A Journey Across America In Pictures

A Journey Across America In Pictures

On Sunday, May 17 we set out from Corralitos, California to hear the story of American small business in the age of unprecedented state shutdowns. Two months in, who was surviving and how?
Christopher Bedford
By

America, USA — On Sunday, May 17 we set out from Corralitos, California to hear the story of American small business in the age of unprecedented state shutdowns. Two months in, who was surviving and how? As we publish their stories, we’ll continuously publish some of our favorite photographs right here.

Pt. 1: Inside The Defiant Mining Town Bar That Won’t Shut Down And Die

Pt. 2: ‘We Had To Lay Off Our Son’: American Businesses Are Doing Everything It Takes To Survive

Pt. 3: The Deeply American Reason The Oldest Saloon West Of The Mississippi Won’t Have To Shut Down Forever

Pt. 4: COVID Rolls Downhill In Wyoming: The American People Are Making The Hard Calls When Our Leaders Won’t

Pt. 5: South Dakota (Coming Soon)

The side of the road in Corralitos, Calif. Martin Avila.

Going over routes and testing the camera remote in Corralitos. Over the next two weeks we’ll be taking this ’94 Range Rover 3,500 miles. Photo by Martin Avila.

Zelda's, in Santa Cruz, Calif. Martin Avila.

Zelda’s, in Santa Cruz, California was a popular dining and drinks place known for its lobster specials and free blueberry muffins. Its large patio overlooking Capitola State Beach and surfers plying the waves of the Pacific. It’s been closed down by the governor for 10 weeks and counting. Photo by Martin Avila.

A shutdown Reno, Nevada casino offering loans in place of games. Martin Avila.

A Reno, Nevada casino, usually open for blackjack and slots, offers loans to empty streets. While restaurants have begun to open, Reno is quiet. Photo by Martin Avila.

The Nevada desert highway. Martin Avila.

The Nevada desert, where one road can take you through rain storms and cold wind to salt storms and beating sun. Photo by Martin Avila.

The new bar and a shot, with Sonny. Martin Avila.

Sonny owns a bar in a tiny mining town in the Nevada deserts. He used his spare time in the closure to build this bar, but with no end in sight decided to reopen against the governor’s order but with the quiet nod of locals and law enforcement. His identity and location have been shrouded to protect him from repercussions. Photo by Martin Avila.

A pool table in a roadside bar, with Sonny. Martin Avila.

The pool tables in Sonny’s bar are popular with the miners, contractors and their families who frequent the roadside bar — one of two in the town of just over 2,000. Photo by Martin Avila.

Sonny tells me about his family businesses and their independence. Martin Avila.

Sonny talks about his family businesses and their independence while Chris enjoys the buffalo wings. Photo by Martin Avila.

Raymond Zaelit shows off his new business line. Martin Avila.

Salt Lake City’s Raymond Zaelit shows off the new business line they’ve had to come up with to keep their fine dining supply business alive during the shutdown: Restaurant quality meat and seafood, packaged and delivered to your door. Photo by Martin Avila.

Raymond Zaelit guides us through Majestic Meat's expanded facilities. Martin Avila.

After 67 years, Raymond and his wife led third-generation family business into a massive expansion. Three years later, coronavirus would leave increased walk-in space at a fraction of its capacity. Photo by Martin Avila.

TJ England takes us to June's Table, a hot-food cafeteria named from his grandmother. Martin Avila.

On a tour of the C.R. England trucking headquarters, TJ England takes us into June’s Table, a hot-food cafeteria named from his grandmother. Photo by Martin Avila.

Trucks outside C.R. England's headquarters. Martin Avila.

Trucks in a lot outside the Salt Lake City headquarters of C.R. England. Photo by Martin Avila.

The Shooting Star Saloon. Martin Avila.

Motorcycles and luxury SUVs alike park outside of Huntsville, Nevada’s Shooting Star Saloon. Photo by Martin Avila.

A Coors bar. Martin Avila.

A moose and an estimated $14,000 in dollar bills adorn the ceilings of what may be the oldest continuously functioning bar west of the Mississippi. Photo by Martin Avila.

