Trip Reports – NevadaGram from the Nevada Travel Network http://nevadagram.com Telling Nevada's story 365, 24/7 Wed, 21 Feb 2018 00:40:30 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.4 NevadaGram #198 – Must See-Must Do, Hot Spring Getaway http://nevadagram.com/nevadagram-198-must-see-must-do-hot-spring-getaway/ http://nevadagram.com/nevadagram-198-must-see-must-do-hot-spring-getaway/#comments Mon, 04 Dec 2017 16:07:00 +0000 http://nevadagram.com/?p=29221 China Camp, near Tecopa

It is traditional for us to unlimber our Nevada 'Must-See Must Do' list in this first edition of the New Year. In the past Robin and I (and once, Shorty — he loved the dog-friendly Harrah's in Laughlin!) have made each selection. This year, though, many of them have been submitted by our Correspondents around the state — no-one knows what's happening better than a savvy local. And we've made it a point to include more restaurants than before, as food can be the highlight — or the downfall — of any journey. Our purpose isn't to make a list of Bests — always subjective — but to call attention to some of the excellence occurring daily in Nevada that doesn't always get the attention it deserves.


Nevada Restaurants of the Year

2018 Nevada Restaurants of the Year

BAKER

Kerouac's, Baker NevadaThe Lectrolux Cafe, named for the spaceship Bill Rountree made from a vacuum cleaner and a chandelier and mounted on the roof above the door is now Kerouac’s, with new owners from New York City. Home of the Best. Pancake. Breakfast. Ever. as served on Saturday morning at Snake Valley Days. The re-do of the interior is moderne to the max without going over the top, a harmonious urban vibe. Yes, but it’s a 6-hour drive from everywhere but Ely! (and it closes for the winter)

Max Winthrop, Upper Lehman Creek Campground

ELY

Clean and comfortable, Happy Garden provides reliable service and consistent, delicious dishes. Menu includes soups based on homemade broths, crisp spring rolls, and a wide-range of entrees to satisfy any palate. Steaming plates of bright-colored fresh vegetables and crispy tofu please vegans among us. Open daily 11 - 9

Alexa Mergen, Ely

Metro Pizza, Henderson NevadaHENDERSON

Metro Pizza (four more in Las Vegas) is a family-run business with fantastic pizzas and fresh, delicious sauces for their spaghetti, fettuccini and huge ravioli and their chicken or eggplant parmigiana, baked ziti, calzones and stromboli. Lunch specials Monday - Friday, 11 am - 2 pm. Try different types of pizzas 50% off Monday through Thursday 2:30 to 4:30 pm.

Pauline Cimoch, Las Vegas Valley

Mr T's Rotisserie, Incline eillage NevadaLAKE TAHOE NORTH SHORE

As a family-owned business for more than 25 years, T’s Mesquite Rotisserie is a small yet popular Mexican food joint that offers perfectly skewered chicken, beef, and vegetarian options to enjoy right there or to go. Open from 11am-8pm daily, T’s can get really busy during lunch hour, yet the line moves fast.

Kayla Anderson, Incline Village

Latin Soul at the Lakeside Inn and Casino, South Shore Lake TahoeLAKE TAHOE SOUTH SHORE

On the bottom level of the Lakeside Inn and Casino is the hole-in-the-wall joint called Latin Soul. Breakfast includes traditional Huevos Rancheros or French Toast Toirijas with strawberry butter. Specialty dinners include scallops wrapped in bacon with espazote brown butter and chile Serrano salsa. You won't be disappointed.

Brendan Packer, Zephyr Cove

Bacchanal buffet, Caesar's Palace Las VegasLAS VEGAS

No visit to Las Vegas is complete without experiencing a buffet and the best in Las Vegas is Bacchanal Buffet at Caesars Palace. Why?: truffle deviled eggs, avocado toast, wagyu beef, dim sum, char-grilled lamb t-bones, Osso Buco, Japanese noodles, bone marrow with wild mushrooms, and made-to-order chocolate lava cakes.

Diamond Jack Bulavsky, Las Vegas

Mom's, Pahrump NevadaPAHRUMP

Mom's Diner, a small place at 1240 State St (off the main highway in the middle of the town) has the best customer service in the valley. The Chumley family takes great pride in the food and excellent service, and people come away with being one of the family. Recommended: chicken fried steak, homemade pie, ham steak and eggs.

Vern Hee, Pahrump

M&M's Sparks NevadaSPARKS

You may not think to find good ‘ole Southern food in Northern Nevada, but M&M’s Southern Café two doors down from Perfect Peace Community Church is all about feeding souls as well as bellies with authentic dishes such as frog legs, fried okra, chitterlings, hush puppies, and black-eyed peas. End the night with beignets and you won’t be disappointed.

Kayla Anderson, Sparks


And All the Rest . . . .

2018 Nevada ity of the YearNevada City of the Year

LAS VEGAS

Las Vegas is the greatest boomtown in history and the best-known city in the world, the youngest and brightest urban center in the American Southwest. The Las Vegas Strip is as familiar an American landmark as the Statue of Liberty, and the valley's population is now measured in the millions.
Las Vegas is one of the great man-made wonders of the modern world, an unofficial InterNational Park, privately owned and paid for by the direct, voluntary financial support of citizens from every nation on earth.

2018 Nevada Attraction of the YearRuby Mountains in Elko County Nevada

Nevada Attraction of the Year

RUBY MOUNTAINS

This mighty range in Elko County is a geographical and historical Nevada landmark. It is not only beautiful to see pressed up against the sky, it is a vast realm devoted to outdoor recreation: hunting, fishing, hiking — the Ruby Crest Trail runs 40 miles along its back — camping, skiing, offroading, and the luxury of the Ruby 360 Lodge.

2018 Nevada Event of the YearRace the Rails at Nevada Northern Railway, Ely Nevada

Nevada Event of the Year

RACE THE RAILS, NNRy

This is not a race against time or your fellow riders, you're racing a steam locomotive! When the train whistle sounds, mountain bikers and road bikers race on separate courses to get back to the depot before the train. Mountain bikers take a 10-mile course through the mountains surrounding Ely; road bikers take a 25-mile course along roads and highways,

2018 Nevada Hotel of the YearCosmopolitan of Las Vegas

Nevada Hotel of the Year

The COSMOPOLITAN of LAS VEGAS

This luxurious property opened in 2010 and has already remodeled all its rooms, which are just gorgeous! Enhanced by art, and the Art-O-Mat which dispenses small treasures made by artists, the Wicked Spoon buffet, Secret Pizza (hidden, so find it!) and drinks at the Chandelier Bar, you needn't ever leave.

2018 NThe Wally Cuchine Nevada Art Collection show — Wally World in Ely Nevada

Nevada Hidden Treasure of the Year

WALLY'S WORLD, ELY

It won't open until April 1st, but this superb fragment of the fabled Wally Cuchine collection of more than 2,000 pieces of Nevada Art is certain to be a grand occasion. With this show the Garnet Mercantile basement goes onto everyone's Ely to-do list. When the entire collection arrives, this basement will be Nevada's Louvre, thanks to Wally and the Ely Renaissance Society.


TECOPA GETAWAY

Here's a woman intent on getting away from the grind and finding a hot spring to soak in. She found it at Tecopa. Introducing the first in a series about Finding It in Nevada.
by Evangeline Elston

Though I am a hot springs enthusiast, I had never even heard of Tecopa Hot Spring before I spotted it on a map in September. A trip to Tecopa for me was a two-day drive coming and going.

Day 1

Mizpah Hotel, Tobopah NevadaI took Highway 50 east from my place in Carson City and then Highway 95 south to Tonopah, where I spent the first night at the historic Mizpah Hotel: antique fixtures, claw foot bathtubs, high quality bedding and coffee served on each floor early each morning. The restaurant in the hotel, the Pitmann Cafe, is said to be one of the best in rural Nevada.

Also on Main Street is Whitney's Bookshelf, a favorite used bookstore. I rarely find a title I'm looking for, but I always find a book I want to buy. Larry Whitney, the store’s owner, is full of insight and a very interesting person to talk to. Whitney's Bookshelf, Tonopah NevadaThis visit I picked up Laughing Boy by Oliver LaFarge and Last Go ‘Round by Ken Kesey. With a few exceptions hard covers are $2.50 and paperbacks are $1.

The Tonopah Brewing Company, a couple of blocks uphill from the hotel, serves a variety of beers brewed on site, and BBQ. I liked the Mucker Irish Red Ale.

Tonopah has always had a weird vibe to me. It's an old mining town that has known booms and busts and it shows in the contrast between the old run-down houses and storefronts and the grand Mizpah Hotel and some of the new and thriving businesses. I always have the feeling that the next time I'm through I might find half the town boarded up again. But, at least for now, Tonopah seems to be thriving.
US 95 in Nevada

Day 2

This drive to Tecopa is full of childhood memories, interesting history, stunning views and solitude which I adore. Growing up, my folks would take us on winter camping trips to Death Valley for a break in the wintry weather and to see the wildflowers blossom in February.

It took me all day to drive down to Tecopa by way of Pahrump with many photo stops and an easy driving pace. Tecopa Hot Springs is made up of three small camping resorts, Tecopa Hot Springs Campground and Pools, Tecopa Hot Springs Resort and Delight’s Hot Spring Resort.

Tecopa hot springThe Tecopa Hot Springs Resort offers RV and tent camping, a few cabins and a small motel with private mineral pools for the rooms. I stayed here the first night. I enjoyed the private tub and the room was clean but not fancy.

The Tecopa Hot Springs Campground pools are wonderful, very clean with a low key, relaxing atmosphere. The men’s and women’s pools are separate and bathing suits are not allowed. The women’s area has two large tubs or small pools. The first tub is open to the air and the second has a roof. There are showers, toilets and benches throughout the small bathing area.

Delight’s Hot Spring Resort seemed to be the nicest of the three RV parks because it’s off the main road and has wonderful views on the desert to the east. I only went by it on my runs and didn’t investigate it.

Tecopa hot springI used these pools in the morning and evening each day. It was so calming and deeply relaxing. Other users keep their conversations quiet and everyone spends a lot of time in silence. I learned that many of the visitors who come regularly are retired Japanese folks from the Los Angeles and Las Vegas areas. It makes sense given the popularity of hot springs in Japan.

Day 3

I woke up early, made some coffee on the picnic table outside my room and sat for an hour watching the morning light change on the colorful desert.

Shoshone storeIn the afternoon I drove the seven miles to the town of Shoshone. I needed an extra jug of water and I needed to get on the internet if I could find a connection. There is no cell phone coverage in the Tecopa area at all. In Shoshone I found a small grocery store with high prices and a lot of tourist stuff related to Death Valley. I was pleasantly surprised to find the Shoshone Museum across the Highway from the market. It has a bit of everything, settlement and mining history, native American culture as well as some paleontology with a dinosaur bone display.

The woman working at the museum asked my if I would watch the desk for her while she ran to the post office and I gladly obliged. There is a Wi-Fi hotspot at the museum, so while I was in charge I sat on the bench out in front and checked my work email.

Day 4

Tecopa hot springI started the day again with a run, to a good sized marshy hot pool called The Dip where at 8:00 am there were already happy folks soaking.

I went on up the trail to an area called the Mud Hills, a gorgeous five-mile round trip run followed by another soak at Tecopa Hot Spring.

China Ranch is about nine miles from the Tecopa hot spring resort area. Take Old Spanish Trail a couple of miles and turn right on China Ranch Road which becomes narrow and steep and feels very remote, which it is. The most common vehicle traffic is the off-roaders.

China Camp, near TecopaThe landscape is barren. The canyon is made of dramatically eroding, sparsely vegetated buttes and hills of white, cream, orange and brown. It’s reminiscent of Death Valley and the views around Zabriskie Point. China Ranch Date Farm is a family-owned working date farm located on the Amargosa River. The river is famous for running mostly underground, but the narrow valley through which it flows here is green, in lush contrast to the surrounding barren desert.

China Camp Date Farm near TecopaeI hiked to the top of a ridge where I was able to get views of the farm and much of the canyon. It was stunning: a lush date farm tucked out of sight in the middle of the harsh, mountainous desert. The orchards are planted in sections according to the date varietal and country of origin. The bakery serves date milkshakes, breads, cookies and muffins and sells dates grown on the farm. I sat in the shade outside and ate some date bread — which was delicious. The folks enjoying milkshakes looked very happy too.

Villa Anita, near TecopaeFrom the farm I drove back toward Tecopa to the Villa Anita, an ever-evolving art installation created by David Aaron Smith and Carlo Roncancio. It is a sprawling two-acre labyrinth of rooms, gardens, sculpture, works in progress. I spent a fascinating hour with artist David Aaron Smith. All the rooms in the “villa” are covered with his original art, paintings and sculpture, vintage and modern one of a kind furniture, found art, plants, flowers and trees and the fashion photography of Carlo Roncancio.

He explained that he uses plastic and glass recyclables to insulate the floors and walls and that the temperatures inside during the summer are pleasant when outside it can be 120 degrees. You can visit Villa Anita for the tour and the tea, or you can stay there and experience the art in total immersion; it operates as an Air B-and-B as well. And if you are an artist or find yourself drawn even further into the work, you can volunteer and arrange to stay for a time to help add to the vision.

Death Valley Brewing, TecopaI stopped in Tecopa at Death Valley Brewing. One of the owners was working the bar and served me an IPA. It was cold and good, and the atmosphere was casual and friendly.

It was my final evening at the hot spring and there was live music at the outdoor stage. I was curious so I headed there. It turned out to be the Executive director of the Hot Spring Conservancy who I’d met when I arrived, on drums, the gal who works in the camp store and gift shop singing and playing guitar and her husband also singing and playing. About 50 people gathered for the music, all sitting on hay bales or at picnic tables drinking their own beer and wine. They were locals and people from the campground. It was a very pleasant evening.

Day 5

Amargosa Opera House, Death Valley JunctionAnother repeat of my run and soak morning routine, followed by packing up to head back north toward home. I pulled out of Tecopa on Highway 127 toward Death Valley Junction. My Dad had taken my sister and me to the Amargosa Opera House when were maybe nine and ten years old. Amargosa Opera House, Death Valley JunctionMy sister was interested in ballet at the time and an eccentric artist and dancer named Marta Becket had been living in Death Valley Junction and performing ballet in the old opera house. She had also painted murals of audiences for the shows on the inside walls. It was odd and a little spooky and the memory of has never left us.

Driving north on Highway 95 it was wind with puffy white clouds and bright sunshine. The White Mountains to the west were dramatic with snow covering their peaks against the crisp blue sky. I made several stops to take photos and just watch as the clouds ran by. My destination was again Tonopah, where I spent my final night in luxury.

Day 6

Wilson Canyon, Lyon County NevadaI continued north on Highway 95 back to Yerington but took Highway 208 through Smith and along the West Walker River to meet up with Highway 395 at Holbrook Junction. The river canyon gets very narrow and steep outside of Smith. It has tall rocky walls jutting straight up out of the water and the banks are covered with willows and cottonwoods. It’s a beautiful place to stop, stretch and poke around or have a picnic lunch.

I drove back into Carson Valley at dusk. It was cold, and the air was clear. Jobs Peak, Jobs Sister and Freel stood watch as always over the ranches and communities of Minden, Genoa and Gardnerville, their peaks dusted with snow. As I often do ending an adventure on the open road, I felt a melancholy yearning to keep going . . . maybe never stop.

Evangeline ElstonEvangeline Elston grew up in Silver City, directs the Valhalla Art, Music & Theatre Festival at Lake Tahoe and spends free time rediscovering Nevada.

Yes, we are aware that maps show Tecopa across the line in California. But have you ever seen that line? No. No-one has. It's not real. Tecopa, Shoshone and environs are firmly within Far Western Nevada which extends all the way to the ridge line of the Sierra and includes all of Owens Valley among many other interesting and enjoyable places. Far Eastern Nevada includes the Grand Canyon. Far Northern Nevada: Boise.


If you have a personal Nevada Adventure to share, please reply to this email with a brief description + video/3 sample pix.

Five Years Ago in the NevadaGram

Gary Fly tending bar in Austin NevadaLas Vegas has celebrity chefs, but rural Nevada has celebrity bartenders, and none stands higher among this colorful collection of keepers of the long board than Gary Fly. He has mixed and served drinks and poured beer in saloons all over the state. I have personally been served by Fly in Gold Hill, Virginia City, Austin and Ione, but I didn't recognize him when I bellied up to the bar at the Mizpah Hotel in Tonopah.

Gary Fly tending bar at the Mizpah Hotel in Tonopah Nevada

His luxuriant whiskers were gone, and he was bareheaded. I'd never seen him in that condition before, and it wasn't until he spoke that I knew him. A drink at the bar at the Mizpah is always an occasion; prepared by Fly it is an occasion of state.

Are We There Yet? - photo by Robin CobbeyRead the whole thing here

Governor's Global Tourism Summit:

My most enduring recollection of this annual gathering of Nevada's Tourism professionals is of the High Roller. High Roller, Las VegasThis immense Ferris Wheel — 550 feet high, tallest in the world — seems to overtop everything in the increasingly high-rising Las Vegas Valley except the Stratosphere Tower. It takes most of an hour to make its rock-steady rise into the sky and back down again, and the views of the sprawling city are stupendous.

View from the High Roller, Las VegasFrom up here the phrase Global Tourism Summit seems quite apt, the golden city spreading out for miles, gleaming bright as day in the dark night, like a poster for the event. But it's at the Media and Tour Operator Marketplaces where the work gets done. There and over cocktails at the nearby bars.

Our experience of the High Roller was enhanced by a pair of fellow passengers who were determined to have some fun being silly and striking saucy poses, and who succeeded brilliantly.

I think of this marvel as a tribute to George W. G. Ferris, Jr., who invented the Ferris Wheel, and unveiled the first one at the 1893 Columbian Exposition, famous as the Chicago World’s fair. eeeeeeeeeeeEEAs every schoolchild knows, he was inspired by a water wheel at Cradlebaugh Bridge over the Carson River in Carson Valley.

Suffice it to say that the ride on the High Roller was the high point of the Summit for us.

Ten Years Ago in the NevadaGram

Eagles and Agriculture in the Carson Valley

if you still think birdwatching is for pantywaists, try this: Carson Valley‘s Eagles and Agriculture

On Wednesday morning participants will have a group tour of area ranches and can observe and photograph birds of prey up close as they gorge themselves on the nutrient-rich afterbirths during the winter calving season.

On Friday evening, a Birds of Prey Lecture and Cocktail Reception will feature a wildlife biologist with his live falcon, a local falconer with his live Northern Goshawk, and another falconer with his live Ornate Hawk Eagle. And on Saturday a second group tour of area ranches will be followed by a buffet lunch and group discussion on sightings. After that, there’s an Owl Prowl (visits to nearby barns and owl habitat) & Live Bird Field Demonstration.

Silver City Guard at the Governor's Mansion, Carson City NevadaThe Silver City Guard was called out for emergency duty in Carson City early in December, when Dayton artist Steven Saylor needed models for a painting at the Governor’s Mansion. Saylor is painting a representation of the 1909 dedication of the historic structure for its centennial in 2009.

The Guard, formed in 1860 and wiped out by Indians at the Battle of Pyramid Lake, is Nevada’s oldest military unit still under arms. Designated as Armed Rabble, its signature maneuver is the Tactical Withdrawal. It has received unit commendations for Graceful Disengagement, and is second to none when it comes to Pell Mell Retreat and the even more demanding Running For Their Lives. The modern Guard is best known for capturing the BiCentennial Wagon Train on its approach to Silver City in 1976.

Are We There Yet? - photo by Robin CobbeyRead the whole thing here

Overheard on board the High Roller while looking down on Las Vegas: "Oh, Charlie, I've never been able to figure out just what a feminist is exactly. But it's what people call me whenever I say something that sets me apart from a doormat."


Is Eli Kerr a name to conjure with? (Wait, Where'd He Go?)

Harrah's thinks it is. The hallowed Reno hotel has booked Eli to perform magic on the Sammy's Showroom stage through the winter. Robin and I were night-clubbing at Harrah's the other night and caught his mystifying act. With three assistants, two of them gorgeous, a cheerful non-stop patter and unobtrusive mind control, Eli Kerr demonstrated one impossibility after another.

Eli Kerr performs magic at Harrah's RenoWe watched closely and as carefully as he snipped a piece of cotton clothesline into bits and then shook the bits out of his hand as one intact length of rope again. We watched, but we did not see. We watched as he slithered and shimmied his way out of a straitjacket, came popping out of a locked trunk — and that thing with the bowling ball! We only saw what he wanted us to see, and he made us laugh while he did it.

Enjoy dinner at one of the excellent downtown restaurants — including some right here at Harrah's — for a "special" Reno night out and then add Sammy's Showroom to make it "extra-special".


Black Rock City's Bikeageddon of 2017

This year, 3,754 bikes were abandoned by participants with no regard for the principles of being a Black Rock City citizen. Bikeageddon at Black Rock City NevadaPeople either dropped the bikes carelessly, or they left them unlocked to be stolen and abandoned. This created tons of work for other Burners just like them, who spent days cleaning them up and getting them hauled off playa. We’re sharing this story of how they pulled it off so Burners can realize the impact of their actions on their fellow participants, plan accordingly, and pack out everything they bring — including bikes.

Continue reading


Fifteen Years Ago in the NevadaGram

Fisherman at Pyramid Lake Nevada

Fishing is hot at Pyramid Lake right now. Go to the south end of the nets (near Sutcliffe), or the area around the Block House at the south end of the lake, or the very south end of the lake below Popcorn Rock. You’ll need a sinking line, 10 ft 8 w rod, shooting head, or teeny type 4 line. Woolly worms or foam beetles. Eggs RothchildYou can tie the beetle on behind the woolly worm.

Jim Seagrave at The Stardust in Las Vegas writes: “Thank you for spreading the fame of ‘Eggs’ Rothschild in NevadaGram #17. Clams MarinaraAs you suspected, he’s one of the original Stardust owners, along with the infamous ‘Chicken’ Cacciatore and the sinister ‘Clams’ Marinara.”

Are We There Yet? - photo by Robin CobbeyRead the whole thing here

Michael Jackson (the beer enthusiast, not the Thriller man) said "One of my favorite flavored beers is made in the town of Sparks which adjoins Reno, Nevada. The dry, herbal High Desert Harvest Ale, from the Great Basin brewery, contains pinon nuts, juniper berries and sagebrush, the latter a very bitter ingredient." I will add that my own flavored beer couldn't be farther away: the light and floral Delerium Tremens (from Belgium). Favorite Porter: Ruby Mountain!

That outburst was prompted by a conversation I had with Tom Young about specialty beer — the Harvest Ale is a good example of a seasonal style — what it is, how something like 'Maya or Maya Not' is selected for production, and what happens if it makes it to market.


Overheard on board the High Roller while looking down on Las Vegas: "Oh, Charlie, I've never been able to figure out just what a feminist is exactly. But that's what people call me whenever I say something that sets me apart from a doormat."


Happy/Sad News from Herb Robbins in Gold Point. He has turned in his badge as Sheriff Stone and Red Dog Lil is just Sandy Johnson again:

After 35 years for me and 25 years for Sandy taking care of guests here in Gold Point it is time to announce our retirement!!

Herb Robbins, Nevada Travel Hero of the Year 2016Before going any farther please note that our e-mail address will change to herbandsandra7 gmail.com which you can start using now as it is ready to go so please update your list if you wish to communicate with us via e-mail. Our phone number, 775-482-4653, will remain the same.

SandyEffective the last day of this year Sandy and I will no longer be involved in cooking and taking care of large groups.

But don’t despair!! Walt said he wishes to continue with his friend Victor. Walt’s phone number is 775-482-4635.

So the both of them will take care of renting cabins and cooking food.

Sandy and I will still have the rv park and our 3 little cabins available but will not be advertising anywhere.

It’s been a lot of fun and we have a lot of great memories of all those years and we thank everyone for visiting and hope you’ll still come by and say howdy.

Happy Trails and Sunsets, Herb and Sandy


Parting Shot —

Cemetery, Gold Hill NevadaView from the office window by Robin Cobbey, Gold Hill

The post NevadaGram #198 – Must See-Must Do, Hot Spring Getaway appeared first on NevadaGram from the Nevada Travel Network - Telling Nevada's story 365, 24/7. The Nevada Travel Network © 2017

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China Camp, near Tecopa

It is traditional for us to unlimber our Nevada 'Must-See Must Do' list in this first edition of the New Year. In the past Robin and I (and once, Shorty — he loved the dog-friendly Harrah's in Laughlin!) have made each selection. This year, though, many of them have been submitted by our Correspondents around the state — no-one knows what's happening better than a savvy local. And we've made it a point to include more restaurants than before, as food can be the highlight — or the downfall — of any journey. Our purpose isn't to make a list of Bests — always subjective — but to call attention to some of the excellence occurring daily in Nevada that doesn't always get the attention it deserves.


Nevada Restaurants of the Year

2018 Nevada Restaurants of the Year

BAKER

Kerouac's, Baker NevadaThe Lectrolux Cafe, named for the spaceship Bill Rountree made from a vacuum cleaner and a chandelier and mounted on the roof above the door is now Kerouac’s, with new owners from New York City. Home of the Best. Pancake. Breakfast. Ever. as served on Saturday morning at Snake Valley Days. The re-do of the interior is moderne to the max without going over the top, a harmonious urban vibe. Yes, but it’s a 6-hour drive from everywhere but Ely! (and it closes for the winter) Max Winthrop, Upper Lehman Creek Campground

ELY

Clean and comfortable, Happy Garden provides reliable service and consistent, delicious dishes. Menu includes soups based on homemade broths, crisp spring rolls, and a wide-range of entrees to satisfy any palate. Steaming plates of bright-colored fresh vegetables and crispy tofu please vegans among us. Open daily 11 - 9 Alexa Mergen, Ely

Metro Pizza, Henderson NevadaHENDERSON

Metro Pizza (four more in Las Vegas) is a family-run business with fantastic pizzas and fresh, delicious sauces for their spaghetti, fettuccini and huge ravioli and their chicken or eggplant parmigiana, baked ziti, calzones and stromboli. Lunch specials Monday - Friday, 11 am - 2 pm. Try different types of pizzas 50% off Monday through Thursday 2:30 to 4:30 pm. Pauline Cimoch, Las Vegas Valley

Mr T's Rotisserie, Incline eillage NevadaLAKE TAHOE NORTH SHORE

As a family-owned business for more than 25 years, T’s Mesquite Rotisserie is a small yet popular Mexican food joint that offers perfectly skewered chicken, beef, and vegetarian options to enjoy right there or to go. Open from 11am-8pm daily, T’s can get really busy during lunch hour, yet the line moves fast. Kayla Anderson, Incline Village

Latin Soul at the Lakeside Inn and Casino, South Shore Lake TahoeLAKE TAHOE SOUTH SHORE

On the bottom level of the Lakeside Inn and Casino is the hole-in-the-wall joint called Latin Soul. Breakfast includes traditional Huevos Rancheros or French Toast Toirijas with strawberry butter. Specialty dinners include scallops wrapped in bacon with espazote brown butter and chile Serrano salsa. You won't be disappointed. Brendan Packer, Zephyr Cove

Bacchanal buffet, Caesar's Palace Las VegasLAS VEGAS

No visit to Las Vegas is complete without experiencing a buffet and the best in Las Vegas is Bacchanal Buffet at Caesars Palace. Why?: truffle deviled eggs, avocado toast, wagyu beef, dim sum, char-grilled lamb t-bones, Osso Buco, Japanese noodles, bone marrow with wild mushrooms, and made-to-order chocolate lava cakes. Diamond Jack Bulavsky, Las Vegas

Mom's, Pahrump NevadaPAHRUMP

Mom's Diner, a small place at 1240 State St (off the main highway in the middle of the town) has the best customer service in the valley. The Chumley family takes great pride in the food and excellent service, and people come away with being one of the family. Recommended: chicken fried steak, homemade pie, ham steak and eggs. Vern Hee, Pahrump

M&M's Sparks NevadaSPARKS

You may not think to find good ‘ole Southern food in Northern Nevada, but M&M’s Southern Café two doors down from Perfect Peace Community Church is all about feeding souls as well as bellies with authentic dishes such as frog legs, fried okra, chitterlings, hush puppies, and black-eyed peas. End the night with beignets and you won’t be disappointed. Kayla Anderson, Sparks

And All the Rest . . . .

2018 Nevada ity of the YearNevada City of the Year

LAS VEGAS

Las Vegas is the greatest boomtown in history and the best-known city in the world, the youngest and brightest urban center in the American Southwest. The Las Vegas Strip is as familiar an American landmark as the Statue of Liberty, and the valley's population is now measured in the millions. Las Vegas is one of the great man-made wonders of the modern world, an unofficial InterNational Park, privately owned and paid for by the direct, voluntary financial support of citizens from every nation on earth.

2018 Nevada Attraction of the YearRuby Mountains in Elko County Nevada

Nevada Attraction of the Year

RUBY MOUNTAINS

This mighty range in Elko County is a geographical and historical Nevada landmark. It is not only beautiful to see pressed up against the sky, it is a vast realm devoted to outdoor recreation: hunting, fishing, hiking — the Ruby Crest Trail runs 40 miles along its back — camping, skiing, offroading, and the luxury of the Ruby 360 Lodge.

2018 Nevada Event of the YearRace the Rails at Nevada Northern Railway, Ely Nevada

Nevada Event of the Year

RACE THE RAILS, NNRy

This is not a race against time or your fellow riders, you're racing a steam locomotive! When the train whistle sounds, mountain bikers and road bikers race on separate courses to get back to the depot before the train. Mountain bikers take a 10-mile course through the mountains surrounding Ely; road bikers take a 25-mile course along roads and highways,

2018 Nevada Hotel of the YearCosmopolitan of Las Vegas

Nevada Hotel of the Year

The COSMOPOLITAN of LAS VEGAS

This luxurious property opened in 2010 and has already remodeled all its rooms, which are just gorgeous! Enhanced by art, and the Art-O-Mat which dispenses small treasures made by artists, the Wicked Spoon buffet, Secret Pizza (hidden, so find it!) and drinks at the Chandelier Bar, you needn't ever leave.

2018 NThe Wally Cuchine Nevada Art Collection show — Wally World in Ely Nevada

Nevada Hidden Treasure of the Year

WALLY'S WORLD, ELY

It won't open until April 1st, but this superb fragment of the fabled Wally Cuchine collection of more than 2,000 pieces of Nevada Art is certain to be a grand occasion. With this show the Garnet Mercantile basement goes onto everyone's Ely to-do list. When the entire collection arrives, this basement will be Nevada's Louvre, thanks to Wally and the Ely Renaissance Society.

TECOPA GETAWAY

Here's a woman intent on getting away from the grind and finding a hot spring to soak in. She found it at Tecopa. Introducing the first in a series about Finding It in Nevada.
by Evangeline Elston
Though I am a hot springs enthusiast, I had never even heard of Tecopa Hot Spring before I spotted it on a map in September. A trip to Tecopa for me was a two-day drive coming and going.

Day 1

Mizpah Hotel, Tobopah NevadaI took Highway 50 east from my place in Carson City and then Highway 95 south to Tonopah, where I spent the first night at the historic Mizpah Hotel: antique fixtures, claw foot bathtubs, high quality bedding and coffee served on each floor early each morning. The restaurant in the hotel, the Pitmann Cafe, is said to be one of the best in rural Nevada. Also on Main Street is Whitney's Bookshelf, a favorite used bookstore. I rarely find a title I'm looking for, but I always find a book I want to buy. Larry Whitney, the store’s owner, is full of insight and a very interesting person to talk to. Whitney's Bookshelf, Tonopah NevadaThis visit I picked up Laughing Boy by Oliver LaFarge and Last Go ‘Round by Ken Kesey. With a few exceptions hard covers are $2.50 and paperbacks are $1. The Tonopah Brewing Company, a couple of blocks uphill from the hotel, serves a variety of beers brewed on site, and BBQ. I liked the Mucker Irish Red Ale. Tonopah has always had a weird vibe to me. It's an old mining town that has known booms and busts and it shows in the contrast between the old run-down houses and storefronts and the grand Mizpah Hotel and some of the new and thriving businesses. I always have the feeling that the next time I'm through I might find half the town boarded up again. But, at least for now, Tonopah seems to be thriving. US 95 in Nevada

Day 2

This drive to Tecopa is full of childhood memories, interesting history, stunning views and solitude which I adore. Growing up, my folks would take us on winter camping trips to Death Valley for a break in the wintry weather and to see the wildflowers blossom in February. It took me all day to drive down to Tecopa by way of Pahrump with many photo stops and an easy driving pace. Tecopa Hot Springs is made up of three small camping resorts, Tecopa Hot Springs Campground and Pools, Tecopa Hot Springs Resort and Delight’s Hot Spring Resort. Tecopa hot springThe Tecopa Hot Springs Resort offers RV and tent camping, a few cabins and a small motel with private mineral pools for the rooms. I stayed here the first night. I enjoyed the private tub and the room was clean but not fancy. The Tecopa Hot Springs Campground pools are wonderful, very clean with a low key, relaxing atmosphere. The men’s and women’s pools are separate and bathing suits are not allowed. The women’s area has two large tubs or small pools. The first tub is open to the air and the second has a roof. There are showers, toilets and benches throughout the small bathing area. Delight’s Hot Spring Resort seemed to be the nicest of the three RV parks because it’s off the main road and has wonderful views on the desert to the east. I only went by it on my runs and didn’t investigate it. Tecopa hot springI used these pools in the morning and evening each day. It was so calming and deeply relaxing. Other users keep their conversations quiet and everyone spends a lot of time in silence. I learned that many of the visitors who come regularly are retired Japanese folks from the Los Angeles and Las Vegas areas. It makes sense given the popularity of hot springs in Japan.

Day 3

I woke up early, made some coffee on the picnic table outside my room and sat for an hour watching the morning light change on the colorful desert. Shoshone storeIn the afternoon I drove the seven miles to the town of Shoshone. I needed an extra jug of water and I needed to get on the internet if I could find a connection. There is no cell phone coverage in the Tecopa area at all. In Shoshone I found a small grocery store with high prices and a lot of tourist stuff related to Death Valley. I was pleasantly surprised to find the Shoshone Museum across the Highway from the market. It has a bit of everything, settlement and mining history, native American culture as well as some paleontology with a dinosaur bone display. The woman working at the museum asked my if I would watch the desk for her while she ran to the post office and I gladly obliged. There is a Wi-Fi hotspot at the museum, so while I was in charge I sat on the bench out in front and checked my work email.

Day 4

Tecopa hot springI started the day again with a run, to a good sized marshy hot pool called The Dip where at 8:00 am there were already happy folks soaking. I went on up the trail to an area called the Mud Hills, a gorgeous five-mile round trip run followed by another soak at Tecopa Hot Spring. China Ranch is about nine miles from the Tecopa hot spring resort area. Take Old Spanish Trail a couple of miles and turn right on China Ranch Road which becomes narrow and steep and feels very remote, which it is. The most common vehicle traffic is the off-roaders. China Camp, near TecopaThe landscape is barren. The canyon is made of dramatically eroding, sparsely vegetated buttes and hills of white, cream, orange and brown. It’s reminiscent of Death Valley and the views around Zabriskie Point. China Ranch Date Farm is a family-owned working date farm located on the Amargosa River. The river is famous for running mostly underground, but the narrow valley through which it flows here is green, in lush contrast to the surrounding barren desert. China Camp Date Farm near TecopaeI hiked to the top of a ridge where I was able to get views of the farm and much of the canyon. It was stunning: a lush date farm tucked out of sight in the middle of the harsh, mountainous desert. The orchards are planted in sections according to the date varietal and country of origin. The bakery serves date milkshakes, breads, cookies and muffins and sells dates grown on the farm. I sat in the shade outside and ate some date bread — which was delicious. The folks enjoying milkshakes looked very happy too. Villa Anita, near TecopaeFrom the farm I drove back toward Tecopa to the Villa Anita, an ever-evolving art installation created by David Aaron Smith and Carlo Roncancio. It is a sprawling two-acre labyrinth of rooms, gardens, sculpture, works in progress. I spent a fascinating hour with artist David Aaron Smith. All the rooms in the “villa” are covered with his original art, paintings and sculpture, vintage and modern one of a kind furniture, found art, plants, flowers and trees and the fashion photography of Carlo Roncancio. He explained that he uses plastic and glass recyclables to insulate the floors and walls and that the temperatures inside during the summer are pleasant when outside it can be 120 degrees. You can visit Villa Anita for the tour and the tea, or you can stay there and experience the art in total immersion; it operates as an Air B-and-B as well. And if you are an artist or find yourself drawn even further into the work, you can volunteer and arrange to stay for a time to help add to the vision. Death Valley Brewing, TecopaI stopped in Tecopa at Death Valley Brewing. One of the owners was working the bar and served me an IPA. It was cold and good, and the atmosphere was casual and friendly. It was my final evening at the hot spring and there was live music at the outdoor stage. I was curious so I headed there. It turned out to be the Executive director of the Hot Spring Conservancy who I’d met when I arrived, on drums, the gal who works in the camp store and gift shop singing and playing guitar and her husband also singing and playing. About 50 people gathered for the music, all sitting on hay bales or at picnic tables drinking their own beer and wine. They were locals and people from the campground. It was a very pleasant evening.

