NevadaGram Archive

NevadaGram #197 — Virginia City at Christmastime

NevadaGram #197 — Virginia City at Christmastime

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 ...
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NevadaGram #196 - Following Mark Twain around Paris

NevadaGram #196 – Following Mark Twain around Paris

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. On 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 ...
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Incline Village Nevada

NevadaGram #195 – Incline Village, Crystal Bay and Coaldale

In all my years of exploring Nevada the most difficult place for me to get a handle on has been Incline Village. I 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 ...
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US 95 in Nevada

NevadaGram #194 – Laughlin, Art Flap at Baker

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. We'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. We drove slowly past 23 empty camp sites, one ...
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The Clown Motel, Tonopah Nevada

NevadaGram #193 – A Drive down 95

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 ...
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The Travelvan

NevadaGram #192 – Snake Valley Days at Baker

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 ...
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Cowboy Express to Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko Nevada

NevadaGram #191 – Dream Train to Elko, Comstock Mining Update

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

NevadaGram #190 – Ichthyosaur Digs, Rural RoundUp in Elko, Nevada Calendar

Rural RoundUp 2017 This 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.  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. 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, ...
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NevadaGram #189 – Fallon’s Secret Revealed, The Nevada Calendar for April

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. I 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 ...
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Martin Hotel Winnemucca Nevada

NevadaGram #188 – Meet Me at the Martin, Nevada Calendar for March

In the summer of 2004 a man and his wife set out from Maine, heading west for their new life in Nevada, and on the way the wife suffered a cracked tooth. Despite her pain and discomfort they decided to keep going, and for three days they hurried across the country to Winnemucca, where she sought treatment from a dentist whose office was just down the street from their new home. As he prepared to repair the damage the dentist asked his patient what had brought her to town. "My husband and I have just bought the Martin Hotel." The ...
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NevadaGram #187 - Snowbound at Tahoe, Nevada Correspondence, Comstock Mining Update

NevadaGram #187 – Snowbound at Tahoe, Nevada Correspondence, Comstock Mining Update

Mark McLaughlin Our Guest Author is an award-winning, nationally published author, speaker, and photographer with seven books and more than 750 articles in print. He has been a regular contributor to California and Nevada media, and has won 5 Nevada State Press Awards. Check out Mark's diverse selection of informative presentations about the Lake Tahoe region, including weather & climate change, the Donner Party, western pioneer stories and Tahoe ski history. Last year's winter was a shock and a warning: most of the mountains in northern Nevada were naked for most of the winter — no hint of snow! It was eerie, and felt all wrong, like ...
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2016 Christmas lights at the state capitol, Carson City Nevada

NevadaGram #186 – Must See-Must Do in 2017, Carson City at Christmas, the January Events Calendar

A Brand New Carson City was unwrapped at Christmas time. Photo courtesy Carson City Pix Not only had the last of the street barricades and detours been removed from the renovated stretch of Carson Street downtown, but the Christmas lights were magnificent. The stern stone Capitol building with its small silver nightcap, a dark hulk most nights of the year, was a graceful fairyland of light, and almost seemed to dance. The new main drag reduced to two lanes was a pleasant surprise to see, but the weather has been too cold for a proper evaluation, which must include testing the sidewalk ...
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Great Basin Nationnal Park sky observatory

NevadaGram #185 – Great Basin Observatory, Nevada Correspondence, Sourdough Slim in Eureka

Sourdough Slim at the Eureka Opera House Story and video below  Among the many things they can brag about, the rangers at Great Basin National Park can point to the sky and say, "It gets really dark here at night." Not just really dark, pitch dark. Pure Black. Except where public safety demands it, the only light here comes from starlight and as sunlight reflected from the moon. We're up high here, where the air is thin, dry and pollution-free, and we're far from local light sources. These are highly desirable traits in a world where the midnight dark is diluted by ambient ...
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Fly Geyser, Gerlach Nevada

NevadaGram #184 – Gerlach, City of Dreams

South Tahoe Food & Wine Festival See story and photos below We drove to Gerlach north from Silver Springs, through Fernley, Wadsworth and Nixon — towns most visitors never notice, if they see them at all — and then along the western shore of Winnemucca Lake. This was once a productive fishery, dry since the 1930s because of heedless development. Timeless and lifeless, empty land taking a long time to traverse at 65 mph. It's best toward sundown when the low angle of the light turns the hills to the east of the dead gray lakebed to a soft tawny ...
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World’s Fastest Human in Battle Mountain

NevadaGram #183 – World Human-Powered Speed Challenge in Battle Mountain

We are in Battle Mountain for the World Human-Powered Speed Challenge, which is a contest to see whose bicycle can go fastest on five miles of straight, flat Highway 305 about 15 miles south of town on the road to Austin. Battle Mountain is on the heavily-traveled I-80 and all, but it has never been known as a destination for enthusiasts of any kind except hunters, who hold an annual chukar hunt here each fall. Yet Battle Mountain is world-famous (in a small way) for hosting this most prestigious event in the world of speed bicycling each year. This isn't bicycling the way ...
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Central Nevada Museum

NevadaGram #182 – Visits to Eureka, Tonopah and Winnemucca, Richard Bangs Makes it to Reno

In Silver City, Saturday August 20th was a hot and happy summer's day as townspeople, former residents, grandparents, friends from out of town, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and cousins by the dozens gathered at the park in the early afternoon. They brought bowls and platters, dishes, jugs, baskets and bottles to spread a lavish feast along a 20-foot table on the porch outside the Schoolhouse. Silver City, its friends and families had come to celebrate the new performance stage, and their connections with one another. The soft broad sweep of lawn was splashed with color as children romped and dogs ...
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Ward Charcoal Ovens

NevadaGram #181 – Comstock Mining Update

We failed. For more than five years residents of the Comstock tried to keep an upstart mining company from digging an enormous pit mine in the the Virginia City National Historic Landmark just above Devil's Gate in Gold Canyon. Despite our efforts the pit was dug. But the mine was a bigger failure than the resistance. More than $200 million in stockholder money spent over five years with nothing to show for it except an endless chain of zeros in the profit column. Why? Because the company's inexperienced executives indulged in aspirational prognostications, and what they discovered when they dug ...
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Ely Renaissance Village

NevadaGram #180 — Pioche to Great Basin National Park, Wine-Walking in Eureka

Nevada State of Mind (Part 2: Pioche to Great Basin National Park) by Richard Bangs Pioche was once the baddest town in the West, badder than Tombstone, Deadwood or Dodge City. In its heyday as a silver mining center it had 10,000 residents, 100 bars, and 100 whore houses. Almost like a Twilight Zone episode, or The Rapture, every human seems to have been plucked from the landscape, though all the facilities…bathrooms, picnic tables, campgrounds, boat launches, information signs, a stamp machine for the state park passports…are perfectly presented, waiting for a dinner party. It’s nice having these ...
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Valley of Fire State Park Nevada

NevadaGram #179 – Exploring the Edge of the World, Comstock Mining Update

Nevada State of Mind by Richard Bangs It feels like we’re driving to the edge of the world where the water falls off. Infinity is just ahead. To the right are mountains that arc up from the basement of time. On the left, a dry lake bed now glassed with salt. This is the driest state in the country, not so surprising, but it is also the most mountainous, with some 300 ranges. If you look at a satellite photo of earth at night one of the brightest pixels is Las Vegas in southern Nevada. But, if you look north, ...
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River walk, Laughlin Nevada

NevadaGram #178 – Rural RoundUp in Laughlin, Detour to Paris

Rural RoundUp is the annual conclave of Nevada's tourism industry, Cow County division, a party it throws for itself. The venue rotates; last year in the beautiful Carson Valley in the shadow of the Sierra on the far western side of the state, this year in sunny Laughlin on the Colorado River far to the south. We always enjoy being in Laughlin, and the long drive to get there is a bonus, because it lets us reacquaint ourselves with the long skinny piece of gristle called US 95 that we take south from Silver Springs. Actually we avoid most of ...
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It's not Venice, It's Sparks!

NevadaGram #177 – Sparks, City of Mystery

Last week, unable to spare the time for a vacation in Tuscany, I decided to spend a day in Sparks. You might be tempted to begin a self-guided tour downtown where Sparks grew up across the Lincoln Highway from the big railroad yard. I prefer to save it for last. Five Faves in Sparks Breakfast Peg's Glorified Ham'n'Eggs Lunch Great Basin Brewery BJ's Barbecue Dinner Oyster Bar, Sparks Nugget Pietro's Famiglia Ristorante (details below) But I do suggest getting off the I-80 freeway at Rock Boulevard and taking Victorian Avenue east through the center of the little city. This is ...
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Solar array at Crescent Dunes, Tonopah Nevada

NevadaGram #176 — Tonopah Rising, Nevada Correspondence

Tonopah, 4 am The city was sleeping with its night lights on, silent except for the occasional snore of a semi-truck traveling US 95 through its center. The night was warm and the air was still. No-one was about except me, walking from the hotel to the car to retrieve my camera, and back again. As I approached the side door to the hotel a furious garble of shouting exploded into the night from across the street and just as quickly subsided. "Did you hear that yelling?" I asked the desk clerk once I was inside; she had not. I ...
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Chair lift at Heavenly Lake Tahoe

NevadaGram #175 – Winter at South Shore

Lake Tahoe is well-known as a vacation/recreation destination, and so we made a visit between January snowstorms to see what the Lake has to offer in winter. “We were like a couple of kids,” Robin said after we got home again. I'm not sure I completely agree, but we did have fun in two days at the South Shore. Who wouldn't? We did everything we could find to do, which included a visit to the Heavenly Valley ski slopes via gondola, snowmobiling through the forest high up the mountain above the lake, and cruising on the Dixie (to say nothing ...
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The fried cheese cheeseburger. Does Sassafras serve the hippest food in town?

NevadaGram #174 – US 50 is Burger Road, Comstock Mining Update

The Best Burgers in the World are found along US 50 in Nevada. Anyone who has driven the "Loneliest Highway" and had a burger along the way will agree. No matter how long ago it was, they can still tell you how that burger hit the spot. It was . . . unforgettable. This is not a 'vote' for the Best Burger. We don't think there is a single Best Burger along US 50 in Nevada, any more than there's a 'best diamond' in a bracelet that sparkles on a slender wrist. It is the assemblage as a whole that ...
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Festival of Trees

NevadaGram #173 – Elko’s Christmas Trees, 2016 Must-See Must-Do, Global Tourism Summit

Christmas in Elko is a delightful mini-season that begins each year with the Festival of the Trees, which came this year on the last day of November. This is one of the major annual art exhibits in the American West, and the medium is not oil paintings or photography, it is Christmas Trees. This Festival of Trees has become a major annual event here, raising many thousands of dollars for local charities by the sale of Christmas trees, holiday wreaths, stockings and other Christmas fare. The trees are decorated and contributed by individuals, families, businesses and other organizations of all ...
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Nevada State Capitol, Carson City

NevadaGram #172 – Carson City at Christmastime

Carson City is a real city now. No, really. There are lots of ways to measure this, but in my mind the true mark of a city is whether or not you can do all your Christmas shopping there. Amazingly perhaps, if you haven't been paying attention, Carson City qualifies. There are brand name box stores clustered here and there in Carson City now, along with a zesty sprinkle of smaller shops downtown. A Note About the Food There have been fine restaurants in Carson City over the years, but not very many at a time. Now there are at ...
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Edmonton Eskimos, 1910

NevadaGram #171 – Wheezer Dell

A while back I posted a NevadaGram about Wheezer Dell, the first Nevada-born child — Tuscarora, June 11, 1886 — to grow up to play major league baseball, first for St. Louis in 1912 and then in Brooklyn from 1915 to 1917. I had rummaged through the pages of the scrapbook that his wife Eleanor had kept of his phenomenal baseball career and was left with a major mystery unsolved among the photos, signed baseballs and newspaper clippings: NevadaGram Honored The Nevada Press Association has awarded the NevadaGram First Prize in its annual contest for Best Writing on the Internet ...
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Jeanne Dini Cultural Center, Yerington Nevada

NevadaGram #170 – Smith Valley and Yerington, Nevada Correspondence

A while back I recounted our drive along the Bodie Road in far western Nevada, and our homeward journey via Smith Valley and Yerington. Shortly after that NevadaGram was dispatched I was chided by a friend from Wellington for hurrying home from Aurora without pausing to experience the pleasures, comforts and satisfactions of southern Lyon County. So we're heading back, pointed south on 395 again, but this time we pulled up just short of the California border, a little south of Holbrook Junction. We stopped at the cheerful little way station overlooking the lake shared by both Nevada and California ...
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Bodie California State Park in far western Nevada

NevadaGram #168 – Far Western Nevada (Bridgeport, Bodie and Aurora)