A bacon cheeseburger with American cheese. Martin Avila.

The bacon cheeseburgers are a favorite of fur trappers and trust-funders alike. Photo by Martin Avila.

A corner of heaven. Martin Avila.

Writing with a Coors in the corner. Photo by Martin Avila.

A jukebox and a bar. Martin Avila.

The tiny bar is closed for social distancing. Photo by Martin Avila

A pick-up slowly walks two horses on the Idaho border in Etna, Wyoming. Photo by Christopher Bedford.

The Million Dollar Cowboy Bar in Jackson, Wyoming. Christopher Bedford.

The Million Dollar Cowboy Bar on a Tuesday night in Jackson, Wyoming. Photo by Christopher Bedford.

A waitress catches up with the bartenders at Jackson's Million Dollar Cowboy Bar. Martin Avila.

A waitress catches up with the bartenders at the Jackson’s best-known bar. Martin Avila.

Saddle stools at the Million Dollar Cowboy Bar. Photo by Martin Avila.

A saloon since 1937, Million Dollar Cowboy Bar was closed for two months, reopening its doors just last week. Photo by Martin Avila.

Taxidermy adorns the walls of Million Dollar Cowboy Bar in Jackson, Wyoming. Martin Avila.

Taxidermy and other eclectic Western decorations adorns the walls and display cases of Million Dollar Cowboy Bar in Jackson, Wyoming. Martin Avila.

Million Dollar Cowboy's normal capacity of nearly 500 people rests around 150 for now. Photo by Martin Avila.

Million Dollar Cowboy’s normal capacity of nearly 500 people rests around 150 until things return to normal. Photo by Martin Avila.

Salt Creek, Wyoming. Martin Avila.

Miles of hills, mesas and salt beds carve through central Wyoming. Photo by Martin Avila.

Named for the local gold mine, Holy Terror Brand coffee and fudge greets visitors to Mt. Rushmore in western South Dakota. Photo by Martin Avila.

A near-empty Mt. Rushmore. Martin Avila.

A near-empty Mt. Rushmore National Monument before Memorial Day tourists begin to stream in. Photo by Martin Avila.

Bob's Bar in Pierre, S.D. Martin Avila.

Bob’s Lounge in Pierre, S.D. looks straight out of Boston. Photo by Martin Avila.

The back room at Bob's Lounge. Martin Avila.

Erin Hildabrand moved from San Francisco to Pierre a year ago this August. Photo by Martin Avila.

She considers herself lucky to have a job while friends in California are still closed. Martin Avila.

She considers herself lucky to have a job while friends in California are still shut down. Photo by Martin Avila.

The early evening crowd at the neighborhood bar. Martin Avila.

The early evening crowd at the neighborhood bar she tends at. Photo by Martin Avila.

Down the road, Mad Mary’s Steakhouse is favorite of locals, travelers and politicians. Photo by Martin Avila.

The dining room at Mad Mary's. Martin Avila.

Mary’s daughter Ashlee is a part owner, and will take lead on a seafood restaurant across the street. Photo by Martin Avila.

Mary Lou and Ashlee at Mad Mary's. Martin Avila.

The family matriarch, Mary Lou, has made the soup for the past 20 years. Photo by Martin Avila.

The lobby of the steakhouse. Martin Avila.

The lobby lets newcomers know exactly what kind of steakhouse this is. Photo by Martin Avila.

Mary Lou at her daughter's bar. Martin Avila.

Mary Lou taught her granddaughter the secret French Onion recipe. Photo by Martin Avila.

Mary and a nephew walk on the farm. Martin Avila.

Back on the family ranch, it’s a busy day Mad Mary’s husband and his family. Photo by Martin Avila.

Terrence and Scott, as 200 calves wait their turn. Martin Avila.

About 20 family, friends and other cowboys have been herding the cattle since 6 a.m. Photo by Martin Avila.

Terrence, 84, estimates he's been at this life since he was four years old. Martin Avila.

Terrence Etzkorn, 84, estimates he’s been at this life since he was four years old. Photo by Martin Avila.

