog called “Probably the Last Town Names” on April 22, 2020. Ha! I have gone on to more than 100 of these since then. “Probably the Last…” reported on towns with strange names like Nothing AZ, Bourbon, MO, Sparks, NV, Pahrump, also in Nevada, and Sleepy Eye, MN. Yes, there is a town called Sleepy Eye.
On March 3 of 2019 I did a blog called “373 and 127s’ Dips and Curves” It reported on a California Highway called 127 that I described as scenic. Others do not agree with this assessment that I still stand by. On this trip Ruth & I began in Las Vegas and traveled through Pahrump, which is listed among the towns in the blog mentioned above. Pahrump is certainly a strange town name. We went north from Pahrump to Beatty, NV, a major entry point into Death Valley near some ghost towns. Locals pronounce Beatty Bay-dee.
However, we turned left at Amargosa Valley and followed Highway 373 to California where it turned into Highway 127. We found some major attractions off of both highways. We followed California Highway 127 for 91 miles to Baker and then returned to Las Vegas on Interstate 15.
The major attraction off of 373 was Ash Springs. This National Wildlife Preserve close to Death Valley has a surprising amount of water and a notable visitor center. The major attraction on 127 was not dry Silver Lake but Tecopa Hot Springs. Highway 127 skirted Death Valley twice and went through 2 tiny California towns including Death Valley Junction and Shoshone. It has been called the Lost Highway in a movie.
Tenstrike, Minnesota, is not close to Sleepy Eye. Sleepy Eye is closer to New Ulm, where many Germans settled. Tenstrike had a population of about 200 three years ago, and 2 cemeteries were there. It’s on Gull Lake, which is not unusual in Minnesota, and the closest big town to it is Bemidji. Northeast of Tenstrike is the town of Blackduck. Unsurprisingly, there is also a Blackduck Lake. There was once a Tenstrike Mine in Arizona. Its name in Arizona made more sense.
The town of Tenstrike, MN has what I consider an unusual name. It had to do with the supply of timber in the area. A local man name Brown reportedly said, “I surely made a tenstrike in locating my trade post here” giving this town its name.
Tecopa Hot Springs is a popular getaway for residents of Las Vegas.