Nevada Correspondence In this NevadaGram we debut a new section of Correspondence from around the state on matters of interest to Nevada-lovers, both residents and visitors. Please try a taste, and add your comments in the box at the bottom. Driving the Bodie Road We'd decided to aim the new car in a new direction, and explore far western Nevada, which includes what some outsiders call eastern California. To be clear, far western Nevada includes everything east of the ridgeline of the Sierra Nevada (except Trona) and takes in the entirety of Death Valley National Park. Thus the State Line ...
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Lake Tahoe, early spring

NevadaGram #167 – Adrift at Lake Tahoe, Comstock Mining Update

Imagine that you've made arrangements for an exciting weekend with a friend who shares your enthusiasms and at the last minute it all fell through, leaving you alone and adrift at Lake Tahoe. Lake Tahoe! But what does one person do when delivered to one of the world's most desirable vacation/recreation destinations without a plan? One consults the handiest and most comprehensive resource I've ever seen: "What's Happening at Tahoe South" is an exhaustive listing of everything that's happening at the South Shore, both Nevada and California, day by day. Other lists (here's a good one) will alert you to ...
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Borges Carriage Rides, Genoa Nevada

NevadaGram #166 – Rural RoundUp, The One and Only McKeen Car,

This year's Rural RoundUp — the 25th Annual — was held in the Carson Valley. For the rural tourism marketers in attendance it was an enjoyable visit to one of the most beautiful places in the world, a social event and statewide gossip-swap of exceptional interest along with a set of workshops and presentations geared to widening horizons on the job. It seems to have succeeded on every level . . . including the food, which was exceptional. The Carson Valley covers a lot of real estate, and fittingly enough the proceedings began in Genoa, where Nevada itself began, at ...
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NevadaGram #165 — Wheezer Dell, Two New Breweries

NevadaGram #165 — Wheezer Dell, Two New Breweries

I've just come from spending three pleasant days delving into the Wheezer Dell archive, and especially the thick scrapbook into which Eleanor Dell had pasted newspaper clippings about her husband's career as a baseball player. It begins with accounts of games he pitched for the Seattle Giants after they were married in 1914, carries through his three years with Brooklyn, his afteryears in the Pacific Coast League, first with Vernon and then Seattle again, then the Atlanta Crackers, and at last to Beaumont Texas where he pitched his final season in 1926 for the Exporters. What's In A Name? ...
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NevadaGram #164 - Eagles & Ag in Carson Valley, Comstock Mining Update, a Post Card from Shorty

NevadaGram #164 – Eagles & Ag in Carson Valley, Comstock Mining Update, a Post Card from Shorty

The last time I was an agri-tourist was 42 years ago, when I was led inside, outside, through and around a pig farm in Aarhus Denmark, but my memories of it are still vivid and enjoyable. So at this year's Eagles & Ag event in the Carson Valley (our 2015 Event of the year, which you've already missed it unless you were there) Robin and I signed up for the ranch tours. The water birds, the shore birds, the raptors that are everywhere, and especially the eagles among the newborn calves, get most of the press and most of the ...
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NevadaGram #163 - 2015 Must-See Must-Do Awards, A Visit to Ely, Elko's 'Lost Ski Resort',

NevadaGram #163 – 2015 Must-See Must-Do Awards, A Visit to Ely, Elko’s ‘Lost Ski Resort’,

And now the moment that everyone has been waiting for: the announcement of the annual Must-See Must-Do List for 2015. As always, this list reflects our personal preferences — lots of nominations on the website but no votes — just Robin and me (and Shorty). Enter your nominations at our Facebook page or in the Comments at the bottom of this page. Please enjoy these wonders, excitements, pleasures, comforts and satisfactions in 2015. Here they are! Five Years Ago in the NevadaGram Robin and I went to Baker for an event unique even here in Nevada where one-of-a-kind is the ...
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2014 Christmas card by Deb Sutherland

NevadaGram #162

Our beautiful Christmas Card Our thanks to Deb Sutherland for allowing us to share her image of the Northern Nevada Railway depot in East Ely. It caught my eye when I first saw it on the Nevada Photographers website: a good long look at the stately old structure, Photoshopped just enough to make it magic. "It's so different from my other photos," she wrote. "I am learning to go with what 'mood' the photo is trying to convey. I'm learning a lot :-)" And while we're in a reflective mood, let's remember that 2014 was Nevada's 150th year, and ...
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Civil Warriors on Parade, Nevada Day 2014 Virginia City

NevadaGram #161 Sesquicentennial Nevada Day

Nevada Day was very big this year, being the Sesquicentennial edition and all. The year-long effort to celebrate the milestone with events and activities around the state — more than 500 of them — had focused more attention than ever on our annual Celebration of Statehood, and it showed. Oh sure, easy for you to say First and foremost were the parades. There has been a Nevada Day parade in Carson City since 1938 (they called it Admission Day then) and it is a cast-iron tradition now.This year October 31, the actual date of Nevada's entry into the Union ...
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Belmont Mill, White Pine District

NevadaGram #160 — Hamilton, the Belmont Mill and Wheezer Dell

In Nevada, even in our Age of Tesla, it is still possible to venture as deep into history and prehistory as you care to go. Here's a day trip from Ely or Eureka that will take you off the pavement and into the scenery, out of sight of the modern world. We're going to visit Hamilton, once and briefly a thriving city of 10,000 people at 8,000 feet above sea level in the White Pine range, and on the way we are taking in the Belmont Mill and the mine that supplied it with ore when it was a minor ...
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Tile Tortoise, Main Street Park, Fernley Nevada

NevadaGram #159 – I-80 postcard from Shorty

Robin, Shorty and I recently made a pleasant trip across northern Nevada to update Shorty's book, and here is some of what we discovered along the way. Two Burning Man art pieces and one locally created Desert Tortoise were unveiled on August 7 at the Main Street Park in Fernley as part of "Big Art for Small Towns", a cooperative project of Black Rock Arts Foundation, the Burning Man Project and the City of Fernley. Thousands of participants pass through Fernley on their way to and from the Burning Man event in the Black Rock Desert. Black Rock Arts Foundation ...
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Frontier RV Park, Winnemucca Nevada

NevadaGram #158 – A Visit to Winnemucca, Comstock Mining Update

When we planned last week's visit to Winnemucca we determined to try nothing but new restaurants and lodgings. No Griddle for breakfast. No Martin Hotel for lunch. No Ormachea's for dinner. No Tortilla Factory any time. No Winnemucca Inn, no Winner's Inn, no Scott's Shady Court. And so we discovered what I still call the Mancamp Motel even though I know it's really the New Frontier RV Park, way out on Winnemucca Boulevard at the east edge of town and in plain view from the freeway where we booked a Park Model — unit? bungalito? cabinette? There are 114 perfectly ...
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Red Dog at Night - Virginia City Nevada

NevadaGram #157 -Landsailing Championships on Smith Creek Playa, Plus Bulletins from Austin, Wells, Hither and Yon

The World Championship Land Sailing Competition was held last month at Smith Creek Playa west of Austin alongside old US 50 (now Nevada 722). It had been held in recent years at Ivanpah in the Mojave Desert of southeastern California, but perhaps that had not been deemed remote enough by the organizers. Surely Smith Creek Playa — a dry lake bed more than 70 miles east of Fallon and more than 30 miles west of Austin — is remote enough. Smith Creek Playa west of Austin Nevada This is terrain traversed at a gallop by Pony Express riders in ...
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The Genoa Trail System

NevadaGram #156 – A Visit to Genoa, Post Card from Shorty,

If you've ever visited the Carson Valley in your lifetime, you can probably still see it clearly in your memory. The broad green valley, speckled with grazing cattle, made lush by rivulets from mighty granite cliffs shoved up into the western sky, craggy summits white with snow. That's in the spring or the fall; in summer the snow is gone from the peaks, and in winter the snow descends to the valley floor from time to time. In any season it is surprisingly, unforgettably beautiful. The first person to say so to the world was Horace Greeley, of all people ...
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Bucket of Blood on C Street, Downtown Virginia City Nevada

NevadaGram #155 – Virginia City, an SOS from Lake Tahoe and More

Was it a mistake for me to be your guide to Virginia City? I know too much. It's helpful to be able to point out that B Street was once Virginia City's Champs-Elysees. It's just a parking lot now, but the main entrance to the International Hotel was on B Street, across from Piper's Opera House. The Storey County Court House still dominates the next block south, and B Street is lined with mansions on the west side beyond that. Jim Fair lived on B Street, to give you an idea. And C Street was the mercantile boulevard, the shopping ...
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NevadaGram #154 - Rural Round Up in Ely, Comstock Mining Update, Burning Man Art in Fernley

NevadaGram #154 – Rural Round Up in Ely, Comstock Mining Update, Burning Man Art in Fernley

By mid-afternoon on the last day in April, a bus coming from Reno, another one from Las Vegas and a slew of passenger cars coming from every which way had all accomplished the voyage to Ely. It was Rural Round Up, and proved to have the largest attendance of any in the event's history, 279 registered attendees by the time it was over. At three o'clock on Wednesday afternoon the Round Up was just beginning, with a tour of Renaissance Village, a project of the Ely Renaissance Society which has also sponsored the murals around the city and repurposed the ...
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Showers in Early Spring - Nevada

NevadaGram #153 – Getting There, Post Card from Shorty and “Queen of the Night”

Getting there. When you hear someone say that our long highway distances are boring, it's easy for a Nevada-lover to suppose they lack a crucial gene. As a service to our subscribers, we present this delightful version of our state song so you can sing (or hum) along as you read this. Or clean house, drive to Winnemucca or hike at Red Rock. It's a cock-eyed perception of our beautiful state, but it's widespread. The biggest problem is simply that people do a lot of their traveling at the wrong time of day. It's obvious you're not going to have ...
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cowdogs at work at teh Winnemucca Ranch Hand Rodeo

NevadaGram #152 – Dog Trials in Winnemucca, Hotel Comes Down in Eureka, Comstock Mining Update,

Comstock Mining Update This month's Comstock Mining Update begins with the Lyon County Commissioners meeting in Yerington on Thursday, March 6.
(CONTINUED below or click the link above) There is every kind of mid-winter fun available in Nevada, from the skiing resorts at Lake Tahoe and the Sierra to casting for trout in the Colorado River at Laughlin, but the best, the very best is available one week out of the year in Winnemucca. Alpine Lodge/Lincoln Hotel
Comes Down in Eureka Built in 1880, the structure at the center of the Lincoln Hotel was a Dry Goods and Clothing store originally, with the ...
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Hoover Dam

NevadaGram #151 – Boulder City, a Post Card from Shorty

We are doing ourselves a big favor by visiting Boulder City in February. It is the perfect cure for a Comstock winter, if you're not going to Belize. When we are snowed in and battling the gale to get to the woodpile and back, they wear t-shirts and drink wine at sidewalk cafes. CRA Files Court Complaint vs Lyon County and CMI On Friday January 31 The Comstock Residents Association filed a Complaint in Lyon County District Court asking the judge to reverse the Lyon County Commissioners' January 2 decision to grant Comstock Mining Inc's Master Plan and Zoning change request. CRA asserts ...
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Hawthorne Army Depot

NevadaGram #150 – Comstock Mining Update, Must See-Must Do 2014

Comstock Mining Update: At its regularly scheduled meeting on January 2, the Lyon County Commission broke all precedent by ignoring its Planning commission's recommendation to deny the Comstock Mining Inc's Master Plan Amendment and Zoning change requests. Instead, the Commissioners voted 4-1 to impose a "compromise" made between CMI and Commissioner Vida Keller to reduce the size of the acreage affected. A Postcard from Shorty We are starting my triumphant book tour in Elko, where my career as a writer really took off. It was just a year ago that "A Dog's Guide to Elko" was published — now we're handing ...
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Lyon County Planning Recommends Denial

NevadaGram #149 – Comstock Mining Update, “Jesus’ Birthday”

The struggle over pit mining in the Virginia City National Historic Landmark has shifted south through Devil's Gate from Storey to Lyon County.

