Nevada Correspondence – July 2016

In this edition:

Baker, Boulder City, Elko, Ely, Las Vegas, Lincoln County, South Lake Tahoe



Escape the Heat

Fishing at the Sacramento Pass pond
                                                                                 Fishing at the Sacramento Pass pond

There are three fun ways to escape the summer heat in Baker: get wet, go up high or go underground. Six streams drain the eastern side of the South Snake Range, and it feels good to get your feet (or even more) wet in one of them. Fishing is a popular endeavor near the park campgrounds, with upwards of a thousand fish per mile. Baker- Wheeler cirque rock galacierBeing stealthy is a key to stream fishing. Native Bonneville cutthroat trout are found in Strawberry, South Fork Baker, and South Fork Big Wash Creeks. Snake Creek will be renovated in August to provide more BCT habitat. Brown, brook, and rainbow trout are all found in Lehman and Baker Creeks. Sacramento Pass pond is another great place to fish and has a handicapped-accessible deck.

A jaunt on the Alpine Lakes trail in Great Basin National Park, starting at about 10,000 feet, can be a good combination of high and wet. The lakes are generally very cold, so few people swim in them, but it is allowed. You can also check out old-growth bristlecones on your way to the only glacier in the interior of the Great Basin. It is found nestled in a gully that comes off Jeff Davis Peak and barely makes it into the cirque below. Farther downhill is a multi-lobed rock glacier, where rocks insulate ice. Snow patches remain on the edges through July, making a great excuse for an impromptu snowball fight on a hot day. The trailhead is clearly marked. Take plenty of water and take your time—it’s harder to hike at that altitude than in the valley bottoms.

Cave temperatures generally mimic the average outside temperature of an area. Lehman Caves stays a comfortable 50 degrees Fahrenheit year round, providing some natural air-conditioning in the summer. Over ten cave tours go into the cave daily, often selling out early in the day. You can reserve tickets ahead of a time on

Baker-A cave in the Grand Palace in Lehman CavesNevada actually has quite a few caves, enough to attract the interest of about 800 cavers who will be attending the National Speleological Society Convention in Ely, Nevada from July 16-23. Talks, cave trips, climbing contests, kids’ activities, photo salons, and more will be offered. Week-long and day passes are available, and the event kicks off with a Speleofest on Saturday, July 16 in downtown Ely. A mural featuring Ab Lehman in his eponymous cavern will be unveiled. In the late afternoon, the Art Bank will display photos taken in 1928 of Lehman Caves next to those taken in 2016. Come check out what has changed!

Gretchen Baker

Read Gretchen’s great outdoor adventure blog, Desert Survivor, too!


Boulder City

Boulder City 68th Annual Damboree 4th of July Celebration

One of of the joys of Boulder City is scale. Unlike the the sometimes over the top spectacles of nearby Las Vegas, Boulder City is small town of human scale.  One such simple joy is Boulder City’s Annual Damboree 4th of July Celebration.

BC Damboree parade clownsThe name Damboree originated in 1949, the second year of the Celebration, after a contest to name the event in homage to the Hoover Dam, which was the reason for Boulder City to exist in the first place. This started a long line of Dam jokes and slogans which continues to this July’s 68th Damboree.

The day starts at 7am with a free pancake breakfast in Bicentennial Park hosted by the Rotary Club, donations accepted. At 9am the Damboree parade begins. Now, this is a small town parade, not your Rose Bowl event with millions of flowers. A few flags, maybe a marching band, homemade floats, clowns, go carts, and seemingly every politician in Nevada. It’s a perfect place to observe the execution of the classic parade wave.

BC Little Leaguers squirting sidewalkcrowdFor many the highlight is the water play section of the parade. Here, formerly mild mannered paraders pull out their water guns and do battle with the equally armed sidewalk crowd in a frenzy of liquid, despite the current drought and low water level of Lake Mead. The parade ends at Broadbent Park, where the American Flag is raised, the town sings, plays games, get’s dunked, and eats. What could be better? At 9pm at Veterans Park (yes, there are a lot of parks in Boulder City)  the fireworks begin. If you love fireworks, these are good. You could go to Veterans Park to view the show, but another locals’ favorite is watching the show from the Bear Creek golf course, where there is the bonus of the bar at the clubhouse.

