Nevada Correspondence – August 2016

In this edition:

Baker, Boulder City, Carson Valley, Elko, Ely, Las Vegas, Laughlin, Lincoln County, South Lake Tahoe, Virginia City



Great Basin National Park Celebrates National Park Service Centennial

Checking out the Bristlecone pine depicted on the 2013 Great Basin National Park quarter
Checking out the Bristlecone pine depicted on the 2013 Great Basin National Park quarter

The National Park Service is turning 100 on August 25 and invites everyone to Find Your Park. Great Basin National Park will be celebrating the Centennial with the unveiling of the new observatory. This observatory will be available for universities and groups to use remotely. The dark skies of the park, coupled with the high elevation, make it a great place to see deep into space. The unveiling will be accompanied by speeches from Governor Sandoval, Senator Reid and other dignitaries. Birthday cake will follow. Festivities will begin approximately 12:30 p.m. and last throughout the afternoon.

On August 13, the Great Basin Heritage Area Partnership and Great Basin National Park are jointly sponsoring the Great Basin Great Inspiration Artists Workshop. Attend one of four workshops, focused on fiber art, night

3Hattrio is, left to right, Hal Cannon, Eli Wrankle and Greg Istock.
3Hattrio is, left to right, Hal Cannon, Eli Wrankle and Greg Istock

sky photography, illustrated journals, and music. Registration fees include supplies, lunch, and a Western style dinner prepared by local chefs Salt and Sucre. For more information, see the GBHAP website. Registration is due August 4.

At 8 p.m. on August 13, join musicians Hal Cannon, Greg Istock and Eli Wrankle of 3Hattrio as they perform original and old-time cowboy and pioneer songs with an unusual and entertaining twist. Bring a lawn chair for this free outside concert and enjoy what Baxter Black has called “A profundo Gregorian sagebrush chant.”

— Gretchen Baker


Boulder City

Lake Mead and Boulder City

Boulder Basin Las Vegas Boat Harbor, Lake Mead
Boulder Basin Las Vegas Boat Harbor, Lake Mead

There would be no Boulder City without Lake Mead. Boulder City’s was created to be the headquarters to build the Hoover Dam, which created Lake Mead. And there it is, an immense blue jewel imbedded in a rocky desert. Even with the drought and the bathtub ring reducing it’s volume by half, it is a breathtaking sight. The coastline of Lake Mead is 759 miles long; for comparison, consider that the Pacific Coastline of California is 840 miles long. This is a big body of water.

Filleting "Stripers" at the Lake Mead Marina fish cleaning station
Filleting “Stripers” at the Lake Mead Marina fish cleaning station

In August, Lake Mead can be a very popular place. The Lake Mead National Recreation Area is the 6th most visited park in the United States, with over 7.2 million visitors in 2015. It’s an amazing place to fish, known mostly for it’s Striper (Striped bass) fishing, along with it’s Catfish enthusiasts and European Carp fanatics. Boating, kayaking and just getting lost in it’s vast wilderness are some other popular activities here.

A great place to start is at the Park Headquarters at 601 Nevada Highway, where you can get maps and info and then stroll up the street to have lunch or drinks or ice cream cones, or all three, at the various establishments in Historic Downtown Boulder City. Milo’s is the place for a glass of wine and a sandwich, Tony’s for pizza. or Brew Pub for craft beer and bratwurst, the Restaurant at the Boulder Dam Hotel for a “nice” lunch, the Dillinger’s for a hamburger, Evan’s for pasta, The Back Stop if you want to drink and smoke a cigarette, and don’t forget to stop at Grandma Daisy’s for ice cream before going to the lake.

Coyotes wait patiently near the fish cleaning station at the marina
Coyotes waiting patiently near the fish cleaning station at the marina

— Alan Goya

Photos by GOYAphotography


Carson Valley

Hike of the Month: Marlette Lake

Marlette Lake
Marlette Lake

With summer temps peaking, Carson Valley folk are heading for the hills — the Sierra, that is! One of our favorite destinations is Marlette Lake, a 9.5 mile round trip hike from Spooner Lake. Since this trail is very popular with mountain bikers (it connects to the famous Flume Trail), there are now separate trails for bikes and hikers/equestrians. Both are spectacular, winding through aspen groves and lush meadows with wildflowers and ferns. (Yes, I said “ferns”!) Weekends can be busy (what we call a “social skills hike”), but since we were there on a low-traffic weekday, we chose to go out on the hiking trail and return on the bike trail, and were not disappointed! Both trails are very well-marked and sport interpretive signs explaining the history and ecology of the area, including pictures depicting the creation of the epic Flume Trail (very interesting). There are several historic cabins, some still functioning as warming huts, and a luscious little backcountry campground equipped with bear boxes and picnic tables, nestled into a sweet little aspen grove (North Canyon Campground). We met two binocular-laden birders who happily reported sightings of grouse, osprey, woodpeckers, bluebirds, and robins.