At last month's scheduled hearing before the Lyon County Planning Commission, Comstock Mining Inc asked for a continuance, saying it hadn't had time to prepare. This time company CEO Corrado De Gasperis delivered the applicant's response to the Planning Commission Staff Report just 30 minutes prior to the meeting, giving no-one any time to prepare a reasoned response. He was rebuked by two board members for introducing new and irrelevant material relating to the drawing of ...
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S-Line Reservoir in Fallon, Nevada

NevadaGram #148 – A Dream Speech and a Call from Joe

AS I WAS UNABLE TO ATTEND the Governor's Conference on Tourism in Las Vegas this week, I found myself reflecting on the Great State of Nevada and its future, imagining a speech from that bully pulpit that might help steer us there intact. With one thrilling exception, Nevada has always had its spy-glass fixed firmly on the past. For  good reason — over most of our history, things were better then. That exception was the legalization of casino gambling and the reduction of the residency requirement for divorce. One helped build the state's sustaining industry, the other made us competitive ...
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USS Nevada

NevadaGram #147 – Nevada Day in Carson City

IT IS NEVADA DAY, the grandest 72-hour day of our year, and the great Nevada Day Parade in Carson City on Saturday is its most splendid expression, a gaudy 3-hour procession of floats, bands and marching groups, heart-felt and  authentic. The parade began months before of course, and is the climax of elaborate planning and preparation. Volunteers mark off the staging points for the 200 parade entries before sunrise, with anxious looks up into the crack of dawn. Will it be sun today or snow? Sun! We only have 15 miles to Carson City, other parade-goers have been on the road ...
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Sunrise over I-80 in Nevada

NevadaGram #146 – Andy & the Snake, A Postcard from Shorty

THE NEW Harrah's Hotel was one of four or five buildings that rose up out of Reno's grimy brick downtown like bright porcelain teeth in a mouthful of rotting stumps. I had begun talking with the man beside me, a tall, stiff jointed cowpuncher, half beer-drunk and staring mildly about him out of china-blue eyes. He was headed back from his sister's funeral in Salinas to the lonesome Monitor Valley ranch where he was working. While he waited for the bus that would take him the next leg of the way home, he passed the time by telling me about ...
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NevadaGram #143 - Comstock Mining Updates

NevadaGram #143 – Comstock Mining Updates

Since late in 2010 the necessity of defending the Virginia City National Historic Landmark against surface mining has meant interrupting the NevadaGram from time to time. Compared to the other frustrations and annoyances we and our neighbors have been subjected to since the arrival of CMI, this is minor but it still leaves gaps. I'm now filling these gaps retroactively by writing Updates about the open pit mining situation here. I started in January, working forward to catch up, and backward as I can find the time (I have a complete archive of correspondence and documents to draw from). They ...
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The restored and refurbished Tuscarora Society Hall contains the community museum.

NevadaGram #142 – A Visit to Tuscarora

Share on Facebook Tuscarora's great event takes place every other year, usually over the Memorial Day weekend: Open Studios, during which visitors may tour the ateliers and meet the "sensitives" (as my friend Buckeye Blake calls them) who make the art. This year the event was delayed to coincide with the dedication of the community's lovingly restored "Tuscarora Society Hall", the happy ending to a grueling ten-year effort by the small community. Tuscarora is about 50 miles north of Elko via the Mountain City Highway (Nevada 225) and Nevada 226. There is no store. No cafe, no saloon, no commerce ...
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Laughln Boat Race

NevadaGram #141 – Living Large in Laughlin, Postcard from Shorty

Laughlin should have been named Fun City — Laughlin NV in the 1970s no-one comes here on business unless they are in the fun business. We come for the food, the drink, the easy-going atmosphere, the fishing, and the golf in the unique Colorado River setting. It's like the fond memory of long-ago Las Vegas — resorts instead of mega-resorts, big casino hotels, but without the traffic jams. Las Vegas has grown into an International city; Laughlin is still Nevada. There are ten casino-hotels now, nine strung like beads along the Colorado downriver from Don Laughlin's original Riverside — his ...
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The 2013 wine crush at Rural Round-Up

NevadaGram #140 – Rural Round Up in Pahrump, An afternoon in Carson Valley, A Post Card from Shorty

April's great event for those of us non-metropolitans who strive to build Nevada Tourism, is Rural Round Up. It is the annual gathering of folks from what we used to call the cow counties (whether they had cows or not) to network, workshop and brainstorm to devise new ways to present themselves favorably to the traveling public. Last year the great event was held at the Hyatt Regency on Lake Tahoe's north Shore. This year it was in Pahrump, that rambunctious burg an hour's drive from Las Vegas on the other side of the Spring Mountains. The Pahrump Nugget, host ...
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NevadaGram #139 - March 2013 Sourdough Slim and Squaw Tom Sanders

NevadaGram #139 – March 2013 Sourdough Slim and Squaw Tom Sanders

What They're saying About Us The New York Times goes winter kayaking on Lake Tahoe. Sign Up for our NevadaGram here. The Affectionate and Intimately Detailed Guide to the Most Interesting State in America is available at our new online Nevada Bookstore. This month's Trip Report is a departure from the familiar format. It is shorter on the page itself with less text, fewer photos — but in terms of content, it's a full serving. First, this documentary about Sourdough Slim, the droll rope-spinning, accordion-playing, yodeling buckaroo who first came to fame at the Cowboy Poetry Gathering in ...
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NevadaGram #138 - February 2013 Chinese New Year in Virginia City

NevadaGram #138 – February 2013 Chinese New Year in Virginia City

What They're saying About Us The New York Times visits the Neon Museum in Las Vegas. Photo: New York Times Sign Up for our NevadaGram here. The Affectionate and Intimately Detailed Guide to the Most Interesting State in America is available at our new online Nevada Bookstore. When I came to the Comstock, winters were cruel. "Getting through winter" was hard work on top of the rest of the hard work required to live in this demanding place. If we could, and as much as we could, we hibernated. Waited out the long nights, the frozen pipes, the ...
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NevadaGram #137 - January 2013 Pit Mining on the Comstock, More from Shorty

NevadaGram #137 – January 2013 Pit Mining on the Comstock, More from Shorty

What They're saying About Us Photo Courtesty of Max Whittaker for The New York Times The New York Times finds a Storey County Commissioner at the Mustang Ranch. Sign Up for our NevadaGram here. The Affectionate and Intimately Detailed Guide to the Most Interesting State in America is available at our new online Nevada Bookstore. By a great stroke of good luck we happened to be in Elko when the Festival of Trees was held at the Convention Center. This is both a major art event and a community tradition. Individuals and businesses decorate Christmas trees and wreathes ...
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NevadaGram #136 - December 2012 Merry Christmas

NevadaGram #136 – December 2012 Merry Christmas

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 has become an integral part of what makes Elko Elko. It's also an art show and a holiday feast, but more about that next time. For now, we wish you warmth and comfort at Christmas, pleasure and satisfaction in the new year. Elko's Festival of Trees, 2012 ...
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NevadaGram #135 - November 2012 A Heavenly Day in Fallon, Must-see, Must-do for 2013

NevadaGram #135 – November 2012 A Heavenly Day in Fallon, Must-see, Must-do for 2013

What They're saying About Us The New York Times visits downtown Las Vegas and finds Zappos. Sign Up for our NevadaGram here. The Affectionate and Intimately Detailed Guide to the Most Interesting State in America is available at our new online Nevada Bookstore. A sublime day in Fallon begins on McLean Road, which angles off from US 50 on the western edge of town and leads to Lattin Farms, one of Fallon's main attractions for locals and visitors alike. The sun is high overhead in a clear blue sky with a few fluffy clouds thrown here and there, ...
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NevadaGram #134 - October 2012 Goldfield Days, Traveling Teenager

NevadaGram #134 – October 2012 Goldfield Days, Traveling Teenager

What They're saying About Us Indian Country Magazine visits Lake Tahoe. Sign Up for our NevadaGram here. Get the New Complete Nevada Traveler at our Nevada Bookstore . Goldfield Days was an adventure. We have rich memories of Goldfield.Robin and I were married there. More recently we shared a family outing with three of the sibs, an adventure we all still treasure, and in 2005 I was the Grand Marshal of the Goldfield Days Parade, an honor I haven't yet got over completely. You might think that would be the high point of the event for us, but our ...
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NevadaGram #133 - September 2012 Goldfield Days, Postcard from Kingston, Calamity on the Comstock

NevadaGram #133 – September 2012 Goldfield Days, Postcard from Kingston, Calamity on the Comstock

What They're saying About Us The Guardian (UK) cuts a rug in Las Vegas. Sign Up for our NevadaGram here. The Affectionate and Intimately Detailed Guide to the Most Interesting State in America is available at our new online Nevada Bookstore. 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. Comstock Mining Inc. has begun surface mining within the Virginia City National Historic Landmark. The Comstock Residents Association is a group of local citizens formed to prevent it. We are not anti-mining, but ...
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NevadaGram #132 - August 2012  Pit Mining the Comstock and A Visit with Marta Becket

NevadaGram #132 – August 2012 Pit Mining the Comstock and A Visit with Marta Becket

What They're saying About Us The New York Times goes crayfishing at Lake Tahoe. Sign Up for our NevadaGram here. The Affectionate and Intimately Detailed Guide to the Most Interesting State in America is available at our new online Nevada Bookstore. 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. 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 ...
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NevadaGram #128 - April 2012 Tonopah, Death Valley Junction

NevadaGram #128 – April 2012 Tonopah, Death Valley Junction

What They're saying About Us USA Today includes Virginia City's Americana Music Festival among the 10 best. Hunt photo contest is underway and open to all photographers. Prizes will be awarded to Winner and Runner-Up for best urban image, best rural scenic image, best wildlife image, best human-interest image, best event or show image, and best photo illustration (includes HDR images, whatever they are). In the THEN & NOW category, photographers re-create vintage images from Nevada’s past. Photographers must provide a high-resolution file of the history photo being reproduced, and the modern photo must be taken from the ...
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Will James collection housed at Northeastern Nevada Museum, Elko

NevadaGram #127 – March 2012 Rural Round Up at Incline Village, Will James settles in Elko, and a night at the Mizpah

What They're saying About Us The New York Times goes winter kayaking on Lake Tahoe. Sign Up for our NevadaGram here. The Affectionate and Intimately Detailed Guide to the Most Interesting State in America is available at our new online Nevada Bookstore. This year's Rural Round-Up, the 22nd annual, was held at the Hyatt Lake Tahoe in Incline Village. Mom Nature provided the glorious weather and the magnificent views, the Hyatt provided the glamorous surroundings, The Cline and Jacuzzi Family wineries brought the wine and NCOT brought the speakers and presenters. The most interesting presentation may have been ...
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NevadaGram #126 - February 2012 Pat Nixon Centennial in Ely, "Love Ranch", More from Shorty

NevadaGram #126 – February 2012 Pat Nixon Centennial in Ely, “Love Ranch”, More from Shorty

What They're saying About Us The Christian Science Monitor hails a cab in Las Vegas. Photo courtesy Hacking Vegas Sign Up for our NevadaGram here. The Affectionate and Intimately Detailed Guide to the Most Interesting State in America is available at our new online Nevada Bookstore. I never thought I'd be invited to Pat Nixon's birthday party — I cheered when her husband resigned the presidency — but here we are, Robin and I in Ely, stepping on board the Pat Nixon Centennial Flyer to make the ceremonial journey to Ruth in her memory. (Here's Ed Vogel's column ...
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NevadaGram #125 - January 2012 Handing Out Awards, Wild Women in Elko

NevadaGram #125 – January 2012 Handing Out Awards, Wild Women in Elko

What They're saying About Us In the State of Nevada 2011 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, jingle dancers are juxtaposed with state statistics. Sign Up for our NevadaGram here. Get the New Complete Nevada Traveler at our Nevada Bookstore. I've learned a lot about Awards since I started handing them out last month. I learned right away that once a year isn't enough — there are too many candidates to wait a whole year for a new list. Do I have to wait a year to tell the world that Carson City is a terrific little city with great restaurants, ...
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NevadaGram #123 - Must-see, Must-do for 2012

NevadaGram #123 – Must-see, Must-do for 2012

What They're saying About Us The Guardian (UK) cuts a rug in Las Vegas. Sign Up for our NevadaGram here. The Affectionate and Intimately Detailed Guide to the Most Interesting State in America is available at our new online Nevada Bookstore . I had intended to finish out the year with a report from the Governor's Conference on Tourism, but at the last minute was unable to attend. I am told it was a success and a fitting beginning for the newly-enlarged agency combining Tourism and Cultural Affairs. One mainstay of the Governor's Conference is the awarding of ...
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NevadaGram #122 - Bookstorming in eastern Nevada

NevadaGram #122 – Bookstorming in eastern Nevada

What They're saying About Us The folks from Vail go skiing in the Rubies. Sign Up for our NevadaGram here. Get the New Complete NevadaTraveler at our Nevada Bookstore. Our dog Shorty is a 35-lb terrier, yellow and shaggy with soulful eyes and a cheerful attitude that endears him to all. This voyage through the sagebrush sea has no destination, just the pleasures of the journey itself and the people we meet along the way. We aimed the Contraption out of town early on a Thursday morning and made our way south on US 95 — Dayton to Yerington ...
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NevadaGram #121 - Mizpah Hotel Opens, Perfect Tourist Comes to Visit

NevadaGram #121 – Mizpah Hotel Opens, Perfect Tourist Comes to Visit

What They're saying About Us The Guardian (UK) cuts a rug in Las Vegas. Sign Up for our NevadaGram here. The Affectionate and Intimately Detailed Guide to the Most Interesting State in America is available at our new online Nevada Bookstore. I've been away. Not physically away, but so fully engaged in the fight against pit mining the Virginia City National Historic Landmark that I might as well have been in a different world. You'll find a brief update below. Robin and I had been feeling the simple yearning to see some sagebrush, and some sky, and some ...
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NevadaGram #116 - Rural RoundUp in Mesquite, Surprise in Eureka

