Nevada Correspondence – June 2016

In this edition:

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



The Snake Valley Festival

The Parade
                                                                                                   The Parade

The big event in Baker in June is the Snake Valley Festival, June 17-19, 2016. This three-day festival, always held the third weekend of June, provides lots of family-friendly fun while raising money for the Great Basin Water Network, which is providing legal and hydrologic expertise to help protect Snake Valley’s water.

Beer tasting at Baker Hall
                                                 Beer tasting at Baker Hall

The Festival kicks off on Friday with a variety of booths and an ice cream social at Baker Hall in the center of town. Choose your flavors and relax to local music while catching up with the happenings around the area. Then it’s time for the beer tasting, with all brews using water from the Great Basin. From 7 to 9 p.m. there’s a silent auction of selected items.

Saturday morning start the day at the community breakfast and then browse the yard sale (name-your-own-price), book sale, and other booths. At 10 a.m. watch the small town parade. It goes around town twice, just to make sure you see everything well! Then the free  kids’ games and solar telescope viewing start on the Baker Hall lawn, and inside is a giant silent auction and pie/bake sale.

Musical entertainment on the Baker Hall lawn
                                                                    Musical entertainment on the Baker Hall lawn

When you work up your appetite, lunch options start at the Community center and food booths. From 1 – 3 p.m.

The Kids' Race
                                                The Kids’ Race

there is free entertainment on the Baker Hall lawn. A lot of the activities wind down about 3 p.m. That means it’s time for the massive water fight at the Baker playground. Bring your water guns and be prepared to get soaked! The free hour-long water fight leaves everyone who enters the field drenched. Spectators can stay on the side in a safe area.

New this year to the festival schedule is the luau at the Whispering Elms at 4 p.m. Wear your best Hawaiian shirt! Then there’s the perennial favorite BBQ at the Border Inn beginning at 5:30 p.m. At 7 p.m., the winners of the 50:25:25 raffle and road art contest will be announced. Then it’s time for the Pageant and Talent Show. Anyone can enter, and four age categories help make more winners! The talent is just a minute long and in the past has included setting up a tent, giving a haircut, telling jokes while lifting weights, and eating a stick of butter. You don’t know what you will see! Winners are determined by a money vote and crowned. If you still have energy, check out Great Basin National Park’s astronomy program at 8:30 p.m.

Sunday there’s just one event, but it’s a great one: the Snake Valley Slither 5k/10k and Kids’ Race. This starts at the Baker Fuel and RV station and is a trail run/walk. Slither your way to the finish line and you’re rewarded with a homemade Orange Julius or mochacino.

To get all the details, check out the Snake Valley Festival website. This is the biggest event for the town for the entire year, and it’s a lot of fun!

— Gretchen Baker


Boulder City

The Magic Forest of Wee Thump

Boulder City is really at the intersection of so many crossroads. While in Boulder City one just needs walk to Highwy 93, and if you go north you can reach Alaska, and if you turn south you can walk to Chile. Now that to me is very cool to think about. Not that I’d ever do it, though I met a man who did.

Boulder City, and Las Vegas for that matter, is near the northern boundary of the Mojave Desert and a bit south of the southern boundary of the Great Basin. The Mojave is probably most known as a California desert, and it mostly is. Those Northerners grumble that Southern Nevada is really more of a suburb of California, and it probably is. But no one minds all the revenue Las Vegas being the party town of the world brings in to the State’s coffers.

SUV & Joshua TreeIf there is one plant that distinguishes the Mojave it’s the Joshua Tree. Who am I to say what is a tree. but I’ve been told the Joshua Tree is really a member of the lily family, and if one stares at them long enough a family resemblance is noticeable, though that’s definitely not your first impression. Somewhat like finding an early tribal line of The Queen of England in some lost Druid cave. I have always thought the Joshua Tree to be a Dr. Suess character come to life. With it’s swirling branches and pointy sharp appendages it could look like a profit from the Old Testament or countless other men, beasts and demons, depending on the right light and state of mind.

Now, if you are in the mood of to visit the trees, you’re in the right place. Although Boulder City is at 2,500 feet elevation above sea level and Joshua Trees start growing at around 3,000 feet, it is the backdoor to the Mohave Preserve National Monument in California. If you’re the kind of person who enjoys entering things through the back door, you see all kinds of things normal, polite guests don’t see. But, also, you don’t always get to see things people get to see coming through the front. Like signs and good directions. In this country it is best to have a good map and not rely solely on GPS, which notoriously take people down non-existent routes where they get stranded and die because there is no cell phone service.  Let’s go for a drive and see the homes of celebrities and famous politicians; enchanted forest small towns, alien and man-made marvels, gigantic art, infamous saloons, and amazing views. All within good day-tripping distance, and you can still get back for a quick nap and dinner. Also, bring a guide book because this narrative is not a complete description of the entire journey. And, again, be sure to bring a good map.

Joshua Tree Wee Thump 2

One of the grandest Joshua Tree forests can be found in the Wee Thump Wilderness Area south of Boulder City and west of Searchlight, the place where Senator Harry Reid grew up. Searchlight is a 45-minute drive south on Highway 95 through the El Dorado Valley. You will pass a huge mining operation for gravel on your right just above the huge gravel consuming I-11 Boulder City Bypass, which will in 2017 go around Boulder City. Taking away a ton of traffic coming through this fair city, but scaring the local businesses. As an example of fear-producing images, drive Route 66 to visit many dying or dead towns. Boulder City will have to survive on our good looks, hospitality and this correspondent’s post to survive. Please share this with your friends.

El Dorado Valley. Light area in the distance is the dry lake bed; dark area in the right foreground is a lava flow.
                    El Dorado Valley. Light area in the distance is the dry lake bed; dark area in the right foreground is a lava flow.

