In this edition:
Baker is busy in June! Fortunately, all the local businesses are up and running. One of the new offerings is the Great Basin Café, up next to the Lehman Caves Visitor Center. Hours are starting at 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., with breakfast and lunch served. Menu offerings include locally made bagels, coffee cake, cheesecake, and cookies; pretzel sandwiches, steak chili, and to-go salads; Shirley Temple and Roy Rogers floats; beer, wine, and other beverages. A variety of local arts and crafts are also sold, as well as convenience items like sunscreen and hiking poles for those who need them to explore the park. The café may have extended hours in the evenings for those attending the astronomy programs, which are tentatively planned for Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday nights at 8 p.m.
The recommended hike for the month is the Serviceberry Trail up Snake Creek in Great Basin National Park. Most visitors hike the Bristlecone Trail and Alpine Loops trail that begin at the end of the Scenic Drive, about 10,000 ft. elevation. These are beautiful trails, but can get a little crowded. You can find some quiet beauty on the 3.6-mile long Serviceberry Trail, which undulates through mahogany groves, aspen stands, and sagebrush, with views of the canyon and high peaks. Wildflowers abound, and the blooming serviceberry bushes will enchant you with their sweet smells.
The big event in town for the month is the Snake Valley Festival, held June 16 and 17. There’s something for everyone! The festival kicks off with a beer tasting at the Whispering Elms. There’s root beer tasting for the little ones. A silent auction with premium items is held during the tasting, and raffle tickets for a 50:25:25 drawing are held. The Great Basin Water Network gets 50% of the pot, and two lucky winners each get 25%.
On Saturday, start off the morning with a pancake breakfast at Kerouac’s Restaurant and Bar in downtown Baker, then check out the community yard sale (name your own price), booths, and book sale. At 10 a.m. is the small town parade — so small it goes around twice. Then there’s free solar telescope viewing, free kids’ games, a silent auction, bake sale, and food booths. After lunch, enjoy free entertainment in the shade of Baker Hall, and then join in the massive water fight. At 5:30 p.m. there’s a BBQ dinner at the Border Inn, followed by the raffle drawing and a dance with a DJ and karaoke until 11 p.m. You can find out more at the Festival Website. It’s small-town fun at its best, and visitors are welcome!
— Gretchen Baker
Visit Gretchen’s great outdoor adventure blog, Desert Survivor.
California Trail Days
On June 3rd and 4th, come experience western history as the California Trail Interpretive Center will be hosts its Annual Trail Days event. This free event features demonstrations and talks, living displays of a Shoshone Indian camp, as well as an emigrant wagon train encampment. On Saturday night there will be a pioneer dance with live music by Southwind. Find out more at californiatrailcenter.org
Camping in Lamoille Canyon
With the nice Spring weather upon us, it is time for the first camping trip of the year. Thomas Canyon Campground, located along Lamoille Creek, is the perfect spot for a weekend campout. Hiking, mountain biking, fishing, and bird watching opportunities are all available from the campground.
You can also relax in the shade of the aspen trees with a good book and and unwind. Reservations are recommended to ensure your spot, but on many weekends you can likely arrive and find an open campsite. Phone (775) 752-3357 or visit the Thomas Canyon Campground webpage.
A taste of Mexico
La Unica Mexican Market is a nice change of pace from Elko’s chain grocery stores. The produce section alone is worth a visit, not to mention fresh baked bread and Mexican pastries from their bakery, tasty Mexican delicacies served at the Snack Station, and much, much more. Visit La Unica Mexican Market’s Facebook page or call (775) 777-1480.
Enjoy a warm spring day with friends while shopping, sampling and strolling during the Margarita Walk. This walk is returning to Downtown Elko on June 10th. Join in the fun as businesses serve up margaritas and specials from 4-7pm, brought to you by the Elko Downtown Business Association. Find out more at www.facebook.com/ElkoDowntown/
— Doug Clarke
Ely’s Great Bathtub Race at Cave Lake
Ely has a history of creating off the wall events, and one of the wackiest has to be the Great Bath Tub Race held each June at Cave Lake State Park.