NevadaGram #116 – Rural RoundUp in Mesquite, Surprise in Eureka

What They're saying About Us American Airlines introduces its passengers to Sheriff Stone of Gold Point. Sign Up for our NevadaGram here. The Affectionate and Intimately Detailed Guide to the Most Interesting State in America is available at our new online Nevada Bookstore. Rural RoundUp is a yearly gathering of small-community tourism professionals, semi-professionals and amateurs from around the state, to which the Commission on Tourism brings a team of outside experts in various fields to present their special knowledge, insights and expertise. This year the meeting was at the Casablanca in Mesquite, where we found out that ...
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NevadaGram #115 - Mining Threatens Virginia City National Historic Landmark,  Fitzsimmons Defeats Corbett in Carson City

NevadaGram #115 – Mining Threatens Virginia City National Historic Landmark, Fitzsimmons Defeats Corbett in Carson City

What They're saying About Us The New York Times goes winter kayaking on Lake Tahoe. Sign Up for our NevadaGram here. The Affectionate and Intimately Detailed Guide to the Most Interesting State in America is available at our new online Nevada Bookstore. The Nevada State Parks Activity Schedule. One of Nevada's most valuable historical treasures is on the verge of destruction. Plans are being made to pit mine the Virginia City National Historic Landmark on mining claims that range in a wide swath from US 50 north through Silver City up Gold Canyon to Virginia City itself. If ...
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NevadaGram #114 - Finding Sam Clemens Cove at Lake Tahoe

NevadaGram #114 – Finding Sam Clemens Cove at Lake Tahoe

What They're saying About Us The Wall Street Journal visits a proposed wild horse sanctuary in Elko County. Sign Up for our NevadaGram here. The Affectionate and Intimately Detailed Guide to the Most Interesting State in America is available at our new online Nevada Bookstore. One of the most memorable episodes in "Roughing It" recounts how young Sam Clemens hiked up to Lake Tahoe from Carson City. He told how he and his companion staked a timber claim and accidentally set the forest on fire. The two escaped with their lives by rowing their skiff out into the ...
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NevadaGram #113 - Governor's Conference

NevadaGram #113 – Governor’s Conference

What They're saying About Us Association News Magazine. Sign Up for our NevadaGram here. Get the New Complete Nevada Traveler at our Nevada Bookstore. I attended the Governor's Conference on Tourism in December. It was held at the Peppermill in Reno, in the new part, the part that isn't a maze of purple neon and mirrors. The event had been a landmark on the Nevada Tourism calendar since 1984 until the recent and ongoing financial disaster prompted cancellation of the 2008 event. I attended the first conference as a member of the Tourism Commission staff, and I've attended most ...
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NevadaGram #111 - Stayed Home - Working to help prevent pit mining on the Comstock

NevadaGram #111 – Stayed Home – Working to help prevent pit mining on the Comstock

Corrado De Gasperis, CEO of Comstock Mining Inc. appeared at a meeting of the Silver City Town Advisory Board. He announced that his company had acquired some 6,000 acres of mining claims on and around the Comstock, running in a 4-mile-wide swath from beneath the V on Sun Mountain eight miles south across US 50. One of those claims, he said, pointer tapping the Powerpoint presentation on the screen, was the Dayton Consolidated near the Y on Silver City's south side. Drilling would begin shortly and even though it would create noise and dust, the company would do everything in ...
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NevadaGram #110 - Stayed Home to Fight the Mine

NevadaGram #110 – Stayed Home to Fight the Mine

It was at this point in the calendar that local residents on the Comstock Lode began to hear about a scheme to pit mine in the Virginia City National Historic Landmark, and to organize against it. We've begun to fight, drawing on our experience with earlier attempts to dig enormous pit mines here. One of these previous companies, Houston Oil & Minerals, did dig a huge crater where the original 1859 discovery was made in Gold Hill, and it remains there today, long after the mining company itself dissolved into thin air. A big slab of Sun Mountain is slowly ...
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NevadaGram #109 - Inside Nevada's Mutable Border: Randsburg California

NevadaGram #109 – Inside Nevada’s Mutable Border: Randsburg California

What They're saying About Us The folks from Vail go skiing in the Rubies. Sign Up for our NevadaGram here. Get the New Complete NevadaTraveler at our Nevada Bookstore. On the map, Nevada is an oddly shaped chunk of terra firma containing 540,000 square miles within its mostly straight-lined boundaries. But you can't just draw a line and expect an energetic state like ours to stand still for it. Exploration on the ground confirms that the actual Nevada overflows these arbitrary borders, and embraces adjacent parts of California, Oregon, Idaho, Utah and Arizona. Nowhere is this more obvious than ...
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NevadaGram #108 - Edna's 115th in Winnemucca, Scandal in old Tonopah

NevadaGram #108 – Edna’s 115th in Winnemucca, Scandal in old Tonopah

Despite its affinity for famous people from Kit Carson to Frank Sinatra, Nevada has relatively few notable natives. Even Wayne Newton came from somewhere else. How many Nevada-born celebrities can you name? Emma Nevada was a famous Opera singer in her day, born in Austin. Wovoka, the originator of the Ghost Dance, grew up in Yerington. Who else? Nevada hasn't provided the USA with a president yet, but Pat McCarran was a national figure in the US Senate, as was Paul Laxalt a generation later, and now Harry Reid, all Nevada-born. We've produced actors, artists, athletes, authors and others in ...
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NevadaGram #107 - Squaw Tom, Mike O'Callaghan and Sam Clemens

NevadaGram #107 – Squaw Tom, Mike O’Callaghan and Sam Clemens

I wish I could tell you how I missed this one when we were gathering Tom's stories for the collection published a few years ago. It's an extension to one of the stories that made it into the book, but went overlooked at the time. I also wish I could tell you where it has been hiding all this time, and how it came to light just now. But I can't. One day it was on the desktop of a computer that came along long after the book was published. How did it get there? I don't know. However it ...
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NevadaGram #106 - The California Trail and Virginia City's Camel Races

NevadaGram #106 – The California Trail and Virginia City’s Camel Races

What They're saying About Us Nevada's ancient Bristlecones are under attack. Sign Up for our NevadaGram here. You can order Nevada books online here. I was pounding the keys upstairs over an Elko barroom, so I missed the trip, but Robin and some friends made a two-day journey on the California Trail that they hugely enjoyed. With Wells as the departure point, their route combines a visit to one of Mom Nature's secret treasures with a glimpse of the pioneer experience, and it ends up in Jackpot, not a bad place to re-enter modern civilization. They traveled well-maintained gravel ...
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Enroute to Jiggs

NevadaGram #105 – Elko, Jiggs and an Excursion Down South

I'm getting to really, really like Elko. Anyone who reads the NevadaGram knows that I've really liked Elko for a long time, but now it's really really. It's city enough to have a Home Depot, an Office Max and a Starbucks, and small town enough to have a downtown where people shop in locally-owned stores and conduct business in the professional offices upstairs. There are excellent places to eat and to stay, and the surrounding countryside is rhapsodically beautiful. Even if you don't get up into the mighty Ruby Mountains (and you should), they shine down on Elko from amongst ...
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Old Corner Bar, Virginia City Nevada

NevadaGram #104 – Mark Twain at Piper’s Opera House

What They're saying About Us The New York Times drives across Nevada. Sign Up for our NevadaGram here. You can buy your book orders online for Personal copies and gifts or for Resale. Last fall I was talking with McAvoy Layne, who portrays Mark Twain on stage, screen and the paddlewheel steamer Tahoe Queen, and as we cooled our pipes with glasses of beer late on an amiable afternoon, our talk came around to Sam Clemens taking his famous pen name. Every schoolchild knows that Sam Clemens first used the pen name Mark Twain on February 3, 1863, while ...
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From Reno To Winnemucca and Back By Train

NevadaGram #103 – From Reno To Winnemucca and Back By Train

I mentioned in an earlier NevadaGram (not getting the NevadaGram yet? Sign up here) that there will be an almost-impromptu birthday party for Edna Purviance in October at Winnemucca. What They're saying About Us

The Huffington Post finds crayon rockets launching on the Black Rock Desert. Sign Up for our NevadaGram here. You can buy your book orders online for Personal copies and gifts or for Resale. She was born in Paradise Valley north of Winnemucca and she maintained family connections there long after becoming Charlie Chaplin's leading lady in the movies that made him a star. Here's a ...
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NevadaGram #102 - A Side Trip to San Francisco

NevadaGram #102 – A Side Trip to San Francisco

What They're saying About Us

The New York Times visits the non-smoking casino in Fernley. Sign Up for our NevadaGram here. You can buy your book orders online for Personal copies and gifts or for Resale. We have been to Bullhead City Arizona, to Wendover Utah and Markleeville California among other cross-border destinations, and we consider Lake Tahoe our lake, even though two-thirds of it is in California. This time, though, we left Nevada behind and went all the way to San Francisco. This Trip Report is a departure — our first report on a voyage out of state ...
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NevadaGram #101 - Old Sheepherders Party in Baker, Fire & Ice in Ely

NevadaGram #101 – Old Sheepherders Party in Baker, Fire & Ice in Ely

What They're saying About Us

The Los Angeles Times can't find Beatty anywhere. Sign Up for our NevadaGram here. You can buy your book orders online for Personal copies and gifts or for Resale. Robin and I went to Baker for an event unique even here in Nevada where one-of-a-kind is the general rule. It is the bittersweet Old Sheepherders' Party, the 7th annual tribute to the tough and hardy men who trailed the sheep bands through this Utah-Nevada country in years past; bitter because these old fellows are dying away as the American sheep industry itself is dying, ...
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NevadaGram #100 - December 2009 Merry Christmas

NevadaGram #100 – December 2009 Merry Christmas

Season's Greetings from the Las Vegas Ski & Snowboard Resort and all of us at the Nevada Travel Network ...
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NevadaGram #99 - The Death of Indian Johnny

NevadaGram #99 – The Death of Indian Johnny

What They're saying About Us Via Magazine Visits the National Finals Rodeo. Sign Up for our NevadaGram here. You can buy your book orders online for Personal copies and gifts or for Resale. Now for some time travel. Buckle up, please. While cleaning out an old building in Virginia City a few years ago, Winson Hong made a fascinating discovery. He found an advertising calendar from 1909, the inexpensive kind with the sponsor's advertising and an illustration printed on a piece of card stock, and a small pad of 12 sheets, each one containing the dates for a month, ...
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NevadaGram #98 - Death Valley and Tonopah

NevadaGram #98 – Death Valley and Tonopah

What They're saying About Us The New York Daily News gnaws on some ribs. Sign Up for our NevadaGram here. You can buy your book orders online for Personal copies and gifts or for Resale. Someone once described being in Paris as being an ant crawling across a magnificent work of art. Death Valley is like that too, except that you drive, and early in November Robin and I devoted two days to the experience. We came in from the north and turned west off US 95 at Scotty's Junction, and drove the 23 miles to Grapevine Canyon and ...
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Squaw Tom (Tom Sanders)

NevadaGram #97 – Squaw Tom’s ‘Cat Queedup’ and uniquely delightful experiences in Carson City, Fallon and Eureka.