Next, we cross the Dry Lake Bed, home to many an adventure, if you’ve lived in BC for any length of time. if you look carefully out there you might see drones flying. Boulder City has been designated a drone test by the FAA. Really. We’re even building a drone port. After the lake, which sometimes is a lake filled with water where ancient brine shrimp, also known as Sea Monkeys in old comic books, hatch, grow, mate, lay eggs, and die, live. We are now gloriously going down the El Dorado Valley. For the city of Boulder City it is a golden

valley with photovoltaic cells paying leases to the only city with no gaming in Nevada. Past Keyhole Canyon to the west, which is another story,  we pass into the land of the Joshua Tree, so we know we’ve reached the 3,000 feet level. Passing an old gravel pit made famous by the Sharon Angle Senate campaign against Harry Reid, where Sara Palin, the Governor of Alaska and Vice Presidential candidate, rallied the angry mobs. After slowing down after all the warning signs or getting a ticket, whichever comes first, take a hard right on Nevada Highway 164, The Joshua Tree Highway.

Over on the right hand side, across from the trailer park there is a somewhat ornate for the area, gate with a long drive to a noble but somewhat modest house. That used to be Senator Reid’s place. Definitely not the shack he was born in, but nice. With age and convenience he has a place in Henderson now, I hear,  the better to get swatted by your exercise machine.

Rex Bell and Clara Bow's home on their Walking Box Ranch is surrounded by Joshua Trees.
                                      Rex Bell and Clara Bow’s home on their Walking Box Ranch is surrounded by Joshua Trees.

Highway 164 is one of those great roads to have in your backyard. Spring brings wildflowers, from the tiny belly busters early in the year to the cactus blooms which go through the summer. On the left hand side of the road there will be a small sign for Walking Box Ranch. Legendary “It Girl” Clara Bow and her cowboy movie star husband Rex Bell built their dream house out here in the middle of the Joshua Tree Forest. It was a working cattle ranch of over 400,000 acres. They brought along their movie star friends, like Clark Gable, Carole Lombard, Errol Flynn, and Lionel Barrymore.

Walking Box Ranch view 2 from house

The ranch itself is owned by the BLM and managed by UNLV. It is not open to the public except at special public viewing events. The photos taken for this post were taken during one of those events. If you’re driving down to the ranch you can still walk it’s perimeter and get a cool experience. By the way, this road is also one of those roads where you tell yourself, “I gotta see whats down that road.” This particular road heads into the New York Mountains. (Bring a good map).

Going west toward Nipton, California you’re going uphill toward the pass above. About halfway up the hill is The Wee Thump Wilderness Area. Wee Thump, according to Wikipedia, means “Ancient Ones” to the Paiute. And the Joshua Trees certainly are that. Some are over a thousand years old. There are roads that skirt the edge of the Wilderness Area. Try going real slow. I’d recommend a 4-wheel-drive vehicle that has a low range and just let the vehicle slowly crawl through the landscape. Going under 5 mph does a couple of good things, like allowing you to see wildlife and critters in general. Stop and get out, take a walk and look around, and find something to smell, like Agave Blooms.

A dense grove of Joshua Trees in the Wee Thump Wilderness Area
                                                         A dense grove of Joshua Trees in the Wee Thump Wilderness Area

You crest the summit of Hwy 164 near the radio tower. Woah, that make sense.  Rolling downhill towards Nipton California, Powerball Capital of the Crescent Mining District, look towards your right down into the valley, and you will go, “Wow! What the heck is that?” What you’ll see are three huge towers glowing white, surrounded by focused mirrors which are heating molten salt that is boiling steam and making electricity for the epic consumption of  western California. I can’t describe it, but it makes me feel like I have just entered the future.

Down to Nipton, I try to stop in the little store and buy something. For the old timers in Boulder City, Nipton is where you went to buy your California Lottery tickets, lotteries being illegal in Nevada because of it’s gambling. The west is full of these ironies that make for interesting stories about all of us. One thing you should do is stop near the store and the tracks and read the interpretive signs about the area. I swear, by the time your done you will be Googling Clara Bow. Or. if your really bored, go check out the railroad tracks and see what you find. It could be a train. Or put your head against the tracks and listen. Don’t burn your ear if the sun’s out, and if you hear a really low rumble, move your head.

The solar power station at Primm, Nevada, near the California state line

                                                    The solar power station at Primm, Nevada, near the California state line

Now, if you started this trip around sunrise you might be getting a little hungry or thirsty. Well across the valley and up the hill is I-15 and all the possibilities major transportation corridors present. Or you could go south on Ivanpah Road and explore the Mojave National Preserve, if you have a lot of gas, food, water, etc., because there’s not a lot of commerce or adventure down that road. (Bring a good map.) But my suggestion, if the friend you’re with has to catch a plane in the late afternoon, is to head up I-15, get off at Jean and take a little detour to Goodsprings — especically to the Pioneer Saloon. On the way to Goodsprings, though, you’ll probably notice “Seven Magic Mountains” by Ugo Rondinone,  a fluorescent earthwork you can’t miss. If you do, you shouldn’t be driving. I love earthworks. One of the most famous “Earth art” artists of all, Michael Heizer, did one of his early works here, making a trench in the dry lake bed. His “City” is the jewel of the Great Basin National Monument and “Double Negative” is in the Canyons above Moapa. While you’re in the area, don’t miss Robert Smithson’s  Spiral Jetty in the Great Salt Lake. Okay, that’s a bit of a drive, but the West is big, with lots to see.