Damboree dunking 2

_DSC1792-(ZF-0479-10644-1-004)July Calendar

68th Annual Damboree 4th of July Celebration

7am – Pancake Breakfast at Bicentennial Park

9am – Parade

10am-2pm –  Broadbent Park Festivities

5pm-10pm – Veterans Memorial Park Festivities

9pm – Fireworks Display Veterans Park

The Green Chefs Famers Market

Every Friday 8am to Noon at the Boulder City Senior Center, 813 Arizona Street, Boulder City NV 89005.
Farm Fresh Produce, Cottage, Artisan, and Baked Goods, and Honey.

All photos copyright GOYAphotography

Alan Goya



July Campouts

Angel Lake
                                                                                                       Angel Lake

I’m paraphrasing a line from one of the poets who recited earlier this year at the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko, Doris Daley, from her work titled “Million Star Resort.” The gist of the poem is that camping Out West under a night sky filled with brilliant stars will always beat those fancy hotels and resorts with 4 or 5 Star ratings. If you’ve ever experienced the nighttime sky in the West, away from the lights of civilization, then you can’t disagree with her Canadian logic. Northeast Nevada is home to many of these “Million Star Resorts,” and here are two I’d recommend for a July camping trip.

South Ruby Campground, managed by the U.S. Forest Service, is located adjacent to the Ruby Lake Refuge. I like this campground because it gives you easy access to the refuge and is hardly crowded, so you can enjoy the peace and quiet of Ruby Valley. Angel Lake Campground, also managed by the U.S. Forest Service, is easily accessed from Wells, Nevada, and is at the end of the Angel Lake Scenic Byway. At around 8,000 feet above sea level, the cooler temperatures are a welcome escape from the hotter valley floors. The lake is the best part of camping here, as it is has good fishing and is fun for swimming, canoeing and kayaking too. Call the Forest Service office at (775) 738-5171 to check on current campground conditions and to get information on reserving a campsite at either of the campgrounds.

Ruby Lake Refuge
                                                                                               Ruby Lake Refuge

Edible Elko

Elko County is tough country for growing vegetables, and for good reason. Our short growing season, cool summer nights and poor soil will test the patience of most gardeners. Despite the challenges, a small group of producers have sprouted (pun intended) in Elko and are working to provide high quality produce for the community. Best place to meet these growers and buy from them is at the downtown market at the corner of 5th Street and Railroad Street, on July 23rd, starting at 8 a.m. Email for more information. In addition to produce, vendors will also be selling locally-raised beef, chicken, honey, and other goods.

Boot, Scoot & Boogey

Elko is still home to some fun Country and Western dancing, and there are some great venues here that are well worth checking out. The Silver State Stampede Rodeo Dances:  Two nights of dancing to live music on Friday July 8th and Saturday July 9th, following the rodeo. The Cowboy Bar: This newly opened saloon on Idaho street has a big dance floor, free lessons, a good DJ, and nice bartenders. It’s also non-smoking. Let’s Dance at the Western Folklife Center: On July 14th, there are dance lessons from 6 – 7 pm, and open dancing from 7 – 8:30 pm. Cost is $5 per person. This is a low-key night that’s perfect for beginners and families, as well as experienced dancers.

That’s all for July, so enjoy the beautiful Elko area, and I hope to see you on the trail someday!

Doug Clarke



National Speleological Society Convention in Ely

The National Speleological Society (NSS) will hold their 2016 Convention in Ely, Nevada, July 16-23.  Over 1000 cavers are already registered to attend this convention and this will mean a great deal to the city of Ely.

Ely has been the site for several national conferences and welcomes the opportunity to showcase our part of Eastern Nevada. We are the home of Lehman Caves, a part of Great Basin National Park since 1986. Much more information on the history of the caves can be found here. The National Speleological Society website,,  states, “We explore, we study, we protect.” Many articles are available on the website for those who want to learn Caving 101. Preservation is truly a main focus for these adventurous explorers.