What They're saying About Us The San Francisco Chronicle drives around Lake Tahoe. Sign Up for our NevadaGram here. You can buy your book orders online for Personal copies and gifts or for Resale. Last year I introduced you to to Tom Sanders. Squaw Tom he was called, because he married Indian women, and he wore the name with pride. In that NevadaGram he told the story called "Horse Guts", about building a road near Mono Lake back in 1917. Now he's back with another story called "Cat Queedup", about an incident when he was working in Carson City ...
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NevadaGram #96 - Carson Valley and Lake Tahoe

NevadaGram #96 – Carson Valley and Lake Tahoe

What They're saying About Us CNN discovers gold in Elko. Sign Up for our NevadaGram here. You can buy your book orders online for Personal copies and gifts or for Resale. We've been living high and low in Douglas County this week. That is, we went to the Carson Valley and to Lake Tahoe. The Carson Valley has been known as one of the most beautiful places in America ever since Horace Greeley rode through it in a stagecoach with Hank Monk at the reins in 1858 and wrote about it in his New York newspaper afterward. We went ...
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NevadaGram #95 The Nadadada Motel, A Mystery at the Hotel Nevada, and Alice Ramsey chugs across Nevada

NevadaGram #95 The Nadadada Motel, A Mystery at the Hotel Nevada, and Alice Ramsey chugs across Nevada

What They're saying About Us The New York Times checks into Reno's NadaDada Motel. Sign Up for our NevadaGram here. You can buy your book orders online for Personal copies and gifts or for Resale. As the whole world knows, Reno is Artown, and during the month of July the little city on the Truckee is teeming with accomplished performers, including some real stars, like Richie Havens and Itzhak Perlman. There's music, art and literature in a variety of forms, all of it reflecting a savvy sophistication that hasn't always been a part of the Reno reputation. You can ...
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Paradise De Janiero

NevadaGram #94 June 2009 Rio de Janeiro, Pine Grove

I'm a long way from Tuscarora, about 200 feet in the air and 5,000 miles from the nearest sagebrush. What They're saying About Us The New York Times drives the Extraterrestrial Highway. Sign Up for our NevadaGram here. You can order Nevada books online here. You be stylin' like an eastern Nevada sheep-shearer in one of our eye-catching, head-turning fashion statement t-shirts. (click the photo for larger view) To my right, thickly jungled mountainsides lunge up into a sky clabbered with slow-moving clouds; to my left, the Atlantic Ocean heaves itself ceaselessly against a broad sandy ...
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Old West Diarama

NevadaGram #93 – Open Studios in Tuscarora, the California Trail Interpretive Center

As winter gives way to spring, the state shakes off the last of its snow with a spate of Memorial Day celebrations. The most unusual of them takes place in Tuscarora in odd years, and that's where we headed after meeting a group of friends in Elko. What They're saying About Us The Examiner visits Virginia City's Fourth Ward School. Sign Up for our NevadaGram here. The Affectionate and Intimately Detailed Guide to the Most Interesting State in America is available at our new online Nevada Bookstore. Tuscarora is a mere flyspeck on the Nevada map, about 50 ...
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Buster Keaton

NevadaGram #92 – April 2009 Incident at Tonka Tunnel, Hollywood comes to Gold Point and Vice Versa

What They're saying About Us

The New York Times eats lamb testicles in Virginia City. Sign Up for our NevadaGram here. You can buy your book orders online for Personal copies and gifts or for Resale. History books will tell you that the first American soldier to shed his blood in World War I was a lieutenant in the medical corps, wounded by a shell burst on July 14, 1917 while serving with the British Army near Arras, France. But the history books are wrong. Three months earlier, on April 12, and only days after Congress voted to enter ...
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Alpaca Western Extravaganza

NevadaGram #91 – Poetry in Fallon, Art & A Capella in Eureka

What They're saying About Us The New York Times eats lamb testicles in Virginia City. Sign Up for our NevadaGram here. You can buy your book orders online for Personal copies and gifts or for Resale. We can't seem to stay away from Fallon. In the previous Nevadagram I reported on our February visit. Then we went again this month, and we're going again in April for Rural Round-Up, the annual tourism get-together for rural Nevada. Yes, yes, yes, I admit it — We're falling for Fallon. This time we discovered the best way for out-of-towners to introduce themselves ...
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Black Rock Vision, Doobie Road

NevadaGram #90 – Fallon is Fun City, Sidetrip to Washington DC, a Glimpse of Pyramid Lake

For a long time I've wanted to write an article titled "Fallon for Lovers" but I never had the gumption to go there with romance in mind. But even though the idea has slid down toward the bottom of my To Do List, it has never quite fallen off altogether. What They're saying About Us The New York Times spends 36 hours at North Lake Tahoe. Sign Up for our NevadaGram here. The Affectionate and Intimately Detailed Guide to the Most Interesting State in America is available at our new online Nevada Bookstore. So when I heard that ...
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Dale Evans, Roy Rogers, Reno Browne and Whip Wilson get together for a 1950s Hollywood event.

NevadaGram #89 A Little of Everything

In previous NevadaGrams (here and here) I pointed to some Nevadans who have made prominent acting careers, but how did I miss Reno Browne? What They're saying About Us The New York Times checks out the new ball park in Reno. Sign Up for our NevadaGram here. You can buy Nevada books here. She was born Josephine Ruth Clarke in Reno in 1921, the daughter of an attorney, and as a girl she appeared in movies filmed on location nearby. She traveled to Hollywood, got work as a trick rider and stuntwoman and eventually starred opposite Johnny Mack Brown ...
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NevadaGram #88 - Merry Christmas

NevadaGram #88 – Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas Season's Greetings from the Reno Santas and all of us at the Nevada Travel Network ...
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NevadaGram #87 - Mark Twain in Hawthorne, Tonopah, Eureka

NevadaGram #87 – Mark Twain in Hawthorne, Tonopah, Eureka

Luke Rizzuto was one of the people who thrilled when a centennial re-creation of the Great New York to Paris automobile race was announced. He has a rare 1918 Chevrolet touring car with an overhead valve V8 engine — that's right, Chevrolet made this engine from 1917 to 1919 and then abandoned it until 1955 — and he wanted to drive it across country following the route of the winning Thomas Flyer in 1908. So he set about seeking sponsors to defray the substantial cost to participate. This video was made when Luke was trying at attract sponsors. When the ...
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NevadaGram #86 - The Great Race Revisited

NevadaGram #86 – The Great Race Revisited

Luke Rizzuto was one of the people who thrilled when a centennial re-creation of the Great New York to Paris automobile race was announced. He has a rare 1918 Chevrolet touring car with an overhead valve V8 engine, that's right, Chevrolet made this engine from 1917 to 1919 and then abandoned it until 1955 — and he wanted to drive it across country following the route of the winning Thomas Flyer in 1908. So he set about seeking sponsors to defray the substantial cost to participate. This video was made when Luke was trying at attract sponsors. When the race ...
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Rocky Adamson arrests Squaw Tom

NevadaGram #85 – September 2008 Meet Squaw Tom and Halloween around Nevada

What They're saying About Us

The Sacramento Bee enjoys Oktoberfest in the Carson Valley. Sign Up for our NevadaGram here.

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Here's a man I'd like you to meet: Tom Sanders. Squaw Tom he was called, because he married Indian women, and he wore the name with pride. Tom was born in Lake County, California, on May 4, 1900 to parents who were "deef and dumb", and lived high in the hills, far from other people, in a home without language. He hated his father the way Huck Finn ...
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Belmont, Nevada

NevadaGram #84 – Cruising the Sagebrush Sea (continued)

My son John and I arrived in Elko late on a sunny summer afternoon. John had spent 15 months as a platoon leader in Baghdad, and this excursion into the sagebrush was our first chance to spend time together since his return to the states. We'd spent our second day traveling from Winnemucca by way of Golconda, Midas and Tuscarora, and we were ready for a taste of city life. And what a tasty little city Elko has become. It's a favorite of mine, right up there with Paris, Prague, Barcelona and Ely. It still shows its cowtown roots everywhere ...
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Fot Churchill Riuns

NevadaGram #83 – Cruising the Sagebrush Sea

What They're saying About Us The LA Times gets into the swim in Las Vegas. Sign Up for our NevadaGram here. You can buy your book orders online for Personal copies and gifts or for Resale. Since he went to Baghdad at the head of the Surge, my son John and I have been planning a celebratory cruise through the sagebrush sea on his return home. Last month we spent four days out in the quieter parts of the state, and I recommend the experience (and the route) to anyone. We set out from Virginia City, just a mile ...
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The Grosch Brothers

NevadaGram #82 – Historic loss in Silver City, Jim Butler Days in Tonopah, Farewell to Gene Kaplan

What They're saying About Us The New York Times drives the Extraterrestrial Highway. Sign Up for our NevadaGram here. You can buy your book orders online for Personal copies and gifts or for Resale. May was Historical Preservation month. I spent most of it preparing the new edition of The Complete Nevada Traveler for the printer, and in the process I was struck by the way the old Nevada is slowly — and not so slowly — disappearing. It has been happening for many years, and it happens in big ways and small. In Reno and Las Vegas, landmark ...
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Alice Ramsey Mural

NevadaGram #79 – On the Road, 1908, 1909 and 2008

What They're saying About Us The Boston Globe Visits Laughlin. Sign Up for our NevadaGram here. You can buy your book orders online for Personal copies and gifts or for Resale. On the anniversary of The Great 1908 New York to Paris Auto Race Robin and I put on our goggles and dashed south to join in the festivities. Saturday March 22 was devoted to a re-enactment of the exciting day a hundred years ago when the Thomas Flyer came careening through the sagebrush into Tonopah, well ahead of its European rivals, paused briefly and then sped off to ...
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Lady Loftis

NevadaGram #78 – V&T Reconstruction, Sheepherders’ Ball, Earthquake in Wells and notes from all over

What They're saying About Us The Guardian (UK) attends Elko county caucuses. Sign Up for our NevadaGram here. You can buy your book orders online for Personal copies and gifts or for Resale. The railroad is coming! Slowly, to be sure, but the Virginia & Truckee Railroad is being rebuilt between Virginia City and Carson City. It may be a couple of more years before you can buy a ticket, but it will be well worth the wait. It will be a two hour ride in a vintage coach, clickety-clack clickety-clack with a mild rhumba motion behind a chuff-chuffing ...
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Pahrump Valley Winery

NevadaGram #77 – Pahrump Valley Winery, Goldfield’s Northern Saloon and More

What They're saying About Us The Chicago Tribune goes ice skating in Las Vegas. Sign Up for our NevadaGram here. You can buy your book orders online for Personal copies and gifts or for Resale. I visited Pahrump Valley Winery a little before Christmas, to see the changes that are being made in that historic enterprise. The building is the way you remember it, with its trademark blue roof looming above the manicured grounds. And the restaurant is still elegant — well, actually more elegant since the recent makeover. The tasting room and gift shop have been expanded, and ...
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NevadaGram #76 - Merry Christmas

NevadaGram #76 – Merry Christmas

Season's Greetingsfrom the Battle Mountain Santa Claus and all of us at the Nevada Travel Network ...
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Tonopah East

NevadaGram #75 – Tonopah, Hollywood

What They're saying About Us The San Francisco Chronicle Visits Yucca Mountain. Sign Up for our NevadaGram here. You can buy your book orders online for Personal copies and gifts or for Resale. In the previous NevadaGram I made a fleeting reference to the boom that lit up Tonopah in the early 1980s. 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. Because ...
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Laughlin on The Colorado River

NevadaGram #74 – Laughlin, Tonopah

What They're saying About Us The New York Times takes a cruise on the Desert Princess. Sign Up for our NevadaGram here. You can buy your book orders online for Personal copies and gifts or for Resale. Like every other sane person in this crazy world, I try to get to Laughlin four or five times a year. It 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 ...
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Rolling Thunder, Frank van Zant, Interstate 80

NevadaGram #73 – Rolling Thunder, More on Roy Frisch and More Nevada Stars

What They're saying About Us The New York Times takes the kids to Las Vegas. Sign Up for our NevadaGram here. You can buy your book orders online for Personal copies and gifts or for Resale. 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 ...
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NevadaGram #72 - Stayed home

NevadaGram #72 – Stayed home

Our travels came to a screeching halt last month when daughter Rachel was married in Alaska and son John came home on leave from Iraq. But we'll be kicking up dust again next month. Overheard at the Gold Hill Hotel bar in Gold Hill: "People aren't born stupid, just ignorant; but then we're stupefied by education." Happy Highways, David W. Toll ...
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The Reno Arch, a historic view

NevadaGram #71 – Finding Roy Frisch

What They're saying About Us The S.F. Chronicle walks around Reno. Sign Up for our NevadaGram here. You can buy your book orders online for Personal copies and gifts or for Resale. In this episode instead of traveling through the Nevada landscape, we'll travel back through time. And in the process we'll offer a new solution to one of Nevada's enduring mysteries. We are in 1934, in Reno, on a wintry night in March. A man is walking carefully on the icy sidewalks toward the center of town. He is Roy Frisch, scion of a prominent Reno family and ...
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Wilderness areas above Elko Nevada

NevadaGram #70 – ATVs in Elko County, Gridley Days in Austin

As Nevada's back country becomes more accessible, our wide open countrysides are attracting more and more visitors. A few weeks ago, they attracted Robin, Chris and me. Chris is 17 now, and to celebrate the end of the school year we attended the opening of the Merritt Mountain Trail system in northern Elko County. We participated in a 2-day atv tour with Merritt Mountain our first day's destination and Harrison Pass in the Rubies on day two, with a night at the Red Lion in Elko in between. The Dedication Ceremony was at Point of Rocks, seven miles north of ...
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Piper's Opera House

NevadaGram #69 – The World Comes to Virginia City

What They're saying About Us The Boston Globe Visits Laughlin. Sign Up for our NevadaGram here. You can buy your book orders online for Personal copies and gifts or for Resale. 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. In white t-shirts and tan caps they ...
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Boat Race on the Colorado River, Laughlin Nevada