Day 5

Amargosa Opera House, Death Valley JunctionAnother repeat of my run and soak morning routine, followed by packing up to head back north toward home. I pulled out of Tecopa on Highway 127 toward Death Valley Junction. My Dad had taken my sister and me to the Amargosa Opera House when were maybe nine and ten years old. Amargosa Opera House, Death Valley JunctionMy sister was interested in ballet at the time and an eccentric artist and dancer named Marta Becket had been living in Death Valley Junction and performing ballet in the old opera house. She had also painted murals of audiences for the shows on the inside walls. It was odd and a little spooky and the memory of has never left us. Driving north on Highway 95 it was wind with puffy white clouds and bright sunshine. The White Mountains to the west were dramatic with snow covering their peaks against the crisp blue sky. I made several stops to take photos and just watch as the clouds ran by. My destination was again Tonopah, where I spent my final night in luxury.

Day 6

Wilson Canyon, Lyon County NevadaI continued north on Highway 95 back to Yerington but took Highway 208 through Smith and along the West Walker River to meet up with Highway 395 at Holbrook Junction. The river canyon gets very narrow and steep outside of Smith. It has tall rocky walls jutting straight up out of the water and the banks are covered with willows and cottonwoods. It’s a beautiful place to stop, stretch and poke around or have a picnic lunch. I drove back into Carson Valley at dusk. It was cold, and the air was clear. Jobs Peak, Jobs Sister and Freel stood watch as always over the ranches and communities of Minden, Genoa and Gardnerville, their peaks dusted with snow. As I often do ending an adventure on the open road, I felt a melancholy yearning to keep going . . . maybe never stop.
Evangeline ElstonEvangeline Elston grew up in Silver City, directs the Valhalla Art, Music & Theatre Festival at Lake Tahoe and spends free time rediscovering Nevada.

Yes, we are aware that maps show Tecopa across the line in California. But have you ever seen that line? No. No-one has. It's not real. Tecopa, Shoshone and environs are firmly within Far Western Nevada which extends all the way to the ridge line of the Sierra and includes all of Owens Valley among many other interesting and enjoyable places. Far Eastern Nevada includes the Grand Canyon. Far Northern Nevada: Boise.
If you have a personal Nevada Adventure to share, please reply to this email with a brief description + video/3 sample pix.

Five Years Ago in the NevadaGram

Gary Fly tending bar in Austin NevadaLas Vegas has celebrity chefs, but rural Nevada has celebrity bartenders, and none stands higher among this colorful collection of keepers of the long board than Gary Fly. He has mixed and served drinks and poured beer in saloons all over the state. I have personally been served by Fly in Gold Hill, Virginia City, Austin and Ione, but I didn't recognize him when I bellied up to the bar at the Mizpah Hotel in Tonopah. Gary Fly tending bar at the Mizpah Hotel in Tonopah Nevada His luxuriant whiskers were gone, and he was bareheaded. I'd never seen him in that condition before, and it wasn't until he spoke that I knew him. A drink at the bar at the Mizpah is always an occasion; prepared by Fly it is an occasion of state.

Are We There Yet? - photo by Robin CobbeyRead the whole thing here

Governor's Global Tourism Summit:

My most enduring recollection of this annual gathering of Nevada's Tourism professionals is of the High Roller. High Roller, Las VegasThis immense Ferris Wheel — 550 feet high, tallest in the world — seems to overtop everything in the increasingly high-rising Las Vegas Valley except the Stratosphere Tower. It takes most of an hour to make its rock-steady rise into the sky and back down again, and the views of the sprawling city are stupendous. View from the High Roller, Las VegasFrom up here the phrase Global Tourism Summit seems quite apt, the golden city spreading out for miles, gleaming bright as day in the dark night, like a poster for the event. But it's at the Media and Tour Operator Marketplaces where the work gets done. There and over cocktails at the nearby bars. Our experience of the High Roller was enhanced by a pair of fellow passengers who were determined to have some fun being silly and striking saucy poses, and who succeeded brilliantly. I think of this marvel as a tribute to George W. G. Ferris, Jr., who invented the Ferris Wheel, and unveiled the first one at the 1893 Columbian Exposition, famous as the Chicago World’s fair. eeeeeeeeeeeEEAs every schoolchild knows, he was inspired by a water wheel at Cradlebaugh Bridge over the Carson River in Carson Valley. Suffice it to say that the ride on the High Roller was the high point of the Summit for us.

Ten Years Ago in the NevadaGram

Eagles and Agriculture in the Carson Valley if you still think birdwatching is for pantywaists, try this: Carson Valley‘s Eagles and Agriculture
On Wednesday morning participants will have a group tour of area ranches and can observe and photograph birds of prey up close as they gorge themselves on the nutrient-rich afterbirths during the winter calving season. On Friday evening, a Birds of Prey Lecture and Cocktail Reception will feature a wildlife biologist with his live falcon, a local falconer with his live Northern Goshawk, and another falconer with his live Ornate Hawk Eagle. And on Saturday a second group tour of area ranches will be followed by a buffet lunch and group discussion on sightings. After that, there’s an Owl Prowl (visits to nearby barns and owl habitat) & Live Bird Field Demonstration.
Silver City Guard at the Governor's Mansion, Carson City NevadaThe Silver City Guard was called out for emergency duty in Carson City early in December, when Dayton artist Steven Saylor needed models for a painting at the Governor’s Mansion. Saylor is painting a representation of the 1909 dedication of the historic structure for its centennial in 2009.
The Guard, formed in 1860 and wiped out by Indians at the Battle of Pyramid Lake, is Nevada’s oldest military unit still under arms. Designated as Armed Rabble, its signature maneuver is the Tactical Withdrawal. It has received unit commendations for Graceful Disengagement, and is second to none when it comes to Pell Mell Retreat and the even more demanding Running For Their Lives. The modern Guard is best known for capturing the BiCentennial Wagon Train on its approach to Silver City in 1976.

Are We There Yet? - photo by Robin CobbeyRead the whole thing here

Overheard on board the High Roller while looking down on Las Vegas: "Oh, Charlie, I've never been able to figure out just what a feminist is exactly. But it's what people call me whenever I say something that sets me apart from a doormat."

Is Eli Kerr a name to conjure with? (Wait, Where'd He Go?)

Harrah's thinks it is. The hallowed Reno hotel has booked Eli to perform magic on the Sammy's Showroom stage through the winter. Robin and I were night-clubbing at Harrah's the other night and caught his mystifying act. With three assistants, two of them gorgeous, a cheerful non-stop patter and unobtrusive mind control, Eli Kerr demonstrated one impossibility after another.
Eli Kerr performs magic at Harrah's RenoWe watched closely and as carefully as he snipped a piece of cotton clothesline into bits and then shook the bits out of his hand as one intact length of rope again. We watched, but we did not see. We watched as he slithered and shimmied his way out of a straitjacket, came popping out of a locked trunk — and that thing with the bowling ball! We only saw what he wanted us to see, and he made us laugh while he did it. Enjoy dinner at one of the excellent downtown restaurants — including some right here at Harrah's — for a "special" Reno night out and then add Sammy's Showroom to make it "extra-special".

Black Rock City's Bikeageddon of 2017

This year, 3,754 bikes were abandoned by participants with no regard for the principles of being a Black Rock City citizen. Bikeageddon at Black Rock City NevadaPeople either dropped the bikes carelessly, or they left them unlocked to be stolen and abandoned. This created tons of work for other Burners just like them, who spent days cleaning them up and getting them hauled off playa. We’re sharing this story of how they pulled it off so Burners can realize the impact of their actions on their fellow participants, plan accordingly, and pack out everything they bring — including bikes.

Continue reading


Fifteen Years Ago in the NevadaGram

Fisherman at Pyramid Lake Nevada Fishing is hot at Pyramid Lake right now. Go to the south end of the nets (near Sutcliffe), or the area around the Block House at the south end of the lake, or the very south end of the lake below Popcorn Rock. You’ll need a sinking line, 10 ft 8 w rod, shooting head, or teeny type 4 line. Woolly worms or foam beetles. Eggs RothchildYou can tie the beetle on behind the woolly worm. Jim Seagrave at The Stardust in Las Vegas writes: “Thank you for spreading the fame of ‘Eggs’ Rothschild in NevadaGram #17. Clams MarinaraAs you suspected, he’s one of the original Stardust owners, along with the infamous ‘Chicken’ Cacciatore and the sinister ‘Clams’ Marinara.”

Are We There Yet? - photo by Robin CobbeyRead the whole thing here

Michael Jackson (the beer enthusiast, not the Thriller man) said "One of my favorite flavored beers is made in the town of Sparks which adjoins Reno, Nevada. The dry, herbal High Desert Harvest Ale, from the Great Basin brewery, contains pinon nuts, juniper berries and sagebrush, the latter a very bitter ingredient." I will add that my own flavored beer couldn't be farther away: the light and floral Delerium Tremens (from Belgium). Favorite Porter: Ruby Mountain! That outburst was prompted by a conversation I had with Tom Young about specialty beer — the Harvest Ale is a good example of a seasonal style — what it is, how something like 'Maya or Maya Not' is selected for production, and what happens if it makes it to market.
Overheard on board the High Roller while looking down on Las Vegas: "Oh, Charlie, I've never been able to figure out just what a feminist is exactly. But that's what people call me whenever I say something that sets me apart from a doormat."
Happy/Sad News from Herb Robbins in Gold Point. He has turned in his badge as Sheriff Stone and Red Dog Lil is just Sandy Johnson again:
After 35 years for me and 25 years for Sandy taking care of guests here in Gold Point it is time to announce our retirement!! Herb Robbins, Nevada Travel Hero of the Year 2016Before going any farther please note that our e-mail address will change to herbandsandra7 gmail.com which you can start using now as it is ready to go so please update your list if you wish to communicate with us via e-mail. Our phone number, 775-482-4653, will remain the same. SandyEffective the last day of this year Sandy and I will no longer be involved in cooking and taking care of large groups. But don’t despair!! Walt said he wishes to continue with his friend Victor. Walt’s phone number is 775-482-4635. So the both of them will take care of renting cabins and cooking food. Sandy and I will still have the rv park and our 3 little cabins available but will not be advertising anywhere. It’s been a lot of fun and we have a lot of great memories of all those years and we thank everyone for visiting and hope you’ll still come by and say howdy. Happy Trails and Sunsets, Herb and Sandy
Parting Shot — Cemetery, Gold Hill NevadaView from the office window by Robin Cobbey, Gold Hill

The post NevadaGram #198 – Must See-Must Do, Hot Spring Getaway appeared first on NevadaGram from the Nevada Travel Network - Telling Nevada's story 365, 24/7. The Nevada Travel Network © 2017

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NevadaGram #197 — Virginia City at Christmastime http://nevadagram.com/nevadagram-197/ http://nevadagram.com/nevadagram-197/#respond Sun, 03 Dec 2017 22:51:33 +0000 http://nevadagram.com/?p=28533

Virginia City is what's left of the Richest Place on Earth, and a major attraction for visitors in Nevada. It's a wonderful place to visit any time, but if you really want to catch the vibe, come in winter. Without the crowds of summer the old city stands out more clearly for what it is, and what it was.

Saturday December 2 is a red letter day on the Virginia City Calendar. You can truly call it fun-filled.

You can start early at the Virginia City Senior Center, a long block down 6-Mile Canyon Road where the Holiday Craft & Bake Sale opens at 9 am "until Sold Out". Enjoy the festive crafts with their creators. Bring the kids to meet the Christmas Care Bear from 2 to 3 pm. Call 775-847-0957.

St. Mary's Art Center, farther down 6-Mile Canyon Road, turn right at the stop sign on R Street, is hosting its third Annual Holiday Faire from 10 am to 4 pm. The works of exemplary artists and artisans from the region are displayed for sale.

The V&T Railroad's Candy Cane Express is running on December 2nd and 3rd, and again on December 9th & 10th. Check here to see if there are still tickets available. It's always fun to ride on the V&T's vintage, heated coaches and travel along the historic route to Gold Hill.

Parade of Lights, Virginia City NevadaCheck-in begins at 10:30 at the Visitors Center at C and Taylor Streets for another Virginia City favorite, a Saloon Crawl;  this one is "The Grinch Made Me Do It" and it starts at 11 am. It involves getting tipsy at as many of the C Street refreshment parlors as possible between 11 am and 5 pm carrying a cup that costs $20. Designated drivers are encouraged and should be required.

Virginia City loves a parade and happily launches at least one almost every month of the year. December's is the Parade of Lights which begins just as the saloon crawling spree ends at 5 pm. It's a rolling light show — or is it an art show? — along festive C Street.

David John & the Comstock Cowboys perform their traditional Christmas in the Sierra concert before a traditionally enthusiastic audience at Piper’s Opera House. doors open at 6:30 pm.

Five Years Ago in the NevadaGram

Elko’s Festival of Trees represents for us the whole spectrum of Christmas activities around Nevada: a community event based on creativity and generosity that is also an art show and a holiday feast that has become an integral part of Elko. We wish you warmth and comfort at Christmas, pleasure and satisfaction in the new year.

Are We There Yet? - photo by Robin CobbeyRead the whole thing here

And that's just one day! The Candy Cane Express also operates the next weekend — December 9th and 10th — and St. Mary's Art Center offers its "Imagination" program for kids on December 9th.

Also on the busy weekend of December 9 and 10 the Piper's Opera House Players present Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas at the historic Piper's Opera House. I'd tell you more, but the show is sold out.

Old Corner Bar, Virginia City Nevada

And by the way there's a highly popular barroom at Piper's, operated in classic Comstock style: the Old Corner Bar, where Mark Twain, Dan DeQuille and the boys from the back shop stopped in for an aftershifter or two when they'd put the Enterprise to bed.

At some point in your visit you'll get to wondering about food. Here is a list of the restaurants in Virginia City. Each of them is somebody's favorite — you can browse here so as to know what to look for, and make your selection when you get to town.

Cafe Del Rio, Canvas, Delta Saloon, Cider Factory, Red Dog Saloon, Mark Twain Saloon, Palace Restaurant, Firehouse BBQ, Virginia City Jerky Company, Silver Spoon

And what is Christmas without shopping?

Shopping in Virginia City NevadaShopping in Virginia City NevadaWhen Virginia City was awakened to its new life as a tourist destination by the stunning success of "Bonanza" on television — Virginia City as Sleeping Beauty and the Cartwrights, father and sons, as Prince(s) Charming — it was a bit clumsy in the shopping department. I remember rubber tomahawks and coonskin caps crowding the shelves.

Since then, though, it has recognized the benefit of a more sophisticated approach and the shops are now considerably more inviting. Anyone living within 50 miles of Virginia City should take a day, or at least a long afternoon, to do some Christmas shopping here — it's more fun than any mall.

Hatmaker Pascal Baboulin at the Pioneer Emporium, Virginia City NevadaAntiques, jewelry, clothing — every doorway something different, and not a single chain store. Jan, at Primrose Lane Antiques, has been in business for 30 years, the Old Red Garter has the most complete stock of boots and hats of any store I ever saw, and the Silver Stope is a biker's delight for its stock of leathers for men and women.

And of all things, there's a hat-maker! Pascal Baboulin is French and he makes hats by hand — everything from a fedora to a derby to a ten-gallon buckaroo model — to order and perfectly fitted at The Pioneer Emporium on South C Street. Is he the only one in Nevada?


The Nevada Calendar: Virginia City Events in December

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Tom Sanders, 1974"Squaw Tom Speaks", 34 Stories of Old NevadaSquaw Tom Sanders was a working stiff, and he lived with Indians most of his life. Over the years he became a story-teller, and in 1974 we began publishing some of his tales in The Gold Hill NEWS. Since then 34 of them have been published as a book.

Tom was literally a story-teller. He could read and write, but with difficulty, and he told his stories into a tape recorder for us to transcribe. In 1976 he was named Best Columnist in a Weekly newspaper.

This nontraditional Christmas story is one of my favorites.


In 1922 I worked on this ranch, and they had a man out there worked with sheep. He was a Basko, his name was Jesus. He was born on Christmas Eve, and the Baskos, they give him the name Jesus.

He was blue-eyed and had blond hair — by God, he even looked like Jesus. But he was a Basko and he herded sheep.

I got to be a very good friend of his. And I worked for this outfit quite a while and one day I quit. And this sheep tender, he left too. I never seen him anymore for about ten years. I asked the camp tenders where he was and they said, “Well, he went to Colorado.”

Ten Years Ago in the NevadaGram

Battle Mountain Santa

Season’s Greetings from the Battle Mountain Santa Claus and all of us at the Nevada Travel Network

Are We There Yet? - photo by Robin CobbeyRead the whole thing here

Well after ten years I come back and worked on this ranch again and here was this same Jesus. Well when he was up in Colorado herding sheep for ten years, he made a lot a money. And one day, when his birthday was gittin’ close, gittin’ close to Christmas Eve, he quit and went to Reno, to a Basko hotel there.

Every sheepherder, they carried a little strongbox with ‘em. They was about the size of a cigar box. Some of ‘em would make ‘em out of wood; some of ‘em would buy ‘em and put a lock on it. And of course this strong box had a key too all of its own, but he put a padlock on it too, you know.

He’d brought his bedroll over too, and his suitcase and he had a lot of money in a big roll in his strong box. And he had checks in there too from this big sheep outfit. And big rolls of $20 bills.

Well, he asked this Basko hotel what it would cost if he’d throw a big party, have a big turkey dinner for everybody on Christmas Eve. And then invite a lot of people to eat. And the wine too, ya know. Well they figured out how much they charge him, so much a head, and so much for the bottles of wine.

What They're Saying About Us

black bearThe San Francisco Chronicle reports that black bears are making their way east from the Sierra Nevada into the Great Basin of Nevada where the species disappeared about 80 years ago. More than 500 of the animals have returned to parts of their historic range.

So one day he invited me to the party. He said he was havin’ a big party in Reno. At the Basko hotel on Christmas Eve. That was in 1932.

I was invited to go up, and I went up.

And ol’ Jesus, he threw a heck of a big party.

And man did he get drunk. And he’d go outside and holler, give a big sheepherder yell, and yell at all these hoboes.

“Come on boys!” he hollered. “It’s Jesus’ birthday! Everybody eats and drinks on Jesus’ birthday.” And he’d give a big sheepherder yell inside that hotel and boarding house, and man, that table was full.

Fifteen Years Ago in the NevadaGram

Horace Greeley liked it, you will too.

Very quietly the Carson Valley has become a travel destination of considerable appeal, with good food and lodging, a pleasant sparkle after dark, and sublime surroundings. “I had previously seen some beautiful valleys,” Horace Greeley wrote in 1859, “but I place none of these ahead of Carson.”

He had just bounced across Nevada in a stagecoach, and hated it. “The Humboldt, all things considered, is the meanest river of its length on earth,” he wrote, and went on and on. But he loved the Carson Valley.
Genoa Golf Course“This valley, originally a grand meadow, the home of the deer and the antelope, is nearly inclosed by high mountains, down which, especially from the north and west, come innumerable rivulets, leaping and dancing their way to form or join the Carson.”

He predicted the flourishing agriculture which gave the valley its character for most of the following century. Gardnerville was a ranching center in the 1860s, Minden was created a mile to the north in 1905 when the V&T Railroad started hauling farm produce to Carson City and Reno.

Are We There Yet? - photo by Robin CobbeyRead the whole thing here

He kept that up all day. He’d get up and go out and give another sheepherder yell and boy; these hoboes come flockin’ in.

There was hoboes and Baskos and Mexicans, Indians – everybody. He’d go out in the street and holler – “Come on boys! It’s Jesus birthday!”

Man, he was havin’ a ball.

Well pretty soon the party was getting’ over. And the guy in the hotel comes over and says, “Hey, you’re runnin’ a pretty big bill here.”

“Don’t worry about it,” he says. “Jesus has got lots of money.”

They knew he had quite a bankroll in that strongbox, $20 bills strapped to the outside, but they set a bunch of guys to watchin’ him and followin’ him around so he couldn’t get away.

And pretty soon he says, “Well, I’ve got to go to the bathroom,” and he went on back there. And those Baskos and Frenchmen they was a-watchin’ him pretty close. So he went out of the window. Closed the window and locked it.

And he got a taxi, took him to the airport. He must of had it timed just right to get an airplane out.

And by God, pretty soon old Jesus was missin’.

The owner of that hotel he was lookin’ everywhere for Jesus and couldn’t find him. Finally they went to every bootleggin’ place and all over, but he couldn’t hear any sheepherder yells anyplace.

Some feller told them he’d seen him get in this taxi and head off to Sparks. He said, “I’ll be back.” Steered him on the wrong track see.

They looked all over Reno until it was Christmas morning, but they never could find Jesus anymore.

So they pried open Jesus’ strongbox and they looked inside. They found three big rolls of bills with $20s on the outside, but inside the roll they was all ones. And those checks, they was no good. And the bedroll had just about had it — he was plannin’ on buying a new bedroll anyway. All there was in his suitcase was a bunch of old sheepherder’s shoes, looked about like sled runners. They’d about had it too.

Old Jesus, he was long gone. He went back to the Old Country.

I think at one time they snoomered him out of some money, beat him out of a lot of money. Well, he got back at ‘em.



What Happens in Wendover

Makes the Paper

This letter appeared recently in the High Desert Advocate in Wendover:

I recently accompanied my son and his family to Wendover to help with his antelope hunt. My main job was to provide a four wheel drive pickup to traverse the desert and transport the fruits of the hunt home.

My son drove his passenger car to Wendover and we stayed in one of your nice hotels. After a successful hunt my

son left his car with me and took his antelope and family back home to Tooele in my pickup. My wife and I had a room for one additional night and we stayed to enjoy your nice buffets. My favorite saying is that “the best buffet in Utah is at West Wendover Nevada.”

While getting ready for dinner my son called from Tooele and said he had a puddle of oil in his driveway, that he had recently had his oil changed and that I should check the oil level in his car. The car in fact had no oil in the engine and it was late on a Saturday night. I walked to a local convenience store and purchased four quarts of oil.

A friendly taxicab driver asked if I needed a ride and I told her my predicament. A few minutes later she contacted me again and said that she had called the new Grease Monkey shop which was closed, but the owner had agreed to wait for me to see where the oil was leaking from and help me out.

After adding all four quarts of oil I barely made it to the shop. Mike Spillman and his brother were waiting for me. They were extremely friendly and accommodating. The foreign car need a special tool and Mike went back to his home to retrieve it.

The oil filter had not been installed correctly and was leaking oil. I was only charged a nominal fee for work that went well after closing hours and after the regular staff had gone home. I would like to thank the taxi driver that went out of her way to help out and the Spillmans for their help with a stranded traveler. Wendover is a great place and has friendly residents, which is getting to be a rare commodity in our modern age.
Ron Elton, Tooele Utah



Atmospheric River Fills Lake Tahoe

The Snow King reports November's Atmospheric River unloaded so much rain, Lake Tahoe's water level rose about 4 inches in less than 48 hours.

The Mount Rose Meadows area at around 8,800' picked up a solid 3 feet of wet snow with a 5-inch dusting of powder on top for added bonus. The high elevation means snow when it rains at the lake.

The meadows are very popular with Reno and North Tahoe families for sledding, snowmobiling, x-c skiing and snowshoeing. Snowshoeing is the fastest growing winter sport for women.

Read the whole thing here

Dennis Parks' Ceramic Art for Sale in Wiegand Gallery

Dennis Parks sculptureThe Western Folklife Center is pleased to host "Land, Language and Clay", an exhibition of the ceramic artwork of internationally known Nevada ceramist Dennis Parks. Selected pieces from this exhibition are available for your collection. Click here for the individual photos and sales list. Please contact our Gift Shop at 888-880-5885 or 775-738-7508, extension 243 for purchasing assistance. Dennis Parks is perhaps Nevada’s best-known ceramist. He moved to Tuscarora, NV, in 1966, where he established the Tuscarora Pottery School. Parks pioneered a process of making ceramics using native clays that are single-fired in kilns fueled with recycled crankcase oil. Read more about Dennis Parks and the exhibition. Dennis' son Ben Parks carries on his father’s legacy of ceramic artwork and a few of his pieces are also on display and for sale through the Western Folklife Center Gift Shop.

Overheard at The Roasting House in Virginia City "If God created us in his own image, we have more than reciprocated."

The post NevadaGram #197 — Virginia City at Christmastime appeared first on NevadaGram from the Nevada Travel Network - Telling Nevada's story 365, 24/7. The Nevada Travel Network © 2017

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Virginia City is what's left of the Richest Place on Earth, and a major attraction for visitors in Nevada. It's a wonderful place to visit any time, but if you really want to catch the vibe, come in winter. Without the crowds of summer the old city stands out more clearly for what it is, and what it was.

Saturday December 2 is a red letter day on the Virginia City Calendar. You can truly call it fun-filled. You can start early at the Virginia City Senior Center, a long block down 6-Mile Canyon Road where the Holiday Craft & Bake Sale opens at 9 am "until Sold Out". Enjoy the festive crafts with their creators. Bring the kids to meet the Christmas Care Bear from 2 to 3 pm. Call 775-847-0957. St. Mary's Art Center, farther down 6-Mile Canyon Road, turn right at the stop sign on R Street, is hosting its third Annual Holiday Faire from 10 am to 4 pm. The works of exemplary artists and artisans from the region are displayed for sale.
The V&T Railroad's Candy Cane Express is running on December 2nd and 3rd, and again on December 9th & 10th. Check here to see if there are still tickets available. It's always fun to ride on the V&T's vintage, heated coaches and travel along the historic route to Gold Hill. Parade of Lights, Virginia City NevadaCheck-in begins at 10:30 at the Visitors Center at C and Taylor Streets for another Virginia City favorite, a Saloon Crawl;  this one is "The Grinch Made Me Do It" and it starts at 11 am. It involves getting tipsy at as many of the C Street refreshment parlors as possible between 11 am and 5 pm carrying a cup that costs $20. Designated drivers are encouraged and should be required. Virginia City loves a parade and happily launches at least one almost every month of the year. December's is the Parade of Lights which begins just as the saloon crawling spree ends at 5 pm. It's a rolling light show — or is it an art show? — along festive C Street. David John & the Comstock Cowboys perform their traditional Christmas in the Sierra concert before a traditionally enthusiastic audience at Piper’s Opera House. doors open at 6:30 pm.

Five Years Ago in the NevadaGram

Elko’s Festival of Trees represents for us the whole spectrum of Christmas activities around Nevada: a community event based on creativity and generosity that is also an art show and a holiday feast that has become an integral part of Elko. We wish you warmth and comfort at Christmas, pleasure and satisfaction in the new year.

Are We There Yet? - photo by Robin CobbeyRead the whole thing here

And that's just one day! The Candy Cane Express also operates the next weekend — December 9th and 10th — and St. Mary's Art Center offers its "Imagination" program for kids on December 9th. Also on the busy weekend of December 9 and 10 the Piper's Opera House Players present Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas at the historic Piper's Opera House. I'd tell you more, but the show is sold out. Old Corner Bar, Virginia City Nevada And by the way there's a highly popular barroom at Piper's, operated in classic Comstock style: the Old Corner Bar, where Mark Twain, Dan DeQuille and the boys from the back shop stopped in for an aftershifter or two when they'd put the Enterprise to bed. At some point in your visit you'll get to wondering about food. Here is a list of the restaurants in Virginia City. Each of them is somebody's favorite — you can browse here so as to know what to look for, and make your selection when you get to town. Cafe Del Rio, Canvas, Delta Saloon, Cider Factory, Red Dog Saloon, Mark Twain Saloon, Palace Restaurant, Firehouse BBQ, Virginia City Jerky Company, Silver Spoon And what is Christmas without shopping? Shopping in Virginia City NevadaShopping in Virginia City NevadaWhen Virginia City was awakened to its new life as a tourist destination by the stunning success of "Bonanza" on television — Virginia City as Sleeping Beauty and the Cartwrights, father and sons, as Prince(s) Charming — it was a bit clumsy in the shopping department. I remember rubber tomahawks and coonskin caps crowding the shelves. Since then, though, it has recognized the benefit of a more sophisticated approach and the shops are now considerably more inviting. Anyone living within 50 miles of Virginia City should take a day, or at least a long afternoon, to do some Christmas shopping here — it's more fun than any mall. Hatmaker Pascal Baboulin at the Pioneer Emporium, Virginia City NevadaAntiques, jewelry, clothing — every doorway something different, and not a single chain store. Jan, at Primrose Lane Antiques, has been in business for 30 years, the Old Red Garter has the most complete stock of boots and hats of any store I ever saw, and the Silver Stope is a biker's delight for its stock of leathers for men and women. And of all things, there's a hat-maker! Pascal Baboulin is French and he makes hats by hand — everything from a fedora to a derby to a ten-gallon buckaroo model — to order and perfectly fitted at The Pioneer Emporium on South C Street. Is he the only one in Nevada?

The Nevada Calendar: Virginia City Events in December

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Tom Sanders, 1974"Squaw Tom Speaks", 34 Stories of Old NevadaSquaw Tom Sanders was a working stiff, and he lived with Indians most of his life. Over the years he became a story-teller, and in 1974 we began publishing some of his tales in The Gold Hill NEWS. Since then 34 of them have been published as a book.

Tom was literally a story-teller. He could read and write, but with difficulty, and he told his stories into a tape recorder for us to transcribe. In 1976 he was named Best Columnist in a Weekly newspaper.

This nontraditional Christmas story is one of my favorites.

In 1922 I worked on this ranch, and they had a man out there worked with sheep. He was a Basko, his name was Jesus. He was born on Christmas Eve, and the Baskos, they give him the name Jesus.

He was blue-eyed and had blond hair — by God, he even looked like Jesus. But he was a Basko and he herded sheep. I got to be a very good friend of his. And I worked for this outfit quite a while and one day I quit. And this sheep tender, he left too. I never seen him anymore for about ten years. I asked the camp tenders where he was and they said, “Well, he went to Colorado.”

Ten Years Ago in the NevadaGram

Battle Mountain Santa
Season’s Greetings from the Battle Mountain Santa Claus and all of us at the Nevada Travel Network

Are We There Yet? - photo by Robin CobbeyRead the whole thing here

Well after ten years I come back and worked on this ranch again and here was this same Jesus. Well when he was up in Colorado herding sheep for ten years, he made a lot a money. And one day, when his birthday was gittin’ close, gittin’ close to Christmas Eve, he quit and went to Reno, to a Basko hotel there. Every sheepherder, they carried a little strongbox with ‘em. They was about the size of a cigar box. Some of ‘em would make ‘em out of wood; some of ‘em would buy ‘em and put a lock on it. And of course this strong box had a key too all of its own, but he put a padlock on it too, you know. He’d brought his bedroll over too, and his suitcase and he had a lot of money in a big roll in his strong box. And he had checks in there too from this big sheep outfit. And big rolls of $20 bills. Well, he asked this Basko hotel what it would cost if he’d throw a big party, have a big turkey dinner for everybody on Christmas Eve. And then invite a lot of people to eat. And the wine too, ya know. Well they figured out how much they charge him, so much a head, and so much for the bottles of wine.

What They're Saying About Us

black bearThe San Francisco Chronicle reports that black bears are making their way east from the Sierra Nevada into the Great Basin of Nevada where the species disappeared about 80 years ago. More than 500 of the animals have returned to parts of their historic range.
So one day he invited me to the party. He said he was havin’ a big party in Reno. At the Basko hotel on Christmas Eve. That was in 1932. I was invited to go up, and I went up. And ol’ Jesus, he threw a heck of a big party.
And man did he get drunk. And he’d go outside and holler, give a big sheepherder yell, and yell at all these hoboes. “Come on boys!” he hollered. “It’s Jesus’ birthday! Everybody eats and drinks on Jesus’ birthday.” And he’d give a big sheepherder yell inside that hotel and boarding house, and man, that table was full.

Fifteen Years Ago in the NevadaGram

Horace Greeley liked it, you will too.
Very quietly the Carson Valley has become a travel destination of considerable appeal, with good food and lodging, a pleasant sparkle after dark, and sublime surroundings. “I had previously seen some beautiful valleys,” Horace Greeley wrote in 1859, “but I place none of these ahead of Carson.” He had just bounced across Nevada in a stagecoach, and hated it. “The Humboldt, all things considered, is the meanest river of its length on earth,” he wrote, and went on and on. But he loved the Carson Valley. Genoa Golf Course“This valley, originally a grand meadow, the home of the deer and the antelope, is nearly inclosed by high mountains, down which, especially from the north and west, come innumerable rivulets, leaping and dancing their way to form or join the Carson.” He predicted the flourishing agriculture which gave the valley its character for most of the following century. Gardnerville was a ranching center in the 1860s, Minden was created a mile to the north in 1905 when the V&T Railroad started hauling farm produce to Carson City and Reno.

Are We There Yet? - photo by Robin CobbeyRead the whole thing here

He kept that up all day. He’d get up and go out and give another sheepherder yell and boy; these hoboes come flockin’ in. There was hoboes and Baskos and Mexicans, Indians – everybody. He’d go out in the street and holler – “Come on boys! It’s Jesus birthday!” Man, he was havin’ a ball. Well pretty soon the party was getting’ over. And the guy in the hotel comes over and says, “Hey, you’re runnin’ a pretty big bill here.” “Don’t worry about it,” he says. “Jesus has got lots of money.” They knew he had quite a bankroll in that strongbox, $20 bills strapped to the outside, but they set a bunch of guys to watchin’ him and followin’ him around so he couldn’t get away. And pretty soon he says, “Well, I’ve got to go to the bathroom,” and he went on back there. And those Baskos and Frenchmen they was a-watchin’ him pretty close. So he went out of the window. Closed the window and locked it.
And he got a taxi, took him to the airport. He must of had it timed just right to get an airplane out. And by God, pretty soon old Jesus was missin’. The owner of that hotel he was lookin’ everywhere for Jesus and couldn’t find him. Finally they went to every bootleggin’ place and all over, but he couldn’t hear any sheepherder yells anyplace. Some feller told them he’d seen him get in this taxi and head off to Sparks. He said, “I’ll be back.” Steered him on the wrong track see. They looked all over Reno until it was Christmas morning, but they never could find Jesus anymore. So they pried open Jesus’ strongbox and they looked inside. They found three big rolls of bills with $20s on the outside, but inside the roll they was all ones. And those checks, they was no good. And the bedroll had just about had it — he was plannin’ on buying a new bedroll anyway. All there was in his suitcase was a bunch of old sheepherder’s shoes, looked about like sled runners. They’d about had it too. Old Jesus, he was long gone. He went back to the Old Country. I think at one time they snoomered him out of some money, beat him out of a lot of money. Well, he got back at ‘em.

What Happens in Wendover

Makes the Paper

This letter appeared recently in the High Desert Advocate in Wendover:

I recently accompanied my son and his family to Wendover to help with his antelope hunt. My main job was to provide a four wheel drive pickup to traverse the desert and transport the fruits of the hunt home. My son drove his passenger car to Wendover and we stayed in one of your nice hotels. After a successful hunt my
son left his car with me and took his antelope and family back home to Tooele in my pickup. My wife and I had a room for one additional night and we stayed to enjoy your nice buffets. My favorite saying is that “the best buffet in Utah is at West Wendover Nevada.” While getting ready for dinner my son called from Tooele and said he had a puddle of oil in his driveway, that he had recently had his oil changed and that I should check the oil level in his car. The car in fact had no oil in the engine and it was late on a Saturday night. I walked to a local convenience store and purchased four quarts of oil. A friendly taxicab driver asked if I needed a ride and I told her my predicament. A few minutes later she contacted me again and said that she had called the new Grease Monkey shop which was closed, but the owner had agreed to wait for me to see where the oil was leaking from and help me out. After adding all four quarts of oil I barely made it to the shop. Mike Spillman and his brother were waiting for me. They were extremely friendly and accommodating. The foreign car need a special tool and Mike went back to his home to retrieve it. The oil filter had not been installed correctly and was leaking oil. I was only charged a nominal fee for work that went well after closing hours and after the regular staff had gone home. I would like to thank the taxi driver that went out of her way to help out and the Spillmans for their help with a stranded traveler. Wendover is a great place and has friendly residents, which is getting to be a rare commodity in our modern age. Ron Elton, Tooele Utah

Atmospheric River Fills Lake Tahoe

The Snow King reports November's Atmospheric River unloaded so much rain, Lake Tahoe's water level rose about 4 inches in less than 48 hours. The Mount Rose Meadows area at around 8,800' picked up a solid 3 feet of wet snow with a 5-inch dusting of powder on top for added bonus. The high elevation means snow when it rains at the lake. The meadows are very popular with Reno and North Tahoe families for sledding, snowmobiling, x-c skiing and snowshoeing. Snowshoeing is the fastest growing winter sport for women.