The Pioneer Saloon is my favorite dive biker bar and historical spot with a story to tell. I’ve stopped by there for years, and today it really has more of an upscale feel than in days past. Not necessarily less like a dive, but now they have serious barbecue and craft beers. The first time I stopped there with my then young  children, I stopped to take a photo. Two of the friendly local biker girls wanted to be a part of the photo and show off what I found to be the town salute by counting to three and showing my son what I’m sure were his first nude breasts out in public. The saloon first gained national fame as the place that Clark Gable sat, drank, got drunk, and waited to learn the fate of of his wife, Carole Lombard, who was found dead in a plane crash on nearby Mount Potosi. The tragedy has a Boulder City connection, as her plane was supposed to take off from the Boulder City Airport but instead took off from what is now Nellis AFB. Evidently the auto pilot was set for a departure from Boulder City, resulting in the crash. Should have brought a good map.

From Jean, for a little bonus adventure, take the Old Spanish Trail going northwest of the town up over some low-lying hills where you come out looking at Red Rock Canyon. Hit Highway 160 coming from Pahrump, turn on the map app, and go back to Boulder City. You might still have time to take a nap before dinner.

All photos by Alan Goya, GOYAphotography

— Alan Goya


Carson Valley

Hike of the Month

Upper Sweetwater Canyon
                                                                                            Upper Sweetwater Canyon

In under an hour’s drive from Carson Valley lies a most majestic, surprising and unpopulated mountain range: the Sweetwaters. This month we chose to hike up Sweetwater Canyon, just south of Smith Valley, off Hwy 338. The Sweetwater Canyon Road is clearly marked with a wooden BLM sign. We drove about two miles on this moderately traverseable dirt road until it became untraverseable by us in my Honda CRV (i.e. a creek was running across it!).

Hiking on Sweetwater Canyon Road
                                    Hiking on Sweetwater Canyon Road

We then headed up the canyon for the sweetest and most unexpected hike! Beginning in drier desert terrain, the trail soon lead us through thick stands of aspen, enormous Ponderosa and Jeffrey Pines, and impressive displays of wildflowers. Jumping over the stream in a couple of places was fun and challenging (although it will likely soon get easier!)  And finding a charming well-maintained cabin along the trail was a delightful suprise! We stopped to explore, read the log book, and play a quick game of horseshoes before heading up the trail. There is even a makeshift hot shower at this cabin, which can be used by the public as long as it is well cared-for.

Our favorite part of the hike was rounding the last bend to watch a dramatic alpine wonderland unfold before our eyes, complete with jagged peaks and snowfields! This dramatic alpine scenery surely rivals anything in the High Sierra. As usual, we did not encounter a single human soul on our 8-hour journey. (As for the wildlife, I am sad to report that I inadvertently reduced the population by one when I ran over a rabbit in the road on the way home.) As there is always the possibility of getting lost or stuck in the mud or snow, please be more responsible than we were and make sure to tell a friend where you are going and when to expect you back!


It is hard to believe June is here already, and with it the biggest

event of the year, the 106th Annual Carson Valley Days, June 9-12 at Lampe Park in Gardnerville. This beloved event features a carnival complete with nausea-inducing rides and food, old-fashioned games like greased pole climbing and eating contests, horseshoe and basketball tournaments, free live music throughout the weekend, a 5K/10K run, and the featured event, the Carson Valley Days Parade, on Saturday morning (this year’s theme is “A Pirate’s Life”). According to the Gardnerville Record-Courier, this event dates back to 1910, when over 700 Reno and Carson City residents came by Virginia and Truckee trains. It is now headed up by the Carson Valley Active 2030 Club, an inspirational group of rowdy, fun-loving adults dedicated to improving their community.

Kids Fishing DerbyThere are so many things that make me happy to live in the Carson Valley and feel privileged to have raised a family here. The Annual Kids’ Fishing Derby at Lampe Park is one of them. All kids age 3 to 12 are invited to participate for free; they can even borrow gear if they have none. The small “Willow Creek” is amply stocked, and there are lots of kindly volunteers present to ensure that every kid has a fun and successful experience. So even if fishing isn’t your thing, your kids will get “hooked” on the sport! Just be sure to sign up in advance (fills up fast) and buy some raffle tickets (great prizes) to support this free, all-volunteer event.

If fresh organic produce, free live music, food and craft booths, and strolling around on a warm summer night is your thing, you will be thrilled to know that the Minden Farmer’s Markets are back, everyTuesday evening from 4-8 on Esmeralda Street near the CVIC Hall. The Wednesday morning market is also back from 9-1 with a move from Lampe Park to the Episcopal Church on Esmeralda.

Concerts in the Park is featuring Nathan Owens Motown and Soul  Review on June 17 at 6:30 at Minden Park, and Movies in the Park starts back up with Night at the Museum on June 24 at Heritage Park (starts at dusk). Both events are completely free and wildly popular.

Something I am really excited for this year is the Genoa Concerts on the Green series, starting June 12 from 5-7 pm at Genoa Park. I like the feel of the smaller, old-fashioned venue (bring a picnic basket and blanket) and the homegrown music from the likes of the Sagebrush Rebels and the Quake City Jug Band.

— Amy Meeks



Waterfalls and wildflowers

clarke-waterfall longJune greetings from Elko. This is my first post, and I’m happy to be sharing stories about Elko and the surrounding area.

Clarke-June'16-08I’ve been enjoying the beauty of the Ruby Mountains for many years now, and I know that each season has something unique to offer.  If I had to pick a favorite season, it would be spring time when the flowers are in bloom and the waterfalls are rushing.  With the good snow pack and spring rains we’ve been getting, the Ruby Mountains will be putting on quite a show this spring and into the summer months. Lamoille Canyon is the best place to see this splendid display of nature. Just 20 miles outside of Elko, the Lamoille Canyon Scenic Byway provides easy paved access to the canyon.  For the next few months the canyon walls will be sporting seasonal waterfalls, and the slopes will be dotted with wildflowers. (I’m sharing some pictures taken by Gary and Susanne Reese in April with some of my own taken in early May.)Clarke-June'16-07

Good Eats

If you have tried the food trucks in Portland, Oregon, you know that great food can be found on many street corners. For about two years now, Elko has been home to “Guerrilla Craft Eats.” Ryan and Andrea are cooking up terrific food on the corner of Silver Street and 5th Street in downtown Elko that rivals Portland’s best. Check out their menu HERE.