Terrene's father began the business. Martin Avila

His father launched the family on the cattle path. Or maybe it was his father. Photo by Martin Avila.

Of his and his wife's six children, five still live locally. Martin Avila.

Of his and his wife’s six children, five still live nearby and the sixth in Omaha. Scott Bartlett, a childhood friend of the kids, joins in the work. Photo by Martin Avila.

Mary Lou and Rita watch the day's work. Martin Avila.

Terrence’s wife, Rita, watches the day’s work with Mary Lou. Photo by Martin Avila.

Allen Etzkorn explains the day's work. Martin Avila.

This is their son Allen’s ranch. He and Mary once dated decades ago, but were finally married just four years ago. Photo by Martin Avila.

Jasper follows Allen through a bullpen. Martin Avila.

Jasper the blue heeler is as busy as the men on a day like today. Photo by Martin Avila.

Allen Etzkorn, 62, runs the ranch. Kathie Bartlett's husband grew up with him. Martin Avila.

Scott’s wife, Kathie, listens to her old pal. Photo by Martin Avila.

The Etzkorn home and ranch. Martin Avila.

It’s the busiest day of the year at the ranch. Photo by Martin Avila.

Antlers decorate the pen. Martin Avila.

Antler’s decorate the pen where the men move the cattle. Photo by Martin Avila.

Being a cowboy is a dangerous job. Martin Avila.

Technology has come a ways, but little of the danger has changed in a century. Photo by Martin Avila.

Mary and Ashlee prepare lunch for 20 cowboys. Martin Avila.

Inside, Mary and her daughter prepare lunch for the women, children, and 20 hungry men. Photo by Martin Avila.

Taking a quick break. Martin Avila.

Outside, the men take a short break before the branding. Photo by Martin Avila.

Interviews after the morning herding. Martin Avila.

Cold water and cold beer are long-welcomed. Photo by Martin Avila.

Terrence hasn't seen prices hit this bad. Martin Avila.

Terrence hasn’t seen price drops like the ranchers are going through in his 80 years working cattle. Photo by Martin Avila.

Jasper has a lot of work today. Martin Avila.

Even Jasper takes a quick breather. Photo by Martin Avila.

Branding a calf. Martin Avila.

The calves have been brought in from the pasture to be wiped down with fly repellent, inoculated, branded and castrated. Photo by Martin Avila.

A few moments of pain for a potentially life-saving checkup. The calves are up and walking again in just seconds. Photo by Christopher Bedford.

A freshly inoculated, cleaned, branded and castrated calf walks it off. Martin Avila.

A freshly inoculated, cleaned, branded and castrated calf lets them know he’s ticked as he walks it off. Photo by Martin Avila.

It's a fourth-generation business. Martin Avila.

Four generations are gathered for today’s work. Photo by Martin Avila.

Terrence herds a calf. Martin Avila.

And there’s more work to do before lunch. Photo by Martin Avila.

Chil, hot dogs, macaroni and cheese, slaw and beans greet the mean when they're done. Martin Avila.

When they’re done, chili, hot dogs, macaroni and cheese, slaw and beans will be waiting. Photo by Martin Avila.

It's a long, hard day. Martin Avila.

“It’s a hard life, but it’s the life that they love,” Kathie says. “And that’s all they’ve ever known, a lot of them.” Photo by Martin Avila.

The wide open highway just east of the ranch. Christopher Bedford.

Before too long, it’s back to the wide-open highway. Photo by Martin Avila.

Christopher Bedford is a senior editor at The Federalist, the vice chairman of Young Americans for Freedom, a board member at the National Journalism Center, and the author of The Art of the Donald. Follow him on Twitter.
Photo A shutdown Reno, Nevada casino offering loans in place of games. Martin Avila.
Photo Saddle stools at the Million Dollar Cowboy Bar. Photo by Martin Avila.
Photo Million Dollar Cowboy's normal capacity of nearly 500 people rests around 150 for now. Photo by Martin Avila.
Photo Branding a calf. Christopher Bedford.

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