After one of the local motels remodeled their rooms a few years ago, a late night brainstorming session led to the wild idea of floating and racing bath tubs on the lake. A few planning sessions followed and the concept for a new event took off.
People can borrow a bath tub or use their own, and build a craft to race. These can be motorized or non-motorized. The idea is make the craft float from the shore out to a buoy in the lake and then back to shore. Races are held for each category, and this year kayak races will be added to the mix.
The event takes place at Cave Lake State Park located in the high mountain desert just outside Ely, Nevada. The day is full of sunshine, water, fun, food, and all sorts of races, including the rubber ducky race. And the day ends with fireworks set off over the water. Did I mention the historic cannon that is fired off regularly during the day to announce starting times and activities? What fun!
Lots of information, photos, and videos about the Great Bath Tub Race can be found here. This is your chance to participate in a great event or just come relax at the lake, do a little fishing or swimming, and enjoy the cool, clean, mountain air.
The boats are on display in Ely the night before the race at 5:00 pm at the Ramada Copper Queen Casino. This is your chance to inspect the boats (or display your own boat) and buy your rubber ducky and t-shirt to be ready for the festivities the next day at the lake.
What a great way to kick off the summer.
— Lorraine Clark
The calm before the explosions
Ramping up to the explosive month of July, it’s nice to calm things down a bit, relaxing at events that you would not normally attend. You can catch the pool league championships at Bally’s, dress up in comical costumes or be a pawn at the chess festival. So, take that rest before July and summertime activities hit!
The Valley National 8-Ball League is holding the 37th annual VNEA World Pool Championships at Bally’s through June 3th. The competition started May 25th and is one of the world’s largest pool leagues for more than 100,000 amateurs. There are team competitions with skill levels of sports, redemption, resurrection, intermediate and masters, mini-tournaments and a hard luck competition. This is your chance to see a great amount of pool playing in one location. They are splitting the 300 tables into two giant ballrooms for the competitions. The events begin at 9 a.m. each day.
The Westgate Resort and Casino on Paradise is hosting the Las Vegas International Chess Festival June 14 through 18. As of mid-May, a total of 407 players have signed up for the various tournaments with a prize fund of $100k. Obviously, chess is not normally a spectator sport; however, it is good to try viewing something different while perusing the chess gift shop and, maybe, listening to a few speakers on the game. Eventually, this could be a televised event.
June 23rd is the beginning of the Amazing Las Vegas Comic Con being held at the Las Vegas Convention Center on Paradise Rd. The hours are 3 p.m. until 8 p.m. on Friday. The event opens at 10 a.m. for both Saturday and Sunday, ending at 8:30 p.m. Saturday and 6 p.m. on Sunday. The event is in Hall N1. There is a costume parade after the convention closes on Saturday night in the Main Theatre Room, which lasts until around 8:30 p.m.
There are several packages available for entry; however, the general admission base price for Friday and Sunday is $25 for those over 10 years of age. On Saturday the price is increased to $35. A 3-day admission is $60. The 3-day pass includes express registration taking you to the VIP counter for your badge, wrist band and bag. Note: There could be additional fees added to these prices.
There are also packages which can include merchandise, autographed items, passes and exclusive comics. These can run from $50 to $175 per person to include the swag. Keep in mind that if you purchase any of the VIP or Premium packages you will still need to purchase a general admission ticket! And, you might even get to meet Stan Lee!
The Cannery is hosting their 14th Annual Blues, Brews & BBQ Festival on Saturday, June 24th, starting at 4 p.m. You can purchase tickets in advance or at the door. General admission is $13.75 (if purchased in advance includes fees) for ages 5 and up. (Advertisements are showing $10 at the door.) Those over the age of 21 can purchase their unlimited beer sampler wristband for $20 which is available at the door only.
This is a fun annual event with several BBQ restaurants and blues bands participating in an indoor/outdoor setting. The event runs until approximately 10:30 p.m. and is rain or shine. Trust me, if it rains in June you will be happy!
