Nevada Series: The Hat Tree

Hat Tree near White Horse Pass
“Hat Tree” near White Horse Pass

Out on the fringes of populated areas, between cattle guards, farm houses and abandoned mines, lies roadside tributes left behind by passing travelers, who hang things on trees. Shoe trees, glass bottle trees, bra trees, and hat trees can be found at various locations in the Silver State. Recently, however, it has become infamously well known (to the locals who know about the adorned trees) that an inebriated individual with a chain saw took to the much beloved Shoe Tree. The world kept spinning, however.

Dumb question: Who gets drunk and decides to get his saw fueled, tops off the bar oil reservoir, sharpens each tooth on the chain, and heads out to cut down an idiosyncratic, obscure icon? I picture a Dick Dastardly-type guy with a greased mustache which curles out at the ends, plotting in a drunken stupor, saying to himself, “I’m a-goin’ to take a saw and take care of that menacing juniper full of shoes once and for all!” Further in my mini-imagined scenario, he takes the tree with all four hundred shoes and ties it up on some train track nearby. What a d-bag.

At any rate, for those who care, there still is a bottle tree, a bra tree, and a hat tree waiting for puzzled looks from passersby, who may just stop and add to the ongoing peculiarity of Nevada’s long and lonely by-ways. If you’re going to seek them out, try hard to leave your beloved souped-up saws at home. And bring an extra shoe, bottle, hat, or bra.

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