Marlette wildflowers
Marlette wildflowers

Variations: this hike can be shortened by approaching it from the Chimney Beach trail (steeper), or lengthened by jumping onto the Tahoe Rim Trail (see Tahoe Meadows to Spooner Summit TRT map). It is also a delightful experience, especially with kids, to simply amble around the Spooner Lake loop trail (2.1 miles).

Carson Valley Activities

It’s hard to believe, but summer is coming to an end, and the best way to squeeze the last drops out of it is to attend every outdoor event possible! After all, you only live once (I think)!

The best event calendar for the Valley is found on the Carson Valley Visitors Authority website, but I’ll highlight some of our faves here …

The Minden Concerts in the Park series continues with Catch a Wave (Beach Boys tribute) on August 5, and concludes with Foreigner Unauthorized on August 26. All concerts are free, start at 6:30, and are wildly popular (read: “get there early”!). And if you missed last month’s concert by Reno’s funk/rock sensation Jellybread, you should really check them out!

Dangberg Ranch continues to crank out some interesting offerings, including Flamenco guitarist Milton Merlos (August 4), Hick’ry Switch (August 14), and Ten Dollar Pony (August 28). All concerts are only $5 (free to kids under 16), and you can bring a picnic.

Tired of the Wine Walk? Try Genoa’s Sweet Sippin Sundays, August 7 and every first Sunday from 1-4. This month’s theme is “tequila based drinks,” with music by the Trippin’ King Snakes. And your $12 donation goes to support the Carson Valley Trails Association, which is responsible for many of our awesome trails!

Of course you still go to the Thirsty Third Thursday Wine Walk in Gardnerville on August 18. This month’s costume theme is “famous pairs.”

The last of the Movies in the Park series at Heritage Park will air on August 12 with Big Hero 6 showing on the big outdoor screen. This event is free and good family fun.

Thankfully, the Genoa Park Concerts on the Green series runs two more months, and features the Quake City Jug Band on August 14 from 5-7.

Finally, for those with a proclivity for canines, Splash Dogs will be at Heritage Park from August 19-21 to bid adieu to summer.

Jacobs Family Berry Farm

Ripening rasberries on Jacob's Berry Farm
Ripening rasberries on Jacob’s Berry Farm

For a delicious taste of Carson Valley History, visit Jacobs Family Berry Farm in Gardnerville. They produce over 10 different varieties of berries, honey, jams and syrups, all without the use of pesticides or herbicides. While there, take a tour of the heart of the old Lampe Ranch, which once produced butter and cream for shipment to Virginia City and Bodie, along with hogs, chickens and grains.

Last week I had the opportunity to meet Jack Jacobs, current owner (along with his wife Diana). In the 1990’s, they lived in Oakland, CA, where Jack was a civil engineer for East Bay M.U.D. (the water department). Diana’s aging parents lived in Big Pine, CA, and drove almost 3 hours to the Carson Valley for their doctor appointments, groceries and supplies, so Jack and Diana decided to look into buying a place for them in Gardnerville. Their criteria?

Something small and easy to maintain (2 bedrooms or less), and nothing old. What did they find? The remaining

Jack Jacobs at his Berry Farm
Jack Jacobs at his Berry Farm

5 acres of the old Lampe Ranch, complete with a house, barn, dairy, bunkhouse, and several other outbuildings! The parents have since passed away, but Jack and Diana have retired from their other jobs and now devote their energies to restoring the property, educating the public on Lampe Family history, hosting events, collecting and selling antiques, and GROWING BERRIES! Jack has thrown himself with obvious fervor into the science of berry production. See their website for loads of information on growing berries, including a video featuring Elvis. He showed me computerized production graphs and solar-powered soil monitoring equipment which transmits data to UNR. He also demonstrated various methods of pruning and training the canes to maximize production, minimize bugs, and improve picking efficiency (once a scientist, always a scientist…). The results are certifiably delicious!

Amy Meeks



Exploring Elko County’s History — Aspen Tree Carvings

Quaking aspen, turned golden in the fall, along the Charleston to Jarbidge Road, with slender, dark spires of Engelmann spruce beyond.
Quaking aspen, turned golden in the fall, along the Charleston to Jarbidge Road, with slender, dark spires of Engelmann spruce beyond.

D Clarke Aug'16 05The back roads of Elko County are perfect for exploring in August. When I am out driving I always find the aspen tree carvings worthy of stopping and checking out. In the early to mid-1900s, Elko County was home to many

Basque sheepherders. They would spend the summers tending flocks in the nearby mountain ranges. One of the pastimes adopted by the herders was carving in the aspen trees while the sheep grazed or were bedded down. The smooth thin bark of the aspen made for easy carving with a knife. Carvings often included human figures, self-portraits, or depictions of animals. It was also common for herders to carve their name and a date to mark their passage across the mountains. While aspen carvings reflect unique expressions of identity and culture, some also functioned as communication between herders in these remote landscapes.

