Nevada Correspondence – May 2016

In this edition:

Baker, Boulder City, Carson Valley, Ely, Las Vegas, Lincoln County, Reno, South Lake Tahoe, Tonopah, Tuscarora,



BioBlitz volunteers collecting insects from a creek in Great Basin Park
                                             BioBlitz volunteers collecting insects from a creek in Great Basin  National Park

The biggest special event for the month in Baker is the Great Basin National Park Centennial Bird BioBlitz. Held May 20-22, this three-day event encourages citizen scientists to come connect with their national park in a new way. Workshops, activities and talks begin Friday, May 20 at noon. Two past park artists-in-residence will be conducting two workshops about drawing birds — this is a great opportunity to get some tips on how to make your illustrations shine. Live birds will be present on Friday afternoon (NDOW’s Hedwig, Jr., a Great Horned Owl) and on Saturday afternoon (various raptors from Southwest Wildlife Foundation). Saturday and Sunday mornings, expert birders will lead walks in various parts of the park to help document which bird species live where. Photographers are encouraged to “capture” birds by photo; these photos will provide a voucher, or verified, specimen that will be recorded in a national database. Great Basin Bird Observatory will summarize the data so that the park can update its bird list and have a great snapshot view of bird species in the park. Free camping is provided to all participants, along with an unforgettable experience! To learn more and sign up, visit the park’s BioBlitz webpage.

Lost Winchester Exhibit

May is Nevada’s State Historic Preservation and Archeology Month. Local things you can check out include the pictographs outside Upper and Lower Pictograph Caves in Great Basin National Park, made by Fremont Indians about a thousand years ago; Baker Archeological Site, where the Fremont lived (mentioned in February’s dispatch); and the The Forgotten Winchester rifle exhibit, now occupying one whole wall of the Lehman Caves Visitor Center.

Snowy campsite at Wheeler Peak Campground
                                 Snowy campsite at Wheeler Peak Campground

The Wheeler Peak Scenic Drive within Great Basin National Park is likely to open all the way to the bristlecone trailhead in May, but the Wheeler Peak Campground probably won’t open until June due to snow. This summer the Upper Lehman Creek Campground will be closed for renovations, so that might make finding a camping spot a little more difficult. Snake and Strawberry Creeks both have campsites that are often unoccupied and also free, so they are worth checking out. Sacramento Pass Recreation Area has some newly renovated campsites that are also a great place to stay.

If you don’t want to camp, all the businesses in Baker are open in May, so you have several options for eating, sleeping, and other amenities. You can learn about these at the Great Basin Business and Tourism Council website. The Border Inn holds a Cinco de Mayo party. Pizza night (Friday nights) is back by popular demand at the Lectrolux Café, with great prices on pizza and microbrews.

Gretchen Baker

(Visit Gretchen’s fascinating and educational outdoor adventure blog, Desert Survivor, too!)


Boulder City

Discovering Boulder City

Travelers tend to run into Boulder City, coming and going from somewhere else.  Going to Lake Mead and Hoover Dam. Coming from Phoenix to Las Vegas, or vice versa. But there are so many amazing things surrounding the town that it gets run into a lot. I ran into it 22 years ago and found “my Mayberry” — and made it my staging area for exploring one of the coolest corners of the Southwest. Close to the cool adventures in Northern Arizona, the Mojave Preserve in California, backdoor to Southern Utah, staging area for outdoor adventure in Southern Nevada, and of course, Vegas, baby.

Arizona Spillway, Hoover Dam. (Photo by GOYA photography, Boulder City)
          Arizona Spillway, Hoover Dam. (Photo by GOYAphotography, Boulder City)

But first a few factoids about Boulder City. Boulder City was built to house workers building Hoover Dam in the 1930s,  which makes if really old by Southern Nevada Standards. The reason it’s called Boulder City is because originally Hoover Dam was called Boulder Dam Project, which was going to be built in, naturally, Boulder Canyon. But after the geology and engineering guys really got into it, they decided to move dam further downstream to Black Canyon. But in the days before wordpress and cut and paste it was just easier to keep the name “Boulder Dam.” Actually, the name of the Dam was changed a few times, depending on which political party had presidential power, changing from Boulder Dam to Hoover Dam, back to Boulder Dam again, and then back to Hoover Dam — which, the last time I checked, it is still named. This has caused confusion in the town itself with naming things and owners getting tired of changing signs. So to this day we still have beautifully preserved historic relics such as the Boulder Dam Hotel, which houses the Boulder City-Hoover Dam Museum. So if you’re in town don’t ask directions to Boulder Dam, because there isn’t one. You’ll probably end up at the Hotel.