NevadaGram #68 – April 2007 Gold Point, Tuscarora, Las Vegas and Laughlin

This time instead of looking back on a visit here or there, I'm looking forward. But the basic idea is the same: enjoying Nevada. And I'm hopeful that the sunny skies will especially inspire the residents of Clark County, and in particular the Las Vegas Valley, to find their way out of the urban maze and discover the rest of the state. There are all sorts of things going on out there over Memorial Day Weekend to lure you off the couch. At Gold Point, for example, there is Memorial Daze. When? What? Where? Gold Point is about 180 miles ...
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Lil Red Wagon, Winnemucca

NevadaGram #67 – Winnemucca, Wendover

What They're saying About Us The Boston Globe Visits Laughlin. Sign Up for our NevadaGram here. You can buy your book orders online for Personal copies and gifts or for Resale. Winnemucca Love Song: In the early and middle 1970s the high school kids in Winnemucca were still cruising the drag every night until their gas tanks were pumped dry in hot rods they'd spent uncounted hours working on. Dave Bengochea had a '68 Mustang and his buddy Ralph Whitworth built up a '65 GTO from parts he got from wrecking yards. Dave graduated in '71 and worked as ...
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Nevada Day Parade

NevadaGram #66 – Carson City, Goldfield and elsewhere

What They're saying About Us The Atlanta Journal-Constitution celebrates Chinese New Year in Las Vegas. Sign Up for our NevadaGram here. You can buy your book orders online for Personal copies and gifts or for Resale. Last time I promised more about Carson City, the state capital that once bragged it was the smallest one of all the 48. Now, having absorbed Ormsby County, it is among the largest, in land area at least. And that's not all that's different about Carson City. From the visitor's perspective new cosmopolitan characteristics are beginning to appear; it's no longer a one-martini ...
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Adolph Sutra sculpture at the Capitol Plaza, Carson City Nevada

NevadaGram #65 Carson City, Virginia City, Gold Hill, Carson Valley

What They're saying About Us Ishmael Reed rides the Holiday Train to Reno. Sign Up for our NevadaGram here. You can buy your book orders online for Personal copies and gifts or for Resale. This time I had meant to reveal the many persuasive signs that our state capital may actually be a city at last. But a blizzard intervened and forced me to postpone my survey of Carson City's cosmopolitan touches. That will wait until next time, but there are still a few things I can tell you off the top to make your next trip to the ...
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NevadaGram #64 - Merry Christmas

NevadaGram #64 – Merry Christmas

Season's Greetings from The Nevada Travel Network and the Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority ...
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DLC Gallery

NevadaGram #63 – Eureka, Elko, Las Vegas, Gold Point, Wadsworth

If they gave a Pulitzer Prize for grocery stores, Raine's Market in Eureka would have won it already. It is an amazing store. In its 19th century building — pressed tin ceiling, oiled wood floor — it provides for the needs of a few hundred people in this isolated community with precision and flair. For example, the meat department offers an array of fresh meats, but also a home-made chorizo you'll find yourself bragging about, and if you're a hunter they'll process your deer. Fresh fruits and vegetables, canned goods are stacked on shelves, some of them in aisles, others ...
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Fernley Railroad Depot

NevadaGram #62 – October 2006 Fernley, Gold Point, Carson Valley and Lovelock

What They're saying About Us The Boston Globe Visits Laughlin. Sign Up for our NevadaGram here. You can buy your book orders online for Personal copies and gifts or for Resale. A few days ago I found myself in Fernley, the new colossus of Lyon County. You probably already know that Fernley is the fastest-growing community in the fastest-growing county in the fastest-growing state in America. Pahrump is bigger, better-known, and has been on the fast-growing list longer, but Fernley is now growing twice as fast (18.7% vs 9.1%), with population passing 17,000 on its way to the moon ...
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Northern Nevada Railway

NevadaGram #61 – Northern Nevada Railway Centennial in Ely, Ten Essentials for your Nevada Bookshelf

We had a great time at the Nevada Northern Railway's Centennial celebration. We stayed over the night before in Eureka, and managed to get into Ely in time to join in the pancake breakfast that began the proceedings. There were crafts and food booths, auctions silent and out-loud, several re-enactments of the Driving of the Copper Spike, a savory barbecue and music, music, music, but the stars of the show were the trains. There were two excursion trains Friday, five more on Saturday and two again on Sunday, all manned by volunteers and filled with celebrating visitors. Guest Celebrity Engineer ...
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Aurora Painting, Jeff Nicholson

NevadaGram #60 – A Visit to Aurora, “Nevada’s Ghost City of the Dawn” and the Roop County Fair

What They're saying About Us The LA Times Discovers Pyramid Lake. Sign Up for our NevadaGram here. You can buy your book orders online for Personal copies and gifts or for Resale. Last time's piece on Ghost Towns prompted lots of positive response, so I'll stay on the topic with a visit to Aurora. It had been 60 years since I last walked the streets of Aurora. In that distant time there was sagebrush growing in the old dirt streets lined by big brick buildings with their windows broken out. The buildings were empty, and the city was deserted, ...
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Gold Dust at Goldpoint

NevadaGram #59 – Three Nevada Ghost Towns and How They Survive

What They're saying About Us The LA Times Discovers Pyramid Lake. Sign Up for our NevadaGram here. You can buy your book orders online for Personal copies and gifts or for Resale. Ghost Towns are among Nevada's most intriguing attractions, although there are fewer and fewer of the real thing remaining. For the purpose of attracting visitors we point to towns like Austin, Eureka, Goldfield, Manhattan and Virginia City as 'ghosts' although they never died. They're magnificent relics, great cities in their day, but they're not ghosts because although their populations dwindled they were never totally abandoned. Fifty years ...
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Pyramid Lake, Tufa

NevadaGram #56 – Pyramid Lake, Amargosa Valley

What They're saying About Us Arthur Frommer gets married in Las Vegas. Sign Up for our NevadaGram here. You can buy your book orders online for Personal copies and gifts or for Resale. Is there any more beautiful sight than the first glimpse of Pyramid Lake? John C. Fremont was the first American to gaze down at Pyramid Lake, and his journal entry of 10 January 1844 records his impressions of the lake: ". . . we continued our way up the hollow, intending to see what lay beyond the mountain. The hollow was several miles long, forming a ...
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Dragon Boats, Hendersn Nevadaa

NevadaGram #55 – A Capella in Eureka, Muhammad Cartoons in Wendover, Dragon Boats in Henderson

What They're saying About Us The Los Angeles Times finds Rhyolite. Sign Up for our NevadaGram here. You can buy your book orders online for Personal copies and gifts or for Resale. The Eureka Opera House is an enjoyable destination any time. It's one of the loveliest relics of the old west. And when the Edlos are performing, it's a delight. The Edlos are four guys who sing a capella, somehow managing to get a full orchestral sound from just four voices, eight eyebrows and some fingersnaps. They sang their fool heads off to an enthralled audience of about ...
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Lovers Lock, Lovelock Nevada

NevadaGram #54 – Valentine’s Day in Lovelock, Armpit’s Over, Art in Baker and Las Vegas

What They're saying About Us The New York Times goes shopping in Las Vegas. Sign Up for our NevadaGram here. You can buy your book orders online for Personal copies and gifts or for Resale. Where were you on Valentine's Day? Robin and I were among the dozens who braved the crisp February air to crowd into the park behind the Pershing County Court House in Lovelock. We were there to lock our love. Up to now it has only been bound and gagged. Blissful citizens formed lines while staffers from the Commission on Tourism inscribed their names ...
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Horse Pogonip

NevadaGram #53 – The Waver, A Guilty Conscience, Romance in Lovelock and Wine Tasting in Virginia City

I felt a sudden flash of — was it joy? — in Reno the other day when I saw Nevada's only living saint performing his ongoing miracle. The Waver! Ed Carlson was walking along West Liberty Street, smiling and waving at the oncoming cars. He's been doing this for more than 30 years, and for most of that time he was a familiar figure along US 395 between Reno and Carson City, smiling and waving, smiling and waving. In the early days he provoked astonishment, suspicion and sometimes resentment from the drivers he greeted, now almost all of them smile ...
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A glimpse of the Forbidden City

NevadaGram #51 – Governor’s Conference, Baker, Eureka, Ely, Pahrump

What They're saying About Us The Los Angeles Times meets Frenchies in Las Vegas. Sign Up for our NevadaGram here. You can buy your book orders online for Personal copies and gifts or for Resale. The recent Governor's Conference on Tourism at the Wynn in Las Vegas showcased our state's warm relationship with the Colossus of Asia. The presentation by the city of Beijing was sensational — if Nevada's reps in China do half as well as Beijing's reps did in Las Vegas, our hotel desk clerks will all be speaking Mandarin soon. The Chinese delegation included speechifying bureaucrats, ...
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NevadaGram #50 - The Mary Jane Sisters, Hawthorne Loop Trip, Arc Dome Wilderness

NevadaGram #50 – The Mary Jane Sisters, Hawthorne Loop Trip, Arc Dome Wilderness

In this long, lingering autumn of sunny skies and still air, lots of adventurous folks have been out exploring the state. The MaryJane Sisters went from Austin to Ely, with side trips to Cave Lake, the Success Summit loop road and McGill in their never-ending quest for hot times in old towns: After a leisurely breakfast at Austin's International Hotel and browsing in The Main Street Shops the MaryJane Sisters said goodbye to Austin and headed out on the Hwy 50 trail. We stopped in Eureka for gas and a visit to Eureka's oldest building, the Tannehill Brothers Log Cabin ...
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NevadaGram #49 - Hooters in Las Vegas, Cow Camp, Old Yella Dog Ranch

NevadaGram #49 – Hooters in Las Vegas, Cow Camp, Old Yella Dog Ranch

What They're saying About Us The San Francisco Chronicle goes boy crazy in Las Vegas. Sign Up for our NevadaGram here. You can buy your book orders online for Personal copies and gifts or for Resale. The Hotel San Remo, by Las Vegas standards a small (711 rooms) property a block east of the Las Vegas Strip, will become Hooters Casino Hotel next spring. A Hooters Beach Club and a Dan Marino Fine Foods & Spirits Restaurant are planned. Hooters, whose slogan is "delightfully tacky, yet unrefined", presents a powerful contrast with high-style Strip resorts like the Bellagio and ...
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NevadaGram #48 - Laughlin, Goldfield, Gerlach

NevadaGram #48 – Laughlin, Goldfield, Gerlach

I remember making my first visit to Laughlin as the scramble to build casinos here was in full froth. The main boulevard was still unpaved, with giant pot holes that made the drive seem like an amusement park ride. Later on Ted Fineran gave me my first formal tour. Ted was managing the Chamber of Commerce then, and as he drove from one recently constructed resort hotel to another, he pointed out that there were only 92 actual residents in Laughlin. Spurred on by Laughlin's prosperity, Bullhead City Arizona, across the river, has grown into a wilted version of a ...
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NevadaGram #47 - Caliente, Panaca, Pioche, Planet X

NevadaGram #47 – Caliente, Panaca, Pioche, Planet X

Among the many things I don't understand is why so few people from Las Vegas are visiting the rest of Nevada. Of course there has been a mainline connection between Las Vegas and Los Angeles since the days of the Santa Fe Trail, but wouldn't you think simple curiosity would propel some small percentage of the population north and east instead of south and west? There is some travel from Las Vegas up US 93 to Ely, but most of it takes the Sunnyside cut-off to save a few miles, and misses out on Caliente and Pioche. So when I ...
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NevadaGram #46 - Carlin to Palisade, Mesquite discoveries, Ginny's Desert Adventure

NevadaGram #46 – Carlin to Palisade, Mesquite discoveries, Ginny’s Desert Adventure

What They're saying About Us The New York Times drives Interstate 80. Sign Up for our NevadaGram here. You can buy your book orders online for Personal copies and gifts or for Resale. One of the pleasures of the freeway is getting off of it. So when I was driving I-80 last month I made a detour at Carlin. The ghostly old Commercial Row hotels, cafes, saloons and stores by the railroad yard seems to have been cleaned up a degree or two but it's still a photography assignment. Nevada Highway 278 goes south out of Carlin and proceeds ...
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NevadaGram #45 - Wendover, Wells, Elko and a New State Park for Tonopah?

NevadaGram #45 – Wendover, Wells, Elko and a New State Park for Tonopah?