D Clarke Aug'16 03Many of these carvings can still be seen throughout the area, and these photos show carvings along the Charleston to Jarbidge Road in northeast Elko County. Because aspen is a short-lived tree, the carvings are slowly disappearing with time. Today, this artwork is protected by law and people are reminded to protect these carvings for future enjoyment by others.

So, next time you are driving the back roads of Elko County, take time to look through the aspen stands to see what art you can discover. Happy exploring!

Hiking In The Rubies

Australian visitors Marg and Colin taking in the alpine view of Lamoille Canyon.
Australian visitors Marg and Colin taking in the alpine view of Lamoille Canyon.

In July, I had two house guests from Australia who were touring the West, and I hosted them for two days. Marg and Colin are both avid hikers, and they were excited to see the Ruby Mountains up close. The obvious choice was to take them to Lamoille Canyon and hike part of the Ruby Crest Trail. This is my favorite hike in the Rubies, and I was anxious to get on this trail for the first time in 2016. We drove up the Lamoille Canyon Scenic Byway to Roads End where the Trail starts. The trail winds it way along Lamoille Creek as it climbs in elevation towards Liberty Pass. We had no destination in mind when we started, but knew would turn back before we got too tired.

We passed by blooming wildflowers, crossed Lamoille Creek several times, and hiked in the cool shade of evergreens. Before long we passed the three small Dollar Lakes, and ten minutes later we stopped for a break at Lamoille Lake. My new friends were handling the elevation well, so we decided to keep going to Liberty Pass. At a little over 10,000 feet in elevation you have a great view, once you reach the pass. Down below the pass, you

Liberty Lake -- one of over two dozen lakes in the Ruby Mountains of Elko County.
Liberty Lake — one of over two dozen lakes in the Ruby Mountains of Elko County.

could see Liberty Lake shimmering and, in the distance, the spine of the Ruby Mountains snaking both northward and southward. Off to Liberty Lake we headed for a short lunch break and a rest. Marg and Colin decided to go on further towards Favre Lake, while my feet were telling me it was time to head back. On the way out, we met back up on the stock trail for the last mile and a half. Along this stretch of trail the wildflowers were putting on quite the show, with columbine, Indian paint brush, lupine, sunflowers, and many others blooming. Magnificent views, terrific scenery and good company made for a perfect day. I hope you add this trail to your list of summer hikes and experience the Ruby Mountains close up, too. Happy hiking!

— Doug Clarke



Ely in August

There are always a variety of great events and happenings in Ely, but August especially has something for everyone. The month kicks off with Fun Friday, August 5, in downtown Ely at the corner of 7th and Aultman Street. The highlight of the August Fun Friday is the Chili Cook-off, sponsored by the White Pine Chamber of Commerce. People pay $5 to taste each of the entries and then vote on their favorite in the People’s Choice award. Judges also taste each of the entries and choose the first, second, and third place winners. Cash prizes are awarded. Live entertainment, vendors and give- a-ways, all spotlighted by KDSS Radio, make for a great afternoon of fun.

Ely-Aug'16-quilts-hung-to-displayOn Saturday, August 6, the Bristlecone Arts in the Park Festival opens at the Courthouse Park in downtown Ely. Held on the first weekend of August each year, this event attracts vendors from everywhere to display their beautiful creations ranging from paintings to wood and metal crafts, and many more kinds of original art. The event opens Saturday and runs through Sunday afternoon. Also during the weekend, is the Annual Sagebrush Quilters Quilt Show, held across the street from the County Park in the White Pine Middle School. Dozens of beautiful quilts are on display. Raffles and voting for the favorites are part of the fun.

The second weekend of August is the White Pine Rodders Annual Car Show. Classic and antique vehicles of all kinds are on display at the County Park. People can enjoy the cars while talking to the owners and getting tips on their own restoration projects. What a great way to spend the day enjoying the fresh outdoor summer day.

The third weekend of August is the Annual White Pine County Fair and Horse Races. The fair is a chance to see the entries of art and craft, food, floral, and all the projects by the 4-H contestants. Race times begin at 1:00 pm on both Saturday and Sunday, and para-mutual betting lets the fans put their money on their favorite horse. Food, entertainment, vendors, and displays are all there to be enjoyed. The Annual Ely Volunteer Fire Department and Cattlewomen’s BBQ features pit roasted beef and all the tasty treats of a great cookout. Tickets are available locally and at the event. The White Pine Ranch Rodeo is held on Saturday, also featuring the best in roping and team events. A golf tournament provides additional play for the weekend. The 4–H Live Stock auction is held on Sunday and wraps up a great weekend.