June Events

Trail Days at the California Trail Museum. Come and see Great Basin history come to life with displays, demonstrations and re-enactments during this annual event. This event is set to June 4-6. The highlight for me last year was the contra and square dancing with live music by Southwind. For more info see their webpage HERE.

— Douglas Clarke



Ely’s Renaissance Village Has New Residents

In 2005, the Ely Renaissance Society purchased a piece of property from the Geraghty family that they had owned since 1911. Nine small houses, a barn, general store, and miners’ cabin were located on this site.

In the years since, many improvements have been made. Each house has been restored and furnished so they look just like they did in the early 1900’s. The original wood stoves, wringer washers and the other furnishings have been carefully restored, so walking through the houses is a journey back in time.


Each house is dedicated for a different ethnicity to represent the mix of people who came to the area to work in the mines, on the ranches or to run businesses. The Geraghtys were originally from England, so their house is the English house. Also represented are the French and Spanish houses for the Basque people, the Italians, Greeks, Slovaks, and Asians who lived and worked here. The miners’ cabin is the typical one-room cabin that was found in any of the mining camps around the state. The general store is now the gift shop, which offers local history books, collectables and stick candy.  Together these homes make up what is now known as the Ely Renaissance Village.

Also added to the Village is a stage and amphitheater where entertainment can be provided. This area has been used for weddings and large group gatherings. A concession area has a roll-out counter for use with large dinners and bars. A covered pavilion was added in 2015. This is used for the Farmers Market that takes place in August and September.

This year will see the addition of the stories of 24 local ladies being added to the houses. Photos and short

The kitchen in the French House
                                                          The kitchen in the French house

biographies of each lady, along with personal effects such as clothing and equipment, will add a deeper understanding of what life was like here 100 years ago. While the men came for jobs, the women came to make homes, raise families and create a community from the mining camp.

A well-documented book tells the full story of each lady with family photos and written biographies.  Descendants of each lady have supplied information, family histories and personal items to bring the stories to life. The book is on sale in the gift shop.

Now, walking into each house, you can enjoy seeing the period homes and learn about the actual ladies who lived and worked here in the early 1900’s. The Village is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays beginning May 28 and running through the end of September.

No visit to Ely would be complete without a stop at the Ely Renaissance Village located in the 400 block of Ely Street in downtown Ely.  More information can be found at the Ely Renaissance Society website.

— Lorraine Clark


Las Vegas

The Park

Diamond Jack was born and raised in Kansas City, MO, and he knows parks. Kansas City is home to some great parks, including the 1,805-acre Swope Park, one of the largest urban parks in the United States.

The Park

Las Vegas now has The Park, the outdoor dining and entertainment district between New York-New York and Monte Carlo. There’s not a lot of green, but it does celebrates the surrounding desert landscape and is designed to be a gathering space where guests can admire unique design elements and iconic art. It is also the gateway to the new 20,000-seat T-Mobile Arena.

Unique water features add unexpected visuals, as do dramatic plantings incorporating a variety of desert blooms. Then there is Bliss Dance, the 40-foot-tall sculpture of a dancing woman created by artist Marco Cochrane. She stands as the centerpiece of The Park and is illuminated by nearly 3,000 colored LED lights at night.

When it’s time to eat, there are a number of casual restaurants and bars with indoor/outdoor seating. Start at Beerhaus, an American beer hall serving sustainably raised farm-to-table meats, regional craft brews, live music, and games such as foosball, shuffleboard and ping pong.

Bruxie at the Park LVShake Shack is known for its all-natural burgers, flat-top dogs and frozen custard. California Pizza Kitchen blends seasonal ingredients for its signature hand-tossed pizzas and unique pastas and salads.  Sake Rok has sushi and Japanese cuisine and becomes a high-profile social dining extravaganza at night inspired by Japan’s pop culture and fashion movements. Bruxie is the casual, gourmet waffle restaurant that serves sandwiches on a light, crisp and not too sweet authentic Brussels Waffle.

After a day in The Park, Diamond Jack and his double diamond wife Marilyn may decide to stay on the Strip, and when we do we head over to either the Wynn or Encore resorts. That’s because all guest rooms and suites come with 507-thread count, 100 percent Egyptian cotton sheets. Wynn Resorts invested $9 million for these linens and are the only hotels in the world to offer a thread count this high.  It will be a good night’s sleep. P.S. The linens are available for purchase at both properties.

— Diamond Jack Bulavsky


Summertime, summertime, sum-sum summertime!

Remember that song by The Jamies in 1958? While a lot of people will not remember this song from way back then, it still applies every year at this time! If you would like to recall the tune or hear it for the first time you can find a YouTube of it through Google. Let’s kick off the season with a few activities for your enjoyment in Las Vegas.

Slidethecity 09If you are into slip n’ slides, take a trip on June 4 to Henderson’s Slide The City. The slide is 3 football fields in length (1,000 feet) and you can slide from noon until 5 p.m. The slide is located on Shaded Canyon Drive — yes, on the street. The street is padded by the slide, so have no fear of asphalt burns! A Triple Slide ticket gives you 3 slides for $40 if ordered by June 4th. The price is $45 on the day of the event. The Ultimate Slider is $60 and you can ride as many times as you like from 9 a.m. until noon. You will receive an inflatable tube (which you must have in order to ride anyway), a mouth guard and a drawstring bag with either of these tickets. If you purchase a Single Slider ticket it does not include the inflatable tube, so, bring one or buy one. Also, food and entertainment will be at this long block party for the whole family.