What They're saying About Us The Seattle Times attends the opening of Las Vegas' new $2.7 billion casino hotel. Sign Up for our NevadaGram here. You can buy your book orders online for Personal copies and gifts or for Resale. Wendover is an astonishing combination of urbanity and wilderness, a handful of casinos, gas stations, fast food outlets and other businesses looking out over the old WWII AAF air field and the broad expanse of the bleached white salt flats. The air base is forever famous as the training center for the crew of the Enola Gay, the B-29 ...
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NevadaGram #44 - Tonopah Mining Park, Warm Springs, the E.T. Highway and Mesquite

NevadaGram #44 – Tonopah Mining Park, Warm Springs, the E.T. Highway and Mesquite

E-Mail of the Month I saw one of your travel reviews about Goldfield on line. We took Mylo for a little tour of Nevada museums, parks, and oddities last week. Mylo is 5 now, and we were surprised by some of the things he enjoyed most: the sandstone formations in Valley of Fire, and the Hoover Dam Museum in Boulder City at the Boulder Dam Hotel (he liked it even more than the Vegas Lied Children's Museum!) We also really enjoyed the Slim Sirnes art cars in Goldfield, Rhyolite and the Goldwell Open Air Museum. Q.L. Silver City One of ...
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NevadaGram #43 - Frenchies in Winnemucca, a Bad/Good Day in Black Rock City and Hummers in the Snow

NevadaGram #43 – Frenchies in Winnemucca, a Bad/Good Day in Black Rock City and Hummers in the Snow

We were up early on a sunny Winnemucca Saturday. We gave Shorty a rare treat, a walk on level streets, and then headed for The Griddle. In the Nevada culture, breakfast at The Griddle is at the top of the food pyramid. This is the classic American Breakfast at its best: Ham. Bacon. Sausage. Eggs. Hot Cakes, served at the counter or at the ancient booths with window views. We drove north on Melarkey Street, up out of the trough of the Humboldt River with a good view of the goosenecks of the Little Humboldt. We drove north on US ...
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NevadaGram #42 - Pogonip, Reveries and Remembrance

NevadaGram #42 – Pogonip, Reveries and Remembrance

What They're saying About Us The New York Times Magazine meets Michael Heizer. Sign Up for our NevadaGram here. You can buy your book orders online for Personal copies and gifts or for Resale. After the great snows of January, a pogonip settled in the valleys of northwestern Nevada, and in the previous NevadaGram I rhapsodized about this freezing fog the Paiutes named Pogonip, or the White Death. Here on the Comstock we looked out on snowy landscapes with blue skies all around, and a spun-sugar sea of white gleaming below. The pogonip, so enchanting and angelic from above, ...
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NevadaGram #41 - Hawthorne to Wellington, 3 FAQ, Skiing around Elko and New Year's Eve in Austin

NevadaGram #41 – Hawthorne to Wellington, 3 FAQ, Skiing around Elko and New Year’s Eve in Austin

Before the big snows fell I took a pleasant trip which I'll recommend to anyone who enjoys rambling along the dirt roads of western Nevada. But first, why are some people "creeped out" by Hawthorne, as a friend told me the other day? Creeped out? By Hawthorne? I admit that Hawthorne is a long haul from Versailles, but it's very close to Mayberry and I always have a good time there. It has something to do with Hawthorne's explosive personality — the ammunition bunkers that dominate the scene with disturbing intimations of death and destruction. Yet we regularly get fan ...
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NevadaGram #40 - December 2004 Merry Christmas

NevadaGram #40 – December 2004 Merry Christmas

Season's Greetings from The Nevada Travel Network and the Ghost Train of Old Ely! ...
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Mark Twain Stays Home

NevadaGram #39 – Stayed Home

Getting ready for winter, going nowhere until the firewood is stacked ...
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NevadaGram #38 - Virginia City Revisited

NevadaGram #38 – Virginia City Revisited

A new look at Virginia City reveals major changes brewing up in the old metropolis on the east side of Sun Mountain. Not only have property values quadrupled in the last year, Virginia City is reinventing itself as an upscale tourism destination, not just a day trip for hot dogs and beer. Tourism first became a factor in the raggedy old mining relic in the 1950s when Lucius Beebe and Chuck Clegg revived the Territorial Enterprise ...
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NevadaGram #37 - Virginia City, Rawhide, Las Vegas, Carson Valley, Ione, Ely and Topaz Lake

NevadaGram #37 – Virginia City, Rawhide, Las Vegas, Carson Valley, Ione, Ely and Topaz Lake

It must have been the rumble of Harleys that woke me up to the fact that things are changing in Virginia City. Landrum's, the locally famous diner on Reno's South Virginia Street (since 1947), did not survive transplanting to a couple of locations in the Truckee Meadows, but it has returned to life in all its crowded glory in Virginia City. The 9-stool diner is located inside the Mark Twain Saloon on C Street, and offers a full menu 24 hours a day, including the succulent chili cheeseburger for which it was infamous in Reno for so many years. In ...
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NevadaGram #36 - The Earth is Round, and there are Four Nevada's

NevadaGram #36 – The Earth is Round, and there are Four Nevada’s

Attend the Beatty Centennial Celebration throughout the month of October and into November. New Edition now Available You can buy your book orders online for Personal copies and gifts or for Resale. At Wendover you can see it for yourself: the earth is round. The broad expanse of the Bonneville Salt Flats allows you to see the curvature of the earth from Wendover Boulevard above town. The curvature is visible both day and night but is easier to see at night because of the lineal trail of headlights on Interstate 80. Here are the directions you'll get at the Visitor ...
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NevadaGram #35 - Exploring The Ruins of Troy

NevadaGram #35 – Exploring The Ruins of Troy

We celebrated Labor Day weekend by traveling to Troy. Not the one in Asia Minor with the big troublemaker named Helen, the other one, up a narrow canyon that spills out of the Grant range into Railroad Valley about halfway between Tonopah and Ely. The six of us had set out from Tonopah after an early breakfast at our hotel, driving east on US 6 to Warm Springs, then southeast 16 miles on the ET Highway (Nevada 375) to the Nyala Road turnoff on the left. The Troy Canyon turnoff is 3 miles past Nyala, 22 miles from the pavement ...
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NevadaGram #34 - All about Nevada

NevadaGram #34 – All about Nevada

If you have visited our home page lately, you may have clicked the link to Edna Purviance, Nevada's Forgotten Movie Star. For a long time I thought Pansilee Larson and I were the only people in the world who still remembered Edna — she was Charlie Chaplin's co-star in the movies that raised him to fame and fortune — but it turns out otherwise. One who cares, and who has converted that caring into a marvelously detailed website about Our Girl is Linda Wada, an Oregonian who has tirelessly researched Edna's life, and particularly her girlhood years in Paradise Valley ...
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NevadaGram #33 - 1400 miles through the sagebrush, Part Two

NevadaGram #33 – 1400 miles through the sagebrush, Part Two

It's been a while since I returned home from a 9-day, 1400-mile trip through the sagebrush but I'm still enjoying it. Here are some highlights from the second half of the trip, from Pioche to Gold Hill: In the 1870s Pioche was so remote, violent and bloody that it was reknowned as the toughest town in the west. More than 60% of the 1871-1872 homicides in Nevada happened in and around Pioche. Silver mines operated here from the 1860s through the 1960s, with ups from 1869-1876, 1912-1930 and 1937-1957, and downs the rest of the time. The Number 1 Mine ...
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NevadaGram #32 - 1400 miles through the sagebrush, part one

NevadaGram #32 – 1400 miles through the sagebrush, part one

I'm still unpacking from a 9-day, 1400-mile trip through the sagebrush. Some highlights: In Hawthorne people were already buying red, white and blue petunias to plant in their gardens for the Armed Forces Day celebration, always held on the 3rd weekend in May. Hawthorne is Nevada's Mayberry, comfortable and drowsy (except when the wind is blowing 90 mph), but it bristles with guns, bombs and missiles in the big Armed Forces Day Parade. Hawthorne has been home to the military ammunition dump since Lake Denmark New Jersey blew up in 1926. First operated by the Navy, and then by the ...
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NevadaGram #31 - Jazz, Railroads, Dude Ranches, the Mary Jane Sisters in Eureka and great news from Tonopah

NevadaGram #31 – Jazz, Railroads, Dude Ranches, the Mary Jane Sisters in Eureka and great news from Tonopah

No sooner do the first wildflowers of spring begin to paint the mountainsides than Jazz music fills the air around Nevada. A consortium of Las Vegas investors has bought Tonopah's historic Mizpah Hotel and announced plans to reopen it later this year. The Mizpah advertised itself as "the finest stone hotel in the desert" when it opened in 1908. It was a 6-story building, but a series of flash floods in Tonopah's steep streets persuaded the proprietors to raise the street level around the structure, so the original lobby and main floor is now the basement, and it's a 5-story ...
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NevadaGram #30 - Ely's Ghost Train, Art Flap in Elko and a Love Letter to Hawthorne

NevadaGram #30 – Ely’s Ghost Train, Art Flap in Elko and a Love Letter to Hawthorne

The Northern Nevada Railway in East Ely offers one of life's greatest rushes. For $550 you can rent a steam locomotive and "chug-chug poof-poof off we go!" You can actually throw the lever and move the great locomotive down the rail in a slow glide that gradually quickens to a solid click-clack, click-clack, clickety-clack. You can pull the cord for the long, soulful whistle that has stirred human hearts for generations, and you're chugging faster and faster toward the main line. Wow! Ely's Ghost Train is frozen in time. The sandstone depot stands at the end of a broad boulevard, ...
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NevadaGram #29 - Austin's Fabulous New Year's Eve, Legends Meet at Lake Tahoe, the Big RV Photo Contest, and March in Winnemucca

NevadaGram #29 – Austin’s Fabulous New Year’s Eve, Legends Meet at Lake Tahoe, the Big RV Photo Contest, and March in Winnemucca

Victorian New Year's Eve in Austin was a great success. Jan Morrison of The Main Street Shops reports: "My little shop was packed! "From an RSVP list of 84, 81 people made it to the great celebration (one couldn't make it over Donner Pass, one was stuck in Smoky Valley, The Nevada Commission on Tourism has announced a photo contest called “Your Koolest RV Moment.” RVers enter by sending in photos of experiences they particularly enjoyed, and the one whose “moment” is judged to be the coolest will win a TurboKool evaporative cooler for their RV. For more information ...
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NevadaGram #28 - The Governor's Conference on Tourism

NevadaGram #28 – The Governor’s Conference on Tourism

The 20th annual Governor's Conference on Tourism ran its brief course at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, easily the best of them all, if only for the wonderful Caesars Palace food. Twenty years ago I was one of the half-dozen Tourism staffers scurrying around the Riviera Hotel in Las Vegas seeing to the needs of 317 people at that first conference, a large proportion of them government employees. This year there were about 800 on hand, down somewhat from the pre-9/11 high of about 1000. Governor Guinn delivered a speech, Lt. Governor Hunt announced a new Nevada office opening in ...
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NevadaGram #27 - The MaryJane Sisters, a Reno Hotel with a Heart and Doing Lunch in Carson City

NevadaGram #27 – The MaryJane Sisters, a Reno Hotel with a Heart and Doing Lunch in Carson City

The only disappointment of my recent visit to Las Vegas was that Hofbrauhaus Las Vegas was not yet open. The $12 million, enclosed beer garden, a replica of the famous one in Munich, Germany, was supposed to have opened across Harmon Avenue from the Hard Rock Cafe in October. The structure is to have a 45-foot ceiling and accommodate 800 beer drinkers gulping down the authentic German suds from authentic German steins while listening to authentic German oom-pah bands. Can you understand my sulky mood? Can you feel my pain? But the local people were not completely discouraged, as the ...
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Mom, Connor and Davis visited the preserved town of Berlin at Berlin-Ichthyosaur State Park.

NevadaGram #26 Female Bank Robbers, Winnemucca Wants Your Vote and The Family E Discovers Nevada

There is a gang of female bank robbers headquartered in Austin and making raids as far away as Goldfield. They don't actually rob banks, but they play the part to the hilt, in full Victorian regalia and sometimes with horse pistols tucked into their reticules. They give Austin's ghostly Main Street a resonance it has not felt in years. Despite everyone's best efforts it had been dying for a very long time. They are investing the sad old city with a wonderful new energy. Lately this gang has turned its energies to creating a Victorian New Year Celebration in Austin ...
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1948 Tucker

Trip Report #25 – More Battle Mountain, Is Tonopah The Next Ghost?

No sooner did Battle Mountain bring off its hugely successful "Old Spice Festival in the Pit" than its citizens took a deep breath and began setting up for the 2003 World Human Powered Speed Challenge. Last year Sam Whittingham of the UK broke the world speed record for the third year in a row by pedaling 81 mph, this year he crashed at 80 mph — and walked away to tell about it. The Evie team set a new European record, and the Battle Mountain dateline made another little blip on world consciousness. And just when you'd think they'd sit ...
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This 1926 Model T is one of the antique cars displayed at the old Goldfield fire house.

NevadaGram #24 – Too Much Fun at the Armpit Festival, Historic Hotel Auctioned, and the Slowest Race on Earth

The First Annual Festival in the Pit was a huge success, and Battle Mountain is still experiencing the bliss. This flamboyant and flourishing offspring of the Ultimate Insult and the Old Spice deodorant company, drew several thousand visitors over its three-day run. Visitors ienjoyed a varied schedule of activities and events at Elquist and Lions Parks and informal activities at the Owl Club and other hot spots around town. Hot spots in Battle Mountain? Yes, and a big parade. Gene Weingarten, author of the Washington Post Magazine article which branded Battle Mountain as The Armpit of America, was an honored ...
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Victoria B.C.