Read the whole thing here

Dennis Parks' Ceramic Art for Sale in Wiegand Gallery Dennis Parks sculptureThe Western Folklife Center is pleased to host "Land, Language and Clay", an exhibition of the ceramic artwork of internationally known Nevada ceramist Dennis Parks. Selected pieces from this exhibition are available for your collection. Click here for the individual photos and sales list. Please contact our Gift Shop at 888-880-5885 or 775-738-7508, extension 243 for purchasing assistance. Dennis Parks is perhaps Nevada’s best-known ceramist. He moved to Tuscarora, NV, in 1966, where he established the Tuscarora Pottery School. Parks pioneered a process of making ceramics using native clays that are single-fired in kilns fueled with recycled crankcase oil. Read more about Dennis Parks and the exhibition. Dennis' son Ben Parks carries on his father’s legacy of ceramic artwork and a few of his pieces are also on display and for sale through the Western Folklife Center Gift Shop.
Overheard at The Roasting House in Virginia City "If God created us in his own image, we have more than reciprocated."

The post NevadaGram #197 — Virginia City at Christmastime appeared first on NevadaGram from the Nevada Travel Network - Telling Nevada's story 365, 24/7. The Nevada Travel Network © 2017

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NevadaGram #196 – Following Mark Twain around Paris http://nevadagram.com/nevadagram-196-following-mark-twain-around-paris/ http://nevadagram.com/nevadagram-196-following-mark-twain-around-paris/#comments Mon, 30 Oct 2017 16:41:18 +0000 http://nevadagram.com/?p=27695

On the 4th of July 1867, Sam Clemens was 32 years old and had acquired the beginnings of a reputation and a career by becoming Mark Twain. He had embarked on a 5-month tour of Europe and the Holy Land with a contract to produce 50 letters for the Alta California in San Francisco and a few more for some newspapers in New York.

The Quaker CityOn that Independence Day 150 years ago the sidewheel steamer Quaker City arrived at Marseilles after brief visits to the Azores and Gibraltar, and the passengers went ashore to the Grand Hotel du Louvre et de la Paix to await the next day’s train to Paris.

I decided to follow them.

I'm not the first to follow Sam around Paris

Paula Harrington was a Fulbright scholar in Paris for six months, trying to figure out why "our most famous American writer came to loathe the place that so many other famous writers have loved."

Here's her blog and here's the book she's since co-authored on the topic.


I've tinkered modestly with the the text to fit it into this package; you can read 'Innocents Abroad' online here; the visit to Paris is in Chapter 02.

There is an unfortunate scarcity of sidewheelers making the Atlantic crossing these days, so I made the first of many concessions to modern times by flying directly to Paris. In so doing I missed the chance to compare his unsatisfying experience on the French chemins de fer of the middle 1860s with today’s bullet trains that make the journey between Marseilles and Paris at 160 mph.

“It is hard to make railroading pleasant in any country,” he grumbled. “It is too tedious. Stagecoaching is infinitely more delightful." He then launched into a song of praise about his stagecoach ride to Carson City six years before.

But it wasn't Mark Twain who found the stagecoach ride so entrancing, it was Sam Clemens. That was in the summer of 1861 and Mark wasn't unveiled (in the Territorial Enterprise) until February 1863, and It seems to me that on this visit to the brightest and liveliest city in Europe Sam was seeking adventures suited to Mark's comic talent, and then handing him the pen. But sometimes, still so early in the game, the transition wasn't quite perfect.

We'll never know what Sam might have enjoyed on his own, but as Mark Twain he only liked two aspects of the train trip. He liked the conductor — "You are in the hands of officials who zealously study your welfare and your interest, instead of turning their talents to the invention of new methods of discommoding and snubbing you, as is very often the main employment of that exceedingly self-satisfied monarch, the railroad conductor of America" — and he liked the dinner stop at Dijon:

"But the happiest regulation in French railway government is — thirty minutes to dinner! No five-minute boltings of flabby rolls, muddy coffee, questionable eggs, gutta-percha beef, and pies whose conception and execution are a dark and bloody mystery to all save the cook that created them! No, we sat calmly down and poured out rich Burgundian wines and munched calmly through a long table d'hote bill of fare, snail patties, delicious fruits and all, then paid the trifle it cost and stepped happily aboard the train again, without once cursing the railroad company. A rare experience and one to be treasured forever."

Hotel du Louvre, ParisOnce in Paris Sam and his fellow travelers took a carriage to the Grand Hotel du Louvre on the rue de Rivoli. Fortunately for me, our considerably less Grand Squat is within a block of the rue de Rivoli (via the exquisitely long and narrow Rue du Prévôt) and something less than a mile from his hotel across the boulevard from the Louvre.

I walked. And for all the changes that have transpired since his visit, a stroll along this teeming street is rich with interest: shops large and small in wild variety — my favorites for their names alone: 'Come On Eileen' and 'See U Soon'.

One of the more interesting changes since 1867 is that the Hotel du Louvre is now a Hyatt, with an elevator installed in the stairwell of the massive structure.

"We secured rooms at the hotel, or rather, we had three beds put into one room, so that we might be together, and then we went out to a restaurant, just after lamplighting, and ate a comfortable, satisfactory, lingering dinner. It was a pleasure to eat where everything was so tidy, the food so well cooked, the waiters so polite, and the coming and departing company so moustached, so frisky, so affable, so fearfully and wonderfully Frenchy!"

The moustaches are in shorter supply nowadays, but the Frenchiness abounds.

“All the surroundings were gay and enlivening. Two hundred people sat at little tables on the sidewalk, sipping wine and coffee; the streets were thronged with light vehicles and with joyous pleasure-seekers; there was music in the air, life and action all about us, and a conflagration of gaslight everywhere!"

It is the same today except for the gaslight. The great difference between Paris and our American cities is the vibrant life on the streets. Restaurants aren't behind closed doors, they spill out onto the sidewalks.

"After dinner we felt like seeing such Parisian specialties as we might see without distressing exertion, and so we sauntered through the brilliant streets and looked at the dainty trifles in variety stores and jewelry shops. Occasionally, merely for the pleasure of being cruel, we put unoffending Frenchmen on the rack with questions framed in the incomprehensible jargon of their native language, and while they writhed we impaled them, we peppered them, we scarified them, with their own vile verbs and participles.”

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I do this daily, with the same result.

Mark Twain gets a shave in ParisWasn't it Sam who struggled with French and Mark who wrote it up afterward?

And then Sam sought out a barber, which turned out to be another trial for Mark Twain to write about. "The incipient assassin held a basin of water under my chin and slopped its contents over my face, and into my bosom, and down the back of my neck, with a mean pretense of washing away the soap and blood. He dried my features with a towel and was going to comb my hair, but I asked to be excused. I said, with withering irony, that it was sufficient to be skinned — I declined to be scalped." Learning from his experience (and not having shaved for more than 50 years) I skipped this adventure.

Five Years Ago in the NevadaGram

Robin went shopping, Shorty stayed in the room watching the Animal Channel, and I went over to Fallon's Oats Park Art Center where Lulo Reinhardt talked about his great-uncle Django and the music — now called Gypsy Jazz — that he made famous. Lulo lives in Germany, but his music derives from the Hot Club de France.

Lulo Reinhardt at the Oats Park Art Center, Fallon NevadaLulo’s band was one of the three groups performing that evening in a program called “In the Footsteps of Django”, each inspired by Django’s music and each taking off with it in different directions. He and guitarist Olivier Kikteff of ‘Les Doigts de L’Homme’ spent an hour talking about Django, his music and theirs.

Django and Stephane Grapelli

Les Doigts de L’Homme, “Medley Manouche”
For me the great revelation from that conversation was that Django originally played the banjo-guitar, a six string banjo with the neck of a guitar. It is tuned like a guitar but sounds like a banjo. We all know that he had suffered terrible burns to his left hand — his third and fourth fingers remained partially paralyzed and he relearned the guitar with only two useful fingers on his fret hand — in the process creating an entirely new style featuring minor chords and a hard driving percussive technique.

It’s a sound that has banjo all through it.

Lulo Reinhardt's Latin Swing Project, Mar y Sol.

We met up with the others in our group for an early dinner at The Slanted Porch, another of Fallon’s great restaurants, and after a promenade with Shorty we went back to the Arts Center for the evening’s performance. As planned, we arrived an hour before the

performance in order to meander through the galleries (major display: gas pumps from the early automotive era) and enjoy a refreshment at the Art Bar.

And then the music began, and I blissed out. Rather than attempt to describe it, I’ve embedded videos of their performances above so you can enjoy them directly, and easily find more. Thank you, Fallon.

Are We There Yet? - photo by Robin CobbeyRead the whole thing here

I also skipped billiards, which was next on Sam's agenda, and which Mark described: "The cushions were a good deal higher than the balls, and as the balls had a fashion of always stopping under the cushions, we accomplished very little in the way of caroms. The cushions were hard and unelastic, and the cues were so crooked that in making a shot you had to allow for the curve or you would infallibly put the 'English' on the wrong side of the hall.

"Dan was to mark while the doctor and I played. At the end of an hour neither of us had made a count, and so Dan was tired of keeping tally with nothing to tally, and we were heated and angry and disgusted. We paid the heavy bill—about six cents—and said we would call around sometime when we had a week to spend, and finish the game."

"Of course we visited the renowned International Exposition. All the world did that. We went there on our third day in Paris—and we stayed there nearly two hours. That was our first and last visit.

"To tell the truth, we saw at a glance that one would have to spend weeks — yea, even months — in that monstrous establishment to get an intelligible idea of it. It was a wonderful show, but the moving masses of people of all nations we saw there were a still more wonderful show. I discovered that if I were to stay there a month, I should still find myself looking at the people instead of the inanimate objects on exhibition."

Then they hurried to the Arc de l'Etoile where Napoleon III, Emperor of France and Abdul Aziz, Sultan of Turkey, were to review 25,000 troops.

"Presently there was a sound of distant music; in another minute a pillar of dust came moving slowly toward us; a moment more and then, with colors flying and a grand crash of military music, a gallant array of cavalrymen emerged from the dust and came down the street on a gentle trot. After them came a long line of artillery; then more cavalry, in splendid uniforms; and then their imperial majesties Napoleon III and Abdul Aziz. The vast concourse of people swung their hats and shouted — the windows and housetops in the wide vicinity burst into a snowstorm of waving handkerchiefs, and the wavers of the same mingled their cheers with those of the masses below. It was a stirring spectacle.

"But the two central figures claimed all my attention. Was ever such a contrast set up before a multitude till then?

"Napoleon in military uniform—a long-bodied, short-legged man, fiercely moustached, old, wrinkled, with eyes half closed, and such a deep, crafty, scheming expression about them!—Napoleon, bowing ever so gently to the loud plaudits, and watching everything and everybody with his cat eyes from under his depressed hat brim, as if to discover any sign that those cheers were not heartfelt and cordial.

"As for the Sultan, one could set a trap any where and catch a dozen abler men in a night."

Ten Years Ago in the NevadaGram

I was lucky enough to visit Tonopah at the height of that second boom.

Back then there were a dozen mines working within 50 miles of the old city, and the Air Force was constructing a major facility for testing and perfecting the Stealth bomber, so the Air Force leased entire motels for their men.

The population went from fewer than 2,500 to more than 4,000 in about a year, and very structure with a roof over it was rented. Every vacant lot that could accommodate a trailer was put to use, giving the tangle of old streets an incongruous look: a flamingo-pink aluminum cube stuck between a swaybacked old cottage on one side and a fitted stone mansion on the other.

Photo by Max Winthrop

Prime rental properties during the boom.

At Coleman’s, the only grocery store in town, the clerks worked steadily to restock the shelves with almost 6 tons of groceries every day.

The Mizpah Annex Cafe was a crush of men in Air Force fatigues or the flannel shirts and blue jeans of construction workers and miners. Waitresses raced from table to table with pots of coffee and platters of flapjacks. Fleets of buses hauled the men out of town to work — 900 of them were building the great new Anaconda molybdenum mine and mill, and hundreds more worked in a dozen gold and silver mines.

Photo Gold Hill NEWS archive

Construction workers at the Anaconda molybdenum mine had their own trailer park.

The rattle of hammers and the snarl of saws was heard everywhere in town, and anything with a roof could rent for $300 a month.

Local people marveled at the revival, but it wasn’t until there was an armed robbery in a Main Street parking lot that they acknowledged Tonopah had become a city again.

Are We There Yet? - photo by Robin CobbeyRead the whole thing here

This is the kindest thing he had to say about the Sultan. In fact I was somewhat discouraged to read Sam's disparagement of the non-European people he met along the way. He knew about Napoleon III well enough — his story had been in all the papers. But what did he know about Abdul Aziz? Only what his appearance suggested apparently:

"Abdul Aziz, absolute lord of the Ottoman empire — clad in dark green European clothes, almost without ornament or insignia of rank; a red Turkish fez on his head; a short, stout, dark man, black-bearded, black-eyed, stupid, unprepossessing — a man whose whole appearance somehow suggested that if he only had a cleaver in his hand and a white apron on, one would not be at all surprised to hear him say: "A mutton roast today, or will you have a nice porterhouse steak?"

Today's Wikipedia is better informed: "Apart from his passion for the Ottoman Navy, which had the world's third largest fleet in 1875 (after the British and French navies), the Sultan took an interest in documenting the Ottoman Empire. He was also interested in literature and was a talented classical music composer. Some of his compositions, together with those of the other members of the Ottoman dynasty, have been collected in the album "European Music at the Ottoman Court" by the London Academy of Ottoman Court Music."

"We went to see the Cathedral of Notre Dame. We had heard of it before. It surprises me sometimes to think how much we do know and how intelligent we are. . . .

"They say that a pagan temple stood where Notre Dame now stands . . . and that a Christian church took its place about A.D. 300; another took the place of that in A.D. 500; and that the foundations of the present cathedral were laid about A.D. 1100. The ground ought to be measurably sacred by this time, one would think. One portion of this noble old edifice is suggestive of the quaint fashions of ancient times. It was built by Jean Sans-Peur, Duke of Burgundy, to set his conscience at rest — he had assassinated the Duke of Orleans. Alas! Those good old times are gone when a murderer could wipe the stain from his name and soothe his troubles to sleep simply by getting out his bricks and mortar and building an addition to a church."

Today the long line of visitors waiting to enter the famous place requires more patience than we had available and so we took his word about the rich stained-glass windows embellished with blue and yellow and crimson saints and martyrs, and the numberless great pictures in the chapels that he'd tried to admire.

"Next we went to visit the Morgue, that horrible receptacle for the dead who die mysteriously and leave the manner of their taking off a dismal secret. We stood before a grating and looked through into a room which was hung all about with the clothing of dead men; coarse blouses, water-soaked; the delicate garments of women and children; patrician vestments, hacked and stabbed and stained with red; a hat that was crushed and bloody."

The Paris Morgue"On a slanting stone lay a drowned man, naked, swollen, purple; clasping the fragment of a broken bush with a grip which death had so petrified that human strength could not unloose it — mute witness of the last despairing effort to save the life that was doomed beyond all help. A stream of water trickled ceaselessly over the hideous face. We knew that the body and the clothing were there for identification by friends, but still we wondered if anybody could love that repulsive object or grieve for its loss."

Here was Mark Twain emerging more fully onto the page. He was dazzled by the splendid spectacle and the pageantry of the military procession, but here in the morgue he delved deeper and darker.

"We grew meditative and wondered if, some forty years ago, when the mother of that ghastly thing was dandling it upon her knee, and kissing it and petting it and displaying it with satisfied pride to the passers-by, a prophetic vision of this dread ending ever flitted through her brain. I half feared that the mother, or the wife or a brother of the dead man might come while we stood there, but nothing of the kind occurred. Men and women came, and some looked eagerly in and pressed their faces against the bars; others glanced carelessly at the body and turned away with a disappointed look—people, I thought, who live upon strong excitements and who attend the exhibitions of the Morgue regularly, just as other people go to see theatrical spectacles every night. When one of these looked in and passed on, I could not help thinking —

Fifteen Years Ago in the NevadaGram

The recent Governor’s Conference on Tourism focused on Nevada’s new slogan, “Bring It On”. Poster Boy for the new campaign (and speaker at the Tuesday luncheon) is Glen Plake, an extreme skier who goes right on over the edge. He grew up at South Lake Tahoe and resides today in the hills above Lake Lahontan, where he water skis and bounces down country roads between winters.You can get a copy of the Commission’s new Adventure guide “The Dirt” here.

The effort to bring attention to Nevada’s uncrowded outdoor activities is being greeted warmly in rural Nevada. Folks there are gratified at getting recognition at last for their unique recreational resource: the 85% of the state that is public land. Accessible and user-friendly, this immense realm of almost-unspoiled landscapes is a national treasure of enormous value and can be a great economic resource for the state for generations — until the rest of the country gets uncrowded again.

As if to emphasize this new direction for the state, Reno has been selected to host the ESPN Great Outdoor Games July 10-13,

Taking aim at the Outdoor Games

Taking aim at the Outdoor Games

2003. The 2002 Games attracted 60,000 to Lake Placid NY, and were seen on TV. Events include archery, rifle and shotgun target shooting, bass and fly fishing, three sporting dog events and eight timber events, from Log Rolling to Tree Topping. ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC Sports will televise more than 19 hours from the Rancho Santa Fe Park, the Truckee River and other venues to be announced. More information here.

Are We There Yet? - photo by Robin CobbeyRead the whole thing here

"Now this don't afford you any satisfaction — a party with his head shot off is what you need."

Alas, the morgue is no longer open to public visitation, but there is a modern attraction that centers on the dead: the Catacombs. Unlike the morgue though, there isn't any personal drama here. Among the vast collection of skulls and bones so artistically arranged, there's no way to tell which one was Yorick.

The sightseeing continued with an antidote to the morgue — visits to the Jardin Mabile and a similar amusement park in the suburb of Asnieres where he saw "the famous Blondin" walk a tightrope:

"He balanced his pole and walked the length of his rope — two or three hundred feet; he came back and got a man and carried him across; he returned to the center and danced a jig; next he performed some gymnastic and balancing feats too perilous to afford a pleasant spectacle; and he finished by fastening to his person a thousand Roman candles, Catherine wheels, serpents and rockets of all manner of brilliant colors, setting them on fire all at once and walking and waltzing across his rope again in a blinding blaze of glory that lit up the garden and the people's faces like a great conflagration at midnight."

The Can-canAfter the tightrope performance the party moved indoors, where there was "a drinking saloon, and all around it was a broad circular platform for the dancers. Twenty sets formed, the music struck up, and then —

I placed my hands before my face for very shame. But I looked through my fingers.

They were dancing the renowned 'Can-can.'

"That is the can-can. The idea of it is to dance as wildly, as noisily, as furiously as you can; expose yourself as much as possible if you are a woman; and kick as high as you can, no matter which sex you belong to . . . I suppose French morality is not of that straight-laced description which is shocked at trifles.

"I moved aside and took a general view of the can-can. Shouts, laughter, furious music, a bewildering chaos of darting and intermingling forms, stormy jerking and snatching of gay dresses, bobbing beads, flying arms, lightning flashes of white-stockinged calves and dainty slippers in the air, and then a grand final rush, riot, a terrific hubbub, and a wild stampede! Heavens!"

Can't Get to Paris?

Sage Room at Harveys Lake TahoeIf, for some reason, you are unable to visit Paris soon, head for Lake Tahoe's South Shore — not for a swim or a paddle, but for a birthday dinner: the Sage Room at Harveys is turning 70 and the party goes on for a year, in the form of a special prix fixe dinner ($70/person). I should add 'unforgettable' to the description because the meal is not merely served, it is hand-crafted at the table, a masterful performance involving an almost gymnastic combination of culinary sculpture and fire.

Robin and I attended a demonstration of this epic meal in the hallowed restaurant, and it was sensational. If you don't mind being the center of attention, put this on your agenda and add a happy memory to your collection.

Then the Louvre, which he didn't care for. "We looked at its miles of paintings by the old masters. Some of them were beautiful, but at the same time they carried such evidences about them of the cringing spirit of those great men that we found small pleasure in examining them. . . . But I will drop the subject, lest I say something about the old masters that might as well be left unsaid."

After that they visited the Bois de Boulogne, "that limitless park, with its forests, its lakes, its cascades, and its broad avenues. There were thousands upon thousands of vehicles abroad, and the scene was full of life and gaiety. There were . . . Dukes and Duchesses abroad, with gorgeous footmen perched behind, and equally gorgeous outriders perched on each of the six horses; there were blue and silver, and green and gold, and pink and black, and all sorts and descriptions of stunning and startling liveries out, and I almost yearned to be a flunkey myself, for the sake of the fine clothes.

"But presently the Emperor came along and he outshone them all. He was preceded by a bodyguard of gentlemen on horseback in showy uniforms, his carriage-horses (there appeared to be somewhere in the remote neighborhood of a thousand of them,) were bestridden by gallant-looking fellows, also in stylish uniforms, and after the carriage followed another detachment of bodyguards. Everybody got out of the way; everybody bowed to the Emperor and his friend the Sultan; and they went by on a swinging trot and disappeared."

He delighted in the spectacle of the Emperor's procession as much as he had deplored the paintings at the Louvre.

From there to Pere Lachaise, "the national burying-ground of France, the honored resting-place of some of her greatest and best children, the last home of scores of illustrious men and women who were born to no titles, but achieved fame by their own energy and their own genius.

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"This place is sacred to a nobler royalty — the royalty of heart and brain. Every faculty of mind, every noble trait of human nature, every high occupation which men engage in, seems represented by a famous name." Today the famous names are more recent and more familiar: Balzac is there, and Chopin; Jim Morrison, Yves Montand, Edith Piaf, Simone Signoret, Gertrude Stein — it's a long list, and at its head are Abelard and Heloise.

Abelard and Heloise"Yet who really knows the story of Abelard and Heloise? Precious few people. The names are perfectly familiar to every body, and that is about all. With infinite pains I have acquired a knowledge of that history, and I propose to narrate it here, partly for the honest information of the public and partly to show that public that they have been wasting a good deal of marketable sentiment very unnecessarily."

A long narrative of the story of the fabled lovers ensued, this passage earnestly written by Sam, not Mark.

Of Heloise he wrote, "I have not a word to say against the misused, faithful girl, and would not withhold from her grave a single one of those simple tributes which blighted youths and maidens offer to her memory. She was "pure-souled" and evinced a "noble, self-sacrificing love". But Pierre Abelard was a "cold-hearted villain", "unmanly" and "a dastardly seducer".

After Sam told their story in detail with such evident sincerity, Mark went for a drink.

American Drinks Artistically Prepared"We ferreted out another French imposition—a frequent sign to this effect: "ALL MANNER OF AMERICAN DRINKS ARTISTICALLY PREPARED HERE." We procured the services of a gentleman experienced in the nomenclature of the American bar, and moved upon the works of one of these impostors. A bowing, aproned Frenchman skipped forward and said:

"'Que voulez les messieurs?'

"Our general said, 'We will take a whiskey straight.'

"[A stare from the Frenchman.]

"'Well, if you don't know what that is, give us a champagne cocktail.'

"[A stare and a shrug.]

"'Well, then, give us a sherry cobbler.'

"The Frenchman was checkmated. This was all Greek to him.

"'Give us a brandy smash!'

"The Frenchman began to back away, suspicious of the ominous vigor of the last order — began to back away, shrugging his shoulders and spreading his hands apologetically.

"The General followed him up and gained a complete victory. The uneducated foreigner could not even furnish a Santa Cruz Punch, an Eye-Opener, a Stone-Fence, or an Earthquake. It was plain that he was a wicked impostor.'

On their final day in Paris, the Quaker City passengers visited Versailles.

Versailles"VERSAILLES! It is wonderfully beautiful! You gaze and stare and try to understand that it is real, that it is on the earth, that it is not the Garden of Eden — but your brain grows giddy, stupefied by the world of beauty around you, and you half believe you are the dupe of an exquisite dream. The scene thrills one like military music! A noble palace, stretching its ornamented front, block upon block away, till it seemed that it would never end. . . ."

This is the only aspect of Paris that Mark — or was it Sam? — put in capital letters, and he went on and on about it, couldn't say enough about its perfections ("vast fountains whose great bronze effigies discharged rivers of sparkling water into the air and mingled a hundred curving jets together in forms of matchless beauty").

And then they got back on the train to Marseilles, went aboard the Quaker City and set off for Genoa.

Parting Shot —

Mark Twain's map of Paris

The post NevadaGram #196 – Following Mark Twain around Paris appeared first on NevadaGram from the Nevada Travel Network - Telling Nevada's story 365, 24/7. The Nevada Travel Network © 2017

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On the 4th of July 1867, Sam Clemens was 32 years old and had acquired the beginnings of a reputation and a career by becoming Mark Twain. He had embarked on a 5-month tour of Europe and the Holy Land with a contract to produce 50 letters for the Alta California in San Francisco and a few more for some newspapers in New York. The Quaker CityOn that Independence Day 150 years ago the sidewheel steamer Quaker City arrived at Marseilles after brief visits to the Azores and Gibraltar, and the passengers went ashore to the Grand Hotel du Louvre et de la Paix to await the next day’s train to Paris. I decided to follow them.

I'm not the first to follow Sam around Paris

Paula Harrington was a Fulbright scholar in Paris for six months, trying to figure out why "our most famous American writer came to loathe the place that so many other famous writers have loved." Here's her blog and here's the book she's since co-authored on the topic.
I've tinkered modestly with the the text to fit it into this package; you can read 'Innocents Abroad' online here; the visit to Paris is in Chapter 02.
There is an unfortunate scarcity of sidewheelers making the Atlantic crossing these days, so I made the first of many concessions to modern times by flying directly to Paris. In so doing I missed the chance to compare his unsatisfying experience on the French chemins de fer of the middle 1860s with today’s bullet trains that make the journey between Marseilles and Paris at 160 mph. “It is hard to make railroading pleasant in any country,” he grumbled. “It is too tedious. Stagecoaching is infinitely more delightful." He then launched into a song of praise about his stagecoach ride to Carson City six years before. But it wasn't Mark Twain who found the stagecoach ride so entrancing, it was Sam Clemens. That was in the summer of 1861 and Mark wasn't unveiled (in the Territorial Enterprise) until February 1863, and It seems to me that on this visit to the brightest and liveliest city in Europe Sam was seeking adventures suited to Mark's comic talent, and then handing him the pen. But sometimes, still so early in the game, the transition wasn't quite perfect. We'll never know what Sam might have enjoyed on his own, but as Mark Twain he only liked two aspects of the train trip. He liked the conductor — "You are in the hands of officials who zealously study your welfare and your interest, instead of turning their talents to the invention of new methods of discommoding and snubbing you, as is very often the main employment of that exceedingly self-satisfied monarch, the railroad conductor of America" — and he liked the dinner stop at Dijon:
"But the happiest regulation in French railway government is — thirty minutes to dinner! No five-minute boltings of flabby rolls, muddy coffee, questionable eggs, gutta-percha beef, and pies whose conception and execution are a dark and bloody mystery to all save the cook that created them! No, we sat calmly down and poured out rich Burgundian wines and munched calmly through a long table d'hote bill of fare, snail patties, delicious fruits and all, then paid the trifle it cost and stepped happily aboard the train again, without once cursing the railroad company. A rare experience and one to be treasured forever." Hotel du Louvre, ParisOnce in Paris Sam and his fellow travelers took a carriage to the Grand Hotel du Louvre on the rue de Rivoli. Fortunately for me, our considerably less Grand Squat is within a block of the rue de Rivoli (via the exquisitely long and narrow Rue du Prévôt) and something less than a mile from his hotel across the boulevard from the Louvre. I walked. And for all the changes that have transpired since his visit, a stroll along this teeming street is rich with interest: shops large and small in wild variety — my favorites for their names alone: 'Come On Eileen' and 'See U Soon'. One of the more interesting changes since 1867 is that the Hotel du Louvre is now a Hyatt, with an elevator installed in the stairwell of the massive structure. "We secured rooms at the hotel, or rather, we had three beds put into one room, so that we might be together, and then we went out to a restaurant, just after lamplighting, and ate a comfortable, satisfactory, lingering dinner. It was a pleasure to eat where everything was so tidy, the food so well cooked, the waiters so polite, and the coming and departing company so moustached, so frisky, so affable, so fearfully and wonderfully Frenchy!" The moustaches are in shorter supply nowadays, but the Frenchiness abounds. “All the surroundings were gay and enlivening. Two hundred people sat at little tables on the sidewalk, sipping wine and coffee; the streets were thronged with light vehicles and with joyous pleasure-seekers; there was music in the air, life and action all about us, and a conflagration of gaslight everywhere!" It is the same today except for the gaslight. The great difference between Paris and our American cities is the vibrant life on the streets. Restaurants aren't behind closed doors, they spill out onto the sidewalks. "After dinner we felt like seeing such Parisian specialties as we might see without distressing exertion, and so we sauntered through the brilliant streets and looked at the dainty trifles in variety stores and jewelry shops. Occasionally, merely for the pleasure of being cruel, we put unoffending Frenchmen on the rack with questions framed in the incomprehensible jargon of their native language, and while they writhed we impaled them, we peppered them, we scarified them, with their own vile verbs and participles.”

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I do this daily, with the same result. Mark Twain gets a shave in ParisWasn't it Sam who struggled with French and Mark who wrote it up afterward? And then Sam sought out a barber, which turned out to be another trial for Mark Twain to write about. "The incipient assassin held a basin of water under my chin and slopped its contents over my face, and into my bosom, and down the back of my neck, with a mean pretense of washing away the soap and blood. He dried my features with a towel and was going to comb my hair, but I asked to be excused. I said, with withering irony, that it was sufficient to be skinned — I declined to be scalped." Learning from his experience (and not having shaved for more than 50 years) I skipped this adventure.

Five Years Ago in the NevadaGram

Robin went shopping, Shorty stayed in the room watching the Animal Channel, and I went over to Fallon's Oats Park Art Center where Lulo Reinhardt talked about his great-uncle Django and the music — now called Gypsy Jazz — that he made famous. Lulo lives in Germany, but his music derives from the Hot Club de France. Lulo Reinhardt at the Oats Park Art Center, Fallon NevadaLulo’s band was one of the three groups performing that evening in a program called “In the Footsteps of Django”, each inspired by Django’s music and each taking off with it in different directions. He and guitarist Olivier Kikteff of ‘Les Doigts de L’Homme’ spent an hour talking about Django, his music and theirs.

Django and Stephane Grapelli

Les Doigts de L’Homme, “Medley Manouche” For me the great revelation from that conversation was that Django originally played the banjo-guitar, a six string banjo with the neck of a guitar. It is tuned like a guitar but sounds like a banjo. We all know that he had suffered terrible burns to his left hand — his third and fourth fingers remained partially paralyzed and he relearned the guitar with only two useful fingers on his fret hand — in the process creating an entirely new style featuring minor chords and a hard driving percussive technique. It’s a sound that has banjo all through it.

Lulo Reinhardt's Latin Swing Project, Mar y Sol.

We met up with the others in our group for an early dinner at The Slanted Porch, another of Fallon’s great restaurants, and after a promenade with Shorty we went back to the Arts Center for the evening’s performance. As planned, we arrived an hour before the
performance in order to meander through the galleries (major display: gas pumps from the early automotive era) and enjoy a refreshment at the Art Bar. And then the music began, and I blissed out. Rather than attempt to describe it, I’ve embedded videos of their performances above so you can enjoy them directly, and easily find more. Thank you, Fallon.

Are We There Yet? - photo by Robin CobbeyRead the whole thing here

I also skipped billiards, which was next on Sam's agenda, and which Mark described: "The cushions were a good deal higher than the balls, and as the balls had a fashion of always stopping under the cushions, we accomplished very little in the way of caroms. The cushions were hard and unelastic, and the cues were so crooked that in making a shot you had to allow for the curve or you would infallibly put the 'English' on the wrong side of the hall. "Dan was to mark while the doctor and I played. At the end of an hour neither of us had made a count, and so Dan was tired of keeping tally with nothing to tally, and we were heated and angry and disgusted. We paid the heavy bill—about six cents—and said we would call around sometime when we had a week to spend, and finish the game." "Of course we visited the renowned International Exposition. All the world did that. We went there on our third day in Paris—and we stayed there nearly two hours. That was our first and last visit. "To tell the truth, we saw at a glance that one would have to spend weeks — yea, even months — in that monstrous establishment to get an intelligible idea of it. It was a wonderful show, but the moving masses of people of all nations we saw there were a still more wonderful show. I discovered that if I were to stay there a month, I should still find myself looking at the people instead of the inanimate objects on exhibition." Then they hurried to the Arc de l'Etoile where Napoleon III, Emperor of France and Abdul Aziz, Sultan of Turkey, were to review 25,000 troops. "Presently there was a sound of distant music; in another minute a pillar of dust came moving slowly toward us; a moment more and then, with colors flying and a grand crash of military music, a gallant array of cavalrymen emerged from the dust and came down the street on a gentle trot. After them came a long line of artillery; then more cavalry, in splendid uniforms; and then their imperial majesties Napoleon III and Abdul Aziz. The vast concourse of people swung their hats and shouted — the windows and housetops in the wide vicinity burst into a snowstorm of waving handkerchiefs, and the wavers of the same mingled their cheers with those of the masses below. It was a stirring spectacle. "But the two central figures claimed all my attention. Was ever such a contrast set up before a multitude till then? "Napoleon in military uniform—a long-bodied, short-legged man, fiercely moustached, old, wrinkled, with eyes half closed, and such a deep, crafty, scheming expression about them!—Napoleon, bowing ever so gently to the loud plaudits, and watching everything and everybody with his cat eyes from under his depressed hat brim, as if to discover any sign that those cheers were not heartfelt and cordial. "As for the Sultan, one could set a trap any where and catch a dozen abler men in a night."

Ten Years Ago in the NevadaGram

I was lucky enough to visit Tonopah at the height of that second boom. Back then there were a dozen mines working within 50 miles of the old city, and the Air Force was constructing a major facility for testing and perfecting the Stealth bomber, so the Air Force leased entire motels for their men. The population went from fewer than 2,500 to more than 4,000 in about a year, and very structure with a roof over it was rented. Every vacant lot that could accommodate a trailer was put to use, giving the tangle of old streets an incongruous look: a flamingo-pink aluminum cube stuck between a swaybacked old cottage on one side and a fitted stone mansion on the other.
Photo by Max Winthrop

Prime rental properties during the boom.

At Coleman’s, the only grocery store in town, the clerks worked steadily to restock the shelves with almost 6 tons of groceries every day. The Mizpah Annex Cafe was a crush of men in Air Force fatigues or the flannel shirts and blue jeans of construction workers and miners. Waitresses raced from table to table with pots of coffee and platters of flapjacks. Fleets of buses hauled the men out of town to work — 900 of them were building the great new Anaconda molybdenum mine and mill, and hundreds more worked in a dozen gold and silver mines.
Photo Gold Hill NEWS archive

Construction workers at the Anaconda molybdenum mine had their own trailer park.

The rattle of hammers and the snarl of saws was heard everywhere in town, and anything with a roof could rent for $300 a month. Local people marveled at the revival, but it wasn’t until there was an armed robbery in a Main Street parking lot that they acknowledged Tonopah had become a city again.