Caroline-market-4-with-VirginiaThe fourth weekend of August is the opening of the Renaissance Village Farmers Market on Saturday at 10:00 a.m. Fresh produce, nuts, salsa, and fresh peach ice cream bring the crowds for a great taste of summer. The houses of the Village are open for touring and the General Store offers all sorts of gifts and treats.

Added to activities each week are Steam-powered Train Excursions each Friday, Saturday and Sunday through the month. Information on these can be found at or by calling 775-289-2085. The Ely Renaissance Village is open on Saturdays from 10 to 4 pm. The Ely Art Bank is open Friday and Saturday, from noon to 4pm and Sundays from 10 am to 2 pm. The White Pine Public Museum is also open through the month. Add in 24 murals and a sculpture park, unique shopping, and a beautiful downtown area to walk, and one can see that a trip to Ely anytime in August is a stroll through a friendly, small town that is part of the rural Nevada we all love. Call the White Pine Chamber of Commerce at 775-289-8877 for information on all the events and attractions.

— Lorraine Clark


Las Vegas

Topgolf plus Blackjack at The El Cortez

topgolf-las-vegas-pool-02Diamond Jack doesn’t golf anymore. After several years of chasing the small white ball around 6,500-yard golf courses, I came to the realization that those five hours could be put to better use in a variety of ways, such as eating, drinking and reading. But I have since discovered Topgolf, an 8-acre playground just behind the MGM Grand. It opens daily at 8 a.m. and is truly a one-of-a-kind entertainment experience on the Strip.

Topgolf has 108 climate-controlled hitting bays, two pools, cabanas, a concert venue, hundreds of HD televisions, VIP suites, five bars, mobile Sports Book, a comfort food menu, and Callaway Fitting Studio and retail shop. Now I hit golf balls containing computer microchips that track each shot’s accuracy and distance while awarding points for hitting targets on the outfield. The hitting bays have lounge-style seating and can host up to six players at one time. Topgolf spans four levels (105,000 square feet) and is designated as the biggest Topgolf venue in the country. Of course – it’s Vegas. General admittance into Topgolf is free. Bay pricing starts at $30 per hour, depending on bay location and time of day. 4627 Koval Lane. 702-933-8458.

el cortez websiteThe El Cortez is the longest continuously run hotel and casino in Las Vegas. For over 75 years, it has maintained its original, historic exterior façade, famous signage and classic ranch-themed architecture. It now has the distinction of being officially certified as “Best Blackjack Odds in Las Vegas” and the “best spot to double-down in Sin City.” The casino offers single-deck and double-deck games with a 3:2 payment, as well as double-down on any two cards. Players of the double-deck games can double after splits. Both games are available 24/7. It also offers guests the convenience of Gambling Gourmet which means you can dine and play and win all at the same time. This is so much better than golf. Gambling Gourmet is daily from 7:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. 600 Fremont St. 702-385-5200.

— Diamond Jack Bulavsky


Monsoon Season In Vegas

There is always a flood of things to do in Las Vegas, especially during Monsoon Season, which runs from July through early September. I mention the Monsoon so that you will be extra cautious during August for any rainfall that should hit within the valley and in the mountain ranges surrounding the valley.

What is a beautiful, sunny day can suddenly turn deadly in the valley if storms are hitting the mountains. All that water runs west to east towards Lake Mead and usually takes the path of east/west streets and can carry all sorts of things, like branches and garbage, wiping out cars and pedestrians. So watch out for Charleston, Sahara, Spring Mountain, Tropicana, Russell, and the major intersections of those streets where water pools. We want you alive when you leave Las Vegas.

Kumukahi Ukele and Hula Festival will take place at Sam’s Town on Boulder Hwy. & Flamingo Rd. (East) beginning on Friday, 8/12 at 2 p.m. & on Saturday, 8/13 beginning at 8 a.m. This is their 4th annual Ukelele & Hula festival which honors Hawaii’s culture with musicians from across the country. There will be two days of music and dance with a price of $25 per ticket plus tax & fees.

Billy Bob's Early Bird Special Prime Rib dinner for $12.99
Billy Bob’s Early Bird Special Prime Rib dinner for $12.99

After the Hawaiian culture I want you to completely rearrange your culture shock by going for dinner at Billy Bob’s Steak House in Sam’s Town. If you are an early bird eater get there between 5 and 6 p.m. for their $12.99 prime rib special. If you typically like late night meals go from 9 p.m. until before close. During that time they offer a steak & lobster special for $14.99 if you have their B Connected players card (which is free to obtain). Whatever you happen to order at this restaurant will be a HUGE portion.

Following the Pokemon Go craze can result in injuries. To try something along those lines but learn about Las Vegas, the Amazing Scavenger Hunt Adventure is going on every single day in August and September from 10 a.m. until 8 p.m. This is on my to-do list and it promises to combine the excitement of the Amazing Race with a tour of the city for 3 hours. You would gather a team of 2 to 5 people (no more than 5) using your Smart Phone to learn about local history by solving clues and completing challenges. You would play at your own leisure starting whenever you are ready at City Center. There will be around 23 questions and 3 bonus questions. The “tour” is approximately 2 1/2 miles and could include our RTC system, bus and monorails and will be in and out of hotels. Tickets start at $30 for 2 people on a team., $38 for 3, $44 for 4 or 5 people.