NevadaGram #23 – Canada, Goldfield Hotel for sale, Two Elys, Fallon’s famous Cantaloupe Fest

In last month's Travelgram I mentioned Canadians and tipping, which inspired a sharp rebuke from Winnemucca: "For your information not all of us Canadians are lousy tippers!" Naturally I was appalled at the idea I'd somehow contributed to unfair national stereotyping, so I hurried up to Canada to find out the truth. For three days I interviewed barmaids and waitresses in the pleasing city of Victoria BC. "Oh no," they assured me, "Canadians are good tippers, just like you guys. The poor tippers are the Australians and the English. They're awful. But it's not because they are cheap, it's because ...
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Furnace Creek Resort

Trip Report #22 – Lake Tahoe, Death Valley, The MaryJane Sisters, Ash Meadows, Battle Mountain, Elko, Valley of Fire, Hawthorne and the Loneliest Road

How Canadians got their reputation as lousy tippers I don't know, but McAvoy Layne who portrays Mark Twain during the Tahoe Queen's afternoon cruise to Emerald Bay, tells me that the other day a pair of Canadiennes rode the shuttle bus from the free parking lot on Ski Run Blvd., and as they descended from the shuttle, one of them tipped the driver with a cheery smile and two shiny nickels. After the cruise they rode the shuttle back to their car, and as they debarked once again, the other woman reached for her purse. "No need," said the first, ...
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Peace and quiet reigns in Denio.

Trip Report #21 – Denio, Carson Valley and Carson City, Death Valley, Sparks, Las Vegas, Elko

I made a little trip out I-80 and took the opportunity to visit Denio, the little remnant of a town on the Oregon border via US 95 and Nevada Routes 140 and 292. It's about a hundred miles northwest of Winnemucca, and a hundred years back in time. The calm of the place is profound. There were a couple of young cowboys in for provisions, the lady tending bar was reading a newspaper, I was gawping around, and a dog the size and shape of a lion snoozed in the doorway. Across the drive is a phone booth that hasn't ...
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Mickey Jones comes to Winnemucca after filming the movie ?The Fighting Temptations? (also with Cuba Gooding Jr.), due out in August

Trip Report #20 April 2003 Mizpah Hotel, Wooly Worms and Memorial Day around Nevada

The sternwheeler Tahoe Queen presents, “Mark Twain’s Tales of Tahoe,” a daily two hour and 15 minute Emerald Bay cruise departing at 2:30 pm daily and starring McAvoy Layne as the Ghost of Twain. Our item last time on Tonopah's Mizpah Hotel prompted this note from Realtor Trish Rippie: "I think if someone wanted to come in and do everything up first class all at once, $2 million is probably right. That is, if you wanted to tear down the old Fun Palace and pave all the parking lots, put in a first class casino and bankroll it, plus all ...
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A Fisherman wades at Pyramid Lake

Trip Report #19 – Pyramid Lake, Beatty, Historic Hotel for sale

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. You can tie the beetle on behind the woolly worm. Uh-Oh In your newsletter of November 2001, you mention a man named Johnny Quick, who claims to have been a member of Bill Haley and ...
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Pahrump Winery

Trip Report #18 – Pahrump Winery, The MaryJane Sisters, Nevada Variations

At Pahrump the buzz is all about the sale of the state's first and only Winery to Western Horizon Resorts, a Colorado company which is now building a new 250-unit RV Park alongside the landmark blue-roofed winery building. I stayed at Saddle West (recommended), one of three small casinos adding the cheerful clatter of coins to this fast-growing city in far southern Nye County. There's a new Wal-Mart store in town now, but the Smoke Signals Trading Post has moved to Ely. Mark your Calendar and head for Virginia City on Saturday April 5th for the 12th Annual Mountain Oyster ...
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GOld Strike, Jean Nevada

Trip Report #17 – Jean, Lake Mead and The Giant Nail

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. You can tie the beetle on behind the woolly worm. Uh-Oh In your newsletter of November 2001, you mention a man named Johnny Quick, who claims to have been a member of Bill Haley and ...
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Jobs Peak over Carson Valley

NevadaGram #16 – Carson Valley, Nevada Art, and Eureka

Genoa has for years had a certain panache as Nevada's Carmel, but it's only recently that travelers could think about Minden or Gardnerville as a pleasant getaway destination. 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 ...
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NCOT, Get the Dirt

NevadaGram #15 – Governor’s Conference, Reno, Aurora, Las Vegas

The recent Governor's Conference on Tourism, held in Reno last week, 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. ...
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Soon to be under new ownership.

NevadaGram #14 – Wendover, Ely, Hawthorne, Boulder City

The new edition of The Complete Nevada Traveler has rolled into Gold Hill in a big 18-wheeler from Dexter, Michigan. We've unloaded 4,000 copies and are now shipping the 1,000 copies that have already been sold. Like our website, the book provides current travel information and historical background about all Nevada's towns and cities (see e-mail below for a reader's review). We can now take your book orders online for Personal copies and gifts or for Resale. My Wendover item in the September Trip Report was out of date before its electrons settled. The Mississippi-based Isle of Capri company had ...
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Wendover, Nevada

Nevada Gram #13 – Wendover, Lake Mead, Pyramid Lake

The new edition of The Complete Nevada Traveler is still at the printer, where they are warming up the presses at last. We are expecting that big truck to roll into Gold Hill with 4,000 copies in time for its official Nevada Day publication date. The cover of the new edition (the 12th or 13th — I've lost track — since the first one in 1976) features a photograph of the Santa Fe Saloon in Goldfield by Max Winthrop, Nevada's leading blind photographer. Like our website, the book provides current travel information and historical background about all Nevada's towns and ...
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21st Century Wagon Train, Tonopah-bound

NevadaGram #12 – August All Around Nevada, Love Note to Beatty and Cowboy Salt

The new edition of The Complete Nevada Traveler is now at the printer. Getting it there took all our August traveling time, so this Trip Report is a melange of items from around the state, website discoveries and e-mails from site visitors. 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 ...
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Ichthyosaur with three hors d?ouvres.

NevadaGram #11 – Fallon, Gabbs, Berlin-Ichthyosaur, Ione, The Toiyabes, Austin

Here's a weekend excursion into central Nevada that seemed to have a week's worth of pleasure in it. Our group was husband, wife and 3 children 8 - 12 and we headed east on US 50 on a Saturday morning late in June. Green and prosperous Fallon, thoroughly modern now with an Air Base and chain stores, stands at the eastern edge of civilization. We ate mighty breakfasts at the Stockmen's on the west side of town and then drove out into Central Nevada, the heartland of the state, where something of the native character can still be found, weather ...
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Emergency Road Service in Rachel

NevadaGram #10 – Tonopah, Rachel, Ash Springs, Overton, Boulder City

I had the pleasure of a late spring voyage through the sagebrush sea. It was a wonderful break from the grueling tasks of mundane reality, and I found some interesting new developments to pass along to you. Tonopah had a lively Jim Butler Days, the hallowed event has been returned to Memorial Day Weekend where it has anchored the central Nevada calendar for generations. The State Mining Championships, traditionally a major attraction at Jim Butler Days, have been tentatively scheduled for Labor Day Weekend this year, to be held at the Tonopah Mining Park. If you're interested in Nevada mining ...
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NevadaGram #9 - May Winnemucca, Elko Museums, Travel off the freeway

NevadaGram #9 – May Winnemucca, Elko Museums, Travel off the freeway

Two Great Museums on I-80: The Humboldt Museum, Winnemucca 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 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. Interstate 80 connects all the major towns along the Humboldt Trail like a concrete dot-to-dot across the Nevada map. It's ...
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Ely Mural

NevadaGram #8 – April Armpit, McGill Drugstore and biking across Nevada

Early in April I aimed Buttercup east on Interstate 80 bound for Battle Mountain. I wanted to live life in the Armpit. Turns out it's not bad. Yes, Battle Mountain is a visual disappointment, a pain in the eye. Homely is too mild a word. But if you like the friendly small town life this could be the armpit for you. A recent flurry of real estate sales on Commercial Row suggests a modest renaissance is beginning. I stayed at the Comfort Inn(recommended) on the east side of town, and found a little shop called Soul Food to begin accumulating ...
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Marzen House - Outside

NevadaGram #7 – Lovelock, Reno Jazz and the L.A. Times Plays Golf in Mesquite

Lovelock is a pleasant little town in a tough spot: it's just 90 miles east of Reno. So even though Interstate 80 carries travelers in endless thousands past the Lovelock offramps, few drivers venture to use them. The eastbound folks are fully rested, with full bellies, full gas tanks, and the speedometer needle pinned at 68.5. The westbound folks might be hungry and tired, but almost all of them are willing to go on another hour and a half to get to Reno instead of pulling off for food and lodging in Lovelock. So when you do, take the offramp ...
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Giuseppe?s, Main Street, Yerington

NevadaGram #6 – Yerington and Winnemucca Dining, The Rainbow Turns 7 and Nevada Goes for the Gold

John Sanderson writes from Yerington to enthuse about Joe Dini's Lucky Club on Main Street as one of the finer dinner houses in rural Nevada: Giuseppe's is open Friday and Saturday nights and it's the pride of the Dini family. George, the proprietor, greets guests personally and the atmosphere is elegant, comfortable and private. The staff is well trained and courteous. The menu offers steaks, seafood, and pasta, and dinners include antipasti, soup or salad, warm sourdough bread and choices of desserts. The last time I ate there I had a chicken breast crusted with ham, tomatoes, pine nuts and ...
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Battle Mountain Armpit Festival

NevadaGram #5 – Battle Mountain, “The Ghost Train of Old Ely” Goes to the Olympics

Our travels have been somewhat curtailed by heavy workload in January. One product of the work is the spiffy new website for the Hotel Nevada & Gambling Hall in Ely, featuring the dancing burro. Click him and he'll dance again. Click the link to visit the site. When the Washington Post named Battle Mountain the Armpit of America, the local folks were stunned and angry. They had been minding their own business, and out of nowhere they'd been blindsided, mugged in the national press. Or had they? Now that the shock has passed, Battle Mountaineers are beginning to think they ...
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Silver Queen, Tonopah

NevadaGram #4 – Tonopah bouncing back, Las Vegas is still slow

Among the e-mails we've received recently was this one from Saskatchewan. Thanks, Carolyn. Is Battle Mountain Truly the Armpit of America? Here's the article with the bad news from the Sacramento News & Review. THE TOP 20 BUFFETS IN LAS VEGAS The enthusiasts at Viva Las Vegas will send you their free bargains-oriented newsletter for the asking (see below). This list of top buffets is from the most recent edition. Take it as one man's highly educated opinion. Author's disclaimer: "I am only looking at dinner buffets. Not breakfast, lunch, brunch,weekend champagne nor special buffets. The buffet also has to ...
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Beatty Club and Alpheus Bruton III

NevadaGram #3 – Pahrump, Beatty, Battle Mountain Bikes Fallon Dining, Burning Man

Among the e-mails we received in October was from Ray Ellinwood of Findlay, Ohio. Thanks, Ray. Pahrump's pioneer era is over. Pahrump is having another growth spurt. Much of this rambunctious little city is still the modest pioneer amalgam of mobile home, cinder block and crackerbox, but new urban features are conspicuous. World Speed Record Set at Battle Mountain As a reminder that Nevada is more than sagebrush and slot machines, these two items from Jack Rabbit Speaks, the oracle of information for Burning Man (subscribe here) from Maid Marian: "I spent a good part of the ...
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Canteloupe Festival Fallon

NevadaGram #2 Cantaloupe Festival in Fallon and Lattin Farms

After we sent our inaugural newsletter last month we received many encouraging messages from Nevada-lovers, including this one: Hi my name is Mark St.Germain, I am in the Navy and was stationed in Fallon for 5 years. Yes Nevada has a Navy base. Being stationed there I have hit a lot of ghost towns and a lot of abandoned mines in the area. I love the Fallon area and plan on retiring there. I guess what I am saying is thanks for the news letter. This is a great way for me being on a ship to see Nevada. You ...
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Stonehouse ,Paradise Valley

NevadaGram #1 Our Maiden Voyage into the Desert.

Recently Robin and I made a four day (too brief) cruise through the sagebrush sea. Here are some highlights — We sped past Lovelock, made Winnemucca and the Model T on Sunday evening and finished our business there by noon on Monday. With some time to spare before we were due in Battle Mountain, we drove to Paradise. Paradise Valley is about 45 minutes north of Winnemucca via US-95 and Nevada 290. It's a quiet and supremely photogenic community dating from the 1860s when it was a supply point for the mines in the nearby mountains and called Paradise City ...
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