Are We There Yet? - photo by Robin CobbeyRead the whole thing here

This is the kindest thing he had to say about the Sultan. In fact I was somewhat discouraged to read Sam's disparagement of the non-European people he met along the way. He knew about Napoleon III well enough — his story had been in all the papers. But what did he know about Abdul Aziz? Only what his appearance suggested apparently: "Abdul Aziz, absolute lord of the Ottoman empire — clad in dark green European clothes, almost without ornament or insignia of rank; a red Turkish fez on his head; a short, stout, dark man, black-bearded, black-eyed, stupid, unprepossessing — a man whose whole appearance somehow suggested that if he only had a cleaver in his hand and a white apron on, one would not be at all surprised to hear him say: "A mutton roast today, or will you have a nice porterhouse steak?" Today's Wikipedia is better informed: "Apart from his passion for the Ottoman Navy, which had the world's third largest fleet in 1875 (after the British and French navies), the Sultan took an interest in documenting the Ottoman Empire. He was also interested in literature and was a talented classical music composer. Some of his compositions, together with those of the other members of the Ottoman dynasty, have been collected in the album "European Music at the Ottoman Court" by the London Academy of Ottoman Court Music." "We went to see the Cathedral of Notre Dame. We had heard of it before. It surprises me sometimes to think how much we do know and how intelligent we are. . . . "They say that a pagan temple stood where Notre Dame now stands . . . and that a Christian church took its place about A.D. 300; another took the place of that in A.D. 500; and that the foundations of the present cathedral were laid about A.D. 1100. The ground ought to be measurably sacred by this time, one would think. One portion of this noble old edifice is suggestive of the quaint fashions of ancient times. It was built by Jean Sans-Peur, Duke of Burgundy, to set his conscience at rest — he had assassinated the Duke of Orleans. Alas! Those good old times are gone when a murderer could wipe the stain from his name and soothe his troubles to sleep simply by getting out his bricks and mortar and building an addition to a church."
Today the long line of visitors waiting to enter the famous place requires more patience than we had available and so we took his word about the rich stained-glass windows embellished with blue and yellow and crimson saints and martyrs, and the numberless great pictures in the chapels that he'd tried to admire. "Next we went to visit the Morgue, that horrible receptacle for the dead who die mysteriously and leave the manner of their taking off a dismal secret. We stood before a grating and looked through into a room which was hung all about with the clothing of dead men; coarse blouses, water-soaked; the delicate garments of women and children; patrician vestments, hacked and stabbed and stained with red; a hat that was crushed and bloody." The Paris Morgue"On a slanting stone lay a drowned man, naked, swollen, purple; clasping the fragment of a broken bush with a grip which death had so petrified that human strength could not unloose it — mute witness of the last despairing effort to save the life that was doomed beyond all help. A stream of water trickled ceaselessly over the hideous face. We knew that the body and the clothing were there for identification by friends, but still we wondered if anybody could love that repulsive object or grieve for its loss." Here was Mark Twain emerging more fully onto the page. He was dazzled by the splendid spectacle and the pageantry of the military procession, but here in the morgue he delved deeper and darker. "We grew meditative and wondered if, some forty years ago, when the mother of that ghastly thing was dandling it upon her knee, and kissing it and petting it and displaying it with satisfied pride to the passers-by, a prophetic vision of this dread ending ever flitted through her brain. I half feared that the mother, or the wife or a brother of the dead man might come while we stood there, but nothing of the kind occurred. Men and women came, and some looked eagerly in and pressed their faces against the bars; others glanced carelessly at the body and turned away with a disappointed look—people, I thought, who live upon strong excitements and who attend the exhibitions of the Morgue regularly, just as other people go to see theatrical spectacles every night. When one of these looked in and passed on, I could not help thinking —

Fifteen Years Ago in the NevadaGram

The recent Governor’s Conference on Tourism focused on Nevada’s new slogan, “Bring It On”. Poster Boy for the new campaign (and speaker at the Tuesday luncheon) is Glen Plake, an extreme skier who goes right on over the edge. He grew up at South Lake Tahoe and resides today in the hills above Lake Lahontan, where he water skis and bounces down country roads between winters.You can get a copy of the Commission’s new Adventure guide “The Dirt” here.
The effort to bring attention to Nevada’s uncrowded outdoor activities is being greeted warmly in rural Nevada. Folks there are gratified at getting recognition at last for their unique recreational resource: the 85% of the state that is public land. Accessible and user-friendly, this immense realm of almost-unspoiled landscapes is a national treasure of enormous value and can be a great economic resource for the state for generations — until the rest of the country gets uncrowded again. As if to emphasize this new direction for the state, Reno has been selected to host the ESPN Great Outdoor Games July 10-13,
Taking aim at the Outdoor Games

Taking aim at the Outdoor Games

2003. The 2002 Games attracted 60,000 to Lake Placid NY, and were seen on TV. Events include archery, rifle and shotgun target shooting, bass and fly fishing, three sporting dog events and eight timber events, from Log Rolling to Tree Topping. ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC Sports will televise more than 19 hours from the Rancho Santa Fe Park, the Truckee River and other venues to be announced. More information here.

Are We There Yet? - photo by Robin CobbeyRead the whole thing here

"Now this don't afford you any satisfaction — a party with his head shot off is what you need." Alas, the morgue is no longer open to public visitation, but there is a modern attraction that centers on the dead: the Catacombs. Unlike the morgue though, there isn't any personal drama here. Among the vast collection of skulls and bones so artistically arranged, there's no way to tell which one was Yorick. The sightseeing continued with an antidote to the morgue — visits to the Jardin Mabile and a similar amusement park in the suburb of Asnieres where he saw "the famous Blondin" walk a tightrope: "He balanced his pole and walked the length of his rope — two or three hundred feet; he came back and got a man and carried him across; he returned to the center and danced a jig; next he performed some gymnastic and balancing feats too perilous to afford a pleasant spectacle; and he finished by fastening to his person a thousand Roman candles, Catherine wheels, serpents and rockets of all manner of brilliant colors, setting them on fire all at once and walking and waltzing across his rope again in a blinding blaze of glory that lit up the garden and the people's faces like a great conflagration at midnight." The Can-canAfter the tightrope performance the party moved indoors, where there was "a drinking saloon, and all around it was a broad circular platform for the dancers. Twenty sets formed, the music struck up, and then — I placed my hands before my face for very shame. But I looked through my fingers. They were dancing the renowned 'Can-can.' "That is the can-can. The idea of it is to dance as wildly, as noisily, as furiously as you can; expose yourself as much as possible if you are a woman; and kick as high as you can, no matter which sex you belong to . . . I suppose French morality is not of that straight-laced description which is shocked at trifles. "I moved aside and took a general view of the can-can. Shouts, laughter, furious music, a bewildering chaos of darting and intermingling forms, stormy jerking and snatching of gay dresses, bobbing beads, flying arms, lightning flashes of white-stockinged calves and dainty slippers in the air, and then a grand final rush, riot, a terrific hubbub, and a wild stampede! Heavens!"

Can't Get to Paris?

Sage Room at Harveys Lake TahoeIf, for some reason, you are unable to visit Paris soon, head for Lake Tahoe's South Shore — not for a swim or a paddle, but for a birthday dinner: the Sage Room at Harveys is turning 70 and the party goes on for a year, in the form of a special prix fixe dinner ($70/person). I should add 'unforgettable' to the description because the meal is not merely served, it is hand-crafted at the table, a masterful performance involving an almost gymnastic combination of culinary sculpture and fire. Robin and I attended a demonstration of this epic meal in the hallowed restaurant, and it was sensational. If you don't mind being the center of attention, put this on your agenda and add a happy memory to your collection.
Then the Louvre, which he didn't care for. "We looked at its miles of paintings by the old masters. Some of them were beautiful, but at the same time they carried such evidences about them of the cringing spirit of those great men that we found small pleasure in examining them. . . . But I will drop the subject, lest I say something about the old masters that might as well be left unsaid." After that they visited the Bois de Boulogne, "that limitless park, with its forests, its lakes, its cascades, and its broad avenues. There were thousands upon thousands of vehicles abroad, and the scene was full of life and gaiety. There were . . . Dukes and Duchesses abroad, with gorgeous footmen perched behind, and equally gorgeous outriders perched on each of the six horses; there were blue and silver, and green and gold, and pink and black, and all sorts and descriptions of stunning and startling liveries out, and I almost yearned to be a flunkey myself, for the sake of the fine clothes. "But presently the Emperor came along and he outshone them all. He was preceded by a bodyguard of gentlemen on horseback in showy uniforms, his carriage-horses (there appeared to be somewhere in the remote neighborhood of a thousand of them,) were bestridden by gallant-looking fellows, also in stylish uniforms, and after the carriage followed another detachment of bodyguards. Everybody got out of the way; everybody bowed to the Emperor and his friend the Sultan; and they went by on a swinging trot and disappeared." He delighted in the spectacle of the Emperor's procession as much as he had deplored the paintings at the Louvre. From there to Pere Lachaise, "the national burying-ground of France, the honored resting-place of some of her greatest and best children, the last home of scores of illustrious men and women who were born to no titles, but achieved fame by their own energy and their own genius.

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"This place is sacred to a nobler royalty — the royalty of heart and brain. Every faculty of mind, every noble trait of human nature, every high occupation which men engage in, seems represented by a famous name." Today the famous names are more recent and more familiar: Balzac is there, and Chopin; Jim Morrison, Yves Montand, Edith Piaf, Simone Signoret, Gertrude Stein — it's a long list, and at its head are Abelard and Heloise. Abelard and Heloise"Yet who really knows the story of Abelard and Heloise? Precious few people. The names are perfectly familiar to every body, and that is about all. With infinite pains I have acquired a knowledge of that history, and I propose to narrate it here, partly for the honest information of the public and partly to show that public that they have been wasting a good deal of marketable sentiment very unnecessarily." A long narrative of the story of the fabled lovers ensued, this passage earnestly written by Sam, not Mark. Of Heloise he wrote, "I have not a word to say against the misused, faithful girl, and would not withhold from her grave a single one of those simple tributes which blighted youths and maidens offer to her memory. She was "pure-souled" and evinced a "noble, self-sacrificing love". But Pierre Abelard was a "cold-hearted villain", "unmanly" and "a dastardly seducer". After Sam told their story in detail with such evident sincerity, Mark went for a drink. American Drinks Artistically Prepared"We ferreted out another French imposition—a frequent sign to this effect: "ALL MANNER OF AMERICAN DRINKS ARTISTICALLY PREPARED HERE." We procured the services of a gentleman experienced in the nomenclature of the American bar, and moved upon the works of one of these impostors. A bowing, aproned Frenchman skipped forward and said: "'Que voulez les messieurs?' "Our general said, 'We will take a whiskey straight.' "[A stare from the Frenchman.] "'Well, if you don't know what that is, give us a champagne cocktail.' "[A stare and a shrug.] "'Well, then, give us a sherry cobbler.' "The Frenchman was checkmated. This was all Greek to him. "'Give us a brandy smash!'
"The Frenchman began to back away, suspicious of the ominous vigor of the last order — began to back away, shrugging his shoulders and spreading his hands apologetically. "The General followed him up and gained a complete victory. The uneducated foreigner could not even furnish a Santa Cruz Punch, an Eye-Opener, a Stone-Fence, or an Earthquake. It was plain that he was a wicked impostor.' On their final day in Paris, the Quaker City passengers visited Versailles. Versailles"VERSAILLES! It is wonderfully beautiful! You gaze and stare and try to understand that it is real, that it is on the earth, that it is not the Garden of Eden — but your brain grows giddy, stupefied by the world of beauty around you, and you half believe you are the dupe of an exquisite dream. The scene thrills one like military music! A noble palace, stretching its ornamented front, block upon block away, till it seemed that it would never end. . . ." This is the only aspect of Paris that Mark — or was it Sam? — put in capital letters, and he went on and on about it, couldn't say enough about its perfections ("vast fountains whose great bronze effigies discharged rivers of sparkling water into the air and mingled a hundred curving jets together in forms of matchless beauty"). And then they got back on the train to Marseilles, went aboard the Quaker City and set off for Genoa. Parting Shot — Mark Twain's map of Paris

The post NevadaGram #196 – Following Mark Twain around Paris appeared first on NevadaGram from the Nevada Travel Network - Telling Nevada's story 365, 24/7. The Nevada Travel Network © 2017

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NevadaGram #195 – Incline Village, Crystal Bay and Coaldale http://nevadagram.com/nevadagram-195-incline-village-crystal-bay-coaldale/ http://nevadagram.com/nevadagram-195-incline-village-crystal-bay-coaldale/#comments Tue, 03 Oct 2017 16:05:32 +0000 http://nevadagram.com/?p=26632 Incline Village Nevada

In all my years of exploring Nevada the most difficult place for me to get a handle on has been Incline Village. Incline Village NevadaI could never find the There there. Now with the help of Kayla Anderson (see below) I've learned there isn't one.

In most small Nevada towns, if you could get up on the roof of the tallest building, maybe 3 or 4 stories, which you'd find at the center of town, you'd see everything there is to see. Down all the streets, over the all the fences, into all the back yards.

Not Incline Village though. It's not just that the trees get in the way, although they do. It's that it was never a town in the usual sense, although it's trying to become one. Every other other burg in Nevada formed itself round some natural activity center — a railroad depot, a mine, a ford of the river, a crossroads. Incline Village formed around a golf course.

Five Years Ago in the NevadaGram

We had a great time doing the things you do at Goldfield Days, starting with the the pancake breakfast at the Fire House and continuing through a warm sunny day with the parade, the property auction, hot food, cold drink, historic presentations in the Court House.

Ultralite plane at Goldfield Days 2012Radio Goldfield (89.1 fm) toured the town with an atv and big speakers spraying music into the air (including family favorite “My Ding-a-Ling”) and Alan Metscher presided over a highly enjoyable Bus Tour of the old city.

He showed a school bus full of visitors the path of the great flood of 1913 and the area burnt in the great fire ten years later. His tales sometimes began “Legend has it that. . . .” 2012 Goldfield Days ParadeThat is not a quibble, a place’s legends help to define it, I mention it to indicate that he did not permit the facts to stand naked and alone in his presentation, but coiffed them and shod them and put feathers in their hats to show them at their best.

2012 Goldfield DaysThe land auction was exciting to watch, and brought Esmeralda County some serious money.

Underneath these traditional enjoyments there was a subcurrent of anticipation throughout the day: the president of the Chamber of Commerce had promised to set a school bus on fire that night.

Read the whole thing here

But before we get to that, let's take a look around.

I like coming to the north shore of Lake Tahoe from Carson City via US 50 because it is a 4-lane highway built for cars, while the Mount Rose road Nevada 431) is a 2-lane paved-over wagon track zig-zagging up the east slope of the Sierra, built for 3 mph but driven at 50.

Turn north on Nevada 28 at Spooner Summit and start into the forest. You'll encounter one gem after another, starting just a few miles along at Spooner Lake, surrounded by aspens and by 12,000 acres of forest, part of Lake Tahoe State Park. You can access 50 miles of hiking, equestrian and mountain biking trails here; the 2-mile trail around the lake is an easy stroll with many small pleasures along the way. Cost is $10 in summer, $7 in other seasons.

Continuing north on 28 we might pass the entrance to Thunderbird Lodge on the left without noticing it. The yacht Thunderbird at Thunderbird Lodge, Lake Tahoe NevadaIt's just as well; this was the estate of George Whittell whose eccentricities were financed by the enormous wealth he'd pulled from the stock market in 1929 just before the crash. He lived a phenomenal life and built a phenomenal stone house to live it in. Beautifully restored and maintained it is available for tours which you can arrange at Sand Harbor or at the Visitors Center farther along. Highly recommended. Take the tour and descend the 600-foot tunnel from the house to the boat house — and what a boat! One of the rooms along its length was his pet lion's kennel, poker games were conducted in another.

Back on the road. As you approach Sand Harbor you're passing above Clemens' Cove. Mark Twain wrote in "Roughing It" about making a timber claim here in 1861, involving construction of a brush lean-to and setting the forest on fire.

Sand Harbor State Park (8 am to one hour past sunset, 365 days a year. Drive in: $7 winter, $12/summer. Bike in: $2 Walk in $1) is almost magically beautiful. There's nothing prettier on a sunny summer's day than the creamy crescent of beach, sprinkled with bathers in and out of the water, and punctuated with pointillist dabs of red, white, orange, green and blue umbrellas, edging the big blue lake. There is a boat launch, a couple of short scenic hikes, and you can rent kayaks and paddleboards. There's a Visitor Center and even a bar & grill with a shaded deck. In winter the parking lots are kept clear of snow and you can take an unforgettable sleigh ride into the wintry woods. Do this.

The new East Shore Trail is being built from Lakeshore Drive in Incline Village to Sand Harbor, part of a planned 10-foot wide Lake Tahoe Bikeway that will go all around the Lake.

The Cartwrights of Ponderosa Ranch, NevadaFurther on we pass the hallowed grounds of the Ponderosa Ranch on the right, fabled home of the Cartwright Family in the hugely popular television series "Bonanza", broadcast by NBC in color at 9 o'clock on Sunday nights. The make-believe Ranch opened in 1967 and closed in 2004.

Incline Village Nevada Visitors CenterIf ever a town needed a Visitor Center, it's this one, and happily enough it has one, ahead on the left at the eastern edge of town, dispensing detailed information to out-of-towners about all the ways to enjoy the lake: hiking and biking trails from the Flume Trail to the Ale Trail; the food, three dozen dining choices when you include Crystal Bay three miles farther along; the drink from the elegant Lone Eagle Grille on the water to the beer-shrine The Alibi in the industrial district to the comfortable Crosby's in Christmas Tree Village; the nightlife — casinos at the Hyatt and at three more in Crystal Bay; and the lodging, the splendid Hyatt and both the Biltmore and the 9-room Border House in Crystal Bay. Highly recommended.

It's all just ahead and hugely enjoyable: so press on and enjoy it!

Ten Years Ago in the NevadaGram

Like every other sane person in this crazy world, I try to get to Laughlin four or five times a year.

Laughlin Nevada and the Colorado RiverIt provides just the right balance between Monaco and Mayberry. It’s a gambling resort with fishing privileges, a calm, friendly and undemanding place and every time I come I feel the urgency drain out of me and a sweet and tender lassitude take its place.

If there can be anything like a small town with 11 large casino resorts, this is it. Back in August, for example, the Aquarius Casino Resort collected four boxes of school supplies for Diamondback Elementary School across the river in Bullhead City.

River walk, Laughlin NevadaAt Halloween the Edgewater and Colorado Belle held a community- wide Safe Street Trick-or-Treat party, complete with a haunted house, a 900-lb carved pumpkin and candy for the kids. In the fall the River Palms sponsored a food drive with employees and the public encouraged to donate canned food and other non-perishables to benefit the area’s families in need. Next I expect that the Tropicana Express will be holding a Bake Sale for the Senior Citizens.

There was a time — 20 years ago Circus Circus made the Colorado Belle the most photogenic casino on the river — when Laughlin seemed destined to rival Las Vegas for splash and excitement.

It didn’t happen. By 1996, talk of overtaking Las Vegas had ended. In fact now Laughlin presents itself as a serene alternative to Las Vegas overload. Fishing node, Colorado River at LaughlinThe RiverWalk has now been extended upriver all the way to Davis Dam, and one of the recent improvements was the addition of a fishing platform. Does that say it all?

Not quite. The outlet mall that opened 10 years ago has new owners who have added three new stores and are bringing 28 new stores, more high-end than before.

Are We There Yet? - photo by Robin CobbeyRead the
whole thing here

In 1960 — one lifetime ago or less — there were only four houses where Incline Village is now, and the place didn't have a name yet. In winter the California Highway Department plowed the snow off the road on the Nevada side of the border so the school bus could get to the four kids who lived there. They rode to Truckee and back each day, an hour's drive via King's Beach and Tahoe City.

Then the Crystal Bay Development Company bought 9,000 acres from George Whittell and began to cut roads and develop beaches, a ski area and a Robert Trent Jones golf course. The "Chateau" at the golf course was the company offices as the golf course was created. As it became famous, some of the people who came to play fell under Tahoe's spell so that much of the early residential development was strips of second homes not far from the fairways.

The ghost of Mark Twain lingers at Incline Village in the person of McAvoy Layne, who has been a resident for 40 years. He described the demographics in that earlier time: "There was a saying in those days that anyone who lives at Incline Village has either two homes or two jobs. Now there are more families here, working people who are making it into a real community."

Community was not an issue in the 1880s when Incline's pioneers were all working people, cutting down trees and getting them over to the mines in Virginia City.

Sawmill at Sand Harbor, Lake TahoeThe Sierra Nevada Wood & Lumber Company built a sawmill at Sand Harbor in 1878 where logs were floated from around the lake and were sawed into lumber. From there the cut lumber and cordwood were hauled by narrow-gauge railway to the foot of "The Great Incline" and pulled up nearly to the summit of the Carson Range, a 20-minute ride up the 4,000-foot tramway, 1,400 feet above the lake. The cars were angled to keep the loads level as they traveled up the steep grade, and the system could deliver 300 cords of cordwood or 1,500 board feet of cut lumber day-in, day-out to the V-flume.

The great Incline, north shore Lake Tahoe about 1880The tramline was a minor miracle of engineering; a double-track of narrow-gauge rails, eighteen feet in overall width, with cross ties on a solid log bed supporting them. As four loaded cars were being hauled up on the endless cable by the steam engine at the top, four empties were let down the other pair of rails. Near the top of the Incline the rise was 8 feet in every 12, a 67 percent grade; the 8,000-foot cable weighed 7 tons.

At the top the wood was put piece by piece into the V-flume that carried it rapidly through the Virginia City Water Company's 4,000 foot tunnel and on down the steep east slope to Lakeview north of Carson City where it was loaded onto flatcars of the V&T and hauled to the Comstock.

Fifteen Years Ago in the NevadaGram

My Wendover item last month was out of date before its electrons settled. Wendover WillThe Mississippi-based Isle of Capri company had bid $30 million, but Columbia Sussex Corp (Horizon, Lake Tahoe; Maxim, Las Vegas) upped the ante to $31 million for the Silver Smith and Stateline, the bankrupted Smith Family hotel casinos on the Utah border. As the High Desert Advocate reported, “Attorneys for the two battled like poker players from the old west. In counter bids ranging from one to two million they raised and counter-raised until the price climbed to $41 million.”

Peppermill Hotel Casino, Wendover NevadaAt that point, the Peppermill (which had abandoned an earlier offer for the properties) came back to the table with a partner called Generation 2000 and offered $42,500,000. Isle of Capri folded, but Columbia Sussex hung tough until the bidding reached $55 million. But that was their limit, and the sale went to the Peppermill — which will operate the Silver Smith — and Generation 2000 — which will operate the larger State Line. The sale includes a $22 million non-refundable deposit, which will go a long way toward paying the unsecured creditors and the back taxes sorely missed by the Wendover schools.

Wendover, NevadaThe City of West Wendover is already deciding what to do about annexing Wendover Utah (citizens of both communities approved the idea at the recent election) while facing the grim decisions demanded by a $600,000 budget deficit. Having these two properties on the eastern boundary returned to full throttle is most welcome to Wendover, Elko County, and the state as a whole.

Are We There Yet? - photo by Robin CobbeyRead the
whole thing here

The company ceased operations in 1895, and you might call this prehistory, even though the bunk houses for the 200 - 250 men who built and operated the famous Incline briefly attracted an election precinct and a fourth class post office called Incline. When they were done, they left with everything they could carry and abandoned the rest.

Crystal Bay is three miles farther west, past the roundabout at the junction of Nevada 431 right at the California line. It is considerably smaller — barely 300 residents in 2010 — and older than its near neighbor. The bright commercial cluster at the border hangs everything out in plain sight.

Jim Kelley’s Tahoe Nugget is small and friendly with a devoted local clientele.

The Crystal Bay Casino is famous for its music, both for the performers and for the superb acoustics of its venues, and the food at the Bistro Elise and the Steak & Lobster Room lives up to the stylish atmosphere too.

Tahoe Biltmore, Crystal Bay NevadaThe Tahoe Biltmore is a full service hotel and 24/7 casino with live table games and slots, sports book, two restaurants, a nightclub, a children's arcade, and attractive room rates to boot.

And the 3-story, 10 room Border House offers luxurious accommodations a short walk from th Crystal Bay Casino


Coaldale NevadaOn a recent drive up US 95 Robin and I paused at Coaldale, a burnt-out ruin on US 95 north of Tonopah that was once a popular stop for travelers.

Coaldale NevadaWikipedia says: "The service station was closed down due to EPA testing in 1993 that found that its underground fuel tanks were leaking. Soon, the restaurant and motel closed, since the service station was the primary attraction for travelers. At some point before 2006, a fire destroyed the restaurant."

Coaldale NevadaI remember pulling up to the shiny new gas pumps here many years ago and seeing it — all of it, including the buildings that have since burned — as the little store was being prepared by new owners for its Grand Opening.

Coaldale NevadaA young man was painting the trim around the front door and  I paused to talk with him as he applied the paint, very careful to do a perfect job. As we talked I watched through the doorway as an extended family was busy arranging brand-new merchandise on all the display racks and stocking the shelves with t-shirts, sweatshirts and caps in vivid colors.

His parents had just bought the place, he told me. This was their dream come true, and they had worked long and hard to make it a reality.

It was a beautiful moment.

Parting Shot —

King Street, Carson City Nevada

King Street, Carson City Nevada about 1880


The post NevadaGram #195 – Incline Village, Crystal Bay and Coaldale appeared first on NevadaGram from the Nevada Travel Network - Telling Nevada's story 365, 24/7. The Nevada Travel Network © 2017

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Incline Village Nevada

In all my years of exploring Nevada the most difficult place for me to get a handle on has been Incline Village. Incline Village NevadaI could never find the There there. Now with the help of Kayla Anderson (see below) I've learned there isn't one.
In most small Nevada towns, if you could get up on the roof of the tallest building, maybe 3 or 4 stories, which you'd find at the center of town, you'd see everything there is to see. Down all the streets, over the all the fences, into all the back yards. Not Incline Village though. It's not just that the trees get in the way, although they do. It's that it was never a town in the usual sense, although it's trying to become one. Every other other burg in Nevada formed itself round some natural activity center — a railroad depot, a mine, a ford of the river, a crossroads. Incline Village formed around a golf course.

Five Years Ago in the NevadaGram

We had a great time doing the things you do at Goldfield Days, starting with the the pancake breakfast at the Fire House and continuing through a warm sunny day with the parade, the property auction, hot food, cold drink, historic presentations in the Court House. Ultralite plane at Goldfield Days 2012Radio Goldfield (89.1 fm) toured the town with an atv and big speakers spraying music into the air (including family favorite “My Ding-a-Ling”) and Alan Metscher presided over a highly enjoyable Bus Tour of the old city. He showed a school bus full of visitors the path of the great flood of 1913 and the area burnt in the great fire ten years later. His tales sometimes began “Legend has it that. . . .” 2012 Goldfield Days ParadeThat is not a quibble, a place’s legends help to define it, I mention it to indicate that he did not permit the facts to stand naked and alone in his presentation, but coiffed them and shod them and put feathers in their hats to show them at their best. 2012 Goldfield DaysThe land auction was exciting to watch, and brought Esmeralda County some serious money. Underneath these traditional enjoyments there was a subcurrent of anticipation throughout the day: the president of the Chamber of Commerce had promised to set a school bus on fire that night.

Read the whole thing here

But before we get to that, let's take a look around. I like coming to the north shore of Lake Tahoe from Carson City via US 50 because it is a 4-lane highway built for cars, while the Mount Rose road Nevada 431) is a 2-lane paved-over wagon track zig-zagging up the east slope of the Sierra, built for 3 mph but driven at 50. Turn north on Nevada 28 at Spooner Summit and start into the forest. You'll encounter one gem after another, starting just a few miles along at Spooner Lake, surrounded by aspens and by 12,000 acres of forest, part of Lake Tahoe State Park. You can access 50 miles of hiking, equestrian and mountain biking trails here; the 2-mile trail around the lake is an easy stroll with many small pleasures along the way. Cost is $10 in summer, $7 in other seasons. Continuing north on 28 we might pass the entrance to Thunderbird Lodge on the left without noticing it. The yacht Thunderbird at Thunderbird Lodge, Lake Tahoe NevadaIt's just as well; this was the estate of George Whittell whose eccentricities were financed by the enormous wealth he'd pulled from the stock market in 1929 just before the crash. He lived a phenomenal life and built a phenomenal stone house to live it in. Beautifully restored and maintained it is available for tours which you can arrange at Sand Harbor or at the Visitors Center farther along. Highly recommended. Take the tour and descend the 600-foot tunnel from the house to the boat house — and what a boat! One of the rooms along its length was his pet lion's kennel, poker games were conducted in another.
Back on the road. As you approach Sand Harbor you're passing above Clemens' Cove. Mark Twain wrote in "Roughing It" about making a timber claim here in 1861, involving construction of a brush lean-to and setting the forest on fire. Sand Harbor State Park (8 am to one hour past sunset, 365 days a year. Drive in: $7 winter, $12/summer. Bike in: $2 Walk in $1) is almost magically beautiful. There's nothing prettier on a sunny summer's day than the creamy crescent of beach, sprinkled with bathers in and out of the water, and punctuated with pointillist dabs of red, white, orange, green and blue umbrellas, edging the big blue lake. There is a boat launch, a couple of short scenic hikes, and you can rent kayaks and paddleboards. There's a Visitor Center and even a bar & grill with a shaded deck. In winter the parking lots are kept clear of snow and you can take an unforgettable sleigh ride into the wintry woods. Do this. The new East Shore Trail is being built from Lakeshore Drive in Incline Village to Sand Harbor, part of a planned 10-foot wide Lake Tahoe Bikeway that will go all around the Lake. The Cartwrights of Ponderosa Ranch, NevadaFurther on we pass the hallowed grounds of the Ponderosa Ranch on the right, fabled home of the Cartwright Family in the hugely popular television series "Bonanza", broadcast by NBC in color at 9 o'clock on Sunday nights. The make-believe Ranch opened in 1967 and closed in 2004. Incline Village Nevada Visitors CenterIf ever a town needed a Visitor Center, it's this one, and happily enough it has one, ahead on the left at the eastern edge of town, dispensing detailed information to out-of-towners about all the ways to enjoy the lake: hiking and biking trails from the Flume Trail to the Ale Trail; the food, three dozen dining choices when you include Crystal Bay three miles farther along; the drink from the elegant Lone Eagle Grille on the water to the beer-shrine The Alibi in the industrial district to the comfortable Crosby's in Christmas Tree Village; the nightlife — casinos at the Hyatt and at three more in Crystal Bay; and the lodging, the splendid Hyatt and both the Biltmore and the 9-room Border House in Crystal Bay. Highly recommended. It's all just ahead and hugely enjoyable: so press on and enjoy it!

Ten Years Ago in the NevadaGram

Like every other sane person in this crazy world, I try to get to Laughlin four or five times a year. Laughlin Nevada and the Colorado RiverIt provides just the right balance between Monaco and Mayberry. It’s a gambling resort with fishing privileges, a calm, friendly and undemanding place and every time I come I feel the urgency drain out of me and a sweet and tender lassitude take its place. If there can be anything like a small town with 11 large casino resorts, this is it. Back in August, for example, the Aquarius Casino Resort collected four boxes of school supplies for Diamondback Elementary School across the river in Bullhead City. River walk, Laughlin NevadaAt Halloween the Edgewater and Colorado Belle held a community- wide Safe Street Trick-or-Treat party, complete with a haunted house, a 900-lb carved pumpkin and candy for the kids. In the fall the River Palms sponsored a food drive with employees and the public encouraged to donate canned food and other non-perishables to benefit the area’s families in need. Next I expect that the Tropicana Express will be holding a Bake Sale for the Senior Citizens. There was a time — 20 years ago Circus Circus made the Colorado Belle the most photogenic casino on the river — when Laughlin seemed destined to rival Las Vegas for splash and excitement. It didn’t happen. By 1996, talk of overtaking Las Vegas had ended. In fact now Laughlin presents itself as a serene alternative to Las Vegas overload. Fishing node, Colorado River at LaughlinThe RiverWalk has now been extended upriver all the way to Davis Dam, and one of the recent improvements was the addition of a fishing platform. Does that say it all? Not quite. The outlet mall that opened 10 years ago has new owners who have added three new stores and are bringing 28 new stores, more high-end than before.

Are We There Yet? - photo by Robin CobbeyRead the whole thing here

In 1960 — one lifetime ago or less — there were only four houses where Incline Village is now, and the place didn't have a name yet. In winter the California Highway Department plowed the snow off the road on the Nevada side of the border so the school bus could get to the four kids who lived there. They rode to Truckee and back each day, an hour's drive via King's Beach and Tahoe City. Then the Crystal Bay Development Company bought 9,000 acres from George Whittell and began to cut roads and develop beaches, a ski area and a Robert Trent Jones golf course. The "Chateau" at the golf course was the company offices as the golf course was created. As it became famous, some of the people who came to play fell under Tahoe's spell so that much of the early residential development was strips of second homes not far from the fairways. The ghost of Mark Twain lingers at Incline Village in the person of McAvoy Layne, who has been a resident for 40 years. He described the demographics in that earlier time: "There was a saying in those days that anyone who lives at Incline Village has either two homes or two jobs. Now there are more families here, working people who are making it into a real community." Community was not an issue in the 1880s when Incline's pioneers were all working people, cutting down trees and getting them over to the mines in Virginia City. Sawmill at Sand Harbor, Lake TahoeThe Sierra Nevada Wood & Lumber Company built a sawmill at Sand Harbor in 1878 where logs were floated from around the lake and were sawed into lumber. From there the cut lumber and cordwood were hauled by narrow-gauge railway to the foot of "The Great Incline" and pulled up nearly to the summit of the Carson Range, a 20-minute ride up the 4,000-foot tramway, 1,400 feet above the lake. The cars were angled to keep the loads level as they traveled up the steep grade, and the system could deliver 300 cords of cordwood or 1,500 board feet of cut lumber day-in, day-out to the V-flume. The great Incline, north shore Lake Tahoe about 1880The tramline was a minor miracle of engineering; a double-track of narrow-gauge rails, eighteen feet in overall width, with cross ties on a solid log bed supporting them. As four loaded cars were being hauled up on the endless cable by the steam engine at the top, four empties were let down the other pair of rails. Near the top of the Incline the rise was 8 feet in every 12, a 67 percent grade; the 8,000-foot cable weighed 7 tons. At the top the wood was put piece by piece into the V-flume that carried it rapidly through the Virginia City Water Company's 4,000 foot tunnel and on down the steep east slope to Lakeview north of Carson City where it was loaded onto flatcars of the V&T and hauled to the Comstock.

Fifteen Years Ago in the NevadaGram

My Wendover item last month was out of date before its electrons settled. Wendover WillThe Mississippi-based Isle of Capri company had bid $30 million, but Columbia Sussex Corp (Horizon, Lake Tahoe; Maxim, Las Vegas) upped the ante to $31 million for the Silver Smith and Stateline, the bankrupted Smith Family hotel casinos on the Utah border. As the High Desert Advocate reported, “Attorneys for the two battled like poker players from the old west. In counter bids ranging from one to two million they raised and counter-raised until the price climbed to $41 million.” Peppermill Hotel Casino, Wendover NevadaAt that point, the Peppermill (which had abandoned an earlier offer for the properties) came back to the table with a partner called Generation 2000 and offered $42,500,000. Isle of Capri folded, but Columbia Sussex hung tough until the bidding reached $55 million. But that was their limit, and the sale went to the Peppermill — which will operate the Silver Smith — and Generation 2000 — which will operate the larger State Line. The sale includes a $22 million non-refundable deposit, which will go a long way toward paying the unsecured creditors and the back taxes sorely missed by the Wendover schools. Wendover, NevadaThe City of West Wendover is already deciding what to do about annexing Wendover Utah (citizens of both communities approved the idea at the recent election) while facing the grim decisions demanded by a $600,000 budget deficit. Having these two properties on the eastern boundary returned to full throttle is most welcome to Wendover, Elko County, and the state as a whole.

Are We There Yet? - photo by Robin CobbeyRead the whole thing here

The company ceased operations in 1895, and you might call this prehistory, even though the bunk houses for the 200 - 250 men who built and operated the famous Incline briefly attracted an election precinct and a fourth class post office called Incline. When they were done, they left with everything they could carry and abandoned the rest.
Crystal Bay is three miles farther west, past the roundabout at the junction of Nevada 431 right at the California line. It is considerably smaller — barely 300 residents in 2010 — and older than its near neighbor. The bright commercial cluster at the border hangs everything out in plain sight. Jim Kelley’s Tahoe Nugget is small and friendly with a devoted local clientele. The Crystal Bay Casino is famous for its music, both for the performers and for the superb acoustics of its venues, and the food at the Bistro Elise and the Steak & Lobster Room lives up to the stylish atmosphere too. Tahoe Biltmore, Crystal Bay NevadaThe Tahoe Biltmore is a full service hotel and 24/7 casino with live table games and slots, sports book, two restaurants, a nightclub, a children's arcade, and attractive room rates to boot. And the 3-story, 10 room Border House offers luxurious accommodations a short walk from th Crystal Bay Casino
Coaldale NevadaOn a recent drive up US 95 Robin and I paused at Coaldale, a burnt-out ruin on US 95 north of Tonopah that was once a popular stop for travelers. Coaldale NevadaWikipedia says: "The service station was closed down due to EPA testing in 1993 that found that its underground fuel tanks were leaking. Soon, the restaurant and motel closed, since the service station was the primary attraction for travelers. At some point before 2006, a fire destroyed the restaurant." Coaldale NevadaI remember pulling up to the shiny new gas pumps here many years ago and seeing it — all of it, including the buildings that have since burned — as the little store was being prepared by new owners for its Grand Opening. Coaldale NevadaA young man was painting the trim around the front door and  I paused to talk with him as he applied the paint, very careful to do a perfect job. As we talked I watched through the doorway as an extended family was busy arranging brand-new merchandise on all the display racks and stocking the shelves with t-shirts, sweatshirts and caps in vivid colors. His parents had just bought the place, he told me. This was their dream come true, and they had worked long and hard to make it a reality. It was a beautiful moment. Parting Shot — King Street, Carson City Nevada King Street, Carson City Nevada about 1880

The post NevadaGram #195 – Incline Village, Crystal Bay and Coaldale appeared first on NevadaGram from the Nevada Travel Network - Telling Nevada's story 365, 24/7. The Nevada Travel Network © 2017

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NevadaGram #194 – Laughlin, Art Flap at Baker http://nevadagram.com/nevadagram-194-laughlin-art-flap-at-baker/ http://nevadagram.com/nevadagram-194-laughlin-art-flap-at-baker/#comments Mon, 04 Sep 2017 12:32:04 +0000 http://nevadagram.com/?p=25970 US 95 in Nevada

We'd been a long day on the road and running late, hurrying now that a sunset was setting the sky on fire, worried we'd find all the campsites taken. Big Bend of the Colorado Recreation Area near Laughlin NevadaWe'd visited the Big Bend of the Colorado Recreation Area a few years ago and remembered it as an attractive spot with 24 campsites. There were only embers glowing in the western sky when we pulled off the Needles Highway about five miles south of Laughlin.