The 'Cypress Swamp' in Lehman Caves
                                                                            The ‘Cypress Swamp’ in Lehman Caves

Members of this group have been visiting Ely for the past two years to prepare for the conference. Arrangements have been made with the local businesses and attractions. This will be a great boost for the economy of the area certainly, but it will also be a celebration for Great Basin National Park celebrating the 100th anniversary of the National Park System and the 30th Anniversary of  Lehman Caves being part of the national park system. This year also marks  the 75th Anniversary of the NSS.

As part of the Conference, the NSS is creating a mural depicting Lehman Caves that will be placed on the side of the Park Vue Motel in downtown Ely, joining over 20 other murals completed by the Ely Renaissance Society since 2000. The unveiling of the Lehman Caves mural will be held July 16, with a festival planned in the County Park across from the mural. Food, fun and music are planned. The NSS will bring in large replicas of cave formations that children can crawl through to get an idea of what cave exploration is all about.

John and Mary Walker, owners of Walker Electric Studio, took some of the earliest known photos of Lehman Caves in the 1920’s, shortly after President Harding created Lehman Caves National Monument.  The photos were sent to Washington D.C, where they were placed in the archives of the Library of Congress. A recent find at the Smithsonian Museum of 30 photographs taken inside Lehman Caves 50 years ago has resulted in an art exhibit that will be on display at the Ely Art Bank.  New photos are being taken now at the same location, so the exhibit will show “Then and Now” photos of the same spot in the cave. A reception to showcase the photo exhibit will be held at the Ely Art Bank, Saturday, July 16, from 4 to 7 pm. The exhibit will be on display until July 30. The photos will then become a permanent exhibit at Lehman Caves after the conference and will show what happened in the cave during the last 50 years.  All are welcome to stop by and see the photos.

The new mural and the photo exhibit will be a wonderful example of the use of art to tell our history that the Ely Renaissance Society is featuring to attract visitors to the area. Several other art exhibits are planned during the year at the Ely Art Bank. More on this can be found at Rural Nevada News.

Ely looks forward to welcoming the NSS to come explore our area and enjoy one of the great caves in the United States.

— Lorraine Clark


Las Vegas

Star-Spangled Banner Weekend in Las Vegas

There are so many places to go for free entertainment during the 4th of July weekend!  And, I cannot stress enough…hydrate, hydrate, hydrate and cover your head!  Speaking of which … Head over to Summerlin for their 22nd annual Patriotic Parade on July 4th starting at 8:30 a.m. The parade starts at Hillpointe Road and Hills Center and wraps up at the Trails Village Shopping Center on Trailwood Drive.

Also on the 4th is the 68th annual Boulder City Damboree which begins with a pancake breakfast at 7 a.m. at Bicentennial Park on Colorado Street, includes the parade which starts at 9 a.m. on Colorado Street and ends at Broadbent Memorial Park at 6th Street and Avenue B. There will be carnival booths, games, food and drinks at Broadbent Memorial Park from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m., after which the party moves to Veteran’s Memorial Park on Buchanan Blvd. from 4 p.m. until 11 p.m., with fireworks scheduled from 9:30-10:30 p.m.

On the Strip, Caesars, The Stratosphere and Mandalay Bay will all have fireworks on the 4th at 9 p.m.  Mandalay Bay will also have concerts on both the 2nd and 3rd of July with fireworks after each show.

If you happen to be near Station Casinos Red Rock Casino Resort in Summerlin on Charleston & 215 or near Green Valley Ranch Resort in Henderson on 215 & Green Valley Pkwy., they will have their local fireworks shows on July 4th at 9 p.m. lasting approximately 9 minutes at each location.

Pinball-Hall-of-Fame 748

For all those pinball lovers out there, take a ride over to the Pinball Hall of Fame and play some of your new and old favorites. This is not a museum! It is a huge pinball playing complex that is extremely affordable and can keep you in-the-game for hours. It is located on the north side of Tropicana Blvd. between Maryland Pkwy. and Spencer. The machines cost from 25 to 75 cents for a play, depending on the age of the machine. There are several change machines, so you do not have to bring your own quarters. Besides pinball, they have other games, like electronic bowling, Tron, Donkey Kong, Mario Bros., and Pac-Man. You can also buy popcorn and candy for a quarter and all kinds of sodas. Note: No alcohol allowed. Their hours are 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. 7 days a week and until midnight Metro Pizza 3Friday and Saturday.