Saturday, June 11 from noon until 11 p.m., Reggae in the Desert will return to the Clark County Amphitheater for its 15th year. General admission is $40 and VIP is $120 which includes a t-shirt, poster, air-conditioned area with rest rooms and couches (welcome respite from the heat!), a cash bar and meet & greet area with the artists. No food or beverages except a personal unopened water bottle are allowed in; however, you can bring a blanket, sunscreen and a still camera (no video). Island-type food and beverages are available for purchase. There will also be Caribbean arts and crafts to bargain for and food vendors. Note: There is no re-entry to the event.

Reggae in the Desert

June 11th also is the day for Junefest at Sunset Station’s Outdoor Amphitheater in Henderson.  For a little bit of nostalgia, the featured performers are Pat Benatar, Lou Gramm (Foreigner), The English Beat and Big Bad Voodoo Daddy.  The concerts begin at 4 p.m. and prices start at $29.

If you have not tried Salsa (dancing, not the sauce) you are in for a treat at the 13th annual Las Vegas Salsa Congress taking place at the Tropicana Hotel & Casino.  The event takes place June 30 through July 4th, and a hot time will be had by all!  There is a pre-party at the Hard Rock Live (on the Strip, not at the Hard Rock Hotel on Paradise) beginning at 10 p.m. on June 30th that runs until 4 a.m. (yes, a.m.).  The cost is $15 in advance or $20 at the door.  Each day has a different schedule of shows, workshops and dancing, and ticket prices run from $30 in advance to $50 at the door each day.  But keep in mind that each day starts at 8 a.m. and ends at 5 a.m. the next day!  The question is, “Can you keep up?”

— Pauline Cimoch



AVI Features the Blues on Thursday Nights

Lionel Young will be performing on June 2. His Lionel Young Band, winners of numerous awards for best in and around the Colorado region, won the 2011 International Blues Challenge (IBC) band competition. Adding Young’s victory at the 2008 IBC in the solo-duo category, he became the first double champion in the history of the IBC. Fans of the driven, classically trained Young enjoy his distinctive brand of blues on the electric violin.

Rod Piazza (Copyright Franky Bruneel)
               Rod Piazza (Copyright Franky Bruneel)

Rod Piazza will appear on June 9. At this point in his career, Piazza has been recording since he started as a leader in 1967 fronting The Dirty Blues Band, has won multiple W.C. Handy Awards with his current band The Mighty Flyers

, and made countless appearances both live and on record with legendary blues figures. Piazza has set a standard for harmonica virtuosity that has established him as one of the most influential living blues harp players. The core of his band has been together for more than three decades.

Bex Marshall will be performing on June 16. UK British Blues Award winner Bex Marshall’s unique style of guitar playing is a combined technique of slide, blues rock, ragtime and roots pickin’. Her voice is a powerful melting pot of old black woman’s heartache and rock diva soul. Bex is a writer of distinction and notability, she pushes the boundaries of blues, her songs have been called timeless, touches of genius, and now with anything up to a 7 piece band, she is literally a musical tornado. Bex Marshall was nominated to the top three in Best Solo/Acoustic Artist 2015 in the European Blues Awards and won an award at the UK’s Blues Awards 2013 for Best British Blues Vocalist and album.

The Edgewater Is All About Comedy Every Weekend

“Comedy on the Edge” at the Edgewater every weekend books two different comedians in the Inferno Showroom. Upcoming comedians include: June 3-5 Manny Hernandez and Courtney Scheuerman; June 10-12 Danny Martinez and Phil Johnson; June 17-19 Tamer Kattan and Ricky Reyes; June 24-26 Anthony Padilla and Mike Vitiello; July 1-3 Jimmy DellaValle and Jeremy Wieand; and July 8-10 Randy Lubas and Olivia Harewood. Shows are Friday through Sunday at 7 p.m. Tickets are $10, and on Sunday veterans get a $2 discount.

Many Hernandez 2Manny Hernandez is paired with Courtney Scheuerman June 3-5. Hernandez is also a 20-year veteran of the comedy circuit having honed his craft since age 18. His material is built around family and life observations. Hernandez has performed in major comedy clubs and with Paul Rodriguez, Jamie Foxx and Eddie Griffin. He has traveled to many military bases to perform for U.S. troops and been a regular on TV, appearing on “Que Locos,” “Loco Comedy Jam,” “Latino Laugh Fest,” etc.

Danny Martinez - Edgewater 2Danny Martinez will share the stage with Phil Johnson June 10-12. Martinez’s observations about family, wife, kids, mom, and TV have kept him in jokes for more than 30 years. He has worked with other comics such as George Lopez, Paul Rodriguez, the Smothers Brothers and Rodney Carrington, worked on TV and at a number of major comedy clubs throughout the country.

Tamer Kattan and Ricky Reyes will provide the laughs June 17-19. Kattan’s material is pretty much adult in nature, satirical, and with some political commentary. This Egyptian-born American was born into a family of Muslims, Christians and Jews, leaving him incredibly comfortable in the uncomfortable and an outsider. From schoolyard bullies to an abusive father, comedy became his underdog weapon. He’s now an award winning international comedian with TV and commercial credits in the United States and United Kingdom. Kattan has a deep understanding of the human condition. He was featured on Seth Rogen’s Hilarity for Charity event with Todd Glass and Hannibal Buress, won the 2015 World Series of Comedy and has many TV and radio credits.