But . . . other than a single RV near the entrance the campground was deserted.

Big Bend of the Colorado Recreation Area near Laughlin Nevada

We drove slowly past 23 empty camp sites, one after another, then came back around to pick one near the showers and hook up to the power. We drifted off to dreamland wondering why we were the only ones using this very nicely designed and maintained — and eerily empty and silent — facility.

Five Years Ago in the NevadaGram

Goldfield Days is shaping up to be something different this year. It’s the weekend of August 17-19, and Goldfield is the place to be.

Goldfield Days, third weekend in August, is the little city’s annual celebration of itself, and it’s always a dandy. One time a lady took her clothes off in front of everybody, this time they’re going to burn a bus. I’m packing for the trip, see you there.


The Kingston Jubilee was held on the large, green lawn of the Miles End bed and breakfast Inn, an attractive retreat in the middle of town.

At the Freakers Ball on Saturday night local residents and ranchers boogied alongside out-of-towners and Burners. K-town boppers, Kingston NevadaMany in the crowd turned out in costume. Glamorous women swooped by in flowing dresses and pink, blue, or green hair. Men sported Stetsons and top hats. One guy was boogying in a terrycloth bathrobe. A Kingston couple came as cave man and cave woman, wearing furs and carrying clubs.

In consideration of the neighbors, the band stopped playing at 11 pm, but most of the crowd stayed later, extending the lovely evening late into the night.

Are We There Yet? - photo by Robin CobbeyRead the
whole thing
here

In the morning it was just us and some roadrunners zipping around. The temperature began to rise before the sun did. And then the sun burned its way slowly across the cloudless sky above the shadeless park for the rest of the day, thus providing the answer to last night's wondering: it's too [expletive] hot! Not just hot, you understand, but too [expletive] hot.

"We almost always have spaces available in the hot summer months," a Ranger told to me. "But in the colder months we're slammed solid, filled with snowbirds down from Canada."

Big Bend of the Colorado Recreation Area near Laughlin Nevada

In those colder months it's too chilly, if not downright freezing, to play on the beach — it snowed here on New Year's Eve a few years ago — but even on too [expletive] hot summer days like this the water's edge thrives with happily splashing kids, and the picnic facilities and

barbecues are all in use. Fishermen are fishing, hikers are hiking and the boat ramp is bustling with small pleasure craft loading and unloading into the river.

These trails and beaches provide pleasant and relaxing enjoyments of the natural world along the river, and if that's not enough, Laughlin is just upstream.
There is a residential Laughlin higher up the hillside, with a grocery store, insurance agents and all the clutter of modern life, but it's the Casino and Entertainment district along the river that visitors flock to. It's a row of nine glowing gambling houses large and small (mostly large) with thousands of hotel rooms, dozens of bars and restaurants, a 7-fingered handful of lounge and cabaret stages, and a large outdoor concert venue. This is Las Vegas in the slow lane. A decorous amount of razzamatazz, no traffic jams and plenty of free parking.

Laughlin NevadaAnd there is the RiverWalk. This is a quirky 2-part 3-mile trail along the river that is fun to walk. Its southern end is at the Laughlin River Lodge, and the first part goes north from there. It passes behind, through and around the great casinos that invite lingering along the way: have a drink, have a snack, play a little blackjack. Robin and I interrupted our stroll with an excellent breakfast and an idyllic view of the river at Bumbleberry Flats in the Golden Nugget.

The first part of the RiverWalk ends at the pedestrian bridge over the highway coming into town from the west. Crossing the bridge begins the second part of the walk, an easy mile and a half farther north on the nearly level ground beside the river. This is Mom Nature in the desert without her lipstick, quite different from the backsides and insides of the casinos on the first part of the walk.

Bring your tackle and you can fish for bass and trout from the shaded pods installed along the shore for the purpose. The walk ends at Davis Dam at a day use area with shaded picnic tables and barbecues plus a big lawn and a splash pad for kids.


We noticed something strange in Tonopah. Advertised gasoline prices were as much as 60¢ higher at the edges of town ($2.89) than at Valero and Giggle Springs in the shadow of the Mizpah ($2.29). When I inquired I was given a nonsequiterial response, which I did not pursue. But if you'll be driving in Tonopah, keep it in mind.

Anyone who remembers Carol's Country Kitchen in Austin will be thrilled to learn that Sissie Gallegos and Cindy Jolly are preparing to open a restaurant in the Main Street Shops in Austin. Sissie is an Austin native who worked for Carol, when her steak dinners were famous in five counties, and she worked at Carver's in Big Smoky Valley too. No opening date has been firmly established, but it will be called Grandma's and will be a grand addition to Austin's culinary attractions.

Our drive up US 95 was especially dramatic, as Mom Nature was showing off her chops, one riff after another.

Virga near US 95 in Nevada
Storm and sun simultaneously
Playa on US 95 in Nevada
Rainbow in a rainstorm on US 95 in Nevada

Black patches on the mountains were the shadows cast by fluffy white clouds. Dust dervishes danced madly across playas. Virga fell from black clouds halfway to the ground.

We made our traditional stop at S'socorro's in Mina for chocolate malts. It's not easy to think of Mina as bigger than Hawthorne, but it was when the Carson & Colorado railroad tracks were realigned around on the east side of Walker Lake and bypassed Hawthorne completely. Mina boomed with th railroad and Hawthorne sagged without it. But when Hawthorne got the ammunition depot it got the railroad back too, and recovered its health.

Ten Years Ago in the NevadaGram

In the fall of 1968, a man named Frank van Zant was driving west on I-80 in a 1946 Chevy pickup truck. Frank was a divinity school drop-out, a 20-year deputy sheriff in Sutter County California, and a retired private investigator. Now he and his third wife were beginning a new life together. Near the old railroad town of Imlay, the old truck broke down. Frank managed to get it off the highway and into the sagebrush where they set up camp. When the owner of the property came along and offered to sell the 5-acre property at a bargain price and easy terms, they bought it.

And then things started getting interesting. With desert flotsam and bags and bags of cement, he and a small number of volunteers began to build a phantasmagorical structure, completed to its present state in 1975 or thereabout.

Rolling Thunder, Frank van Zant, Interstate 80Rolling Thunder is gone now, and his followers dispersed. The property is occupied and protected by his grown children who welcome visitors for self-guided tours.

Do this.

The strangeness of the place is somewhat daunting without Rolling Thunder’s personal welcome, but even a brief visit is an unforgettable experience.

Are We There Yet? - photo by Robin CobbeyRead the
whole thing
here

Doc Sherman earned his place in the Nevada Hall of Fame in the mid-1990s when he filled some gloves with urethane foam, stuck them on top of fenceposts alongside the road leading up to Great Basin National Park, and proclaimed them the emblems of the Permanent Wave Society.

That endless gesture of greeting inspired others who added more whimsies and ecstatic chimera at the side of the road — a ramshackle jalopy was outfitted with the skeleton of a horse in the driver's seat and the assemblage was christened The Horse With No Name. This self-curated exhibit of “Post-Impressionist" art by local residents became an attraction in its own right, ornaments put in place by benign spirits who live hereabouts.

Pegasus on Nevada 288Toward the end of October some junior high school students brought a school project to the roadside, five sculptures: Pegasus, Delphinus, the Little Dipper, the Plow, and Cassiopeia. They were too big for fenceposts, so they were placed on the ground. You can see them in detail here on Gretchen Baker's blog, Desert Survivor. (Gretchen is our Baker Correspondent)

So intriguing were these new pieces — so successful as art, in other words — that drivers paused in the roadway to look at them and take photos, causing enough disgruntlement amongst other drivers that one of them called the Highway Department to complain.

"Baker Mix", Baker Nevada

Shortly afterward, Randy Hesterlee, Assistant District Engineer for NDOT in Ely, took a loader and a dump truck and swept the roadside clear of the sculptures as if they were prison guards sweeping a cell block free of contraband. As Gretchen reported, "If any one wants to claim the road art as theirs, they can call John Ogden at 775-289-1700 to arrange a pickup."

Safety is certainly a legitimate concern, but to scoop up these delightful works and haul them away without warning? Why? It wouldn't have taken a detective to find the authors of these pieces before they were grabbed and put into quarantine.

Fifteen Years Ago in the NevadaGram

The Nevada Travel Network has outdone itself, and I am beaming with pride and pleasure when I report that in September, while booking rooms by the dozens for human travelers, we also booked our first stalls for horses.

Within the daily torrent of e-mail requests for information came one from a traveler driving east from California to Wyoming (or was it Montana? — one of those eastern states, anyhow) wanting a place to board her horses overnight in Wendover. A flurry of e-mails across northeastern Nevada brought a response from the City of West Wendover with directions to the City Corral, where the equines passed a peaceful night and their chauffeur went out and had some fun.

And speaking of Wendover, it’s the hottest place in Nevada just now and we are not talking temperature here. Officially West Wendover, it has grown to be a bright spot in northeast Nevada and a major contributor of jobs and tax revenues in Elko County.

Wendover Utah, meanwhile, grew by providing low-rent housing for the low-pay employees at the Nevada-side casinos. The Nevada city had actually begun the process of absorbing its rickety Utah neighbor, and bureaucrats on both sides were scratching their heads over how to redraw the state boundary line when the bankruptcy of the Silver Smith and State Line casino hotels, put everything else in the shade.

Are We There Yet? - photo by Robin CobbeyRead the
whole thing
here

The Dolphin, Baker Nevada

"Because many of the sculptures in this case did not have an artist name or any other identifying information, we were not able to directly notify the artist(s) prior to removing the sculptures. Under our standard procedure . . . many of these sculptures were stored at our NDOT Baker roadway maintenance station and are available for owner(s) to pick up by contacting NDOT Ely offices at (775) 289-1700 to schedule pick up."

The solution seems simple to me:
1. Build pull-offs to view the art; offset the cost via a Crowdfunding solution.
2. Send Assistant District Engineers to Charm school and oblige them to get to know their neighbors.

Cassiopaeia at Baker Nevada

 

In February a public meeting was convened on the topic in Baker, with about 20 locals in attendance, an unprecedented turnout, along with the NDOT brass and White Pine County Commissioner Gary Perea. NDOT Director Rudy Malfabon agreed the agency will now work directly with the Baker Area Citizens Advisory Board, which will serve as the permittee and point of contact for the local artists. He also spelled out NDOT's requirements for putting the art back.

"Submitting a permit request is the first step for citizens who are interested in potentially using state road right-of-way, whether for an organized event such as a parade or for art or other permanent installation."

 

So far though, no appropriate location has been established to display the sculptures and no permit applications have been made. For the time being at least, Baker's blithe spirits have been subdued, filling out a permission form is chloroform to sublime silliness. The sculptures remain under lock and key and a slight pall has fallen over Highway 188.

Still, NDOT has opened a channel to put the art back beside the road, in a carefully prepared location of its own choosing. So how about a crowd-funded effort to pay for it? Wouldn't pitching in to cover the cost of building the pull-off be a big boost toward getting it done? I'm in for $100.

Visitors are invited for light refreshments at the Western Folklife Center Open House during the Elko Wine Walk on Saturday, September 9, from 4 - 6 pm. Internationally acclaimed ceramists Dennis Parks and son Ben Parks of Tuscarora will talk about the exhibit "Dennis Parks: Land, Language and Clay". Also, former Center E.D. Charlie Seemann will celebrate his new book and companion exhibition, "Way Out West: Images of the American Ranch, Photographs From the Farm Security Administration, 1936-1943". Both Seemann and Parks will sign their books, available in the Gift Shop. The exhibitions will be free and the Pioneer Bar will be open.

Mark Twain's 183rd birthday partyMcAvoy Layne has entertained audiences around the world as "The Ghost of Twain". In November he will host Mark Twain's 183d Birthday party aboard the Mississippi paddlewheeler "America" as it churns upriver from New Orleans to Memphis after a pre-departure party the night before.

McAvoy will be telling stories and reliving "Life on the Mississippi" to share Twain's observations in private gatherings over the course of the journey. "America" is one of the finest river boats ever built, with many novel features, a casual ambiance and panoramic views of the passing scenery.

Occupancy is limited 185 guests, and to book your place for the November 9-17 cruise you can call McAvoy at 775-833-1835 or visit the website.

Parting Shot —

[caption id="attachment_26207" align="aligncenter" width="720"]Lake Tahoe from above Glenbrook Lake Tahoe from above Glenbrook, by Brendan Packer[/caption]

The post NevadaGram #194 – Laughlin, Art Flap at Baker appeared first on NevadaGram from the Nevada Travel Network - Telling Nevada's story 365, 24/7. The Nevada Travel Network © 2017

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US 95 in Nevada

We'd been a long day on the road and running late, hurrying now that a sunset was setting the sky on fire, worried we'd find all the campsites taken. Big Bend of the Colorado Recreation Area near Laughlin NevadaWe'd visited the Big Bend of the Colorado Recreation Area a few years ago and remembered it as an attractive spot with 24 campsites. There were only embers glowing in the western sky when we pulled off the Needles Highway about five miles south of Laughlin. But . . . other than a single RV near the entrance the campground was deserted.
Big Bend of the Colorado Recreation Area near Laughlin Nevada
We drove slowly past 23 empty camp sites, one after another, then came back around to pick one near the showers and hook up to the power. We drifted off to dreamland wondering why we were the only ones using this very nicely designed and maintained — and eerily empty and silent — facility.

Five Years Ago in the NevadaGram

Goldfield Days is shaping up to be something different this year. It’s the weekend of August 17-19, and Goldfield is the place to be.

Goldfield Days, third weekend in August, is the little city’s annual celebration of itself, and it’s always a dandy. One time a lady took her clothes off in front of everybody, this time they’re going to burn a bus. I’m packing for the trip, see you there.

The Kingston Jubilee was held on the large, green lawn of the Miles End bed and breakfast Inn, an attractive retreat in the middle of town. At the Freakers Ball on Saturday night local residents and ranchers boogied alongside out-of-towners and Burners. K-town boppers, Kingston NevadaMany in the crowd turned out in costume. Glamorous women swooped by in flowing dresses and pink, blue, or green hair. Men sported Stetsons and top hats. One guy was boogying in a terrycloth bathrobe. A Kingston couple came as cave man and cave woman, wearing furs and carrying clubs. In consideration of the neighbors, the band stopped playing at 11 pm, but most of the crowd stayed later, extending the lovely evening late into the night.

Are We There Yet? - photo by Robin CobbeyRead the whole thing here

In the morning it was just us and some roadrunners zipping around. The temperature began to rise before the sun did. And then the sun burned its way slowly across the cloudless sky above the shadeless park for the rest of the day, thus providing the answer to last night's wondering: it's too [expletive] hot! Not just hot, you understand, but too [expletive] hot. "We almost always have spaces available in the hot summer months," a Ranger told to me. "But in the colder months we're slammed solid, filled with snowbirds down from Canada."
Big Bend of the Colorado Recreation Area near Laughlin Nevada
In those colder months it's too chilly, if not downright freezing, to play on the beach — it snowed here on New Year's Eve a few years ago — but even on too [expletive] hot summer days like this the water's edge thrives with happily splashing kids, and the picnic facilities and
barbecues are all in use. Fishermen are fishing, hikers are hiking and the boat ramp is bustling with small pleasure craft loading and unloading into the river. These trails and beaches provide pleasant and relaxing enjoyments of the natural world along the river, and if that's not enough, Laughlin is just upstream. There is a residential Laughlin higher up the hillside, with a grocery store, insurance agents and all the clutter of modern life, but it's the Casino and Entertainment district along the river that visitors flock to. It's a row of nine glowing gambling houses large and small (mostly large) with thousands of hotel rooms, dozens of bars and restaurants, a 7-fingered handful of lounge and cabaret stages, and a large outdoor concert venue. This is Las Vegas in the slow lane. A decorous amount of razzamatazz, no traffic jams and plenty of free parking.
Laughlin NevadaAnd there is the RiverWalk. This is a quirky 2-part 3-mile trail along the river that is fun to walk. Its southern end is at the Laughlin River Lodge, and the first part goes north from there. It passes behind, through and around the great casinos that invite lingering along the way: have a drink, have a snack, play a little blackjack. Robin and I interrupted our stroll with an excellent breakfast and an idyllic view of the river at Bumbleberry Flats in the Golden Nugget. The first part of the RiverWalk ends at the pedestrian bridge over the highway coming into town from the west. Crossing the bridge begins the second part of the walk, an easy mile and a half farther north on the nearly level ground beside the river. This is Mom Nature in the desert without her lipstick, quite different from the backsides and insides of the casinos on the first part of the walk. Bring your tackle and you can fish for bass and trout from the shaded pods installed along the shore for the purpose. The walk ends at Davis Dam at a day use area with shaded picnic tables and barbecues plus a big lawn and a splash pad for kids.
We noticed something strange in Tonopah. Advertised gasoline prices were as much as 60¢ higher at the edges of town ($2.89) than at Valero and Giggle Springs in the shadow of the Mizpah ($2.29). When I inquired I was given a nonsequiterial response, which I did not pursue. But if you'll be driving in Tonopah, keep it in mind.
Anyone who remembers Carol's Country Kitchen in Austin will be thrilled to learn that Sissie Gallegos and Cindy Jolly are preparing to open a restaurant in the Main Street Shops in Austin. Sissie is an Austin native who worked for Carol, when her steak dinners were famous in five counties, and she worked at Carver's in Big Smoky Valley too. No opening date has been firmly established, but it will be called Grandma's and will be a grand addition to Austin's culinary attractions. Our drive up US 95 was especially dramatic, as Mom Nature was showing off her chops, one riff after another.
Virga near US 95 in Nevada
Storm and sun simultaneously
Playa on US 95 in Nevada
Rainbow in a rainstorm on US 95 in Nevada
Black patches on the mountains were the shadows cast by fluffy white clouds. Dust dervishes danced madly across playas. Virga fell from black clouds halfway to the ground.
We made our traditional stop at S'socorro's in Mina for chocolate malts. It's not easy to think of Mina as bigger than Hawthorne, but it was when the Carson & Colorado railroad tracks were realigned around on the east side of Walker Lake and bypassed Hawthorne completely. Mina boomed with th railroad and Hawthorne sagged without it. But when Hawthorne got the ammunition depot it got the railroad back too, and recovered its health.

Ten Years Ago in the NevadaGram

In the fall of 1968, a man named Frank van Zant was driving west on I-80 in a 1946 Chevy pickup truck. Frank was a divinity school drop-out, a 20-year deputy sheriff in Sutter County California, and a retired private investigator. Now he and his third wife were beginning a new life together. Near the old railroad town of Imlay, the old truck broke down. Frank managed to get it off the highway and into the sagebrush where they set up camp. When the owner of the property came along and offered to sell the 5-acre property at a bargain price and easy terms, they bought it. And then things started getting interesting. With desert flotsam and bags and bags of cement, he and a small number of volunteers began to build a phantasmagorical structure, completed to its present state in 1975 or thereabout. Rolling Thunder, Frank van Zant, Interstate 80Rolling Thunder is gone now, and his followers dispersed. The property is occupied and protected by his grown children who welcome visitors for self-guided tours. Do this. The strangeness of the place is somewhat daunting without Rolling Thunder’s personal welcome, but even a brief visit is an unforgettable experience.

Are We There Yet? - photo by Robin CobbeyRead the whole thing here

Doc Sherman earned his place in the Nevada Hall of Fame in the mid-1990s when he filled some gloves with urethane foam, stuck them on top of fenceposts alongside the road leading up to Great Basin National Park, and proclaimed them the emblems of the Permanent Wave Society. That endless gesture of greeting inspired others who added more whimsies and ecstatic chimera at the side of the road — a ramshackle jalopy was outfitted with the skeleton of a horse in the driver's seat and the assemblage was christened The Horse With No Name. This self-curated exhibit of “Post-Impressionist" art by local residents became an attraction in its own right, ornaments put in place by benign spirits who live hereabouts. Pegasus on Nevada 288Toward the end of October some junior high school students brought a school project to the roadside, five sculptures: Pegasus, Delphinus, the Little Dipper, the Plow, and Cassiopeia. They were too big for fenceposts, so they were placed on the ground. You can see them in detail here on Gretchen Baker's blog, Desert Survivor. (Gretchen is our Baker Correspondent) So intriguing were these new pieces — so successful as art, in other words — that drivers paused in the roadway to look at them and take photos, causing enough disgruntlement amongst other drivers that one of them called the Highway Department to complain.
"Baker Mix", Baker Nevada
Shortly afterward, Randy Hesterlee, Assistant District Engineer for NDOT in Ely, took a loader and a dump truck and swept the roadside clear of the sculptures as if they were prison guards sweeping a cell block free of contraband. As Gretchen reported, "If any one wants to claim the road art as theirs, they can call John Ogden at 775-289-1700 to arrange a pickup." Safety is certainly a legitimate concern, but to scoop up these delightful works and haul them away without warning? Why? It wouldn't have taken a detective to find the authors of these pieces before they were grabbed and put into quarantine.

Fifteen Years Ago in the NevadaGram

The Nevada Travel Network has outdone itself, and I am beaming with pride and pleasure when I report that in September, while booking rooms by the dozens for human travelers, we also booked our first stalls for horses. Within the daily torrent of e-mail requests for information came one from a traveler driving east from California to Wyoming (or was it Montana? — one of those eastern states, anyhow) wanting a place to board her horses overnight in Wendover. A flurry of e-mails across northeastern Nevada brought a response from the City of West Wendover with directions to the City Corral, where the equines passed a peaceful night and their chauffeur went out and had some fun.
And speaking of Wendover, it’s the hottest place in Nevada just now and we are not talking temperature here. Officially West Wendover, it has grown to be a bright spot in northeast Nevada and a major contributor of jobs and tax revenues in Elko County. Wendover Utah, meanwhile, grew by providing low-rent housing for the low-pay employees at the Nevada-side casinos. The Nevada city had actually begun the process of absorbing its rickety Utah neighbor, and bureaucrats on both sides were scratching their heads over how to redraw the state boundary line when the bankruptcy of the Silver Smith and State Line casino hotels, put everything else in the shade.

Are We There Yet? - photo by Robin CobbeyRead the whole thing here

The Dolphin, Baker Nevada
"Because many of the sculptures in this case did not have an artist name or any other identifying information, we were not able to directly notify the artist(s) prior to removing the sculptures. Under our standard procedure . . . many of these sculptures were stored at our NDOT Baker roadway maintenance station and are available for owner(s) to pick up by contacting NDOT Ely offices at (775) 289-1700 to schedule pick up." The solution seems simple to me: 1. Build pull-offs to view the art; offset the cost via a Crowdfunding solution. 2. Send Assistant District Engineers to Charm school and oblige them to get to know their neighbors.
Cassiopaeia at Baker Nevada

 

In February a public meeting was convened on the topic in Baker, with about 20 locals in attendance, an unprecedented turnout, along with the NDOT brass and White Pine County Commissioner Gary Perea. NDOT Director Rudy Malfabon agreed the agency will now work directly with the Baker Area Citizens Advisory Board, which will serve as the permittee and point of contact for the local artists. He also spelled out NDOT's requirements for putting the art back. "Submitting a permit request is the first step for citizens who are interested in potentially using state road right-of-way, whether for an organized event such as a parade or for art or other permanent installation."

 

So far though, no appropriate location has been established to display the sculptures and no permit applications have been made. For the time being at least, Baker's blithe spirits have been subdued, filling out a permission form is chloroform to sublime silliness. The sculptures remain under lock and key and a slight pall has fallen over Highway 188. Still, NDOT has opened a channel to put the art back beside the road, in a carefully prepared location of its own choosing. So how about a crowd-funded effort to pay for it? Wouldn't pitching in to cover the cost of building the pull-off be a big boost toward getting it done? I'm in for $100.
Visitors are invited for light refreshments at the Western Folklife Center Open House during the Elko Wine Walk on Saturday, September 9, from 4 - 6 pm. Internationally acclaimed ceramists Dennis Parks and son Ben Parks of Tuscarora will talk about the exhibit "Dennis Parks: Land, Language and Clay". Also, former Center E.D. Charlie Seemann will celebrate his new book and companion exhibition, "Way Out West: Images of the American Ranch, Photographs From the Farm Security Administration, 1936-1943". Both Seemann and Parks will sign their books, available in the Gift Shop. The exhibitions will be free and the Pioneer Bar will be open. Mark Twain's 183rd birthday partyMcAvoy Layne has entertained audiences around the world as "The Ghost of Twain". In November he will host Mark Twain's 183d Birthday party aboard the Mississippi paddlewheeler "America" as it churns upriver from New Orleans to Memphis after a pre-departure party the night before. McAvoy will be telling stories and reliving "Life on the Mississippi" to share Twain's observations in private gatherings over the course of the journey. "America" is one of the finest river boats ever built, with many novel features, a casual ambiance and panoramic views of the passing scenery. Occupancy is limited 185 guests, and to book your place for the November 9-17 cruise you can call McAvoy at 775-833-1835 or visit the website. Parting Shot — [caption id="attachment_26207" align="aligncenter" width="720"]Lake Tahoe from above Glenbrook Lake Tahoe from above Glenbrook, by Brendan Packer[/caption]

The post NevadaGram #194 – Laughlin, Art Flap at Baker appeared first on NevadaGram from the Nevada Travel Network - Telling Nevada's story 365, 24/7. The Nevada Travel Network © 2017

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NevadaGram #193 – A Drive down 95 http://nevadagram.com/nevadagram-193-a-drive-down-95/ http://nevadagram.com/nevadagram-193-a-drive-down-95/#comments Wed, 02 Aug 2017 17:15:25 +0000 http://nevadagram.com/?p=25452 The Clown Motel, Tonopah Nevada

Driving and jiving down 95, first stop in Yerington where we had some bad news: Kings Diner, last year's great Yerington discovery, is gone. We liked the food, but more than that we liked the generous spirit of the people who ran it. There's a Mexican restaurant in its place now, and we will try it . . . but not while we're in mourning.

Five Years Ago in the NevadaGram

In the spring of this year CMI’s beleaguered CEO launched a 76-trombone “March to Production”. De Gasperis promised shareholders that this golden outcome would occur this summer, and there would be an August pour (meaning an ingot of precious metals derived from the local ore).

And yet the leaves tore themselves off the calendar . . . April . . . May . . . June . . . and still no ore. For a time an endless chain of trucks came grinding up the highway hauling materials for the expanded leach pad in American Flat, and then hurrying back down empty to get another load. There was a truck going by every two minutes.

But without the haul road, how could CMI move any ore? Had it literally dug itself a hole it couldn’t climb out of? So it seemed.

And then De Gasperis made a sudden, desperate move: he closed off the haul road to the public and started sending the 50-ton Haul-Paks over it without permission, asserting that it was private land after all, and under company control.

That decision defines CMI: Fumble the application, but then take what you want anyhow, and make up a plausible-sounding story to justify it if you get caught.

And of course CMI got caught: BLM red-tagged the company with a Cease & Desist Order citing Trespass, and closed the haul road to CMI’s traffic. The company has been given temporary ROW access for street-legal vehicles (but not the huge ore trucks) on a second road under dispute.

Read the whole thing here

The news was much better further on, good news you can see for yourself: the level of Walker Lake is rising. Walker Lake, near Hawthorne NevadaA rain squall was storming past overhead as the lake came into our view, gunmetal grey with gauzy curtains of virga streaming down toward it from a lumpy ceiling of black clouds. And just beyond the energetic little storm, the sun was shining bright on Hawthorne.

USO sign, Hawthorne NevadaA sign at the old USO building on Main Street (it's now the Convention Center) informed the world that the lake is up 12 feet. Over breakfast at Maggie's Once More with our Mineral County Correspondent Sheri Samson we learned that it was expected to total 18 feet of total rise, and by the time we left town mid-morning it was up another foot.

There's an air of optimism in Hawthorne just now, symbolized by the revived lake — or perhaps caused by it? Some new jobs have appeared, and more are anticipated.

The El Capitan has spruced itself up handsomely, and the biggest challenge Hawthorne is facing just now appears to be the upcoming Mount Grant Challenge.

Oh, no, there's at least one more: the iconic Hawthorne sign fell down. Some of its electrical innards were damaged and others are obsolete, but the sign is being repaired and it will be back in place on the north side of town before long.

On to Tonopah where the big news is the posting of theClown Motel,Tonopah Nevada Clown Motel for sale. This was the last of the new properties built during the boom of the early 1980s, and some consider its collection of clowns in the lobby far more frightening than the Lady in Red at the Mizpah up the street. We stayed at the Tonopah Station RV Park and advanced our education in RV Life.

Goldfield will always be special for us because on a pleasant day in July 1999 Robin and I were married there, on

the steps of the Goldfield Hotel. But on this day we hurried on with barely a glance at the Car Forest east of the highway at the south edge of town.

Beatty is peanut cluster capital of our world, and we almost always stop at the big candy store on the north side of town and then Gemma's at the center of town for an afternoon latte. The Beatty Museum was closed . . . and on we went to Pahrump for another RV adventure at the member-owned Preferred RV Park.

This is a whole different beast than the Tonopah Station facilities, which are designed for the quick and easy in-and-out of ongoing travelers; this is a settled community.

While there are other transients like us, many people live here long-term in the (mostly) huge machines parked in tidy rows. They have access to amenities ranging from showers to a swimming pool, to a laundry to pool tables, and they live in mobile mini-mansions. Most notably, the employees here all seem to have graduated from Charm School where they majored in Genuine Friendliness. It's quite pleasant.

Ten Years Ago in the NevadaGram

Rachel's weddingOur Nevada travels came to a sudden halt last month when daughter Rachel was married in Alaska and son John came home on leave from Iraq.John Toll home on leave from Iraq

But we’ll be kicking up dust again next month!

Our RV education continued rapidly. It took us from Pahrump to Las Vegas, including a terrifying drive through, around and beneath the airport to Blue Dog, a major RV center in Henderson. The genial service manager told us, as he handed us back the keys, "It's got a new water pump in the House now, but I want to emphasize how lucky you've been today. Ordinarily we'd have had to schedule you about 6 weeks out, and it's the same at all the major shops here in the Valley. But every once in a while a couple of jobs in a row are finished quicker than we thought they would, and you just happened to hit one of those gaps", he said with a smile. "Don't expect to do it again".

Fifteen Years Ago in the NevadaGram

We receive two or three e-mails a day from our website visitors with questions about Nevada. Those we can’t answer ourselves we forward to the appropriate members of the Nevada Travel Network for expert response. Some questions are more interesting than others, but only this one one made me laugh out loud:

I am coming to Las Vegas and need to pick up some Cowboy Salt (whatever that is). Do you know where I can get some? Thanks for your time, Ken

I replied:
Ken, Is this like a left-handed monkey wrench or a bucket of steam? I’ve never heard of ‘cowboy salt’ I’m sorry to say. In fact, if you find some I’d very much like to know what it is.

And three days later I got my laugh:
I do believe I have been HAD!!! although PAYBACKS will be issued!! I will get even with the guy at work for BOTH of us! I just returned from Las Vegas and was laughed right outta the store…(Mike will pay for that!). Thanks again and have a great day…Ken

Read the whole thing here


Comstock Mining Update — CMI made its Second Quarter filing with the SEC, showing another loss, this time just under $3 million.

There are nearly 30 zeros in a row on CMI's scoreboard now. Is that a record for Biggest Loser Ever at the Richest Place on Earth?

But of course the Little Mining Company That Couldn't has some more Big Plans which we'll examine next time.

What they're saying about us: "Nevada lawmakers hope to smooth

out traffic by cracking down on slow drivers clogging up the left-hand lane, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal. The Senate Transportation Committee recently passed a bill that would create fines and send repeat offenders to traffic school. Now that Nevada is ready to start recreational cannabis sales, we wonder how many stoners such a law could nab. Potheads behind the wheel will be wise to remember the old maxim: What happens in the slow lane stays in the slow lane, but not all day, dude." — High Country News


If you've wondered what the Wild Women Artists do between shows, here is your answer!


Overheard at Maggie's Once Again in Hawthorne: "Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing beats the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed."

Mono Lake California

Squaw Tom Sanders, Silver City 1974Squaw Tom's story about building the highway past Mono Lake makes me laugh every time I read it. Next time you drive that way on US 395 you'll appreciate the experience just a little more. Here's "Horse Guts" — enjoy!

This story I want to tell you about happened in 1917. I worked at Mono Lake there. It was team days back then, and we was buildin' highways. We had rippers pulled with horses to loosen up the dirt. We had about eight, ten teams on this ripper, made out of heavy iron like a plow. Fresno scraperAnd then we worked with Fresnos getting the dirt out of there, and then we had horse blades. Everything was pick and shovel.

They built a camp with a corral where a little stream of water come into Mono Lake there. Mono Lake had 23 minerals in there, heavy minerals. We lived in Army tents, with a out-house. .And they built a cook house out of tents; no floor, just a frame and planks sittin' on sawhorses for tables.

Wal, one day when I went to work Monday morning, there was a horse died on the job.         Read the whole story here

Parting Shot —
Tonopah Sunset
Tonopah Sunset, by Teresa Madsen

The post NevadaGram #193 – A Drive down 95 appeared first on NevadaGram from the Nevada Travel Network - Telling Nevada's story 365, 24/7. The Nevada Travel Network © 2017

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The Clown Motel, Tonopah Nevada

Driving and jiving down 95, first stop in Yerington where we had some bad news: Kings Diner, last year's great Yerington discovery, is gone. We liked the food, but more than that we liked the generous spirit of the people who ran it. There's a Mexican restaurant in its place now, and we will try it . . . but not while we're in mourning.

Five Years Ago in the NevadaGram

In the spring of this year CMI’s beleaguered CEO launched a 76-trombone “March to Production”. De Gasperis promised shareholders that this golden outcome would occur this summer, and there would be an August pour (meaning an ingot of precious metals derived from the local ore). And yet the leaves tore themselves off the calendar . . . April . . . May . . . June . . . and still no ore. For a time an endless chain of trucks came grinding up the highway hauling materials for the expanded leach pad in American Flat, and then hurrying back down empty to get another load. There was a truck going by every two minutes. But without the haul road, how could CMI move any ore? Had it literally dug itself a hole it couldn’t climb out of? So it seemed. And then De Gasperis made a sudden, desperate move: he closed off the haul road to the public and started sending the 50-ton Haul-Paks over it without permission, asserting that it was private land after all, and under company control. That decision defines CMI: Fumble the application, but then take what you want anyhow, and make up a plausible-sounding story to justify it if you get caught. And of course CMI got caught: BLM red-tagged the company with a Cease & Desist Order citing Trespass, and closed the haul road to CMI’s traffic. The company has been given temporary ROW access for street-legal vehicles (but not the huge ore trucks) on a second road under dispute.