After your hands tire from pushing those levers, head across the street for lunch at Metro Pizza. They are located on the south side of Tropicana just before Maryland Pkwy. This is a UNLV-student frequented pizza place which has specials Monday through Thursday from 2:30-4:30 with ½ off all their pizzas (except for stuffed).  It has a nice vibe for a pizza place, and they have just changed their draft beer selections from the original Ellis Island brews. They also have a few other locations around the valley.

Pauline Cimoch

The Tank and Town Square

A shark in The Tank at the Golden Nugget, with the transparent tubular water slide in the background (Photo courtesy of the Golden Nugget)
A shark in The Tank at the Golden Nugget, with the transparent tubular water slide in the background (Photo courtesy of the Golden Nugget)

There is more to Diamond Jack than just beautiful women, good food and strong drink. The truly adventurous side of me enjoys many things, especially The Tank at the Golden Nugget downtown. The two-story Tank is a 200,000-gallon live shark aquarium with a three-story enclosed, acrylic waterslide that goes right through the Shark Tank. I ride it often and taunt the sharks before splashing into safe water. I have no fear. The Tank also has waterfalls, 15 private cabanas and a terrific poolside lounge. Located on the third floor is The Hideout, a secluded paradise where guests can party in luxurious cabanas with well-appointed amenities. The infinity pool also gives guests a chance to relax in calming waters while taking in the picturesque view of Downtown Las Vegas.  800-634-3454.

Children's Park at Town Square, Las Vegas
                                            Children’s Park at Town Square (Photo courtesy of Town Square, Las Vegas)

Talk to some folks and they believe summer in Las Vegas is as close to Hades as one is going to get. But we true Las Vegans love the heat and when the going gets hot, the hot get going.  That’s because Town Square Las Vegas, just south of the Strip, is rewarding shoppers with a 15 percent discount when the daily temperature reaches 105 degrees or above. That could be every day between now and the end of September. The official daily weather forecast will be posted on www.mytownsquarelasvegas through the end of the year, and guests who mention the warm weather promotion upon checkout receive discounts at selected stores and restaurants.

Town Square is a 1.2 million square-foot shopping, dining and entertainment center featuring more than 120 stores, 24 restaurants, Whole Foods Market, and multiple entertainment venues. There is even GameWorks, a 37,000-square-foot arcade game floor with an eight-lane bowling alley and an eSports Arena. Want to see a movie? Walk over to the AMC Town Square 18 movie complex or just bring the family to the Children’s Park in Town Square Center and play. Town Square opens Mon.-Sat. at 10 a.m. and Sun. at11 a.m. 702-269-5000.

— Diamond Jack Bulavsky


The Music of ABBA, Cindy Williams On Stage & Gangster Movies

ABBA impersonators

“Arrival From Sweden: The Music of ABBA” will bring the famous group’s pop songs to the Suncoast Showroom July 16 and 17 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets start at $24.ABBA first hit the U.S. and U.K. charts with their #1 1974 hit “Waterloo.”

Tribute band Arrival From Sweden was founded by Vicky Zetterberg in Gothenburg, Sweden, in
1995 and has spent the last two decades performing around the world. Arrival From Sweden is the only ABBA tribute band working with musicians who toured with the original members in the ‘70s, and is also the only tribute to receive an unreleased ABBA song directly from the original artists. In addition, Arrival From Sweden owns the
exclusive rights to duplicate ABBA’s original outfits.

Cindy Williams Will Join ‘Menopause the Musical’ This Summer

Cindy WilliamsCindy Williams, best known for her role as Shirley Feeney in the comedy series“Laverne & Shirley,” will join “Menopause The Musical®” at Harrah’s as a guest star this summer from July 7-Aug. 28. The longest-running scripted musical in Las Vegas history has played 4,200 performances and just celebrated 10 years here.

While Williams is making her Las Vegas debut, this run marks the third time she will perform in “Menopause The Musical®,” having previously appeared in the Tampa, Fla., and Laguna Beach, Calif., productions. The actress will play the role of the fifth girlfriend, joining current cast members. After each performance, Williams will greet fans and sign copies of her memoir, “Shirley, I Jest!”