There is also another team building event for The Strip or Downtown Las Vegas called The Hunt Las Vegas which can be done at any time, for any number of people (even just a couple) and you can do this on the Strip or Downtown. This event has been used by corporations for team building and for large groups of vacationers to do something different in our surrounding area.

A & A Tenaya 2On Saturday, August 13, Aces & Ales is hosting their 7th Annual Strong Beer Festival at their Tenaya Way location, south of Cheyenne Avenue at the N.W. corner of N. Tenaya Way & Peak Drive. It starts at 3 p.m. and ends whenever they decide it ends. This is one of their craft beer festivals that usually runs for 3 days at their Nellis location. The Nellis location previously charged $15, which would give you a commemorative glass and your first of any of the international beers. Their selection would change at noon each day. Each beer taste after that had a price of $4. If you did not want to pay the $15 you could choose a “goblet” of beer for $9. Even if you do not make this festival you should stop in at their Tenaya location during your travels. They normally have 50 rotating beers on tap from Delaware to California to Illinois to North Carolina to Alaska, and their food is — usually — excellent for bar food (try their Eddie Spaghetti Pizza, their Bacon Jammy-Jam with crostinis, A.B. Cheese Balls, Fried Oreos … (I could go on.) If you go during one of their two happy hours you can get drafts, specialty cocktails and food (like Beer Belly Grilled Cheese) for $5. They also have Tuesday night trivia for your enjoyment and lunch specials.

— Pauline Cimoch


News about “Mystère” at Treasure Island

Moha Samedi, narrator and emcee of "Mystere" (Photo: Matt Beard)
Moha Samedi, narrator and emcee of “Mystere” (Photo: Matt Beard)

“Mystère” is the original Cirque du Soleil production in Las Vegas that led to the Quebec-based organization started in 1984 from a group of 20 street performers to have seven permanent resident shows in Las Vegas.

A special deal for the summer is tickets starting at $49.50.

The show at Treasure Island features an international cast of 75 artists performing high-energy acrobatics. An invigorating change is a new version of its famous Teeterboard Act. Making this rendition even more exciting, the act has a new teeterboard, more powerful acrobatic sequences, faster paced choreography and new artists. The new board is shorter and catapults artists higher and faster into the air, soaring to impressive heights of nearly 20 feet.

A rare opportunity to observe cast members rehearsing is happening every Saturday from 3 to 3:30 p.m. and Sunday from 4:30 to 5 p.m. In addition, guests attending receive an exclusive offer—a voucher for two tickets for $99 that can be presented at the box office.

Two opportunities to meet a “Mystère” cast member and take photos with them will happen on Tuesdays, July 26 and Aug. 9 at 5 p.m. Free and open to guests of all ages, the meet-and-greets will take place at the Mystère Theater.

You Too Can Be a Spy – Or At Least Least Protect Yourself

The media had an opportunity to see about an hour presentation by ex-CIA agent Jason Hanson, who will begin

Former CIA agent Jason Hanson
Former CIA agent Jason Hanson

giving his two-day Spy Escape & Evasion seminar and training session in the Stratosphere Theater Aug. 17-18 and 19-20.
Hanson is extremely likable and knowledgeable. His life-saving information is really powerful, and the audience is captivated. In less than an hour we learned how to escape rope, duct tape, zip ties and a little about being a human lie detector. What we experienced was the tip of the iceberg of safety tips. After almost a decade in the CIA, Hanson brings real-world spy safety experience and techniques direct to participants, teaching critical skills and valuable information that 99 percent of Americans will never know or have access to learn, until now.

The ticket price is steep at $1,499.95 per person, but it would be worthwhile. Visit
In addition, participants can also take part in a special VIP dinner and meet and greet with Hanson at Las Vegas’ El Dorado Cantina for $250.

Neon Museum carries Fossil’s Betty Willis Watch

Fossil's Las Vegas watch is an homage to "Welcome to Las Vegas" sign designer Betty Willis.
Fossil’s Betty Willis watch is an homage to “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” sign designer Betty Willis.

The Neon Museum downtown is now carrying a limited-edition Fossil watch that was inspired by the iconic landmarks created by pioneering sign designer Betty Willis. The watch, which is available in the museum’s gift store and online, comes with a commemorative booklet dedicated to Willis’ distinctive life (1923-2015) and achievements.

Fossil’s creative director Kaspar Spurgeon Heinrici visited the museum in 2015 and was inspired by the impact Willis had on mid-century signage design and the lasting effect her creations particularly the Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign have had on the world. Willis never copyrighted the famous gateway Welcome sign done in1959.