Anthony Padilla at EdgewaterAnthony Padilla is with Michael Vitiello June 24-26. Padilla tells everyday stories about life with a bit of edginess and interacts with the audience. He was Louie Anderson’s opening act for a year in Las Vegas and worked with Bobby Collins, Steve Rossi, Jim Florentine, Grandma Lee, and Rachel Feinstein, among others. He headlined his own show for three years in Las Vegas. Padilla currently hosts his own podcast “The Chips and Salsa Podcast,” has appeared on “American Restoration,” and performed multiple times on the late night talk show “The After After Party with Steven Michael Quezada.”

Special Events in the Offing

Chefs Food Fest Laughlin 2The annual Chefs Food Fest will be held Thursday, June 9 in the Aquarius Ballroom at 5:30 p.m. This community event has casino food and beverage departments, local restaurants and spirit/wine distributors going all out to impress judges and attendees with their best food and creative displays. Guests get to sample all that is available at this fundraiser for River Fund, Inc. Tickets are $50 and sell out quickly, call the Laughlin Chamber of Commerce at 702-298- 2214 or visit the office at 1585 Casino Drive.

Another local fundraising event will be held Friday, July 15 at 6 p.m. Fiesta! is an annual margarita making contest for on the rocks and blended categories presented by Western Arizona Regional Medical Center with 100 percent of the proceeds benefitting Boys & Girls Clubs of the Colorado River. Tickets are $25 and $30 at the door; call 928- 763-1411 or visit for advance tickets or information.

The next Tom & Sharon’s Dance Party happenings will be held in The Karoake Dance Club at the Riverside on Saturdays, June 4 and 25 from 1:30-4 p.m. Dance moves go from swing and country to ballroom and Latin. There is an admission fee. Call Tom and Sharon Craddock at 928-444- 4067.

The all-day International Gift and Craft Show will be held at the Tropicana June 1 and 12 starting at 10 a.m. The show will feature several vendors showcasing handmade items such as exotic Indian skirts and tops, belly dancing and Zumba apparel, jewelry, scarves, Pashminas, Native American jewelry and pottery, pain relieving oils and sea salts, etc. Admittance is free.

Another International Gift and Craft Show will be held at the Edgewater in the Taos Room June 18 and 19 from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. This show will again have vendors with a wide range of items, plus home decorations, candles, picture frames, keepsake boxes, and more.

— Jackie Brett


Lincoln County

Beaver Dam 49er Gravel Grinder

For bicycle enthusiasts to start the summer season, the Nevada State Parks offer the 4th annual Gravel Grinder, scheduled for June 18 in Lincoln County.

Josh Ivins, park supervisor at both Cathedral Gorge and Beaver Dam State Parks, said the traditional 35-mile course will be much the same. “It’s a bit more intense than runs on paved roads, and we are encouraging participants to not use narrow gauge tires. They’ll blow out quickly. Full mountain bike tires are best. It’s a great fat tire experience.”

Gravel Grinder Lincoln County 550-BBeginning at Beaver Dam, it is a beautiful ride and scenery in the mountains of eastern Lincoln County. “Our roads looks to be in really good condition this year,” Ivins said. “If you have attended before come out again. If not, make this year the year you do.”

Ivins said there are three routes being planned from 10 to 50 miles.  Lunch will be served at the midway stop in Barclay, with its picturesque historic church building, and a BBQ dinner at the end back at Beaver Dam Park.

It’s a chance for a complete weekend experience, even for families. Camp sites are available at one of the two park campgrounds. Beaver Dam State Park is about 35 miles east of Caliente, or a motel room can be booked in Caliente.

Registration fee is only $40 and can be done online at

One of Nevada’s best kept secrets, Lincoln County offers numerous hidden gems, and Beaver Dam State Park is one of them. From its deep canyons to its highest peaks, the Park’s unique volcanic rock formations and juniper, pinyon and pine forests offer visitors a place to unplug and unwind for the daily routine. It’s an opportunity to get into the beautiful back country, a side of Nevada that most people do not experience. It is true that Las Vegas may be the best known destination, but there is so much more in the state to explore than downtown on the Strip.

Beaver-Dam-State-Park Nevada State Parks photo

While the Beaver Dam Gravel Grinder is not a race, but is, rather,  a casual, recreational ride, there are a number of “gravel grinder” events in the U.S. that are races. According to Mark Orton, USA Cycling certified Level 1 coach, “Gravel grinders are gravel road races and rides that combine riding on surfaces such as asphalt, gravel, dirt, some single-track trails and maintenance or B roads. The courses vary from hard-packed dirt to softball-sized rocks. “

The ride is intended to be fun yet challenging. It can be a grueling course traveling over gravel and dirt roads, some with rocky sections that may test your endurance, while at the same time offering many spectacular vistas that make the effort worthwhile.The prize is not only the wonderful scenic views you will enjoy; when you reach the end, there will be delicious food. Who can do better than that?

From a technical point of view, this ride is not skinny-tire road bike friendly. If you have a fat-tire bike, mountain bike, cyclocross bike, or adventure/all-purpose bike, you will be able to do this ride. It does emphasize radical self-reliance and features few amenities. You need to be technically savvy and bring any gear you might need to replace or fix tires, chains, or any other possible pitfalls. There will be stops along the way with water and snacks, but also  make sure to bring any special food or drink you like to have while riding. The course will be marked, and Park Rangers will be driving the route and can even bring a person in, if necessary.

Sign-in packet pick-up will be from 5 – 6:30 p.m. at the Campground B Group Use Area on Friday, June 17. The ride begins at 7:30 a.m. Saturday morning at the B Group Use Area and ends there as well about 3 p.m., followed by the BBQ dinner.

If you chose to stay in Caliente Friday night, you are asked to call or text 775-843-9504 to sign in.