Read the whole thing here

The news was much better further on, good news you can see for yourself: the level of Walker Lake is rising. Walker Lake, near Hawthorne NevadaA rain squall was storming past overhead as the lake came into our view, gunmetal grey with gauzy curtains of virga streaming down toward it from a lumpy ceiling of black clouds. And just beyond the energetic little storm, the sun was shining bright on Hawthorne. USO sign, Hawthorne NevadaA sign at the old USO building on Main Street (it's now the Convention Center) informed the world that the lake is up 12 feet. Over breakfast at Maggie's Once More with our Mineral County Correspondent Sheri Samson we learned that it was expected to total 18 feet of total rise, and by the time we left town mid-morning it was up another foot. There's an air of optimism in Hawthorne just now, symbolized by the revived lake — or perhaps caused by it? Some new jobs have appeared, and more are anticipated. The El Capitan has spruced itself up handsomely, and the biggest challenge Hawthorne is facing just now appears to be the upcoming Mount Grant Challenge. Oh, no, there's at least one more: the iconic Hawthorne sign fell down. Some of its electrical innards were damaged and others are obsolete, but the sign is being repaired and it will be back in place on the north side of town before long. On to Tonopah where the big news is the posting of theClown Motel,Tonopah Nevada Clown Motel for sale. This was the last of the new properties built during the boom of the early 1980s, and some consider its collection of clowns in the lobby far more frightening than the Lady in Red at the Mizpah up the street. We stayed at the Tonopah Station RV Park and advanced our education in RV Life. Goldfield will always be special for us because on a pleasant day in July 1999 Robin and I were married there, on
the steps of the Goldfield Hotel. But on this day we hurried on with barely a glance at the Car Forest east of the highway at the south edge of town. Beatty is peanut cluster capital of our world, and we almost always stop at the big candy store on the north side of town and then Gemma's at the center of town for an afternoon latte. The Beatty Museum was closed . . . and on we went to Pahrump for another RV adventure at the member-owned Preferred RV Park. This is a whole different beast than the Tonopah Station facilities, which are designed for the quick and easy in-and-out of ongoing travelers; this is a settled community. While there are other transients like us, many people live here long-term in the (mostly) huge machines parked in tidy rows. They have access to amenities ranging from showers to a swimming pool, to a laundry to pool tables, and they live in mobile mini-mansions. Most notably, the employees here all seem to have graduated from Charm School where they majored in Genuine Friendliness. It's quite pleasant.

Ten Years Ago in the NevadaGram

Rachel's weddingOur Nevada travels came to a sudden halt last month when daughter Rachel was married in Alaska and son John came home on leave from Iraq.John Toll home on leave from Iraq But we’ll be kicking up dust again next month!
Our RV education continued rapidly. It took us from Pahrump to Las Vegas, including a terrifying drive through, around and beneath the airport to Blue Dog, a major RV center in Henderson. The genial service manager told us, as he handed us back the keys, "It's got a new water pump in the House now, but I want to emphasize how lucky you've been today. Ordinarily we'd have had to schedule you about 6 weeks out, and it's the same at all the major shops here in the Valley. But every once in a while a couple of jobs in a row are finished quicker than we thought they would, and you just happened to hit one of those gaps", he said with a smile. "Don't expect to do it again".

Fifteen Years Ago in the NevadaGram

We receive two or three e-mails a day from our website visitors with questions about Nevada. Those we can’t answer ourselves we forward to the appropriate members of the Nevada Travel Network for expert response. Some questions are more interesting than others, but only this one one made me laugh out loud: I am coming to Las Vegas and need to pick up some Cowboy Salt (whatever that is). Do you know where I can get some? Thanks for your time, Ken I replied: Ken, Is this like a left-handed monkey wrench or a bucket of steam? I’ve never heard of ‘cowboy salt’ I’m sorry to say. In fact, if you find some I’d very much like to know what it is. And three days later I got my laugh: I do believe I have been HAD!!! although PAYBACKS will be issued!! I will get even with the guy at work for BOTH of us! I just returned from Las Vegas and was laughed right outta the store…(Mike will pay for that!). Thanks again and have a great day…Ken

Read the whole thing here


Comstock Mining Update — CMI made its Second Quarter filing with the SEC, showing another loss, this time just under $3 million. There are nearly 30 zeros in a row on CMI's scoreboard now. Is that a record for Biggest Loser Ever at the Richest Place on Earth? But of course the Little Mining Company That Couldn't has some more Big Plans which we'll examine next time. What they're saying about us: "Nevada lawmakers hope to smooth
out traffic by cracking down on slow drivers clogging up the left-hand lane, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal. The Senate Transportation Committee recently passed a bill that would create fines and send repeat offenders to traffic school. Now that Nevada is ready to start recreational cannabis sales, we wonder how many stoners such a law could nab. Potheads behind the wheel will be wise to remember the old maxim: What happens in the slow lane stays in the slow lane, but not all day, dude." — High Country News
If you've wondered what the Wild Women Artists do between shows, here is your answer!
Overheard at Maggie's Once Again in Hawthorne: "Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing beats the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed." Mono Lake California Squaw Tom Sanders, Silver City 1974Squaw Tom's story about building the highway past Mono Lake makes me laugh every time I read it. Next time you drive that way on US 395 you'll appreciate the experience just a little more. Here's "Horse Guts" — enjoy!

This story I want to tell you about happened in 1917. I worked at Mono Lake there. It was team days back then, and we was buildin' highways. We had rippers pulled with horses to loosen up the dirt. We had about eight, ten teams on this ripper, made out of heavy iron like a plow. Fresno scraperAnd then we worked with Fresnos getting the dirt out of there, and then we had horse blades. Everything was pick and shovel.

They built a camp with a corral where a little stream of water come into Mono Lake there. Mono Lake had 23 minerals in there, heavy minerals. We lived in Army tents, with a out-house. .And they built a cook house out of tents; no floor, just a frame and planks sittin' on sawhorses for tables.

Wal, one day when I went to work Monday morning, there was a horse died on the job.         Read the whole story here

Parting Shot — Tonopah Sunset Tonopah Sunset, by Teresa Madsen

The post NevadaGram #193 – A Drive down 95 appeared first on NevadaGram from the Nevada Travel Network - Telling Nevada's story 365, 24/7. The Nevada Travel Network © 2017

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NevadaGram #192 – Snake Valley Days at Baker http://nevadagram.com/nevadagram-192-destination-baker/ http://nevadagram.com/nevadagram-192-destination-baker/#comments Tue, 04 Jul 2017 11:34:46 +0000 http://nevadagram.com/?p=23954 The Travelvan

All you have to do to get to Baker from anywhere in Nevada is to get on US 50 and drive east. That's what Robin and I did, and then drove up the east side of the Snake Range into Great Basin National Park and the Upper Lehman Creek campground for three days.

www.nevadatravel.net

We launched the new website on the 4th of July and everybody was celebrating with fireworks!

The site is not quite complete — you'll notice some omissions and an occasional unrefined page — we'll fix those, but we just can't wait another day. Enjoy!

This is one of those places in Nevada where you get close to heaven at 7,600 feet, and those three days coincided with Snake Valley Days, which made them even more heavenly.

Upper Lehman Ceek Campground, Great Basin National Park NevadaAnd to top it off — the cherry on top — our three tranquil days were taken as the last-minute turmoil of our website launch was coming to a boil. Our digital debut was barely two weeks away and the website wasn't finished — for everyone else it was a panicky All Hands On Deck, for us it was was a camping trip.

We have visited this place since it was Lehman Cave National Monument, but this was our first experience as campers. We found the Upper Lehman Creek campsite and the facilities immaculately maintained, our neighbors congenial and considerate, and our surroundings beautiful and undemanding. We never unpacked the laptops and we pretended our cellphones didn't work (Verizon; no pretense required for AT&T).

The first event on the Snake Valley Days schedule was a Friday afternoon Beer Tasting, but Friday was our first full day up there and we were still luxuriating in our woodsy green haven, so we didn't make the drive down into town. Nevertheless, we tasted beer.

On Saturday morning we went to town for the Pancake Breakfast at what we remembered as the Lectrolux Cafe, named for the spaceship Bill Rountree made from a vacuum cleaner and a chandelier and mounted on the roof above the door. It's called Kerouac's now, with new owners from New York City, and we were curious about their take on things.

pancakes at Kerouac's, Baker NevadaBest. Pancake. Breakfast. Ever. Opinions from the surrounding tables made it unanimous: We never had such good pancakes! And the re-do of the interior is moderne to the max without going over the top, a harmonious urban vibe. Yes, but it's a 6-hour drive from everywhere but Ely!

Geezers Band at Snake Valley Days, Baker NevadaSome time passed as the parade formed up, and then it rambled by, first from east to west and then from west to east in the tradition of small town Nevada parades. Some of the floats were familiar from previous parades over the years, others were huge pieces of modern farm machinery. There were water wars activists in the parade, but no politicians.

The action then shifted from downtown to the grounds of Baker Hall where booths had been set up, and inside the Hall where a Silent Auction and Bake Sale was underway. As with most everything else in town that day, the money that changed hands was destined to fund the Water War: Snake Valley vs. the Las Vegas water-grabbers. So far Snake Valley is winning but Las Vegas is still thirsty and Lake Mead is still drying up.

Denys Koyle at the Border Inn, Baker NevadaStrife was a faraway concept on this sunny, slow-moving day. Kerouac's closed for the afternoon but T&D's was open and there were food booths at Baker Hall. Saturday's Grand Finale was a barbecue and dance at the Border Inn that carried the day well into the night.

US 93 north of Ely NevadaAnd then on Sunday we were outta there. Back to Ely where the Ely Renaissance Society has launched a bright new website of its own with good looks at the Renaissance Village, the Art Bank and the murals around th city. Lattes at the Flower Basket and then north to Wells on US 93. This is a drive that invites you to think . . . or at least to spend some time inside yourself. Amazing what you find there. . . .

This trip was also the maiden voyage for our new ride. Meet the van. It's a Road-Trek conversion made in Canada on a one-ton 2000 model year Dodge-Benz chassis. It has a big V-8, new tires, and turned 55,000 miles on the odometer as we left Great Basin National Park. The TravelvanWe loaf along at 60 mph and get not quite 14 miles to the gallon of 85 octane regular. It is fully self-contained and allows us much more flexibility as we travel. We will always eat at local restaurants — that's part of the payoff — but now we can feed ourselves too when it's more convenient.. Anyway, that's the theory.

Our first impression: the van is the dry land equivalent of a 2-man submarine: tight quarters, but everything is in there, including the kitchen sink. It drives like the heavy truck it is, and has a very wide turning radius, but it's easy to drive and to park and gives a comfortable ride on the highway. So far we like it.

Front Street Before the Earthquake

Front Street before the Earthquake, Wells Nevada

After the Earthquake

Front Street after the Earthquake, Wells Nevada

Now

Front Street after the Earthquake, Wells Nevada

Our visit to Wells was brief — the Visitor Center was closed — and painful because it was our first look at Front Street cleared of its earthquake-shattered structures. Everything from the Bull's Head Bar east has disappeared except the last two buildings. John Quilici's meat market was the last store to close; when he died, the street died with him. The street had been commercially dead for ten years when the earthquake struck in 2008 Wells is more than ready for a new beginning.

We've come to depend on Doug Clarke, our Elko correspondent, for foodie news, but this time we found one he hasn't visited yet. Himiko's Restaurant, Elko NevadaHimiko was once up by Raley's where it was called Kabuki, now it's on Silver Street just south of Idaho. The joint was jumping when Robin and I stopped by on the late afternoon of Father's Day. We had a lovely supper at the bar [hint: yakisoba] and now we have yet another excellent Elko restaurant to point to.

We stayed at our fave, the Inn at the Gallery Bar which is being spruced and spiffed to serve an Air b+b clientele in downtown Elko. Gallery Bar, Elko NevadaGreat location above one of the nicest bars in town [hint: a Manhattan cocktail made with Jameson's Irish Whiskey by Nick the Perfectionist Bartender], next door to Capriola's, across the parking lot from the Western Folklife Center and within an easy stroll of everything in downtown Elko.

We could have done our business in a day, but Elko is too much fun to hurry through — and now we travel west toward home where the hullaballoo of website launch preparations awaits.

In Battle Mountain we discovered that the Visitor Center is being moved to the Cookhouse Museum; a kiosk will be available when staff is not on hand. No sign yet of that Indian Casino shaping up south of the Freeway but plenty of optimism in the air.

Winnemucca was a blur. We'd hoped to try Ormachea's under its new owners but we'd have arrived home after dark so we saved it for next time.

We did stop in Lovelock though, and got two mega-sized (32 oz!) chocolate malts at Temptations, which is on the corner across from the famous courthouse and is one of the hidden treasures along I-80. They make a smaller size malt for sissies but they are so good — in the same league with S'Socorro's in Mina — that 32 ounces is almost not enough.

Stand and Deliver - Nevada MagazineIf you were to ask the average Western history buff to name the most infamous desperados in the American West, she might rattle off well-known names like Jesse James and Billy the Kid. If she knew her Nevada history she might know Farmer Peel, John Daly or Lucky Bill Thorrington — or even Tony Spilotro — but it is highly unlikely that “Big Jack” Davis or “Fighting Sam” Brown, would be named. But they were every bit as nasty as the skunks everyone knows about. Read about our bad guys on Nevada Magazine.

Parting Shot —

Tonopah Sunset

Tonopah Sunrise by Teresa Madsen

The post NevadaGram #192 – Snake Valley Days at Baker appeared first on NevadaGram from the Nevada Travel Network - Telling Nevada's story 365, 24/7. The Nevada Travel Network © 2017

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The Travelvan

All you have to do to get to Baker from anywhere in Nevada is to get on US 50 and drive east. That's what Robin and I did, and then drove up the east side of the Snake Range into Great Basin National Park and the Upper Lehman Creek campground for three days.

www.nevadatravel.net

We launched the new website on the 4th of July and everybody was celebrating with fireworks! The site is not quite complete — you'll notice some omissions and an occasional unrefined page — we'll fix those, but we just can't wait another day. Enjoy!
This is one of those places in Nevada where you get close to heaven at 7,600 feet, and those three days coincided with Snake Valley Days, which made them even more heavenly. Upper Lehman Ceek Campground, Great Basin National Park NevadaAnd to top it off — the cherry on top — our three tranquil days were taken as the last-minute turmoil of our website launch was coming to a boil. Our digital debut was barely two weeks away and the website wasn't finished — for everyone else it was a panicky All Hands On Deck, for us it was was a camping trip. We have visited this place since it was Lehman Cave National Monument, but this was our first experience as campers. We found the Upper Lehman Creek campsite and the facilities immaculately maintained, our neighbors congenial and considerate, and our surroundings beautiful and undemanding. We never unpacked the laptops and we pretended our cellphones didn't work (Verizon; no pretense required for AT&T). The first event on the Snake Valley Days schedule was a Friday afternoon Beer Tasting, but Friday was our first full day up there and we were still luxuriating in our woodsy green haven, so we didn't make the drive down into town. Nevertheless, we tasted beer. On Saturday morning we went to town for the Pancake Breakfast at what we remembered as the Lectrolux Cafe, named for the spaceship Bill Rountree made from a vacuum cleaner and a chandelier and mounted on the roof above the door. It's called Kerouac's now, with new owners from New York City, and we were curious about their take on things. pancakes at Kerouac's, Baker NevadaBest. Pancake. Breakfast. Ever. Opinions from the surrounding tables made it unanimous: We never had such good pancakes! And the re-do of the interior is moderne to the max without going over the top, a harmonious urban vibe. Yes, but it's a 6-hour drive from everywhere but Ely! Geezers Band at Snake Valley Days, Baker NevadaSome time passed as the parade formed up, and then it rambled by, first from east to west and then from west to east in the tradition of small town Nevada parades. Some of the floats were familiar from previous parades over the years, others were huge pieces of modern farm machinery. There were water wars activists in the parade, but no politicians. The action then shifted from downtown to the grounds of Baker Hall where booths had been set up, and inside the Hall where a Silent Auction and Bake Sale was underway. As with most everything else in town that day, the money that changed hands was destined to fund the Water War: Snake Valley vs. the Las Vegas water-grabbers. So far Snake Valley is winning but Las Vegas is still thirsty and Lake Mead is still drying up. Denys Koyle at the Border Inn, Baker NevadaStrife was a faraway concept on this sunny, slow-moving day. Kerouac's closed for the afternoon but T&D's was open and there were food booths at Baker Hall. Saturday's Grand Finale was a barbecue and dance at the Border Inn that carried the day well into the night. US 93 north of Ely NevadaAnd then on Sunday we were outta there. Back to Ely where the Ely Renaissance Society has launched a bright new website of its own with good looks at the Renaissance Village, the Art Bank and the murals around th city. Lattes at the Flower Basket and then north to Wells on US 93. This is a drive that invites you to think . . . or at least to spend some time inside yourself. Amazing what you find there. . . . This trip was also the maiden voyage for our new ride. Meet the van. It's a Road-Trek conversion made in Canada on a one-ton 2000 model year Dodge-Benz chassis. It has a big V-8, new tires, and turned 55,000 miles on the odometer as we left Great Basin National Park. The TravelvanWe loaf along at 60 mph and get not quite 14 miles to the gallon of 85 octane regular. It is fully self-contained and allows us much more flexibility as we travel. We will always eat at local restaurants — that's part of the payoff — but now we can feed ourselves too when it's more convenient.. Anyway, that's the theory. Our first impression: the van is the dry land equivalent of a 2-man submarine: tight quarters, but everything is in there, including the kitchen sink. It drives like the heavy truck it is, and has a very wide turning radius, but it's easy to drive and to park and gives a comfortable ride on the highway. So far we like it.

Front Street Before the Earthquake

Front Street before the Earthquake, Wells Nevada

After the Earthquake

Front Street after the Earthquake, Wells Nevada

Now

Front Street after the Earthquake, Wells Nevada

Our visit to Wells was brief — the Visitor Center was closed — and painful because it was our first look at Front Street cleared of its earthquake-shattered structures. Everything from the Bull's Head Bar east has disappeared except the last two buildings. John Quilici's meat market was the last store to close; when he died, the street died with him. The street had been commercially dead for ten years when the earthquake struck in 2008 Wells is more than ready for a new beginning. We've come to depend on Doug Clarke, our Elko correspondent, for foodie news, but this time we found one he hasn't visited yet. Himiko's Restaurant, Elko NevadaHimiko was once up by Raley's where it was called Kabuki, now it's on Silver Street just south of Idaho. The joint was jumping when Robin and I stopped by on the late afternoon of Father's Day. We had a lovely supper at the bar [hint: yakisoba] and now we have yet another excellent Elko restaurant to point to. We stayed at our fave, the Inn at the Gallery Bar which is being spruced and spiffed to serve an Air b+b clientele in downtown Elko. Gallery Bar, Elko NevadaGreat location above one of the nicest bars in town [hint: a Manhattan cocktail made with Jameson's Irish Whiskey by Nick the Perfectionist Bartender], next door to Capriola's, across the parking lot from the Western Folklife Center and within an easy stroll of everything in downtown Elko.
We could have done our business in a day, but Elko is too much fun to hurry through — and now we travel west toward home where the hullaballoo of website launch preparations awaits. In Battle Mountain we discovered that the Visitor Center is being moved to the Cookhouse Museum; a kiosk will be available when staff is not on hand. No sign yet of that Indian Casino shaping up south of the Freeway but plenty of optimism in the air. Winnemucca was a blur. We'd hoped to try Ormachea's under its new owners but we'd have arrived home after dark so we saved it for next time. We did stop in Lovelock though, and got two mega-sized (32 oz!) chocolate malts at Temptations, which is on the corner across from the famous courthouse and is one of the hidden treasures along I-80. They make a smaller size malt for sissies but they are so good — in the same league with S'Socorro's in Mina — that 32 ounces is almost not enough. Stand and Deliver - Nevada MagazineIf you were to ask the average Western history buff to name the most infamous desperados in the American West, she might rattle off well-known names like Jesse James and Billy the Kid. If she knew her Nevada history she might know Farmer Peel, John Daly or Lucky Bill Thorrington — or even Tony Spilotro — but it is highly unlikely that “Big Jack” Davis or “Fighting Sam” Brown, would be named. But they were every bit as nasty as the skunks everyone knows about. Read about our bad guys on Nevada Magazine. Parting Shot — Tonopah Sunset Tonopah Sunrise by Teresa Madsen

The post NevadaGram #192 – Snake Valley Days at Baker appeared first on NevadaGram from the Nevada Travel Network - Telling Nevada's story 365, 24/7. The Nevada Travel Network © 2017

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NevadaGram #191 – Dream Train to Elko, Comstock Mining Update http://nevadagram.com/nevadagram-191/ http://nevadagram.com/nevadagram-191/#respond Tue, 04 Jul 2017 11:07:47 +0000 http://nevadagram.com/?p=23358 Cowboy Express to Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko Nevada

Cowboy Express to Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko NevadaThe 34th National Cowboy Poetry Gathering is scheduled for January 29-February 3 next year. Its theme will be "Basques and Buckaroos: Herding Cultures of Basin, Range and Beyond" and tickets will go on sale to Western Folklife Center members on September 5. The line-up for the Gathering will be announced this month and the ticketed shows and workshops will be announced in early August.

And for the first time that I'm aware of, there will be a special 'fun train' called the Cowboy Express coming from the Bay Area. The announcement reads, "We invite you and your family to travel with us by private charter train from the San Francisco Bay Area, Sacramento region and Reno/Carson City areas to Elko, Nevada to enjoy the 34th National Cowboy Poetry Gathering."

Five Years Ago in the NevadaGram

Five years ago the resistance against pit mining in Gold Canyon required all available resources and the June NevadaGram did not appear. Instead, the first of the Comstock Mining Updates was produced to keep interested parties aware of our problem with an under-financed "junior mining company" run by amateurs intent on selling stock and eagerly abetted by Storey County government. Here is a small taste of how things went:

No Trespassing, Gold Hill Nevada

On July 19 the court room upstairs in the Storey County Court House was packed as the Planning Commission meeting was called to order at 6 pm. For almost five hours company employees and contractors spoke in favor [of allowing haul trucks on Main Street in Gold Hill]; local citizens spoke against it.

The BLM representatives explained in simple and straightforward terms the process by which CMI had been red-tagged for Trespassing.

Corrupto De Gasbag

But it was Corrado De Gasperis who took the Oscar. Once again he flung himself and his “March to Production” on the mercy of the Commissioners, groveling and whining over the bad hand that fate had dealt him.

As hard as he and his myrmidons had tried to be compliant, he sobbed, they hadn’t been able to satisfy the rigid demands of the overly strict regulators. Never once had the company avoided any environmental rule or regulation, he sniffled, his innocent eyes brimming with tears, and the dog ate his homework.

When a nearby spectator laughed under his breath, Corrado called him out: “When have we?”

“When you withdrew your ROW application to use the haul road because you don’t dare face an Environmental Impact Study,” the man said. (It was Larry Wahrenbrock of Silver City).

Corrado glared at him for a moment, and then wilted. “I wish you were in my shoes,” he said.

Read the whole thing here

On the eastbound leg the train departs Emeryville in the East Bay at 7 am on the morning of January 31, and takes the Feather River route made famous by the California Zephyr with its trademark VistaDome cars. That leg ends at Portola, buses bring the travelers to Reno in time for a 4:30 departure for Elko, arriving at 9:45 pm.

"Why fight the icy and snowy roads over Donner Pass and across the Nevada desert," the invitation reads, "when you could ride in comfort onboard our Cowboy Express made up of private rail cars dating from the late 1940’s and early 1950’s during America’s classic streamline era for passenger trains. Each passenger car has been refurbished to its original condition. Step back in time and enjoy our classic train which includes coaches, lounges, domes and Pullman cars for your exciting train riding experience."

Ten Years Ago in the NevadaGram

We headed out on the 68-mile trail to see some country. It includes 80-mile views, eye-catching rock and cliff formations, pine forests, thick stands of quaking aspen (quakies, in cowboy talk) and always the bright blue sky overhead.

We scurried along the road across Sunflower Flat at 15 mph, following ruts through a big meadow bursting with bright broad green leaves. “Wait until July,” said a local man. “This will be a solid field of yellow flowers. It socks you right in the eye when you see it.”

Christopher TollChris’s favorite stretch of the ride came the next day in the Rubies: taking the wing in a squadron of quads flying up the paved highway as fast as they could go. “It was like Mad Max!” he exulted.

Our own favorite stretch of trail was putt-putting through a dense aspen forest for half a mile and then abruptly out the other side onto the brushy mountainside again, and looking down on a series of beaver dams that made the stream a kinetic sculpture.

Quakies275x183As we paused to take in the view a rain squall hurried in to blacken the sky and splatter us with a drop or two of cool rain.

Perhaps the other riders missed the solitary figure seated on a rock and watching us with — was it disdain, disgust or despair? — as we throttled past on our way to pavement. He must have been a hiker, following the Ruby Crest Trail. Parts of it traverse wilderness areas, but other parts are open to travel by anything from a pogo stick to a Hummer.

Robin and Shorty at Corral Creek on the west side of he Ruby Mountains in NevadaWe are planning another trip to Elko County with the Rhino. It’s quite pleasant to sputter along at 15 miles an hour in our 21st century Model T — it’s the rebirth of the Sunday Drive.

Read the whole thing here

The westbound train departs Elko at 8 am on February 4, reaches Reno at 1:30 pm, climbs the Sierra, crosses over Donner Pass to arrive in Sacramento at 7:15 pm and to Emeryville at 9:10 pm.

Pricey, as you'd expect but an unforgettable railroad experience with all that cowboy poetry in the middle.

Comstock Mining Update:
Those of us who live on the Comstock know how rich our communities are in what matters most: friendships, co-operation, love and respect for our neighbors.

That's why CMI's presence here struck such a sour note from the beginning. Our corporate neighbor for the past 7 years has never made a friend, has never shown respect for its neighbors. CMI is an intruder, a self-serving braggart that has imposed its disruptive heavy industry on our peaceful towns over the protests and resistance of the local people.

CMI never earned our trust. Instead it has wooed the County Commissioners in Lyon and Storey Counties, persuading them to ignore the local residents in favor of the mining industry's gaudy promises.

Clandestine meetings with some Lyon County Commissioners and the Commissioners' subsequent votes hare resulted in two lawsuits now before the Supreme Court. In Storey County the County Manager in a public meeting announced Storey County would no longer enforce the company's long-standing Special Use Permit so that it could then run haul trucks on the public highway. Ore trucks on the road we all use every day!
If Storey County's officials had lived up to its commitment to the public, that could have been the end of CMI's sad story. But that is not the Storey County way.

Fifteen Years Ago in the NevadaGram

E-Mail of the Month: I am trying to learn how the city of Searchlight got its name.

Searchlight NevadaHi Dusty,
I was in Searchlight recently myself, and stopped in at the little Museum just east of town on the Cottonwood Cove road. There it says the Mining District (and therefore the town that grew up there) was named for a brand of matches. The display includes a piece of the wooden box they came in. It’s big enough to serve as a small ‘writing-desk’ — the original laptop!Searchlight brand Double Dip matches.I can picture a group of elated miners searching their excited minds for a name to give their discovery — and nobody accepting another’s favorite (“Let’s call it the Bonnie Sue!”) until finally an eye falls on the box.
P.S. One more note of interest about the name: Scott Joplin wrote “The Searchlight Rag” for friends who’d invested in mines here.

Read the whole thing here

Instead, the landscape above Devil's Gate has been ripped away and the pit was dug deeper and deeper — until the fragile east wall collapsed and the highway fell into it. After all this, at a cost of $200,000,000 of investors' money, the company still hadn't made a dime.
CMI stock price skids to 14 centsIn September 2012 CMI share price was $3.27. On May 25th 2017 the stock opened at 17 cents and the mail brought a notice from the SEC: "The Company’s securities have been selling at or below $0.20 per share since April 27, 2017, and, pursuant to Section 1003(f)(v) the Company’s continued listing is predicated on demonstrating sustained price improvement or effecting a reverse stock split within the next six month period, that is, no late than November 27, 2017. The Company is required to stay in contact with the NYSE and discuss any new developments, regarding progress on its strategy, plans for implementing a reverse split or otherwise."

The company's annual meeting was held June 1 at the Gold Hill Hotel (on the market for $900,000, reducd from $1.4 million; the company is peddling the properties it was buying up as the stock was on its way down) and the SEC Notice was announced. Also in the Notice: "The Company’s common stock will continue to trade under the symbol 'LODE', but will have an added designation of 'BC' to indicate that the Company is below compliance with this NYSE MKT’s listing standard."

BC are the NYSE's scarlet letters, and CMI shares are wearing them now. Here's the company's filing.

CMI's golden promises have proven empty, its pretenses and posturings recognized for what they are. Its death rattles will no doubt continue for a while. Will it carry out the reverse stock split to pump up the share price? Probably, since that will prolong the struggle — and the paychecks for company executives will continue uninterrupted as long as there's a dollar left in the till.

It's not just the locals who are glad to see CMI go down. Reaction on the Yahoo message board has been brutal:

"I can't believe there are still suckers here posting on the LODE/GSPG board and still buying this #$%$" Skull Krusher posted. "Gold is a great investment and there are many great mining companies but unfortunately for you all, LODE is certainly not one of them. The BS this company has put forth over the past 10 years is incredible but I guess there is a sucker born every minute. The CEO De Gasperis has not provided any increase to shareholder value since he's been here. How does a CEO stay on board for so long under these conditions? He's a well trained financial manager and that's his value to Winfield because he is adept at keeping the financial engineering going.It's not about mining for gold. It's about mining your pocketbooks."

Yahoo Reader wrote, "Gold keeps rising and CEO Gasp.Corr keeps smiling, while shareholders are gleefully left to suffer. This is so pathetic, and the company needs a complete revamping....NOW!"

From the previous week:
"Watch what happens now. leading up to the sure to come reverse split, the pps will probably be manipulated higher and higher. shareholder value and share price are now at all time low."

"what a week! just when you didn't think things could get worse, it does. and management just sits back and picks up paychecks and no worries about pps or the shareholders."


Dreez: the former home of Biltoki in Elko has been attractively revamped by new owners. More about it here:

Capriola's store in Elko has an item in its inventory that I find irresistible (Or did until we upgraded to a new RV with a bed in it):

Cowboy Bedroll at Capriola's in Elko NevadaThe classic Cowboy Bedroll. Who doesn't want one of these?

Western water managers are dong their best to juggle competing issues throughout the Sierra Nevada watershed. Concerns about burgeoning reservoir storage and dangerous, potentially damaging downstream water flows have operators watching air temperatures closely for spikes in the snowmelt. Click here to see this Spring update for the Tahoe Sierra.

Overheard at Sharkey's in Gardnerville: "If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don't have to worry about the answers."

The post NevadaGram #191 – Dream Train to Elko, Comstock Mining Update appeared first on NevadaGram from the Nevada Travel Network - Telling Nevada's story 365, 24/7. The Nevada Travel Network © 2017

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Cowboy Express to Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko Nevada

Cowboy Express to Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko NevadaThe 34th National Cowboy Poetry Gathering is scheduled for January 29-February 3 next year. Its theme will be "Basques and Buckaroos: Herding Cultures of Basin, Range and Beyond" and tickets will go on sale to Western Folklife Center members on September 5. The line-up for the Gathering will be announced this month and the ticketed shows and workshops will be announced in early August. And for the first time that I'm aware of, there will be a special 'fun train' called the Cowboy Express coming from the Bay Area. The announcement reads, "We invite you and your family to travel with us by private charter train from the San Francisco Bay Area, Sacramento region and Reno/Carson City areas to Elko, Nevada to enjoy the 34th National Cowboy Poetry Gathering."

Five Years Ago in the NevadaGram

Five years ago the resistance against pit mining in Gold Canyon required all available resources and the June NevadaGram did not appear. Instead, the first of the Comstock Mining Updates was produced to keep interested parties aware of our problem with an under-financed "junior mining company" run by amateurs intent on selling stock and eagerly abetted by Storey County government. Here is a small taste of how things went: No Trespassing, Gold Hill Nevada On July 19 the court room upstairs in the Storey County Court House was packed as the Planning Commission meeting was called to order at 6 pm. For almost five hours company employees and contractors spoke in favor [of allowing haul trucks on Main Street in Gold Hill]; local citizens spoke against it. The BLM representatives explained in simple and straightforward terms the process by which CMI had been red-tagged for Trespassing. Corrupto De Gasbag But it was Corrado De Gasperis who took the Oscar. Once again he flung himself and his “March to Production” on the mercy of the Commissioners, groveling and whining over the bad hand that fate had dealt him. As hard as he and his myrmidons had tried to be compliant, he sobbed, they hadn’t been able to satisfy the rigid demands of the overly strict regulators. Never once had the company avoided any environmental rule or regulation, he sniffled, his innocent eyes brimming with tears, and the dog ate his homework. When a nearby spectator laughed under his breath, Corrado called him out: “When have we?” “When you withdrew your ROW application to use the haul road because you don’t dare face an Environmental Impact Study,” the man said. (It was Larry Wahrenbrock of Silver City). Corrado glared at him for a moment, and then wilted. “I wish you were in my shoes,” he said.

Read the whole thing here

On the eastbound leg the train departs Emeryville in the East Bay at 7 am on the morning of January 31, and takes the Feather River route made famous by the California Zephyr with its trademark VistaDome cars. That leg ends at Portola, buses bring the travelers to Reno in time for a 4:30 departure for Elko, arriving at 9:45 pm. "Why fight the icy and snowy roads over Donner Pass and across the Nevada desert," the invitation reads, "when you could ride in comfort onboard our Cowboy Express made up of private rail cars dating from the late 1940’s and early 1950’s during America’s classic streamline era for passenger trains. Each passenger car has been refurbished to its original condition. Step back in time and enjoy our classic train which includes coaches, lounges, domes and Pullman cars for your exciting train riding experience."

Ten Years Ago in the NevadaGram

We headed out on the 68-mile trail to see some country. It includes 80-mile views, eye-catching rock and cliff formations, pine forests, thick stands of quaking aspen (quakies, in cowboy talk) and always the bright blue sky overhead. We scurried along the road across Sunflower Flat at 15 mph, following ruts through a big meadow bursting with bright broad green leaves. “Wait until July,” said a local man. “This will be a solid field of yellow flowers. It socks you right in the eye when you see it.” Christopher TollChris’s favorite stretch of the ride came the next day in the Rubies: taking the wing in a squadron of quads flying up the paved highway as fast as they could go. “It was like Mad Max!” he exulted. Our own favorite stretch of trail was putt-putting through a dense aspen forest for half a mile and then abruptly out the other side onto the brushy mountainside again, and looking down on a series of beaver dams that made the stream a kinetic sculpture. Quakies275x183As we paused to take in the view a rain squall hurried in to blacken the sky and splatter us with a drop or two of cool rain. Perhaps the other riders missed the solitary figure seated on a rock and watching us with — was it disdain, disgust or despair? — as we throttled past on our way to pavement. He must have been a hiker, following the Ruby Crest Trail. Parts of it traverse wilderness areas, but other parts are open to travel by anything from a pogo stick to a Hummer. Robin and Shorty at Corral Creek on the west side of he Ruby Mountains in NevadaWe are planning another trip to Elko County with the Rhino. It’s quite pleasant to sputter along at 15 miles an hour in our 21st century Model T — it’s the rebirth of the Sunday Drive.

Read the whole thing here

The westbound train departs Elko at 8 am on February 4, reaches Reno at 1:30 pm, climbs the Sierra, crosses over Donner Pass to arrive in Sacramento at 7:15 pm and to Emeryville at 9:10 pm. Pricey, as you'd expect but an unforgettable railroad experience with all that cowboy poetry in the middle. Comstock Mining Update: Those of us who live on the Comstock know how rich our communities are in what matters most: friendships, co-operation, love and respect for our neighbors. That's why CMI's presence here struck such a sour note from the beginning. Our corporate neighbor for the past 7 years has never made a friend, has never shown respect for its neighbors. CMI is an intruder, a self-serving braggart that has imposed its disruptive heavy industry on our peaceful towns over the protests and resistance of the local people. CMI never earned our trust. Instead it has wooed the County Commissioners in Lyon and Storey Counties, persuading them to ignore the local residents in favor of the mining industry's gaudy promises.
Clandestine meetings with some Lyon County Commissioners and the Commissioners' subsequent votes hare resulted in two lawsuits now before the Supreme Court. In Storey County the County Manager in a public meeting announced Storey County would no longer enforce the company's long-standing Special Use Permit so that it could then run haul trucks on the public highway. Ore trucks on the road we all use every day! If Storey County's officials had lived up to its commitment to the public, that could have been the end of CMI's sad story. But that is not the Storey County way.

Fifteen Years Ago in the NevadaGram

E-Mail of the Month: I am trying to learn how the city of Searchlight got its name.

Searchlight NevadaHi Dusty, I was in Searchlight recently myself, and stopped in at the little Museum just east of town on the Cottonwood Cove road. There it says the Mining District (and therefore the town that grew up there) was named for a brand of matches. The display includes a piece of the wooden box they came in. It’s big enough to serve as a small ‘writing-desk’ — the original laptop!Searchlight brand Double Dip matches.I can picture a group of elated miners searching their excited minds for a name to give their discovery — and nobody accepting another’s favorite (“Let’s call it the Bonnie Sue!”) until finally an eye falls on the box. P.S. One more note of interest about the name: Scott Joplin wrote “The Searchlight Rag” for friends who’d invested in mines here.

