denio cemetery
As is commonly known, the first stage of death is being in Denio.

Okay, now that I’ve gotten that out of the way.

There is no denying the austere location of this cemetery, which really belongs to the quasi-ghost town across the border. My boy and I managed to drive right past the cemetery, which is right next to the road, without looking in its direction and had to drive back to find it. We blame each other. The Denio Zip Code Census says seventy-six people lived there in 2000; but mind you, that Zip Code takes in a lot of turf; not all those seventy-six lived in town. It’s nowhere near that big. It says the population density is .01 per square mile. That’s one person per ten square miles. That has to be during the tourist season.

One bush is the sole attempt at cemetery landscaping, otherwise it’s pretty much like the surrounding desert. A handsome, fairly new, entrance arch announces the place and there’s a good number of interesting markers, given the size of the community. It can be hot here; it can be cold here; it can snow here; but if the weather’s good, it’s worth a visit.

An added bonus is that you’re pretty much guaranteed to have the place to yourself. Nevada has a few enormous attractions like Las Vegas, Lake Tahoe, and Burning Man. This is not one of them. This is a lesser attraction than, say, Winnemuca. But if you like cemeteries, this place has a lonesome charm.

An added, added bonus is Hwy. 140 from Denio over to Lakeview in Oregon. That’s another hundred miles you’ll have to yourself. If you’re lucky—we were—you’ll see wild donkeys. There are warning signs for them on the highway like other places have deer crossings. Just make sure you have enough gas; the donkeys are hard to catch.

Directions:

West side of Hwy. 205, opposite the entrance of Cottonwood-Fields Rd. less than a mile north of the Nevada border.
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