Another very popular biking event, the Park-to-Park Pedal, and Extreme 100, takes place in Lincoln County in early October.

Dave Maxwell



Reno Street Food and More

An experience that most people know all too well is the dreaded “Where do you wanna eat?” debate. Well, at Reno Street Food,” a food cart event every Friday from May 20th through September 30th at Idlewild Park, everybody can be food 4 -Charlotte Junehappy. With over 25 vendors, there are plenty of options! The party starts at 5 pm and continues on until 9 pm. We went down to check it out last Friday, and I got an Indian taco topped with all the goods from Muha’s Indian Tacos, while my boyfriend chose to get a pulled pork sandwich and mac & cheese from the Famous Dave’s Truck. Then, we headed over to the Sierra Nevada Cart, where we each tried one of their truly satisfying draft beers. Although it happened to be a really cold night, we still had a blast. I can only imagine what a great time it will be as the weather gets warmer. Everybody seemed very excited to kick off this event and to celebrate the summer with food, drinks, and live music. The couple that runs the Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. cart told us enthusiastically of their plans to set up cornhole games and to create a fun environment for everyone! I was very satisfied with the experience and really look forward to many more Food Cart Fridays at Idlewild Park this summer.

More exciting news: Slide the City is coming to Reno! An epic 1,000-foot water slide will be set up downtown. This event seems like the perfect way to spend the first Saturday in June! It is described as a giant water-themed slide the city 4block party in the city. People are encouraged to bring water buckets, water guns and anything else that can help to get everybody completely soaked! There will be food and drinks, live music and much more. Tickets to go on the slide and more information about the event can be found on the Slide the City website. To top it off, proceeds will go to the non-profit organization Royal Stage, which helps victims of abuse and human trafficking.  What a great opportunity to have fun, stay cool, and support a good cause all at the same time!

nadadada 5Want to be a part of a truly unique event in Reno? NadaDada is it! Every year on the third weekend of June, artists of all shapes and forms get together at participating motels in Reno (including the wildflower Village, Townhouse, and Morris Burner) to create NadaDada. Participating artists rent a room for the weekend and turn it into their own gallery, workshop, stage, or whatever else their artist heart tells them to. The rooms are open for the public and other artists to go check out. Some participants will be selling their work, while others will be displaying their talents, and who knows what else these artists have in mind. Bottom line is NadaDada is truly creativity at its finest! It is a great opportunity to take in a new and unique experience, meet new people, and simply just have fun! This year’s 10th annual event will be held June 16-19. More information on the event itself, the participating motels and artists, and even how to book your own NadaDada room can be found at their official website or on their Facebook page.

As a music junkie, I’d also like to share with you some of the awesome concerts taking place in and around Reno this month. On June 11th  the classic Motown group The Temptations will be playing at Montbleu Resort in South Lake Tahoe, a short drive from Reno. The Opiuo Band (a creative electro-funk band) will be putting on a show June 9th at Cargo in the Whitney Peak Hotel. Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros will be at Cargo on June 12th . Grand Sierra Resort will be hosting The Killers on June 16th, and the legendary horn-rock band Chicago on June 25th.

Charlotte Meeks


Silver City

Silver City Welcomes Visitors to Its Free Summer Events

When you’re exploring the Comstock and northwestern Nevada this summer, Silver City has lots to offer, and at an elevation of 5,000 feet, the town is usually cooler in the summer than its valley neighbors. Each summer the historic community offers free public programming in arts and science, with something to appeal to every age group, from toddlers to elders. These events are opportunities to explore one of the hidden gems of the Comstock.

Painting in the park in Silver City
                                                                                 Painting in the park in Silver City

Just one block east of the Silver City Post Office on Main Street (otherwise known as State Route 342) you’ll find the town’s shaded park, which includes a large lawn, new playground equipment, picnic tables, and a basketball court. The park is adjacent to Silver City’s unusual community center, which is based on the town’s original 1860s school house. Silver City is located on the Comstock about 3 miles from Virginia City, 7 miles from Dayton, and 12 miles from Carson City. The park and community center (School House) are located at 385 High Street.

Following is a small sample of some of the free public events being offered this summer at the Silver City School House Community Center and Park. Stop by the Silver City Post Office and check the community bulletin board for additional events:

Poet and social justice activist Shaun Griffin
           Poet and social justice activist Shaun Griffin

Reading by Shaun Griffin, Sunday, June 5th at 4pm at the School House, sponsored by Silver City Arts group. Shaun Griffin will read from his new memoir Anthem for a Burnished Land. Shaun is not only one of the West’s highly admired poets, he’s also been a great friend to rural communities across Nevada through his work as director of the Virginia City-based social justice agency Community Chest Inc. He’ll be reading from his memoir, a vivid record of his life in Nevada that describes the state’s spectacular scenic beauty, and efforts by he and his wife Deborah Loesch Griffin to bring about social change. The event will include hors d’oeuvre made with locally sourced ingredients.

Acoustic music jam sessions on the 4th Saturday of each month from 3pm-5pm, hosted by Silver City Arts. This summer, the dates will be June 25, July 23 and August 27. If you like to sing, or you play a musical instrument, or if you simply enjoy music, come to the Silver City School House.

Arts Events for Adults and Teens

Visual semantics workshop with Claire Scully, sponsored by the Resident Artist Program in Silver City, Tuesday, July 12th at 10am, Silver City School House: London-based artist Claire Scully is known for her meticulous, nature-based illustrations. She’s been working as a freelance illustrator since graduating with her Masters in Communication Design at Central Saint Martins in 2006, with an ever expanding client list including theNew York Times, The Guardian, penguin books, Random House, National Maritime Museum, Adidas, etc.