— Pauline Cimoch
Not everyone got to see the Beatles live. Diamond Jack did. Yes, it was a long time ago, but I still have that wonderful memory which always comes back to me whenever I hear “Can’t Buy Me Love.” For those of you who never got to see John, Paul, George and Ringo live, the next best thing is The Fab Four. They are appearing at The Orleans Showroom on June 10-11 in a show titled the “Ultimate Tribute with Ed Sullivan” hosted by Ed Sullivan impressionist Jerry Hoban. Hear such hits as “Yesterday,” “Hey Jude,” “A Day In The Life,” “Twist And Shout,” and “Here Comes The Sun” from the group that has paid tribute to The Beatles for over two decades and who best replicate the band’s iconic style and legendary sounds. Join Diamond Jack and return to Beatlemania. Call 800-745-3000 or visit the Orleans Showroom webpage for tickets and information.
For some of you, The Beatles are so yesterday, and you need something more today and much more exciting. My suggestion is Vegas Indoor Skydiving, the first indoor skydiving facility to open in the United States (1982). No experience is necessary. Anyone of any age can participate and experience body flight during a simulated skydive experience without the use of an airplane or parachute. The experience is similar to the free-fall aspect of skydiving with the addition of a mesh trampoline floor and foam-padded walls. The wind tunnel itself is 12 feet wide and 22 feet tall, and yes, with some practice, you can go all the way to the top. Been there, done that. The machine is powered by a 1,000 horsepower electric motor attached to the propeller from a DC-4 airplane. Vegas Indoor Skydiving opens daily at 9:45 a.m. Reservations are mandatory. Call 702-731-4768 or visit the website vegasindoorskydiving.com.
The oldest computer can be traced back to Adam and Eve. It was an Apple, but with extremely limited memory. Just 1 byte … then everything crashed!
— Diamond Jack Bulavsky
South Point Hosts Antique Motorcycle Auction
The inaugural three-day Mecum Las Vegas Motorcycle June Auction featuring hundreds of antique, vintage and collectible motorcycles on the auction block will take place June 1-3 indoors at South Point. Three fabulous collections will be the highlight along with consignments expected from across the country.
In addition, the first-ever “Legends of Racing” Preview Party will be held Thursday, June 1 from 5 to 7 p.m. with Q&A sessions with three legendary racers Don Castro, Gene Romero and Jay Springsteen.
Advance general admission tickets online are $20 per day, and $30 at the door and online once the auction begins. Doors will open daily at 8 a.m., with a preview from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Thursday, June 1. The auction will begin at 9 a.m. on Friday and Saturday, June 2-3. Portions of the event will be broadcast on NBC Sports Network, and a live stream of the entire auction will be presented at Mecum.com.
Sundown in Downtown Returns for Sixth Year
The Las Vegas Natural History Museum’s annual summer soiree, Sundown in Downtown: Bones and Booze, returns on Friday, June 2 from 6 to 10 p.m. The public outdoor celebration is held at Heritage Park next to the museum featuring bold rhythms, cold drinks and small bites from local businesses throughout the valley. Proceeds benefit the museum’s mission to inspire individuals through educational exhibits and programs to gain a better understanding and appreciation of the natural world. Tickets start at $35, which includes all you can eat via food vendors and two drink tickets, and VIP is $55. Guests must be 21 years of age.
Exhibit and Art News
The Lake Las Vegas Art Galleries will unveil its 2017 summer juried art show, Casting Shadows, on Friday, June 9 from 7-9 p.m. Original work by Nevada artists will be featured in its North Gallery. The free opening night reception will feature live music and hors d’oeuvres from a celebrity chef.
This hands-on interactive Zoom into Nano is happening at the Discovery Children’s Museum through Sept. 4. The exhibit, designed for ages 8-13, focuses on how engineers and scientists create new materials and technologies using things on the nanoscale too small to see like atoms.