Read the whole thing here

Instead, the landscape above Devil's Gate has been ripped away and the pit was dug deeper and deeper — until the fragile east wall collapsed and the highway fell into it. After all this, at a cost of $200,000,000 of investors' money, the company still hadn't made a dime. CMI stock price skids to 14 centsIn September 2012 CMI share price was $3.27. On May 25th 2017 the stock opened at 17 cents and the mail brought a notice from the SEC: "The Company’s securities have been selling at or below $0.20 per share since April 27, 2017, and, pursuant to Section 1003(f)(v) the Company’s continued listing is predicated on demonstrating sustained price improvement or effecting a reverse stock split within the next six month period, that is, no late than November 27, 2017. The Company is required to stay in contact with the NYSE and discuss any new developments, regarding progress on its strategy, plans for implementing a reverse split or otherwise."
The company's annual meeting was held June 1 at the Gold Hill Hotel (on the market for $900,000, reducd from $1.4 million; the company is peddling the properties it was buying up as the stock was on its way down) and the SEC Notice was announced. Also in the Notice: "The Company’s common stock will continue to trade under the symbol 'LODE', but will have an added designation of 'BC' to indicate that the Company is below compliance with this NYSE MKT’s listing standard." BC are the NYSE's scarlet letters, and CMI shares are wearing them now. Here's the company's filing. CMI's golden promises have proven empty, its pretenses and posturings recognized for what they are. Its death rattles will no doubt continue for a while. Will it carry out the reverse stock split to pump up the share price? Probably, since that will prolong the struggle — and the paychecks for company executives will continue uninterrupted as long as there's a dollar left in the till.
It's not just the locals who are glad to see CMI go down. Reaction on the Yahoo message board has been brutal: "I can't believe there are still suckers here posting on the LODE/GSPG board and still buying this #$%$" Skull Krusher posted. "Gold is a great investment and there are many great mining companies but unfortunately for you all, LODE is certainly not one of them. The BS this company has put forth over the past 10 years is incredible but I guess there is a sucker born every minute. The CEO De Gasperis has not provided any increase to shareholder value since he's been here. How does a CEO stay on board for so long under these conditions? He's a well trained financial manager and that's his value to Winfield because he is adept at keeping the financial engineering going.It's not about mining for gold. It's about mining your pocketbooks." Yahoo Reader wrote, "Gold keeps rising and CEO Gasp.Corr keeps smiling, while shareholders are gleefully left to suffer. This is so pathetic, and the company needs a complete revamping....NOW!" From the previous week: "Watch what happens now. leading up to the sure to come reverse split, the pps will probably be manipulated higher and higher. shareholder value and share price are now at all time low." "what a week! just when you didn't think things could get worse, it does. and management just sits back and picks up paychecks and no worries about pps or the shareholders."
Dreez: the former home of Biltoki in Elko has been attractively revamped by new owners. More about it here: Capriola's store in Elko has an item in its inventory that I find irresistible (Or did until we upgraded to a new RV with a bed in it): Cowboy Bedroll at Capriola's in Elko NevadaThe classic Cowboy Bedroll. Who doesn't want one of these? Western water managers are dong their best to juggle competing issues throughout the Sierra Nevada watershed. Concerns about burgeoning reservoir storage and dangerous, potentially damaging downstream water flows have operators watching air temperatures closely for spikes in the snowmelt. Click here to see this Spring update for the Tahoe Sierra. Overheard at Sharkey's in Gardnerville: "If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don't have to worry about the answers."

The post NevadaGram #191 – Dream Train to Elko, Comstock Mining Update appeared first on NevadaGram from the Nevada Travel Network - Telling Nevada's story 365, 24/7. The Nevada Travel Network © 2017

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NevadaGram #190 – Ichthyosaur Digs, Rural RoundUp in Elko, Nevada Calendar http://nevadagram.com/nevadagram-190/ http://nevadagram.com/nevadagram-190/#respond Tue, 02 May 2017 16:28:57 +0000 http://nevadagram.com/?p=22627 Paleontologists digging for ichthyosaurs in the Augusta Mountains, Pershing County Nevada

Rural RoundUp 2017

Rural RoundUp in Elko 2017This year's Cow Counties Tourism Pro-Am convened in Elko. Story below.

More than 500 fans of a Reno-brewed IPA, and of its namesake — a giant prehistoric ocean-dwelling reptile — attended a fundraiser at the brewery for a paleontological dig in Pershing County.
Great basin Brewmaster Tom Young welcomes Ichthyosaur aficionados to the first annual Ichthyosaur Expedition Party They dined, drank beer and listened to the director of the dig explain how it is that Nevada is such a rich source of these fossil remains.

[caption id="attachment_22782" align="alignright" width="350"]Ichthyosaur fossils at Berlin-Ichthyosaur State Park, Nevada Berlin-Ichthyosaur State Park, central Nevada[/caption]

Berlin-Ichthyosaur State Park is one of the state's most interesting landmarks, a collection of fossilized ichthyosaur skeletons heaped together, as if by the tides of an ancient sea, or cast there after being devoured by the even more gruesomely ferocious krakken. Discovered in 1928 and subsequently excavated by crews from the University of California at Berkeley, they were proclaimed Nevada's state fossil in 1977, and an attractive "barn" shelters the fossilized bones left in the rock for visitors to see in place.
Ichthyosaurs — "fish lizards" — resemble whales in some interesting ways, although they are reptiles and not mammals. Like whales they evolved from land animals that returned to the sea; their flippers are not fins, they're repurposed legs. Like whales they were air-breathers, gave live birth to their young, got bigger and bigger over the eons and like whales the largest of them were not predators — too big and slow, perhaps — but browsers. They flourished in the Triassic Period and went extinct before the end of the Cretacious, when North America was at the western edge of the slowly separating land mass called Pangea.

Professor P. Martin Sander, University of BonnPaleontologists digging for ichthyosaurs in the Augusta Mountains, Pershing County NevadaFast-forward 90 million years. Professor P. Martin Sander, professor of vertebrate paleontology at the Steinmann Institute of the University of Bonn in Germany had been prowling the steep hillsides of the isolated Augusta Mountain Range southeast of Lovelock since 1991. Over 20 years, he and his crews had identified fossil remains from at least 12 different species of the great sea beasts, extruding from the rock that has encased and infused their bones through millennia.

Ichthyosaur jawDuring the last field season, the team uncovered a huge creature, an ichthyosaur species completely new to science, projected to have been about 50 feet long – and may turn out to be the first large predator ever discovered in the fossil record worldwide. These ichthyosaurs are older than those at the State Park by many millions of years and represent a more complex population living earlier in the course of evolution.

Five Years Ago in the NevadaGram

The Virginia City National Historic Landmark is under attack by Comstock Mining Inc., a rogue company hoping to dig enormous pit mines in Silver City and Gold Hill.

Even before it begins mining in earnest the company has ravaged the historic landscape.

CMI drill rigs poisoning the air in Gold Hill

The struggle began in November 2010 when CMI’s president, Corrado De Gasperis, appeared at a Silver City Town Meeting and announced the company’s plan to turn about 15% of the historic town into thin air. The great hole it planned at the Dayton Consolidated mine would take the southwestern part of Silver City with it.

“We’re here and we’re doing this, so get used to it,” De Gasperis said, or words to that effect. Before he put away his Power Point presentation the Comstock Residents Association was forming committees in the back of the room and the war was on.

It has been on ever since.

CRA is not opposed to mining, and we don’t oppose pit mining where it is appropriate and done responsibly. But it’s not appropriate within a National Historic Landmark, in the national priority Carson River Mercury Superfund site, or where people live. We’re all three.
CMI has embarrassed itself and the state’s mining industry with its clumsy and increasingly desperate efforts to avoid environmental oversight.

Read the whole thing here

Ichthyosaur fossils brought down from the dig to the base camp by helicoptrBut it was in 2011 that one of the archeologists made a discovery that changed the course of the project. In Winnemucca to get supplies for the camp, he was astonished and thrilled to find an unfossilized  Ichthyosaur in the beer section at Raley's. Ichthyosaur IPA brewed by Great Basin Brewing Company, Sparks and Reno NevadaWhen he returned to camp with a case of it, everyone there was astonished and thrilled too, and when Professor Sander got in touch with Tom Young, Tom was the most astonished and thrilled of all.

What's really astonishing is that it took so long for the crew to find the beer aisle at Raley's, and that it took Raley's so long to stock Icky. Geologist-turned-brewer Tom Young had produced this distinctive IPA ("wonderfully full bodied and smooth with a blast of grapefruit, spice and pine at the finish, and a blend of carefully selected hops") at his Great Basin Brewery in 1993 and christened it in honor of the State fossil.

Ichthyosaur fossils sent in Icky truck to the lab in Los AngelesGreat Basin Brewing Co. became an enthusiastically active sponsor of the project, first by sending more beer to the camp along with some money to further the work, and most recently by sending an Icky truck and driver to the dig camp to meet a helicopter carrying the carefully packaged fossils down from the dig itself. They were loaded into the truck, after which the Icky truck delivered the bones to the Natural History Museum lab in Los Angeles for painstaking examination.

As an ongoing contribution to this research, Great Basin will release four barrel-aged commemorative beers as namesakes of different Ichthyosaur species. The first of them, a barrel-aged, dry-hopped IPA named Phalarodon, was introduced at the fundraiser.

Ten Years Ago in the NevadaGram

On Friday May 18, the world of tourism came to Virginia City, once known as “the richest place on earth” and cleaned up the town.

Some 300 men and women from around America came to Virginia City at their own expense to spend a day working on dozens of tasks — some of them long overdue — around the historic community.

http://www.nevadatravel.net/pix/virginiacity/tourismcares/tc-pipersidewalk300x200.jpgIn white t-shirts and tan caps they fanned out through town, painting, scraping, prying, drilling, polishing hoeing, raking, sweeping and shoveling as they went. These men and women work mostly for tour companies and tourism promotion offices, and they came to Virginia City at the call of Tourism Cares, a non-profit charity supported primarily by the tourism industry.

"Tourism Cares" cleans up the Virginia City cemeteriesAbout 70 people, maybe a quarter of the work force, were assigned to the Silver Terrace cemeteries, doing fuel abatement, which means chopping, raking and hauling brush. They completely trimmed and manicured the Firemen’s and Odd Fellows’ cemeteries. “Between the altitude, dehydration, heat and jet lag you’d think they’d slack off a little,” said Comstock Cemetery Foundation member Cal Dillon. “But they worked until their ears were sunburned, and they filled a big industrial dumpster and half of another one. They were the hardest workers we’ve had here since the inmates from the women’s prison.”

"Tourism Cares" in Virginia City NevadaAt St. Mary’s Art Center 21 volunteers spent the day painting all the public areas in the 131-year-old structure, from the attic down to the ground floor. “They worked non-stop, took 15 minutes for lunch and went right back at it,” Executive Director Linda Nazemian told me. “They did a terrific job.

“And 26 people stayed here during the event. We have 26 beds in 15 bedrooms, and we used them all for volunteers. I know they enjoyed the experience.”

Fun on the V&T Wine Train in Virginia City NevadaBut it wasn’t all work. Virginia City responded to the volunteer effort by throwing some memorable parties. There was an oysters and champagne reception to get the event off on the right foot, and on Friday a barbecue, a ride on the Wine Train, and a performance by the Comstock Cowboys at the Opera House.

Read the whole thing here 

The enormous brewery seems surreal when compared with the small brewpub that opened in Sparks nearly 25 years ago. When its doors were first thrown open to a thirsty world, the little place on Victorian Boulevard ran out of beer in two days and couldn't make it fast enough to keep up. It's a big-scale operation now, with a Reno location on South Virginia Street in addition to Sparks, and a beer bar called Taps and Tanks just inside the brewery entrance.

Professor Sander and Luis Chiappe at the Natural History Museum Laboratory The fundraiser offered beer plus a glass to pour it into and then take home plus a buffet supper and then a presentation by Professor Sander about the project to a SRO audience of a couple of hundred people of all ages from gaffers to millennials with children.

The amiable and erudite professor expressed his appreciation to Tom Young, not only for the material support, but also for making its subject more accessible by calling it Icky.
Pin the head on the Ichthyosaur at Great Basin Brewing Co. Reno and Sparks NevadaCaptain Danno performed on stage before the formalities began, and there were games afterward: Pin the Head on the Ichthyosaur involved two-person teams "pinning" the 8-feet-long head to a 50-foot drawing and a Prehistoric Spelling Bee comprised of tongue-twisters from the fish-lizard lexicon. Icky Party at Great Basin Brewing Co. Reno and Sparks NevadaThis was especially entertaining because the quizmaster was a newcomer to this realm and found many of the terms unpronounceable. This posed a major handicap for the eager contestants, which added to the audience's enjoyment and was solved by using the eliminated challengers as pronunciation aides, a task they performed with gusto.

Icky Party at Great Basin Brewing Co. Reno and Sparks NevadaThis first ever Ichthyosaur Expedition Party was the perfect way to learn about Nevada's fish-lizards, and I'm certain everyone present went away better informed. I do hope Professor Sander recognized the advantage of lecturing on his specialty to an audience sipping one or another of Tom Young's specialties. It was a perfect combination.


Interstate 80 connects all the major towns along the Humboldt Trail like a concrete dot-to-dot across the Nevada map. It’s great for truck drivers hauling triples, cross-country travelers intent on making fast time, and for people with a lot on their minds.

But for you and me there are many opportunities for detour, digression and deliverance from the 4-lane. Here’s a 35-mile drive along the Humboldt River in the family sedan, that’s especially enjoyable for railroad enthusiasts.

The railroad at Palisade NevadaThe beauty is obvious, and the excitement comes from closely paralleling the railroad tracks for most of its 35 miles. As you meander along the graveled road at one of the narrow places, with tracks close on one side and a sheer cliff rising up close on the other you’ll find the sudden appearance of a hurtling freight train enormously exciting, especially if the engineer amuses himself by giving you a friendly ear-deafening and nerve-shattering blast with his huge horn as he flashes by your open window. That’s exciting!

The trains are a big part of the beauty of this side trip: seeing them in their natural habitat, curving along with the meandering river, powerful, graceful and romantic all at once.

The Maiden's Grave, Bowawe NevadaEastbound begin by turning south off the freeway at Exit 261 and driving south to the far edge of Beowawe. Go across the railroad tracks and take the graveled road east. About two miles along you’ll see a large white cross on a little knoll. Railroad workers working nearby discovered the grave of a victim of the Humboldt Trail at a peaceful bend in the river. A stone inscribed with the name Lucinda Duncan prompted the sentimental railroaders to christen it “the maiden’s grave” and to maintain it over the years as the shrine to a departed child. Later, when the tracks were realigned, the grave was relocated to its present site.

Swimming hole along the Humboldt River in NevadaSubsequent research has determined that Lucinda Duncan was past 70 when she expired here — whether that makes her fate more or less touching is for you to decide.

Over the years Lucinda’s grave has provided a nexus for other burials from Beowawe and the nearby ranches, and there is now an attractive and individualistic collection of markers here beneath the great white cross.

Little white calfAs you continue east you’ll encounter grazing cattle, and perhaps some cowboys out riding the range. You’ll cross the river on a one-lane bridge,

you’ll find a sandy-beached swimming hole much favored by the local folks, and pass a coal mine conveniently located at trackside. Eventually you’ll arrive at Palisade, once upon a time the northern terminus of the Eureka & Palisade Railroad, and from here you're only a few minutes away from Nevada 278; turn north ten miles to Carlin and return to the freeway.

If you're coming from the east, turn south at Carlin onto Nevada 278 south toward Eureka, take the Palisade turnoff and you're on the road to Beowawe.


Overheard at the Gallery Bar in Elko: "Kindness is more important than wisdom, Billy, and when you recognize this you'll have taken your first step on the road to wisdom."


The 2017 Rural RoundUp, the annual conclave of Nevada's non-metro tourism activists, was held over three days in Elko last week.2017 Rural RoundUp opening party at the Western Folklife Center, Elko Nevada The event is a curious amalgam of leading edge workshops and professional presentations in a setting reminiscent of a family reunion. Although there are newcomers every year, many of the participants have attended previous RoundUps in small cities around the state, some have attended most of them and a precious few have attended all 27.

Topics for elucidation included Using social media to market rural attractions, events and destinations; Outdoor adventuring in rural Nevada; how to become a better photographer and how to create promotional videos for Youtube. One of the most interesting was about an ambitious new program to develop an Off-Highway Vehicle app for US 50 from Dayton to Great Basin National Park. It will provide GPS-based trail maps for riders to use on their cell phones so they can find the trails and use them with ease.

2017 Rural RoundUp, Elko NevadaThere were also a few socializing/networking events; an opening reception at the Western Folklife Center was highlighted by cowboy poets Waddie Mitchell and Richard Elloyan, a wine/beer-tasting prior to the Awards Banquet the next night showcased the products of the Sanders Family Winery in Pahrump and Ruby Mountain Brewing company in Wells.

This is a great event for building awareness of the wonders of rural Nevada, and a relatively convenient way for folks from our far-flung towns and cities to learn from one another and from leading voices and visionaries of Tourism imported for the occasion.

Fifteen Years Ago in the NevadaGram

Two Great Museums on I-80:

The Humboldt Museum, Winnemucca

Part of the Stoker Collection

Part of the Stoker Collection

Take US 95 north across the river to this recently enlarged facility containing an exotic combination of artifacts from the pioneer west, prehistory and the early automobiles collected by Clarence Stoker.

The Northeastern Nevada Museum, Elko

The Museum Store

The Museum Store

This museum has been welcoming visitors since 1968, now after major expansions in 1982 and 1999 it’s a major attraction on East Idaho Street. The astonishing Wanamaker Wildlife Wing displays more than 200 stuffed animals.

Entertainment over the three days was provided by Mom Nature. She pulled out all the stops: snow, sunshine, sleet, sunshine, cold wind, sunshine, hail, ice, black clouds and sunshine in an endless riff, winter's grand finale.

The most memorable moment of the event for me was when I introduced Bob Perchetti, from Tonopah, to Wayne Cameron from Ely. "Have you two met?" I enquired helpfully. It turns out they'd played high school basketball against each other and had been friends for more than 50 years. Does that tell you anything about rural Nevada?

Big Elko Boot by Ron Artaud, Tuscarora NevadaBeyond the boundaries of the Elko Convention Center we found some interesting goings-on in Elko with the help of Doug Clarke, our Elko Correspondent. He pointed out the big fiberglas boots all over town, created by local and regional artists to give people something to talk about. The boot at left was painted by Ron Artaud of Tuscarora and is scuffing the gravel outside the entrance to the Elko Convention Center.Sandwich with fries at Odeh's in Elko Nevada

And then Odeh's Mediterranean, the new restaurant on 11th street serving a Mediterranean menu. Oh boy, really good! And not only is the food good, it adds to Elko's increasingly well-deserved cosmopolitan image.

 

The post NevadaGram #190 – Ichthyosaur Digs, Rural RoundUp in Elko, Nevada Calendar appeared first on NevadaGram from the Nevada Travel Network - Telling Nevada's story 365, 24/7. The Nevada Travel Network © 2017

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Paleontologists digging for ichthyosaurs in the Augusta Mountains, Pershing County Nevada

Rural RoundUp 2017

Rural RoundUp in Elko 2017This year's Cow Counties Tourism Pro-Am convened in Elko. Story below.
More than 500 fans of a Reno-brewed IPA, and of its namesake — a giant prehistoric ocean-dwelling reptile — attended a fundraiser at the brewery for a paleontological dig in Pershing County. Great basin Brewmaster Tom Young welcomes Ichthyosaur aficionados to the first annual Ichthyosaur Expedition Party They dined, drank beer and listened to the director of the dig explain how it is that Nevada is such a rich source of these fossil remains. [caption id="attachment_22782" align="alignright" width="350"]Ichthyosaur fossils at Berlin-Ichthyosaur State Park, Nevada Berlin-Ichthyosaur State Park, central Nevada[/caption] Berlin-Ichthyosaur State Park is one of the state's most interesting landmarks, a collection of fossilized ichthyosaur skeletons heaped together, as if by the tides of an ancient sea, or cast there after being devoured by the even more gruesomely ferocious krakken. Discovered in 1928 and subsequently excavated by crews from the University of California at Berkeley, they were proclaimed Nevada's state fossil in 1977, and an attractive "barn" shelters the fossilized bones left in the rock for visitors to see in place. Ichthyosaurs — "fish lizards" — resemble whales in some interesting ways, although they are reptiles and not mammals. Like whales they evolved from land animals that returned to the sea; their flippers are not fins, they're repurposed legs. Like whales they were air-breathers, gave live birth to their young, got bigger and bigger over the eons and like whales the largest of them were not predators — too big and slow, perhaps — but browsers. They flourished in the Triassic Period and went extinct before the end of the Cretacious, when North America was at the western edge of the slowly separating land mass called Pangea. Professor P. Martin Sander, University of BonnPaleontologists digging for ichthyosaurs in the Augusta Mountains, Pershing County NevadaFast-forward 90 million years. Professor P. Martin Sander, professor of vertebrate paleontology at the Steinmann Institute of the University of Bonn in Germany had been prowling the steep hillsides of the isolated Augusta Mountain Range southeast of Lovelock since 1991. Over 20 years, he and his crews had identified fossil remains from at least 12 different species of the great sea beasts, extruding from the rock that has encased and infused their bones through millennia. Ichthyosaur jawDuring the last field season, the team uncovered a huge creature, an ichthyosaur species completely new to science, projected to have been about 50 feet long – and may turn out to be the first large predator ever discovered in the fossil record worldwide. These ichthyosaurs are older than those at the State Park by many millions of years and represent a more complex population living earlier in the course of evolution.

Five Years Ago in the NevadaGram

The Virginia City National Historic Landmark is under attack by Comstock Mining Inc., a rogue company hoping to dig enormous pit mines in Silver City and Gold Hill. Even before it begins mining in earnest the company has ravaged the historic landscape. CMI drill rigs poisoning the air in Gold Hill The struggle began in November 2010 when CMI’s president, Corrado De Gasperis, appeared at a Silver City Town Meeting and announced the company’s plan to turn about 15% of the historic town into thin air. The great hole it planned at the Dayton Consolidated mine would take the southwestern part of Silver City with it. “We’re here and we’re doing this, so get used to it,” De Gasperis said, or words to that effect. Before he put away his Power Point presentation the Comstock Residents Association was forming committees in the back of the room and the war was on. It has been on ever since. CRA is not opposed to mining, and we don’t oppose pit mining where it is appropriate and done responsibly. But it’s not appropriate within a National Historic Landmark, in the national priority Carson River Mercury Superfund site, or where people live. We’re all three. CMI has embarrassed itself and the state’s mining industry with its clumsy and increasingly desperate efforts to avoid environmental oversight.

Read the whole thing here

Ichthyosaur fossils brought down from the dig to the base camp by helicoptrBut it was in 2011 that one of the archeologists made a discovery that changed the course of the project. In Winnemucca to get supplies for the camp, he was astonished and thrilled to find an unfossilized  Ichthyosaur in the beer section at Raley's. Ichthyosaur IPA brewed by Great Basin Brewing Company, Sparks and Reno NevadaWhen he returned to camp with a case of it, everyone there was astonished and thrilled too, and when Professor Sander got in touch with Tom Young, Tom was the most astonished and thrilled of all. What's really astonishing is that it took so long for the crew to find the beer aisle at Raley's, and that it took Raley's so long to stock Icky. Geologist-turned-brewer Tom Young had produced this distinctive IPA ("wonderfully full bodied and smooth with a blast of grapefruit, spice and pine at the finish, and a blend of carefully selected hops") at his Great Basin Brewery in 1993 and christened it in honor of the State fossil. Ichthyosaur fossils sent in Icky truck to the lab in Los AngelesGreat Basin Brewing Co. became an enthusiastically active sponsor of the project, first by sending more beer to the camp along with some money to further the work, and most recently by sending an Icky truck and driver to the dig camp to meet a helicopter carrying the carefully packaged fossils down from the dig itself. They were loaded into the truck, after which the Icky truck delivered the bones to the Natural History Museum lab in Los Angeles for painstaking examination.
As an ongoing contribution to this research, Great Basin will release four barrel-aged commemorative beers as namesakes of different Ichthyosaur species. The first of them, a barrel-aged, dry-hopped IPA named Phalarodon, was introduced at the fundraiser.

Ten Years Ago in the NevadaGram

On Friday May 18, the world of tourism came to Virginia City, once known as “the richest place on earth” and cleaned up the town. Some 300 men and women from around America came to Virginia City at their own expense to spend a day working on dozens of tasks — some of them long overdue — around the historic community. http://www.nevadatravel.net/pix/virginiacity/tourismcares/tc-pipersidewalk300x200.jpgIn white t-shirts and tan caps they fanned out through town, painting, scraping, prying, drilling, polishing hoeing, raking, sweeping and shoveling as they went. These men and women work mostly for tour companies and tourism promotion offices, and they came to Virginia City at the call of Tourism Cares, a non-profit charity supported primarily by the tourism industry. "Tourism Cares" cleans up the Virginia City cemeteriesAbout 70 people, maybe a quarter of the work force, were assigned to the Silver Terrace cemeteries, doing fuel abatement, which means chopping, raking and hauling brush. They completely trimmed and manicured the Firemen’s and Odd Fellows’ cemeteries. “Between the altitude, dehydration, heat and jet lag you’d think they’d slack off a little,” said Comstock Cemetery Foundation member Cal Dillon. “But they worked until their ears were sunburned, and they filled a big industrial dumpster and half of another one. They were the hardest workers we’ve had here since the inmates from the women’s prison.” "Tourism Cares" in Virginia City NevadaAt St. Mary’s Art Center 21 volunteers spent the day painting all the public areas in the 131-year-old structure, from the attic down to the ground floor. “They worked non-stop, took 15 minutes for lunch and went right back at it,” Executive Director Linda Nazemian told me. “They did a terrific job. “And 26 people stayed here during the event. We have 26 beds in 15 bedrooms, and we used them all for volunteers. I know they enjoyed the experience.” Fun on the V&T Wine Train in Virginia City NevadaBut it wasn’t all work. Virginia City responded to the volunteer effort by throwing some memorable parties. There was an oysters and champagne reception to get the event off on the right foot, and on Friday a barbecue, a ride on the Wine Train, and a performance by the Comstock Cowboys at the Opera House.

Read the whole thing here 

The enormous brewery seems surreal when compared with the small brewpub that opened in Sparks nearly 25 years ago. When its doors were first thrown open to a thirsty world, the little place on Victorian Boulevard ran out of beer in two days and couldn't make it fast enough to keep up. It's a big-scale operation now, with a Reno location on South Virginia Street in addition to Sparks, and a beer bar called Taps and Tanks just inside the brewery entrance. Professor Sander and Luis Chiappe at the Natural History Museum Laboratory The fundraiser offered beer plus a glass to pour it into and then take home plus a buffet supper and then a presentation by Professor Sander about the project to a SRO audience of a couple of hundred people of all ages from gaffers to millennials with children.
The amiable and erudite professor expressed his appreciation to Tom Young, not only for the material support, but also for making its subject more accessible by calling it Icky. Pin the head on the Ichthyosaur at Great Basin Brewing Co. Reno and Sparks NevadaCaptain Danno performed on stage before the formalities began, and there were games afterward: Pin the Head on the Ichthyosaur involved two-person teams "pinning" the 8-feet-long head to a 50-foot drawing and a Prehistoric Spelling Bee comprised of tongue-twisters from the fish-lizard lexicon. Icky Party at Great Basin Brewing Co. Reno and Sparks NevadaThis was especially entertaining because the quizmaster was a newcomer to this realm and found many of the terms unpronounceable. This posed a major handicap for the eager contestants, which added to the audience's enjoyment and was solved by using the eliminated challengers as pronunciation aides, a task they performed with gusto. Icky Party at Great Basin Brewing Co. Reno and Sparks NevadaThis first ever Ichthyosaur Expedition Party was the perfect way to learn about Nevada's fish-lizards, and I'm certain everyone present went away better informed. I do hope Professor Sander recognized the advantage of lecturing on his specialty to an audience sipping one or another of Tom Young's specialties. It was a perfect combination.
Interstate 80 connects all the major towns along the Humboldt Trail like a concrete dot-to-dot across the Nevada map. It’s great for truck drivers hauling triples, cross-country travelers intent on making fast time, and for people with a lot on their minds. But for you and me there are many opportunities for detour, digression and deliverance from the 4-lane. Here’s a 35-mile drive along the Humboldt River in the family sedan, that’s especially enjoyable for railroad enthusiasts. The railroad at Palisade NevadaThe beauty is obvious, and the excitement comes from closely paralleling the railroad tracks for most of its 35 miles. As you meander along the graveled road at one of the narrow places, with tracks close on one side and a sheer cliff rising up close on the other you’ll find the sudden appearance of a hurtling freight train enormously exciting, especially if the engineer amuses himself by giving you a friendly ear-deafening and nerve-shattering blast with his huge horn as he flashes by your open window. That’s exciting! The trains are a big part of the beauty of this side trip: seeing them in their natural habitat, curving along with the meandering river, powerful, graceful and romantic all at once. The Maiden's Grave, Bowawe NevadaEastbound begin by turning south off the freeway at Exit 261 and driving south to the far edge of Beowawe. Go across the railroad tracks and take the graveled road east. About two miles along you’ll see a large white cross on a little knoll. Railroad workers working nearby discovered the grave of a victim of the Humboldt Trail at a peaceful bend in the river. A stone inscribed with the name Lucinda Duncan prompted the sentimental railroaders to christen it “the maiden’s grave” and to maintain it over the years as the shrine to a departed child. Later, when the tracks were realigned, the grave was relocated to its present site. Swimming hole along the Humboldt River in NevadaSubsequent research has determined that Lucinda Duncan was past 70 when she expired here — whether that makes her fate more or less touching is for you to decide. Over the years Lucinda’s grave has provided a nexus for other burials from Beowawe and the nearby ranches, and there is now an attractive and individualistic collection of markers here beneath the great white cross. Little white calfAs you continue east you’ll encounter grazing cattle, and perhaps some cowboys out riding the range. You’ll cross the river on a one-lane bridge,
you’ll find a sandy-beached swimming hole much favored by the local folks, and pass a coal mine conveniently located at trackside. Eventually you’ll arrive at Palisade, once upon a time the northern terminus of the Eureka & Palisade Railroad, and from here you're only a few minutes away from Nevada 278; turn north ten miles to Carlin and return to the freeway. If you're coming from the east, turn south at Carlin onto Nevada 278 south toward Eureka, take the Palisade turnoff and you're on the road to Beowawe.
Overheard at the Gallery Bar in Elko: "Kindness is more important than wisdom, Billy, and when you recognize this you'll have taken your first step on the road to wisdom."
The 2017 Rural RoundUp, the annual conclave of Nevada's non-metro tourism activists, was held over three days in Elko last week.2017 Rural RoundUp opening party at the Western Folklife Center, Elko Nevada The event is a curious amalgam of leading edge workshops and professional presentations in a setting reminiscent of a family reunion. Although there are newcomers every year, many of the participants have attended previous RoundUps in small cities around the state, some have attended most of them and a precious few have attended all 27. Topics for elucidation included Using social media to market rural attractions, events and destinations; Outdoor adventuring in rural Nevada; how to become a better photographer and how to create promotional videos for Youtube. One of the most interesting was about an ambitious new program to develop an Off-Highway Vehicle app for US 50 from Dayton to Great Basin National Park. It will provide GPS-based trail maps for riders to use on their cell phones so they can find the trails and use them with ease. 2017 Rural RoundUp, Elko NevadaThere were also a few socializing/networking events; an opening reception at the Western Folklife Center was highlighted by cowboy poets Waddie Mitchell and Richard Elloyan, a wine/beer-tasting prior to the Awards Banquet the next night showcased the products of the Sanders Family Winery in Pahrump and Ruby Mountain Brewing company in Wells. This is a great event for building awareness of the wonders of rural Nevada, and a relatively convenient way for folks from our far-flung towns and cities to learn from one another and from leading voices and visionaries of Tourism imported for the occasion.

Fifteen Years Ago in the NevadaGram

Two Great Museums on I-80:

The Humboldt Museum, Winnemucca
Part of the Stoker Collection

Part of the Stoker Collection

Take US 95 north across the river to this recently enlarged facility containing an exotic combination of artifacts from the pioneer west, prehistory and the early automobiles collected by Clarence Stoker.

The Northeastern Nevada Museum, Elko

The Museum Store

The Museum Store

This museum has been welcoming visitors since 1968, now after major expansions in 1982 and 1999 it’s a major attraction on East Idaho Street. The astonishing Wanamaker Wildlife Wing displays more than 200 stuffed animals.
Entertainment over the three days was provided by Mom Nature. She pulled out all the stops: snow, sunshine, sleet, sunshine, cold wind, sunshine, hail, ice, black clouds and sunshine in an endless riff, winter's grand finale. The most memorable moment of the event for me was when I introduced Bob Perchetti, from Tonopah, to Wayne Cameron from Ely. "Have you two met?" I enquired helpfully. It turns out they'd played high school basketball against each other and had been friends for more than 50 years. Does that tell you anything about rural Nevada? Big Elko Boot by Ron Artaud, Tuscarora NevadaBeyond the boundaries of the Elko Convention Center we found some interesting goings-on in Elko with the help of Doug Clarke, our Elko Correspondent. He pointed out the big fiberglas boots all over town, created by local and regional artists to give people something to talk about. The boot at left was painted by Ron Artaud of Tuscarora and is scuffing the gravel outside the entrance to the Elko Convention Center.Sandwich with fries at Odeh's in Elko Nevada And then Odeh's Mediterranean, the new restaurant on 11th street serving a Mediterranean menu. Oh boy, really good! And not only is the food good, it adds to Elko's increasingly well-deserved cosmopolitan image.  

The post NevadaGram #190 – Ichthyosaur Digs, Rural RoundUp in Elko, Nevada Calendar appeared first on NevadaGram from the Nevada Travel Network - Telling Nevada's story 365, 24/7. The Nevada Travel Network © 2017

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NevadaGram #189 – Fallon’s Secret Revealed, The Nevada Calendar for April http://nevadagram.com/nevadagram-189-fallons-secret-revealed/ http://nevadagram.com/nevadagram-189-fallons-secret-revealed/#respond Sun, 02 Apr 2017 17:32:07 +0000 http://nevadagram.com/?p=21700 NevadaGram #189 – Fallon’s Secret Revealed, The Nevada Calendar for April

Here's what Fallon has been so carefully guarding from the world: There is no quieter, calmer, sweeter or more secret getaway in Nevada than Fallon.

Downtown Fallon NevadaI know, right? Does not compute. That's how clever Fallon has been.

But it is true and anyone can prove it by arranging a Perfect Day for themselves. This is how you do it.

First, do some research. Find a performance at the Barkley Theater in the Oats Park Art Center on a second or fourth Saturday of the month (hint: Ginkoa performs on April 22).

Then get to Fallon in time to arrive by 9:30 on the Saturday morning at the Churchill County Museum for the BLM tour of Hidden Cave. If you're having breakfast beforehand, choose between the Courtyard Cafe at the north end of downtown, or Jerry's on US 50 on the near west side (see list below).

The Tour is free and begins with a video at the Museum, after which the group caravans to the trailhead by car. From there it's a half-mile walk up to the cave entrance, and in you go. Once inside you'll hear about the lives of the people who used the cave, and made the art on its walls.

Things move at a slower pace in Fallon, a part of its appeal, so there is time to visit the Museum after the Cave.

Churchill County Museum, Fallon Nevada
Churchill County Museum, Fallon Nevada
Churchill County Museum, Fallon Nevada

You'll see the march of civilization from the prehistory you've just laid eyes on, through the time of the 40-Mile Desert and Ragtown until . . . until . . . until about 1950. And while new Director Dan Ingram struggles with questions of space, digitization and access he's also wrestling with questions about when history stopped, and who was the last pioneer. Aren't the Freys today's pioneer family as they transform agriculture in Churchill County from the 19th century to the 21st? Stop in from time to time [yes, of course, pun intended] and let's see how he handles it.

For lunch; how about Julio's, The Maine Street Cafe or The Wok? Choose your ethnicity and enjoy.

Five Years Ago in the NevadaGram

A Message from Marta Becket:

Marta BecketA year ago I had a very realistic nightmare! It became very real when we had the next board meeting at the Amargosa Opera House. Prior to that, I had been in the hospital for 8 weeks for a hip replacement and broken wrist. During that time several of the board members decided to try to remove me and those loyal to me from the board and the Opera House facilities!

It’s been over 45 years that I have been the founder and it is still hard to believe these individuals would stab me in the back. We now have a law firm who has helped to straighten out this mess. So I can report that we are currently OK. I have reconstituted and reorganized the board. It seems incredible that such a devious plan could have destroyed one of America’s treasures.