The face of the watch sits in the center of two intersecting pieces in gold and silver tones, which reference 1950s and 1960s-style design elements, namely the arrows.

Fossil is an American watch and lifestyle brand since 1984 inspired by all things curious.

—Jackie Brett



Annual River Regatta Happens Mid-August

Laughlin Regatta

There will be pirates on the Colorado on Saturday, Aug. 13 for the 10th Annual Bullhead City River Regatta, which has a “Pirates of the Colorado” theme this year. This water event attracts thousands of tubers who take to the Colorado River for a two- to three-hour float trip from launch sites on the Arizona side and Harrah’s and the Pioneer on the Nevada side with a launch time at 7 a.m. For information, visit the River Regatta website.

There will be a Regatta Pre Party at Harrah’s South Beach with an official River Regatta Bikini Contest starting at 9 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 12. At Harrah’s Amphitheater, there will be a Regatta Post Party – Wild & Wacky foam event on Saturday, Aug. 13 starting at 9 p.m.

Edgewater Promotes Weekend Laughter

B.J. Johnson
BJ Johnson

Friday and Saturday nights at the Edgewater in the Inferno Showroom at 7 p.m. are reserved for “Comedy on the Edge” with two different comedians each week. Upcoming comedians include: Aug 5-7 BJ Johnson and Greg Berman; Aug 12-14 Leif Skyving and Jill Maragos; Aug 19-21 Ron Lamprecht and Curt Fletcher; Aug 26-28 Howard G. and Jennifer Murphy; Sept 2-4 Kenny Bob Davis and Tim Haldeman; Sept 9-11 Steve Sabo and Kate Brindle; Sept 16-18 Ron Morey and Virginia Jones; and Sept 23-25 Pete George and Jonathan Gregory. Tickets are $10, and on Sunday veterans get a $2 discount.

Fifteen-year comedy veteran BJ Johnson will appear with Aug. 5-7. Johnson’s comedy is centered on family and adult humor. He’s performed at The Comedy Store, Yuk Yuks in Canada, Houston Improv, and opened for Darren Carter, Michael Winslow of “Police Academy” fame, Alonzo Boden and Dane Cook. He takes comedy to shows overseas and stateside for the troops at least four to five months of the year.

Leif Skyving
Leif Skyving

Leif Skyving is paired with Jill Maragos Aug. 12-14. Skyving began his 24-year career at the world famous Comedy Store in Los Angeles, and has since performed in clubs across the United States and Canada. Skyving’s sharp wit focuses on current topics and vents about whatever happens to be bothering him. He has an “alter ego”
with a dark side, Curt Sudden — a no nonsense kind of a guy who may appear at any time. Sudden plays a mean harmonica, as does Skyving, who has performed with a number of well-known comedians including Howie Mandel, Jimmy JJ Walker, Weird Al Yankovic, and Paul Rodrigues.

You can catch Ron Lamprecht with Curt Fletcher Aug. 19-21. Lamprecht’s comedy is observational about family matters and ongoing battles of life. The eight-year comedy veteran has performed with Louie Anderson, Kira Soltanovich, Bobby Slayton, and Cathy Ladman. He has performed at the Hollywood Improv, The Icehouse, House of Comedy, and can be seen as Norm Adelmen in Maria Bamford’s Netflix series “Lady Dynamite.” A veteran of the USAF, Lamprecht works military shows into his schedule whenever he can.

Howard G. and Jennifer Murphy will share the stage Aug. 26-28. Howard G. broke into comedy in the early 1990s. His credits include performing at “Showtime At The Apollo,” once as an amateur and two years later as a professional. He has also been on Russell Simmons’ HBO “Def Comedy Jam” and BET’s “ComicView.” He has performed for U.S. troops in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Howard G. has opened up for Martin Lawrence, Jamie Foxx, Kevin Pollock, Dave Chappell, Tommy Davidson, Yolanda Adams, The Isley Brothers, The Temptations, and Patti Labelle.

Wynonna & The Big Noise Will Visit Edgewater’s E Center

Wynonna & The Big NoiseAmerican country music superstar Wynonna Judd will headline at the E Center at the Edgewater with and her band The Big Noise led by her producer husband and drummer Cactus Moser on Saturday, Aug. 27 at 8 p.m. Tickets range from $35 to $85.
Wynonna first rose to fame in the 1980s singing as a duo alongside her mother, Naomi. The twosome released seven albums on Curb Records in addition to charting 26 singles, of which 14 were No. 1 hits.
Wynonna still makes hits and released a full-length album in February 2016 viaCurb Records to critical acclaim. Wynonna has described the new sound as “vintage yet modern” and a “return to the well.” It’s a rootsy work encompassing country, Americana, blues, soul, and rock. Special guests featured on the album include Derek Trucks, Jason Isbell, Susan Tedeschi and Timothy B. Schmit.