Artist Stewart Easton
                                       Artist Stewart Easton

Visual semantics and semiology are the signs and symbols people use to visually communicate an idea.

Embroidery workshop with Stewart Easton, sponsored by the Resident Artist Program in Silver City, Tuesday, July 26th at 10am. Stewart is an illustrator and embroiderer who hails from Coventry in the United Kingdom. He works in thread, ink, paint and digital and is a master of visual storytelling whose work “straddles the lines between Craft, Illustration and Fine Art.” Stewart will offer free workshops for adults and teens this summer in narrative stitching, teaching participants how to design and stitch their own folkloric family stories.

3 Activities for Children

Hosted by Healthy Communities Coalition of Lyon and Storey Counties. Children under age 16 must be accompanied by parents or guardians, who are invited to join in the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) activities.

Tune Into Kids
                                                  Tune Into Kids

Fun Fair for Parents and Kids Ages 2 to 6 on Tuesday, June 7th from 10am to noon at the Silver City Park: The semi-annual “Tune into Kids” arts and science fun fair, hosted by United Way, will be held on Tuesday, June 7th. This event for parents and their children ages 2 to 6 includes free books and educational toys and lots of hands-on activities that promote school readiness.

Engineering Fun for Ages 7-12 on Tuesday June 28th and Tuesday July 19th, 10am-noon at the Silver City School House: Hands-on activities that encourage innovation will be provided by some of Nevada’s sharpest engineering minds. Guest teachers from the Society of Women Engineers will teach classes for kids between ages 7 and 12.

Science, Math and Technology Experiments for ages 8-12 on Tuesday June 21st and Tuesday July 5, 10am-noon at the Silver City Park: Back by popular demand, Jim Barcellos of 4-H and the University of Nevada Coopoerative Extension will lead science experiments for kids ages 8 and 12 and their parents. This year the experiments include a fun and messy soil science experiment, and a model rocket building activity that helps children understand concepts like trajectory.

For more information about these free, public programs in Silver City, contact Quest Lakes at

Quest Lakes


South Lake Tahoe

It’s Summertime at Lake Tahoe!

Zepyhr Cove Beach and Pier, with the paddle wheelers M.S. Dixie and Tahoe Queen
                                     Zepyhr Cove Beach, with the paddle wheelers M.S. Dixie and Tahoe Queen docked at the pier.

Here we go, summertime at Lake Tahoe! Three whole months of fun in the sun at the best vacation destination in the world; from June till early September it’s a place everybody in the world should experience.  Summer is the favorite time of year for everybody that lives here, even the most die-hard winter lover and gonzo skier can’t wait for it.  The long days of perfect temperatures and cool refreshing water of the big blue gem in the Sierra act like a fountain of youth.  When the thermometer hits triple digits in places like Reno, Carson City or Sacramento, the Zephyr Cove LodgeLake can seem like salvation.  The start of June is relatively quiet as far as activities and visitors go, but by the last week everything goes into high gear, as the population of the lake explodes into the July 4th  holiday.

June gets rolling with the 67th annual Hwy 50 Wagon Train starting at Zephyr Cove on June 4 and ending in Placerville, California, June 11.   The wagons, full of cheery people, mosey through the city of South Lake Tahoe waving and smiling,  while spreading good vibes to everybody on the road. It’s a fun glimpse into the past to see the adventures of the early pioneers, how they traveled through the west and maybe appreciate the slower tempo of traveling by covered wagon instead of the hurried tempo of the automobile.  People can ride in the event and help celebrate California and Nevada’s only bi-state historic event.  For more information go to

Abrilliant crimson snow flower catches the sunlight near the Tahoe Rim Trail
    A crimson snow flower catches the sunlight near the Tahoe Rim Trail

If you don’t want to jump on the wagon train and head for Placerville, you can stay put at Zephyr Cove and enjoy the beautiful beach, with its array of great amenities.  In one day at Zephyr Cove Resort you can grab a good breakfast at the lodge and then head to the beach for just about any Lake-related fun you can imagine.  From kayaks to jet-ski’s, to volleyball, to lounging on the beach, there’s really no end to what you can do on a nice warm day at the beach. A great stretch of beach that has two parts separated by the pier where the M.S. Dixie cruise ship is docked. The southern stretch, which is populated by a younger crowd, has a party-like atmosphere.  The northern part of the beach is a more subdued and laid-back place where you can bring your dog, take a swim and just take in the beauty of Tahoe.

If hanging at the beach is not your thing, you can help celebrate National Trails Day at Spooner Lake State Park on June 4 with the Tahoe Rim Trail Association.   Go see the wagon train, then head up to the summit and learn about all the great hiking paths that the South Shore of Lake Tahoe has to offer.  If you missed the wildflower season in the lower elevations, the snow is still melting up high, and the flowers will be blooming throughout June in places like Marlette Lake above Spooner.  With the good winter we had up here, there’s bound to be some colorful plant life along your way on the trails.

Steamers' fish taco & bloody maryThen, when you’re done hiking or lounging on the beach, you can go out on the town. An evening with the Preservation Hall Jazz Band on Saturday, June 11 at Harrah’s Lake Tahoe could be a great way to spend the night.  Performing since the early 1960s, the band brings the French Quarter to the South Shore Room for what is sure to be a very pleasant night of music.

After having a fun Saturday night you might have to have a recovery Sunday.  A Bloody Mary contest could be the way to go.  Head a few miles into Cali and go to Steamers for their annual Bloody Mary Contest on June 12.  Steamers is a longtime local hangout but is always open to people of every kind, and if you stay for lunch, try the fish tacos. They’re pretty good.

June is the calm before the tourist-season storm at Lake Tahoe.  It’s the kickoff to the best season we have here at the lake.  Come on up and enjoy.

Brendan Packer







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