Amargosa Opera House, Death Valley Junction NevadaFor 45 years I have shared my artistic talents with audiences who come back again and again, so I ask in some small way, help the Amargosa Opera House continue to offer the classics for which I have dedicated 45 years of my life. I’ll need your help more than ever. And I thank you and I am grateful for what ever you can give!

With warmest personal regards,

Marta Becket, Founder and President of the Board

Read the whole thing here

Frey Ranch Distillery, Fallon NevadaAnd after lunch a visit to Frey Ranch Distillery about ten miles south of town (1045 Dodge Lane, 775.423.4000) and open to the public for tastings and tours every Saturday from noon to 4. This long-established ranch has moved a long way from its beginnings, first by planting wine grapes and then making wine (also available for tasting on Saturday afternoons) and now by making vodka, gin, absinthe and whiskey from the grains and other crops they grow.

Recommended Dining in Fallon

J.D. Slingers - Prides itself on its steaks, makes scrumptious burgers too.
Jerry’s - An All-American coffee shop cafe where the waitress calls you hon.
Julio’s - Italian and Mexican specialties by a hispanic chef who trained in Italy.
La Fiesta - Classic Mexican menu prepared with zest.
Sand Winds - Happy marriage of Sports Bar with especially capable kitchen.
Slanted Porch - Upscale, innovative and delectable is temporarily serving lunches only.
Susie’s BBQ - Cookoff prize winners have brought their champion ribs indoors.
The Steakhouse at the Stockmen’s - Classic western steak house for an elegant dinner out.
The Wok - Excellent Chinese menu and an exemplary Sushi bar, both quite popular.
Top Gun - Superb burgers, many intriguing varieties sold by the inch.
VN Pho - Vietnamese and Chinese dishes masterfully prepared and prettily presented.
I'm confident there are more good places we haven't found yet — please comment below if you have a suggestion. Here's the list of Fallon lodgings.

You can taste the wines and then stagger over to the spirits and taste them too. Or vice versa, but not back and forth.

In any case, there's time to repair to the motel for a snuggle and a snooze while Good Dog Jones watches Animal Kingdom until dinner time.

Ah, dinner out in Fallon. Shall it be the Stockmen's for cocktails and steaks? Or Sand Winds for a glimpse of March Madness? Or just a really, really good burger, in which case the choice is between Top Gun on west Center Street and J.D. Slinger's on the south side of US 50 west.

Kahulanui at the Barkley Theater, Oats Park Art Center in Fallon NevadaAnd then to the theater, in our case most recently to see Kahulanui, a Hawaiian swing band making a tour of the mainland that had just swung in from Alaska and was thawing out at the Barkley. Kahulanui at the Barkley Theater, Oats Park Art Center in Fallon NevadaOnce out on stage they blazed right up and applied their hot licks to the hula: nine guys in flowered shirts, black suits and dinky pork-pie hats wailing away Big Band style. The house was packed with an enthusiastic audience — everything front, center, bright and upbeat all the way.

Gallery at the Oats Park Art Center in Fallon NevadaPart of the pleasure is in the venue. The Art Center occupies a former school beautifully reimagined into a gallery displaying exceptional art of every kind, including an indescribable fabulosity in a room of its own (take the corridor to the right, last classroom on your left).

Ten Years Ago in the NevadaGram

Here’s an event I wish I hadn’t missed:

Rockabillies in Las VegasThe Rockabillies come from all over the world, but mostly they from the USA. They stand out in any crowd because they dress and comb their hair and swagger around with a pack of luckies rolled up in a t-shirt sleeve, like they did — or wanted to — as kids 50 years ago.

Hot cars and cool chicks at the Rockabillies — or is it the other way around?Many of the pom-padours and DAs have gone gray, or survive as combed-over parodies of their former glory, but the look hasn’t changed, and younger people are even more into it! Now the gathering so dominates the Gold Coast that it is sold out for the weekend, and one complete tower at the nearby Orleans has been set aside for the Rockabillies too.

It's all about Drama. . . .Participants in the Burlesque Shows are chosen in advance online. La Cholita was the top vote-getter among this year’s candidates. Her self-portrait: “Half Glamour Half Gangsta and as hot as a shot of Tequila! I would love the opportunity to twirl my tassels. . . .” But how can you choose with slick chicks like Flame Cynders, Ophelia Handful and Bonbon Vivant in the running?

Read the whole thing here

When there's a performance in the theater, the Art Bar opens an hour before curtain time. I taught the cheerful volunteer bartender how to make a Manhattan cocktail with Irish whisky, thus enriching her life and those of Art Bar patrons for years to come.

Art Bar at the Oats Park Art Center in Fallon NevadaThe concert series began in 1986, with performances wherever there was space available when the band was coming through. City Hall, the Library, the High School, virtually every public space. So by the time the theater was completed and ready for the astonishing procession of performers from around the world in 2003, it had already accumulated an audience to support it.

Gift Shop at the Oats Park Art Center in Fallon NevadaEven without a performance you can stop in during the business day just to enjoy what's on the walls; there's also a small but exquisite gift shop. If there is no-one in the building — the small staff is hoping the next grant cycle will provide furniture and computers for the offices so they won't have to work at home — you'll find on the door a note inviting you to call for the key.

 Do it; home is just five minutes away and they are glad to show you what you've come to see.

2012 Hidden Treasure in NevadaWe gave the Center our very first Must-See Must-Do Award as a Hidden Treasure for being such a bright gleaming jewel in plain, placid Fallon.

Sadly, the Art Bar doesn't reopen after he show, so if you want to share a quiet cocktail or a nice glass of wine, venture back downtown to 85 S. Maine, Jo's Stillwater Tea Room. Or Telegraph Coffee & Tap next door to Jerry's for a less quiet experience, especially on Wednesday which is open mic night. The coffee part is a lifesaver at 6 am; Starbucks opens in the Safeway store at 6:30.

If the theater is dark you can substitute an inviting event such as Spring Wings May 19-20, the Ranch Hand Rodeo August 4-6, the beloved Cantaloupe Festival, August 24-27, Tractors & Truffles September 23rd or the World Fast Draw Championships October 6-8. Here's the whole list.

There's your Perfect Day in Fallon. But why stop with just one?

Grimes Point petroglyphs, US 50 east of Fallon NevadaAnother perfect day awaits when you add a Sunday drive east on US 50 a little more than ten miles to Grimes Point, which is a little spur of hillside overlooking what was once a thriving marshland. Hunters watched for game from here, and left their marks on some of the boulders. These petroglyphs are glimpses into time itself, through a window that closed long ago. The boulders obtrude from a rather uninviting landscape which is in itself a reminder of change: this place was teeming with life when the designs were pecked into the rocks.

Head back on US 50 about halfway toward Fallon and turn east on Harmon Road to Stillwater, once upon a time the Churchill County seat and now embracing the Paiute-Shoshone reservation and the Wildlife Refuge of the same name.

The Stillwater Wildlife Refuge attracts birders by the hundreds to scan the very air we breathe for signs of life, the feathered kind — nearly 300 species of birds — that congregate here by the tens of thousands over the course of  the year. And visit the Roundhouse Gallery at 7133 Stillwater Road where Adam Fortunate Eagle, Discoverer of Italy and Liberator of Alcatraz, is an active presence. When you've explored to your satisfaction make it back to Fallon for a late lunch.

The Slanted Porch is only serving lunch just now, so leap at the opportunity . . . unless the appeal of Susie's BBQ is simply irresistible.

Fifteen Years Ago in the NevadaGram

Maarten van der Meide from Holland, made a 15-day, 1000-mile bike ride through Nevada last month and writes:

Well I’m back from the States and must say it has been fantastic holidays! With nice weather and no flat tires!!

Let me tell you something more:

15-03 The flight to Las Vegas was not too bad. I planned to go to Hoover Dam but because of the jet lag I spent the whole day in Vegas; just relaxing and sleeping and cycling across the Strip at night.

17-03 On my birthday I made the trip to Pahrump via Red Rock Canyon. It was a tough route, especially to Mountain Springs. Quite cold at the summit. In Pahrump some nice people invited me at the evening. So I drunk some champagne on my birthday! Skin was sunburned this day.

20-03 I made a bike trip to Dantes View without all the luggage. Unfortunately I made a mistake downwards and had some blood on my legs. That afternoon I took a shower and swum at Furnace Creek Ranch and ate a big steak at night.

21-03 In the morning I made a trip on my bike to Badlands. In the afternoon with high temperatures I went to Stovepipe Wells. I met some nice people from British Columbia, Canada and we drunk some beers.

24-03 Sunday. Bike trip further to Tonopah. Not many miles today but this was planned.

25-03 Start early in the morning (05.30), very cold. Beautiful but tough route to Warm Springs and then in the afternoon along the Extraterrestrial Highway to Rachel. 110 miles that day!

28-03 From Overton to Valley of Fire and then further along I-15 to Vegas. Through Valley of Fire was scenic, but along Interstate terrific and bad.

31-03 A relaxing day with Stratosphere Tower visit and basketball on TV.

02-04 Arrival in Amsterdam in the morning, quite satisfied with the trip I made. Total distance cycled: 1000 miles.

Beside the memory of the champagne on my birthday my best memories are from Highway 375 where I rode lonely in beautiful scenic landscapes. Thanks again for all your information.
Yours, Maarten van der Meide
The Hague- The Netherlands

Read the whole thing here

2013 Hidden Treasure in Nevada: Lattin Farms in FallonAnd then on to Lattin Farms, west on US 50, south on McLean Road, another old ranching property that has moved into the 21st century, but on a different trajectory from the Frey family. Fresh-picked produce at Lattin Farms, Fallon NevadaHere the product is not turning farm produce into nicely packaged and meticulously marketed intoxicants but nostalgia, nourishment and sunshine, served up family style, along with jams and jellies from the farm kitchen, produce of all kinds plus pumpkins and a corn maze in the fall.

For our farewell dinner: VN Pho, yet another excellent restaurant in Fallon, this one praised as "best Asian food in northern Nevada".

Yes, but what if you come during the week when there's nothing special going on. buyers at auction, Fallon NevadaThen you are in for a treat that's only available in the most western of western towns — Fallon Livestock a few miles west of town holds its auctions on Tuesdays; Nevada Livestock Marketing, in town on the west side, does it on Wednesdays.

The last time I was at the in-town auction the Small Barn Animals scheduled for 10:30 began at 11:45, but I didn't much mind the wait because goats at auction, Fallon Nevadasitting in the stands reminded me of the first time I'd sat there — in the same chair, as best I could remember — about 50 years before, with Don Bowers, a Fallon native who was editor of Nevada Magazine at the time.

On that day the auction began with a duck ($6), on this one it was goats, and then the cattle, one after another, in from one side of the tiny arena, out cow at auction, Fallon Nevadathe other while the auctioneer sings Tibetan rap and scats Basque in a dreamy monotone. It's a decidedly different way to spend an hour or so, and the ladies in the office are happy to answer your questions. Both places have well-attended cafes on the premises.

[caption id="attachment_22593" align="alignleft" width="350"]Another perfect day in Fallon Nevada A tangible memory of a Perfect Day in Fallon more than 30 years ago: 4th Graders on Parade[/caption]

So it's really easy for visitors to have Perfect Days in Fallon, and of course you'd have even more if you lived here, which is why those who do live there keep the secret to themselves, I suppose.

It stays a secret because Fallon is still so much the easy, amiable, tree-shaded little burg as it has been for generations, revealing nothing in particular and inviting no questions. Come on a warm summer's evening, after a scurrying rain squall has wet down the fresh-cut alfalfa and dusk has set the frogs and crickets to singing — that's when Fallon is at its comfortable best. One of the most pleasant moments in my memory is from the baseball diamond at City Park, of a very little Little Leaguer lost in the vastness of center field, the tail of his number 7 tucked halfway down into his pants, waving a glove the size of a satellite dish at the baseballs flying over his head.

That was another perfect day in Fallon.

What They're Saying About Us:
It takes him a while to get there, but Carvell Wallace has something interesting to say about Elko and the Cowboy Poetry Gathering. And here are four more for a complete handful: Gerlach: the Darkest Town in AmericaPhotography, Wineries And Cowboys: Nevada's Rural Tourism, Eating's a Ball in Virginia City, US 50: The Loneliest Road to Old West History,

Overheard at Susie's BBQ in Fallon: "I swear to God I thought I'd somehow overnight become a magic lover but then I found out she had asthma."



Here's a terrific commercial for The Mizpah in Tonopah.

The Nevada Calendar for April 2017

Basque Arborglyphs of the Great BasinThe Reno Tahoe area must be eager for spring this year as there is quite the cluster of events this April. In Carson City check out the Mountain Picassos: Basque Arborglyphs of the Great Basin on April 3rd through the 7th at Western Nevada College Gallery. Then on April 19th come on out to the Carson Capitol City Farm DaysCity Wide Short Film Competition. Then on April 20th is the Capitol City Farm Days. . . Travel east on Highway 50 to Fallon for the Top Gun Raceway Drag Racing Season that lasts through October 31st. Also in Fallon go to Churchill Arts and see Ginkgoa, "A French-American electroswing pop band, the quintet crafts French songs with an American vibe" on April 22nd
. . . Further east on Highway 50 stop in Austin for their annual Lincoln Highway Car Show on April 8th. Then in Eureka go to the 4-H Mr. & Miss Contest on April 15th at the Eureka Opera House. The Crescent Valley Easter Egg Hunt is also on April 15th. . . Nevada Northern Railway Trains Begin RunningOn the eastern edge of Nevada in Ely, Nevada Northern Railway Trains Begin Running. On April 8th and 9th is White Pine Weekend - April 8-9, and Ely's Bristlecone Bowmen Golf Tournament is on April 23rd. . . Off Interstate 80 in eastern Nevada in Elko is the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation Dinner on April 8th. Then on April 15th is Elko's Annual Easter Celebration http://everythingelko.com/home/new-calendar/. . . In the west off Interstate 80 you won't want to miss the Reno Ukulele Festival in Sparks at the Nugget Casino on April 6th through the 9th. Next door in Reno you absolutely must attend the Reno Aces vs. Nevada Wolf Pack on April 4th. Reno will host the annual Banff Mountain Film Festival on April 6th. Then on April 20th there will be a 420 Reno Fest at MYNT. On April 23rd is at Idlewild Park come on out to Reno Earth Day. Then on April 28th Reno Earth Daythrough the 30th is Reno Jazz Festival. Also on April 30th is Reno's Downtown River Run. You can also go to the Reno Xtreme Barrel Race on April 30th at the Reno-Sparks Livestock Events Center, or to Reno's Cinco de Mayo Festival that is scheduled for April 29th and 30th at the Grand Sierra Resort. . . Up at the north end of Lake Tahoe is the Tahoe Truckee Earthday Festival on April 22nd at The Village at Squaw Valley. Then in South Lake is Spring Loaded at Heavenly Mountain Resort that lasts through April 9th. On April 16th go to Easter Brunch on the M.S. Dixie II. Then on April 22nd go southward to the Annual Salsa Showdown at Sierra-at-Tahoe Resort. On April 29th you can also attend South Tahoe Earth Day at Bijou Community Park. . . Up on the Comstock in Virginia City come on out to St. Mary's Art Center's Spring Reception on April 15th. Then on April 29th and 30th check out the annual Virginia City Grand Prix . Down the hill in Silver City go to see Gurf Morlix Live in Concert on April 13th at 7-9pm at the Silver City Schoolhouse. . . In Carson Valley travel to Genoa on April 28th for the Genoa Cowboy Festival. You can get some good fishing in at the annual Topaz Lodge Fishing Derby through April 16th. Or you can fly high at Wave Camp at SoaringNV Wave Camp at SoaringNVon April 20th through the 23rd. On April 23rd Carson Valley celebrates Earth Day on Main Street Gardnerville. . . Down south off US Highway 95 stop in Tonopah for a Ghost Walk on April 8th, then a Kids Easter Egg Hunt on April 16th at Barsanti Park. . . Travel farther south to Pahrump for the Pahrump to Dakar Rally on April 7th through the 9th. . . In south eastern Nevada go to Logandale for the Clark County Fair & Rodeo on April 12nd through the 16th . Then in Mesquite a Street Painting Festival will be held at Street Painting FestivalKayenta Art Village on April 29th and 30th. . . In Las Vegas on April 5th through the 8th indulge yourselves at The Nth 2017 Ultimate Whisky Experience. Then on April 15th attend the Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekend. Las Vegas will host it's Annual City of Lights Jazz and R&B Festival on April 29th and 30th. . . Next door in Annual Gamblers Classic Car ShowHenderson is the Crazy Spokes bicycle event on April 8th. Then on April 15th go to the Henderson Heritage Parade & Festival. . . Over by the Hoover Dam in Boulder City is the Best Dam Wine Walk - Egg Hunt on April 8th. Boulder City will host it's Annual Spring Fine Art Festival on April 22nd and 23rd. . . In Nevada's deep south travel to Laughlin for it's Annual Gamblers Classic Car Show on April 20th through the 22nd. The go to the Laughlin River Run on April 26th through the 29th.

Parting Shot —

Easter at Lake Lahontan Nevada

Easter Egg Hunt, Lake Lahontan

The post NevadaGram #189 – Fallon’s Secret Revealed, The Nevada Calendar for April appeared first on NevadaGram from the Nevada Travel Network - Telling Nevada's story 365, 24/7. The Nevada Travel Network © 2017

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NevadaGram #189 – Fallon’s Secret Revealed, The Nevada Calendar for April

Here's what Fallon has been so carefully guarding from the world: There is no quieter, calmer, sweeter or more secret getaway in Nevada than Fallon. Downtown Fallon NevadaI know, right? Does not compute. That's how clever Fallon has been. But it is true and anyone can prove it by arranging a Perfect Day for themselves. This is how you do it. First, do some research. Find a performance at the Barkley Theater in the Oats Park Art Center on a second or fourth Saturday of the month (hint: Ginkoa performs on April 22). Then get to Fallon in time to arrive by 9:30 on the Saturday morning at the Churchill County Museum for the BLM tour of Hidden Cave. If you're having breakfast beforehand, choose between the Courtyard Cafe at the north end of downtown, or Jerry's on US 50 on the near west side (see list below). The Tour is free and begins with a video at the Museum, after which the group caravans to the trailhead by car. From there it's a half-mile walk up to the cave entrance, and in you go. Once inside you'll hear about the lives of the people who used the cave, and made the art on its walls. Things move at a slower pace in Fallon, a part of its appeal, so there is time to visit the Museum after the Cave.
Churchill County Museum, Fallon Nevada
Churchill County Museum, Fallon Nevada
Churchill County Museum, Fallon Nevada
You'll see the march of civilization from the prehistory you've just laid eyes on, through the time of the 40-Mile Desert and Ragtown until . . . until . . . until about 1950. And while new Director Dan Ingram struggles with questions of space, digitization and access he's also wrestling with questions about when history stopped, and who was the last pioneer. Aren't the Freys today's pioneer family as they transform agriculture in Churchill County from the 19th century to the 21st? Stop in from time to time [yes, of course, pun intended] and let's see how he handles it. For lunch; how about Julio's, The Maine Street Cafe or The Wok? Choose your ethnicity and enjoy.

Five Years Ago in the NevadaGram

A Message from Marta Becket:
Marta BecketA year ago I had a very realistic nightmare! It became very real when we had the next board meeting at the Amargosa Opera House. Prior to that, I had been in the hospital for 8 weeks for a hip replacement and broken wrist. During that time several of the board members decided to try to remove me and those loyal to me from the board and the Opera House facilities! It’s been over 45 years that I have been the founder and it is still hard to believe these individuals would stab me in the back. We now have a law firm who has helped to straighten out this mess. So I can report that we are currently OK. I have reconstituted and reorganized the board. It seems incredible that such a devious plan could have destroyed one of America’s treasures. Amargosa Opera House, Death Valley Junction NevadaFor 45 years I have shared my artistic talents with audiences who come back again and again, so I ask in some small way, help the Amargosa Opera House continue to offer the classics for which I have dedicated 45 years of my life. I’ll need your help more than ever. And I thank you and I am grateful for what ever you can give! With warmest personal regards, Marta Becket, Founder and President of the Board

Read the whole thing here

Frey Ranch Distillery, Fallon NevadaAnd after lunch a visit to Frey Ranch Distillery about ten miles south of town (1045 Dodge Lane, 775.423.4000) and open to the public for tastings and tours every Saturday from noon to 4. This long-established ranch has moved a long way from its beginnings, first by planting wine grapes and then making wine (also available for tasting on Saturday afternoons) and now by making vodka, gin, absinthe and whiskey from the grains and other crops they grow.

Recommended Dining in Fallon

J.D. Slingers - Prides itself on its steaks, makes scrumptious burgers too. Jerry’s - An All-American coffee shop cafe where the waitress calls you hon. Julio’s - Italian and Mexican specialties by a hispanic chef who trained in Italy. La Fiesta - Classic Mexican menu prepared with zest. Sand Winds - Happy marriage of Sports Bar with especially capable kitchen. Slanted Porch - Upscale, innovative and delectable is temporarily serving lunches only. Susie’s BBQ - Cookoff prize winners have brought their champion ribs indoors. The Steakhouse at the Stockmen’s - Classic western steak house for an elegant dinner out. The Wok - Excellent Chinese menu and an exemplary Sushi bar, both quite popular. Top Gun - Superb burgers, many intriguing varieties sold by the inch. VN Pho - Vietnamese and Chinese dishes masterfully prepared and prettily presented. I'm confident there are more good places we haven't found yet — please comment below if you have a suggestion. Here's the list of Fallon lodgings.
You can taste the wines and then stagger over to the spirits and taste them too. Or vice versa, but not back and forth. In any case, there's time to repair to the motel for a snuggle and a snooze while Good Dog Jones watches Animal Kingdom until dinner time. Ah, dinner out in Fallon. Shall it be the Stockmen's for cocktails and steaks? Or Sand Winds for a glimpse of March Madness? Or just a really, really good burger, in which case the choice is between Top Gun on west Center Street and J.D. Slinger's on the south side of US 50 west. Kahulanui at the Barkley Theater, Oats Park Art Center in Fallon NevadaAnd then to the theater, in our case most recently to see Kahulanui, a Hawaiian swing band making a tour of the mainland that had just swung in from Alaska and was thawing out at the Barkley. Kahulanui at the Barkley Theater, Oats Park Art Center in Fallon NevadaOnce out on stage they blazed right up and applied their hot licks to the hula: nine guys in flowered shirts, black suits and dinky pork-pie hats wailing away Big Band style. The house was packed with an enthusiastic audience — everything front, center, bright and upbeat all the way. Gallery at the Oats Park Art Center in Fallon NevadaPart of the pleasure is in the venue. The Art Center occupies a former school beautifully reimagined into a gallery displaying exceptional art of every kind, including an indescribable fabulosity in a room of its own (take the corridor to the right, last classroom on your left).

Ten Years Ago in the NevadaGram

Here’s an event I wish I hadn’t missed:

Rockabillies in Las VegasThe Rockabillies come from all over the world, but mostly they from the USA. They stand out in any crowd because they dress and comb their hair and swagger around with a pack of luckies rolled up in a t-shirt sleeve, like they did — or wanted to — as kids 50 years ago. Hot cars and cool chicks at the Rockabillies — or is it the other way around?Many of the pom-padours and DAs have gone gray, or survive as combed-over parodies of their former glory, but the look hasn’t changed, and younger people are even more into it! Now the gathering so dominates the Gold Coast that it is sold out for the weekend, and one complete tower at the nearby Orleans has been set aside for the Rockabillies too. It's all about Drama. . . .Participants in the Burlesque Shows are chosen in advance online. La Cholita was the top vote-getter among this year’s candidates. Her self-portrait: “Half Glamour Half Gangsta and as hot as a shot of Tequila! I would love the opportunity to twirl my tassels. . . .” But how can you choose with slick chicks like Flame Cynders, Ophelia Handful and Bonbon Vivant in the running?

Read the whole thing here

When there's a performance in the theater, the Art Bar opens an hour before curtain time. I taught the cheerful volunteer bartender how to make a Manhattan cocktail with Irish whisky, thus enriching her life and those of Art Bar patrons for years to come. Art Bar at the Oats Park Art Center in Fallon NevadaThe concert series began in 1986, with performances wherever there was space available when the band was coming through. City Hall, the Library, the High School, virtually every public space. So by the time the theater was completed and ready for the astonishing procession of performers from around the world in 2003, it had already accumulated an audience to support it. Gift Shop at the Oats Park Art Center in Fallon NevadaEven without a performance you can stop in during the business day just to enjoy what's on the walls; there's also a small but exquisite gift shop. If there is no-one in the building — the small staff is hoping the next grant cycle will provide furniture and computers for the offices so they won't have to work at home — you'll find on the door a note inviting you to call for the key.
 Do it; home is just five minutes away and they are glad to show you what you've come to see. 2012 Hidden Treasure in NevadaWe gave the Center our very first Must-See Must-Do Award as a Hidden Treasure for being such a bright gleaming jewel in plain, placid Fallon. Sadly, the Art Bar doesn't reopen after he show, so if you want to share a quiet cocktail or a nice glass of wine, venture back downtown to 85 S. Maine, Jo's Stillwater Tea Room. Or Telegraph Coffee & Tap next door to Jerry's for a less quiet experience, especially on Wednesday which is open mic night. The coffee part is a lifesaver at 6 am; Starbucks opens in the Safeway store at 6:30. If the theater is dark you can substitute an inviting event such as Spring Wings May 19-20, the Ranch Hand Rodeo August 4-6, the beloved Cantaloupe Festival, August 24-27, Tractors & Truffles September 23rd or the World Fast Draw Championships October 6-8. Here's the whole list. There's your Perfect Day in Fallon. But why stop with just one? Grimes Point petroglyphs, US 50 east of Fallon NevadaAnother perfect day awaits when you add a Sunday drive east on US 50 a little more than ten miles to Grimes Point, which is a little spur of hillside overlooking what was once a thriving marshland. Hunters watched for game from here, and left their marks on some of the boulders. These petroglyphs are glimpses into time itself, through a window that closed long ago. The boulders obtrude from a rather uninviting landscape which is in itself a reminder of change: this place was teeming with life when the designs were pecked into the rocks. Head back on US 50 about halfway toward Fallon and turn east on Harmon Road to Stillwater, once upon a time the Churchill County seat and now embracing the Paiute-Shoshone reservation and the Wildlife Refuge of the same name. The Stillwater Wildlife Refuge attracts birders by the hundreds to scan the very air we breathe for signs of life, the feathered kind — nearly 300 species of birds — that congregate here by the tens of thousands over the course of  the year. And visit the Roundhouse Gallery at 7133 Stillwater Road where Adam Fortunate Eagle, Discoverer of Italy and Liberator of Alcatraz, is an active presence. When you've explored to your satisfaction make it back to Fallon for a late lunch. The Slanted Porch is only serving lunch just now, so leap at the opportunity . . . unless the appeal of Susie's BBQ is simply irresistible.

Fifteen Years Ago in the NevadaGram

Maarten van der Meide from Holland, made a 15-day, 1000-mile bike ride through Nevada last month and writes: Well I’m back from the States and must say it has been fantastic holidays! With nice weather and no flat tires!! Let me tell you something more: 15-03 The flight to Las Vegas was not too bad. I planned to go to Hoover Dam but because of the jet lag I spent the whole day in Vegas; just relaxing and sleeping and cycling across the Strip at night. 17-03 On my birthday I made the trip to Pahrump via Red Rock Canyon. It was a tough route, especially to Mountain Springs. Quite cold at the summit. In Pahrump some nice people invited me at the evening. So I drunk some champagne on my birthday! Skin was sunburned this day. 20-03 I made a bike trip to Dantes View without all the luggage. Unfortunately I made a mistake downwards and had some blood on my legs. That afternoon I took a shower and swum at Furnace Creek Ranch and ate a big steak at night. 21-03 In the morning I made a trip on my bike to Badlands. In the afternoon with high temperatures I went to Stovepipe Wells. I met some nice people from British Columbia, Canada and we drunk some beers. 24-03 Sunday. Bike trip further to Tonopah. Not many miles today but this was planned. 25-03 Start early in the morning (05.30), very cold. Beautiful but tough route to Warm Springs and then in the afternoon along the Extraterrestrial Highway to Rachel. 110 miles that day! 28-03 From Overton to Valley of Fire and then further along I-15 to Vegas. Through Valley of Fire was scenic, but along Interstate terrific and bad. 31-03 A relaxing day with Stratosphere Tower visit and basketball on TV. 02-04 Arrival in Amsterdam in the morning, quite satisfied with the trip I made. Total distance cycled: 1000 miles. Beside the memory of the champagne on my birthday my best memories are from Highway 375 where I rode lonely in beautiful scenic landscapes. Thanks again for all your information. Yours, Maarten van der Meide The Hague- The Netherlands

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2013 Hidden Treasure in Nevada: Lattin Farms in FallonAnd then on to Lattin Farms, west on US 50, south on McLean Road, another old ranching property that has moved into the 21st century, but on a different trajectory from the Frey family. Fresh-picked produce at Lattin Farms, Fallon NevadaHere the product is not turning farm produce into nicely packaged and meticulously marketed intoxicants but nostalgia, nourishment and sunshine, served up family style, along with jams and jellies from the farm kitchen, produce of all kinds plus pumpkins and a corn maze in the fall. For our farewell dinner: VN Pho, yet another excellent restaurant in Fallon, this one praised as "best Asian food in northern Nevada". Yes, but what if you come during the week when there's nothing special going on. buyers at auction, Fallon NevadaThen you are in for a treat that's only available in the most western of western towns — Fallon Livestock a few miles west of town holds its auctions on Tuesdays; Nevada Livestock Marketing, in town on the west side, does it on Wednesdays. The last time I was at the in-town auction the Small Barn Animals scheduled for 10:30 began at 11:45, but I didn't much mind the wait because goats at auction, Fallon Nevadasitting in the stands reminded me of the first time I'd sat there — in the same chair, as best I could remember — about 50 years before, with Don Bowers, a Fallon native who was editor of Nevada Magazine at the time. On that day the auction began with a duck ($6), on this one it was goats, and then the cattle, one after another, in from one side of the tiny arena, out cow at auction, Fallon Nevadathe other while the auctioneer sings Tibetan rap and scats Basque in a dreamy monotone. It's a decidedly different way to spend an hour or so, and the ladies in the office are happy to answer your questions. Both places have well-attended cafes on the premises. [caption id="attachment_22593" align="alignleft" width="350"]Another perfect day in Fallon Nevada A tangible memory of a Perfect Day in Fallon more than 30 years ago: 4th Graders on Parade[/caption] So it's really easy for visitors to have Perfect Days in Fallon, and of course you'd have even more if you lived here, which is why those who do live there keep the secret to themselves, I suppose. It stays a secret because Fallon is still so much the easy, amiable, tree-shaded little burg as it has been for generations, revealing nothing in particular and inviting no questions. Come on a warm summer's evening, after a scurrying rain squall has wet down the fresh-cut alfalfa and dusk has set the frogs and crickets to singing — that's when Fallon is at its comfortable best. One of the most pleasant moments in my memory is from the baseball diamond at City Park, of a very little Little Leaguer lost in the vastness of center field, the tail of his number 7 tucked halfway down into his pants, waving a glove the size of a satellite dish at the baseballs flying over his head. That was another perfect day in Fallon.
What They're Saying About Us: It takes him a while to get there, but Carvell Wallace has something interesting to say about Elko and the Cowboy Poetry Gathering. And here are four more for a complete handful: Gerlach: the Darkest Town in AmericaPhotography, Wineries And Cowboys: Nevada's Rural Tourism, Eating's a Ball in Virginia City, US 50: The Loneliest Road to Old West History,
Overheard at Susie's BBQ in Fallon: "I swear to God I thought I'd somehow overnight become a magic lover but then I found out she had asthma."

Here's a terrific commercial for The Mizpah in Tonopah.

The Nevada Calendar for April 2017

Basque Arborglyphs of the Great BasinThe Reno Tahoe area must be eager for spring this year as there is quite the cluster of events this April. In Carson City check out the Mountain Picassos: Basque Arborglyphs of the Great Basin on April 3rd through the 7th at Western Nevada College Gallery. Then on April 19th come on out to the Carson Capitol City Farm DaysCity Wide Short Film Competition. Then on April 20th is the Capitol City Farm Days. . . Travel east on Highway 50 to Fallon for the Top Gun Raceway Drag Racing Season that lasts through October 31st. Also in Fallon go to Churchill Arts and see Ginkgoa, "A French-American electroswing pop band, the quintet crafts French songs with an American vibe" on April 22nd . . . Further east on Highway 50 stop in Austin for their annual Lincoln Highway Car Show on April 8th. Then in Eureka go to the 4-H Mr. & Miss Contest on April 15th at the Eureka Opera House. The Crescent Valley Easter Egg Hunt is also on April 15th. . . Nevada Northern Railway Trains Begin RunningOn the eastern edge of Nevada in Ely, Nevada Northern Railway Trains Begin Running. On April 8th and 9th is White Pine Weekend - April 8-9, and Ely's Bristlecone Bowmen Golf Tournament is on April 23rd. . . Off Interstate 80 in eastern Nevada in Elko is the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation Dinner on April 8th. Then on April 15th is Elko's Annual Easter Celebration http://everythingelko.com/home/new-calendar/. . . In the west off Interstate 80 you won't want to miss the Reno Ukulele Festival in Sparks at the Nugget Casino on April 6th through the 9th. Next door in Reno you absolutely must attend the Reno Aces vs. Nevada Wolf Pack on April 4th. Reno will host the annual Banff Mountain Film Festival on April 6th. Then on April 20th there will be a 420 Reno Fest at MYNT. On April 23rd is at Idlewild Park come on out to Reno Earth Day. Then on April 28th Reno Earth Daythrough the 30th is Reno Jazz Festival. Also on April 30th is Reno's Downtown River Run. You can also go to the Reno Xtreme Barrel Race on April 30th at the Reno-Sparks Livestock Events Center, or to Reno's Cinco de Mayo Festival that is scheduled for April 29th and 30th at the Grand Sierra Resort. . . Up at the north end of Lake Tahoe is the Tahoe Truckee Earthday Festival on April 22nd at The Village at Squaw Valley. Then in South Lake is Spring Loaded at Heavenly Mountain Resort that lasts through April 9th. On April 16th go to Easter Brunch on the M.S. Dixie II. Then on April 22nd go southward to the Annual Salsa Showdown at Sierra-at-Tahoe Resort. On April 29th you can also attend South Tahoe Earth Day at Bijou Community Park. . . Up on the Comstock in Virginia City come on out to St. Mary's Art Center's Spring Reception on April 15th. Then on April 29th and 30th check out the annual Virginia City Grand Prix . Down the hill in Silver City go to see Gurf Morlix Live in Concert on April 13th at 7-9pm at the Silver City Schoolhouse. . . In Carson Valley travel to Genoa on April 28th for the Genoa Cowboy Festival. You can get some good fishing in at the annual Topaz Lodge Fishing Derby through April 16th. Or you can fly high at Wave Camp at SoaringNV Wave Camp at SoaringNVon April 20th through the 23rd. On April 23rd Carson Valley celebrates Earth Day on Main Street Gardnerville. . . Down south off US Highway 95 stop in Tonopah for a Ghost Walk on April 8th, then a Kids Easter Egg Hunt on April 16th at Barsanti Park. . . Travel farther south to Pahrump for the Pahrump to Dakar Rally on April 7th through the 9th. . . In south eastern Nevada go to Logandale for the Clark County Fair & Rodeo on April 12nd through the 16th . Then in Mesquite a Street Painting Festival will be held at Street Painting FestivalKayenta Art Village on April 29th and 30th. . . In Las Vegas on April 5th through the 8th indulge yourselves at The Nth 2017 Ultimate Whisky Experience. Then on April 15th attend the Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekend. Las Vegas will host it's Annual City of Lights Jazz and R&B Festival on April 29th and 30th. . . Next door in Annual Gamblers Classic Car ShowHenderson is the Crazy Spokes bicycle event on April 8th. Then on April 15th go to the Henderson Heritage Parade & Festival. . . Over by the Hoover Dam in Boulder City is the Best Dam Wine Walk - Egg Hunt on April 8th. Boulder City will host it's Annual Spring Fine Art Festival on April 22nd and 23rd. . . In Nevada's deep south travel to Laughlin for it's Annual Gamblers Classic Car Show on April 20th through the 22nd. The go to the Laughlin River Run on April 26th through the 29th. Parting Shot — Easter at Lake Lahontan Nevada Easter Egg Hunt, Lake Lahontan

The post NevadaGram #189 – Fallon’s Secret Revealed, The Nevada Calendar for April appeared first on NevadaGram from the Nevada Travel Network - Telling Nevada's story 365, 24/7. The Nevada Travel Network © 2017

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