— Jackie Brett


Lincoln County

Pahranagat National Wildlife Refuge

Upper Pahranagat Lake
Upper Pahranagat Lake

Few landscapes are as starkly contrasting as the lush wetlands and arid surrounding Mojave Desert found at the Pahranagat National Wildlife Refuge, about eight miles south of Alamo on U.S. Highway 93.

Administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the 5,382-acres refuge was created in August, 1963. It is part of the larger Desert National Wildlife Refuge Complex, which includes three other national wildlife sites, Ash Meadows, Desert National and Moapa Valley refuges.

Manager Rob Vinson notes, “It is a living heritage, conserving wildlife habitat and cultural resources for present and future generations.”

The new Visitors Center at the Pahranaghat National Wildlife Refuge
The new Visitors Center at the Pahranaghat National Wildlife Refuge

A new visitor’s center was opened in January 2015 at Pahranagat.

Located within the Pacific Flyway, a north-south migratory route, the refuge provides high quality migration and wintering habitat for migrating birds, with emphasis on waterfowl. Over 260 bird species have been recorded at the refuge, including the majestic bald eagle.

Both the upper and lower lakes of the refuge are supplied with life-giving waters from Crystal and Ash Springs, some 15-20 miles to the north.

Inside the Visitors Center
Inside the Visitors Center

Pahranagat, for example, offers ideal wetlands and riparian habitats for thousands of migratory birds, numerous birds of prey, deer and rare fish.

Originally designated at 3,916 acres in 1963, later acquisitions of land have allowed the refuge to expand to 5,382 acres.

Hiking trails cross through five different habitat types, giving visitors the opportunity to see meadows, marshes, lakes, streams, and desert all within a single afternoon visit. Hunting and fishing are popular activities, and for those interested in experiencing this unique desert oasis at night, camping and picnicking is available at the Upper Lake.

In season, duck hunting is allowed at the Lower Lake (the one to the south).

Summer Activities

Tim Parker, visitor’s specialist at the refuge, said there are two more activities planned for the summer.

On August 6 is the Duckwing Maze. Parker describers this as being, “tons of fun for kids and adults. We use real duck wings to navigate an indoor maze. It’s best suited for kids age 9 and older.” Meet at 9:30 a.m. at the visitors center.

Then, on August 13, Parker has planned an “owl calling” evening. It’s a way in the refuge to call owls. “Come to find out how.” It will be held from 8 – 9:30 p.m. at the Visitors Center.

For more information on any of these events call the wildlife refuge, Friday through Sunday, 775-725-3417

— Dave Maxwell


South Lake Tahoe

It’s the middle of the dog days of summer. The temperatures are hot, and life tends to slow down a little bit. But activity at South Lake Tahoe is moving along at a rapid pace. Renovation is booming from the tip-top of the mountain all the way down to the lake. New and fun things are being built specifically to give people the time of lives.

The Ridge Tahoe is situated high on the ridgeline of the Carson Range separating Carson Valley and the Tahoe Basin
The Ridge Tahoe is situated high on the ridgeline of the Carson Range separating Carson Valley and the Tahoe Basin

Let’s start at the top of the hill with The Ridge Tahoe up on Kingsbury Grade (Hwy. 207), in between the Carson Valley and Lake Tahoe. The Ridge is expanding their already expansive 11-acres of property at the crest of the Carson Range. New restaurants and event rooms are part of the new work happening up there, executive style event space with large windows overlooking the Sierra wilderness is a great place to gather the office work team for a retreat and get some work done at the same time. Only five miles up from Stateline and the water, but you can get stuck in the clouds, as the property offers plenty to do on site. With deluxe one bedroom and two bedroom

condominium suites and an expansive luxury spa, with massage therapy and a eucalyptus steam bath that will have you feeling quite fine. Go off on a hike right from your room to the Tahoe Rim Trail, that has the best lake views, and you can walk all the way down to the shore of the lake and then call their complementary shuttle to have them bring you back up. Even if you’re not staying at the Ridge, you can head up and enjoy a cocktail at the clubhouse bar, which has a panoramic view of the Carson Valley, or have a bite to eat at the Bear Claw restaurant, which will be opening this month.

The Fox and HoundAt the top of Daggett Pass near the Ridge, another long time establishment underwent some upgrades — the Fox and Hound Smokehouse Grill and Bar, located at 237 Tramway Drive. Father and son owners, Harvey and Matt Grime, expanded the bar area to almost double the size when they opened, and it now features a horseshoe bar with 15 video poker machines. What was once a cozy hole-in-the-wall type place has become a room where you can have a nice party for a family or a class reunion, yet it still has that small-town corner-bar feel that the locals enjoy so much. They’re open for breakfast, and during the summer months it’s kind of a secret place to beat the hungry Sunday morning crowds, with the bacon bloody Mary and good Eggs Benedict. Then, come back up for dinner and have some award winning barbeque, smoked outside on their grills. The ribs are great!