Henderson Symphony Orchestra to Accompany Silent Film
The City of Henderson has been offering Charlie Chaplin silent movies paired with live orchestral music as an annual event for several years. The featured film this year accompanied by the Henderson Symphony Orchestra will be Ernst Lubitsch’s “The Loves of Pharaoh” presented at the Henderson Pavilion at 8 p.m. on June 9. Tickets are $15.
“The Loves of Pharaoh” is a historical spectacle set in Egypt featuring lavish backdrops and costumes and a cast of thousands. The 1922 cinema masterpiece is a German silent film credited with transforming Lubitsch into a worldwide box office force. It stars Emil Jannings, the first actor to win an Academy Award for best actor, and is touted for having one of the best original movie scores of the silent era.
— Jackie Brett
Beaver Dam Gravel Grinder
“Wanna take a ride?” That’s a line from a 1997 science-fiction movie “Contact” with Jodi Foster and Matthew McConaughey.
But for now we will allow it to be an invitation to participate in this year’s annual Beaver Dam Gravel Grinder mountain bike ride in Lincoln County on June 17.
With its deep canyons, high peaks, unique volcanic rock formations and juniper–pine forests, riders and visitors alike will find it an enjoyable place to unplug and unwind from the often hectic routines of daily life.
Gravel Grinder organizer Dawn Andone, park interpreter at Cathedral Gorge State Park, says, “This is one of the reasons we started the ride – to get people into the beautiful back country. It’s a side of Nevada most people do not experience.”
She says everyone knows Las Vegas is the best known destination in the state, “But there is so much more in Nevada to explore than the Las Vegas Strip.”
On a ride like the Beaver Dam Gravel Grinder, mountain bikers, even beginning riders, can come out and enjoy the hospitality offered and see the places Nevada back country has to offer. Many return year after year for that very reason alone.
Writer Mark Orton, USA Cyclin certified Level 1 coach, has said, “gravel grinders are rides, (sometimes races) that combine riding on surfaces such as asphalt, gravel dirt, some single-track trails and maintenance or B roads. The courses vary from hard pack dirt to softball sized rocks. That pretty much describes this ride to a T.”
Orton admits the Beaver Dam course can be challenging, sometimes a bit grueling, occasionally testing your endurance on some of the more rocky sections. But he thinks the spectacular views to be had are worth the effort.
A note to all: this ride is not skinny-tired 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.
Though some support is offered, this is a gravel grinder and not a gran fondo. It emphasizes 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; make sure to bring any special food or drink you like to have while riding. The course will be marked, and Rangers will be driving the route.
Andone said signups are now being accepted for the Beaver Dam Gravel Grinder Bike Ride June 17. The Gravel Grinder routes to choose from are a 35-mile or a 45-mile ride, both tailored to advanced, intermediate and beginning riders. Lunch is provided in the afternoon and a barbeque dinner in the late afternoon following the ride.
Sign up on line to pre-register at www.beaverdamgravelgrinder.com. Registration fee is $40.
— Dave Maxwell
A Museum of History and Significance
With a newly hired curator and director at the Mineral County Museum, located in Hawthorne, across from the notable Veteran’s Park, the vast number of displays and collections continue to be preserved with a continued respect for the past, while venturing into the technology of today. Kathy Kacheiries has begun using bar codes that sync up to Smart Phones or electronic tablets to provide an extended experience of linking the workable items to a YouTube display so visitors can see the item visually moving.
“It seems essential that a viewer would become more engaged in seeing a gold mining piece working to appreciate the process by which the equipment was used in it’s original location. By connecting a visitor to this newer access, it is an optional aspect which many visitors may enjoy,” Kacheiries shared.
Every intricate display case and every vignette already tells a story of historical significance, but Kacheiries is beginning her endeavor to create actual recordings, with firsthand interviews that accompany the donated items of interest. She has been reaching out to those within Nevada to stop by and shed light on the stories behind the collections, so a personal approach to the museum can be achieved.