Performances are Monday through Saturday at 7:30 p.m., and 4 p.m. each Saturday and Monday. Tickets are $49.99, $59.99 and $74.50.

The Mob Museum to host Gangster Movie Series in July

The Mob Museum will again host a Summer Movie Series on four consecutive Fridays in July at 6:45 p.m. in the historic courtroom. Each screening will be preceded by a short presentation providing historical context as well as the real stories behind the film. Movies will include: “Bugsy” – July 8; “The Untouchables” – July 15; “The St.Valentine’s Day Massacre” – July 22; and “Hoffa” – July 29. Each movie is free with museum admission and free for museum members.

Refreshments include a full bar and snacks available for purchase. Attendees may also opt for dinner-and-a-movie night by purchasing The Made Experience package offered in partnership with Triple George Grill located just steps away from the museum.

— Jackie Brett


Lincoln County

Nevada’s Best Kept Secret

Do you know what the best kept secret in Nevada is? We like to say it is Kershaw-Ryan State Park just south of Caliente off U.S. Highway 93.Dave

It’s one of the five state parks that inhabit Lincoln County. It isn’t very big, but it doesn’t have to be to be pretty, and that it is.

Kershaw-Ryan-Nevada State Parks photo

For a summertime getaway, it’s one of the ideal spots in the state. But remember, it’s a secret, so don’t tell anybody.

However, I’ll tell you. Located maybe six miles south on State Route 317 in picturesque Rainbow Canyon, the area was settled in 1873 by Samuel and Hannah Kershaw, who operated a ranch called the Meadow Valley Wash Ranch. In 1904, they sold the property to rancher James Ryan, who donated the land to the state in 1926 to be a public park. The Civilian Conservation Corps developed visitor amenities in 1934, and Kershaw–Ryan State Park was officially established the following year.

Steep canyon walls tower to 700 feet and overlook a long, narrow valley. Early settlers in the area cultivated a garden of grape vines, fruit trees and a grass lawn surrounding a spring-fed pond, providing a beautiful contrast to the rugged landscape. A picnic area, children’s wading pool, playground, group-use area and trails offer visitors nature study, photography, picnicking and hiking, especially the 1.5 mile (2.4 km) Overlook Trail.

Maxwell July 2016The park has a new 15-unit RV and tent campground, and visitors do need to be aware the wading pool has no lifeguard.

A note for bicycle enthusiasts: Kershaw-Ryan is expected to be included in the new International Mountain Bicycling Association trails soon to be created surrounding the Caliente area.

At various times during the summer and early fall, the park shows outdoor movies on a large blowup screen. It has proved quite popular in the few times it has been tried. One should call ahead to see what the movie schedule will be for this season.

In October (Oct. 8 this year)  Kershaw-Ryan is the start and ending point for the popular Park to Park Pedal. It’s a bike ride that takes riders on a number of different directions, usually to a couple of the other close by state parks, Cathedral Gorge at Panaca in particular. But for the more adventurous there is the Nevada Extreme 100 at the same time. It’s a 100-plus mile ride that visits all five state parks in the county. And the best part, the whole day ends with a nice barbeque back at Kershaw-Ryan. People have been known to come from as far away as Texas and Pennsylvania for the riding.

Christmas time is another good showing for the park as they have a Winter wonderland display with a Santa Village for the kids.

Call 775-726-3564, or fax 775-726-3557 for fees and rates.

As we said, Kershaw-Ryan is Nevada’s best kept secret. So how good are you at keeping a secret?

— Dave Maxwell


South Lake Tahoe

Entertainment is the word at South Lake Tahoe in the month of July.  There’s going to be so much fun going on it will make your head spin and your feet tap.  World class music, a celebrity golf tournament and one of the best firework displays in the country are all on tap to make this a very exciting month at the Lake.

harveys summer concert 2The Concert Series at Harveys is entering its fifteenth season and has become a summertime must go here at the South Shore. Whoever is performing, the venue is a great place to see a show, and when the day slips into night you’re treated to another show with a spectacular Lake Tahoe sunset hanging over the stage.  Even top tier entertainers seem to enjoy performing there because they keep coming back time and time again.  There will be seven acts appearing this month alone, with some of biggest names in classic rock history and some current bands that have huge followings.