Later, head down the hill toward Stateline and the casino corridor, where millions of dollars have been spent and are being spent to make Lake Tahoe a world-class destination. At Hard Rock Casino, which was remodeled from the previous Horizon Casino a year ago, you now have the party casino that has music outside every Sunday, right off Hwy 50. And it’s the unofficial after-party for the Summer Outdoor Concert Series at Harveys. So, after you have a night of hits with Lionel Richie on August 13, or with the Steve Miller Band on August 18, and then really get rocking with Sammy Hagar and the Cirlcle on August 26, you can keep the festivities rolling at Hard Rock. Hard Rock has their own summer concerts and events happening too: every weekend, running Friday through Sunday, is the Rockin’ Block Party from 11 am- 9 pm, with a beer garden, wine, live music, and an art show. Then, Bass Camp Festival IV, the annual EDM event, is August 6 and 7. And if you like to dance to some crazy hypnotic beats, then this is your show. The Lake Tahoe Reggae Festival, where the vibe is good and the music is even more satisfying, is August 20. For more info on Hard Rock events you can go to the Hard Rock Casino website.

Sidellis Lake TahoeAnother type of booming and changing industry here at the South Lake is the beer business. In the last few years, breweries have been popping up on the small stretch of Highway 50 on the California side. Sidellis Lake Tahoe Brewery and Restaurant, located at 3350 Sandy Way about a mile from the Nevada state line, is one such place. Sidellis has quickly become a hit among beer connoisseurs and beer novices alike. As the story goes, owner Chris Sidell and his husband Ellwood Ellis have always wanted to take their love of home brewing and open a micro-brewery in South Lake Tahoe. The name Sidellis, a contraction of both Chris and Ellwood’s last names, also indicates the combined effort they have made to bring really top notch beer to the people of South Lake Tahoe and its visitors. The brews are of every variety, from Peteys Porter to Clockwork White Ale and, right now, the Summer Lager, and you’ll find one to your taste. At Sidellis the beer is first and foremost, but they also offer a nice menu of food, with snacks like deviled eggs, salads and hot and cold sandwiches, including a classic French Dip sandwich that goes well with a nice lager.

Sunset over Round Hill viewed from the Lakeside Marina, South Lake Tahoe
Sunset over Round Hill viewed from the Lakeside Marina, South Lake Tahoe

From renovations of retreat destinations like The Ridge Tahoe to the opening of micro-breweries, South Lake Tahoe is moving forward every year. It’s fun to see the transformation happening, and visitors get to experience the finished product. Tahoe is an ever-evolving place, so come on up and embrace the changes.

— Brendan Packer


Virginia City

Hot August Nights Kicks Off in Virginia City

HAN VC 021Picture perfect weather embraced the kickoff weekend of Hot August Nights as Virginia City played host to hundreds of Classic American cars lining C Street. Visitors enjoyed twice as many cars as last year, and the variety of automobiles provided both the hardcore car enthusiast and casual visitor with an amazing array of American Automobiles from the 1920’s through 1970’s.

Mike Smart, President of the Board of Hot August Nights, explained that Virginia City was selected as the kickoff venue due to its reputation as a must-see venue and its proximity to Reno. “For years our kickoff event was in Lake Tahoe with our show and shine nestled along the shoreline and in Casino parking lots, and included a classic boat show along with the cars.

HAN VC 05Last year, our anchor Casino was undergoing major renovation and the big parking lot was not available to us. The board met to find an alternative to the Tahoe venue, and last year we kicked the tires in Virginia City to see how it would go. The response was so favorable that our board decided to enter into a three year relationship with Virginia City. This year, we doubled the number of cars that made the trip up Geiger Grade with over 330 registered participants.”

The event brought thousands of visitors crowding C Street, which was closed off for the event so the cars could stage along the historic main drag of Virginia City. A live band and lots of eats and drinks set up to sate the throngs of visitors. Cars were judged on six different categories and winners were awarded handsome trophies to add to the shelf in the garage back home.

Most C Street shops were enjoying large crowds, but reaction amongst the business people was mixed. At least one shop owner was less than enamored of the event: “The car owners bring their own coolers, food and chairs and park their cars and fannies right in front of our stores. They don’t even come inside to look around, and they clog the entrance to the shop for folks who want to check things out.”

HAN VC 03According to Executive Director Mike Whan, Reno will get over 6,000 cars during the event this year, attended to tens of thousands of car buffs from all over North America and around the world.

“Hot August Nights is one of the biggest car shows on the West Coast; we have an international reputation for putting on a first class show. We are excited to kick off our week long event here in Virginia City and look forward to building the show into a win-win-win-win for Virginia City, Hot August Nights, the car owners, and most importantly, the visitors.”

— Wells Drury



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