This 14,000 square feet Mineral County Museum began as a true hometown labor of love, then grew into it’s current location and beyond. Stories of dump-picking came from the beginning stages of securing photos to salvaging iconic pieces of the past, just to build a historic gathering place for people to enjoy and learn from. Storage rooms are still full of donations that require research, repair and relocation, but as far as museums go, this one is top notch. Rich in historic origin, there is truly something for everyone within the building’s treasury.
Taxidermy native animals stand frozen amidst a room scene reproduced from the local terrain. An old corner pharmacy is replicated behind glass, showing the era’s furnishings and Victorian clothing arranged among the bottles and artifacts.
Come in to find fossils to flying birds; vintage garments to garage-sized transportation, such as full sized carriages and fire engines. Linger among the early age of office equipment and banking displays or reminisce with the aged dolls, toys and cultural literature found in cases or hanging on the walls among endless items. Adults enjoy the self-guided tours, while children gawk at the skeletons of animal heads or marvel at the rock formations salvaged into displays. Visitors can obtain maps, brochures, books, and souvenir items at a nominal fee. An array of jewelry, post cards and more can be obtained to assist in defraying the museum’s costs as well as appreciated donations, as this is a free-to-the-public museum. Hours are generally Noon to 4 pm, Tuesday through Saturday, or arrangements can be made in advance for group tours by calling (775) 945-5142.
— Sheri Samson
On one particular day in the month of May, my father and I went for the shakedown cruise on his Sea Ray motorboat. The first voyage of the year was a trip up to Zephyr Cove from Lakeside Marina at Stateline Beach, where the boat is moored. It was just about an hour-long trip, but enthralling even to this lifelong Tahoe resident. Big white puffy clouds spotted the sky, and the windless day made the lake flat and glassy — ideal for a boat ride. There are many types of sea-going vessels to enjoy a day on the lake, from a sternwheeler tour to Emerald Bay or a paddleboat cruise in and around the nooks and crannies of Zephyr Cove or Marla Bay.
The longest day with sunlight happens in June, so it gives people plenty of time to enjoy themselves in, on and around the lake. The snow that will most likely stay on the mountain tops throughout the summer will provide a brilliant contrast with Tahoe’s deep blue water, and producing some great photographs to share with family and friends and maybe even strangers. Really, any vantage point is ideal to take pictures of the lake, but being on a boat and navigating around the shoreline gives the shutterbug an opportunity to get some great shots, and it is fun and adventurous. First, find a boat; if you don’t have one call your friend with a boat or stop by one of many marinas that offer rentals, such as Lakeside Marina at Stateline on the California side and right down from Harveys casino. Kayaks and Stand Up Paddleboards are fun too and provide a peaceful and quiet ride, plus they are easier to pull over and stop on just about any type of shoreline.
Back to the boat ride: we putted out of the channel and headed north along the shore going by Edgewood Golf Course and the soon to be completed Edgewood Lodge that is scheduled for a June opening date. Then to the long stretch of Nevada Beach, where a dog beach on the south end is becoming more and more popular each year for people to bring their furry friends. People were flinging Frisbee’s and tennis balls to the very eager pooches ready to retrieve. The beach is open and ready for a long hot summer. Plenty of room on this beach to spend the day, with picnic tables and public barbeques, it’s fun for everything.
Onward around Elk Point and into Marla Bay to Round Hill Pines Resort, we weaved around the many boats tied to buoys and toward the pier that is currently under reconstruction to make it several hundred feet longer. The Pines is a perfect spot to make a pit stop, with two beach-side bars that offer specialty cocktails and great hamburgers. We didn’t stop that day for lunch, so out of Marla Bay and then around Zephyr Point and into Zephyr Cove, another popular resort and beach spot for people of all ages. The pier that moors the M.S. Dixie II sternwheeler and the Woodwind II catamaran divides the beach into two different subcultures, if you will, with the south section populated by high school to college aged beach goers, and having a spring break like atmosphere. While the northern section is a bit more relaxed and subdued but not boring, the lake itself provides all the excitement one could need. We could have kept going, but there’s plenty of summer to have another cruise, so we zoomed back to Lakeside and marveled at what a nice hour beautiful Lake Tahoe just gave us.
— Brendan Packer