Starting off the series at Harveys there will be a whole bunch crazy tunes emanating from the outdoor arena with the music of Slightly Stoopid and their Return of the Red Eye Tour on Saturday, July 2 at 6 pm.  Hailing from San Diego, these guys describe their music as a fusion of folk, rock, reggae, and blues with hip-hop, funk, metal, and punk.  The show starts early, with four bands, SOJA, Zion I, The Grouch, and Eligh hitting the stage before Stoopid.  For sure to be a jamming good time, don’t be afraid to inhale at this show.  Then, on Wednesday, July 7, Widespread Panic will hit the stage for a show that is sure to have you partying and shakin’ your booty.  They are jam band road warriors in the same ilk of the Grateful Dead and Phish, but with Southern Rock influence of the Allman Brothers.

harveys smmer concerts

In between those shows of course is our Independence Day, July 4th, and here at Tahoe South we put on one heck of fireworks display.  The Lights on the Lake show, which is shot off from a series of barges directly out from Nevada Beach, was voted in the top five displays in the nation, according to the American Pyrotechnics Association.  The show doesn’t start till 9:45 pm, but the celebration starts early in the day on the beaches of the Lake.  Pick a beach, any beach, and it will be packed with revelers; one must be patient, but the crowds offer a sense of joy, as everyone is trying to have a good time. Zephyr Cove and Nevada Beaches are the most popular, and Round Hill Pines Beach Resort is small and comfortable.  If you live close by, like in the Carson Valley, a quick trip over Spooner Summit or Kingsbury Grade just to see the fireworks is popular too. Pick a vantage point close to Stateline, and you’ll be able enjoy the show.

Back to the music, some big names will be appearing in the middle of the month, and you’ll have a friend in James Taylor, as he sings his seemingly endless array of hits Wednesday, July 13 at 7:30 pm. Sting and Peter Gabriel will be ripping and rocking with their Rock Paper Scissors Tour on Friday, July 15 at 7 pm.  Both Sting and Gabriel will appear together on stage trading off on renditions of each other’s songs and then do solo slots as well.

Golf fans and their boats congregate at the beach along Edgewood's 17th Hole during the American Century golf tournament.
           Golf fans and their boats congregate at the beach along Edgewood’s 17th Hole during the American Century golf tournament.

Then, directly across the street from Harveys and the Stateline casinos at Edgewood Golf Course, the American Century Celebrity Golf Championship will be held, July 19-24.  Sports greats and celebrities combine for some good competitive golf, along with some good laughs and a lot of fun.  Edgewood is a beautiful property, and just strolling around its plush green course in and out of the pine trees is enjoyable too. Take a stroll, watch some golf, sit down on the grass and have lunch, and maybe you can follow Charles Barkley and Kevin Nealon as they make their best attempt at golf while offering great comedy as they make their way around the holes. You’ll definitely  get a chuckle out of their banter.  A great attraction at the tournament is the 17th hole, which is situated right on the beach.  This par 3 is considered the “party hole,” with people jam packed on the beach most of them arriving by boat, cheering on the golfers Happy Gilmore style. “Quiet Please” does not apply here.  The tournament is played Friday through Sunday, but you can attend the practice rounds Wednesday and Thursday for autographs.  Information on tickets at

After the American Century tournament round on Saturday, trade in your golf polo shirts and khaki pants for your cowboy boots and blue jeans. Country star Tim McGraw will perform Saturday night, July 23 at 7:30.  Country shows are usually a spectacle with lots of visual effects, along with plenty of beer. Then, to conclude golf weekend, another heavy hitter of rock n’ roll will belt out the hits, as Don Henley plays a Sunday show July 24 at 8 pm.  Finally, another country star, Keith Urban, will finish off the July lineup at Harveys with two shows, July 27 and July 29.  You can go to for information on tickets.

It’s pretty cool that this small town of Stateline, Nevada will be host to so much big time entertainment in just one month’s time.  But we can all thank that big blue beauty called Lake Tahoe for that.

— Brendan Packer