The Boulder Hotel and Museum today. The hotel was built in 1933 to accommodate visiting dignitaries and government employees.
The Boulder Dam Hotel and Museum today. The hotel was built in 1933 to accommodate visiting dignitaries and officials of the U.S. Government.

Boulder City is also the largest city in Nevada and the 35th largest in the U.S. — not measured by people or jackrabbits, but by land mass, at 208 square miles. With a population around 15,000, that’s around 72 people per square mile, but since most BC residents are a friendly lot we all tend to live close together in town, in what I call the Mayberry of Southern Nevada, complete with neighborhood barbershop and friendly police.

Newly built Mission Revival style houses for federal government employees and their families on Park Street, Boulder City, about 1932. Later, lawns were planted, and all the landscape and home maintenance was thereafter provided to the residents by government workers.
Newly built Mission Revival style houses for federal government employees and their families on Park Street, Boulder City, about 1932. Later, lawns were planted, and all the landscape and home maintenance was thereafter provided to the residents by government workers — until 1959, when Boulder City ceased to be a government-controlled federal reservation.

Before 1960, Boulder City was owned and administered by the Federal Government and actually had the first master-planned community layout, in radial form like many European cities. What was really cool about it was that you never had to mow your lawn — because the federal government took care of it. What was a little less than ideal to many people was the fact that if was the only place in Nevada you couldn’t gamble or buy a drink. The only alternative, if you wanted a convenient place to have a beer or a cocktail, was to join a private philanthropic organization such as the Masons or Elks, which had their own private members-only bars. Although today there are many places to imbibe around town, in those days many of the drunks in town did a lot of great community work.

Spring Jamboree

Saturday, May 7th and Sunday, May 8th is Spring Jamboree, a great event throughout the Parks in Old Town. It’s a mostly-locals event about crafts, contests, eating, walking and other hometown-type events, but it’s also a great opportunity to get the vibe of Boulder City.

Alan Goya


Carson Valley

With the warming weather, Carson Valley’s activity calendar is really ramping up!

There are two iconic event series kicking off this month. Concerts in the Park debuts with “Paperback Writer” (the Beatles Experience) on May 27th, Friday, at Minden Park at 6:30. This event is wildly popular (picture lawn, food trucks, beer, picnics baskets, ice cream, dancing, and reveling under the beautiful Carson Valley skies while listening to awesome music for free). Pretty much what life is all about, if you ask me. Bring a blanket or lawn chair, and expect to get hit with nerf footballs, licked by dogs, interact with children, and get dragged into a ring of hula hoopers. There is no privacy or anonymity here.

The J T Bar & Restaurant in Gardnerville (Painting by Erik Holland)
                                           The J.T. Basque restaurant & bar in Gardnerville (Painting by Erik Holland)

Another must-try event is the Thirsty Third Thursdays wine walk, which starts May 19th at 4:30. I realize many towns and cities have wine walks these days, but Carson Valley’s comes with free spectacular views and a very laid-back atmosphere. There are way more businesses participating than you could ever make it to in one evening, but if you plan your route wisely, you can end up at the J.T. Basque for a great meal and a picon to treat that wine headache.

Got a Star Wars fan in the family? Check out this new event: May the Fourth Be With You, at Minden Park on, yes, May 4th, from 4-7 pm. This free event features costumes, light sabers, and of course … food.

Finally, it’s time to put that gusty Nevada wind to use at the Something in the Wind kite festival at the Dangberg Home Ranch on May 14-15, from 9-6 both days. Again, this event is totally free and includes demos, crafts and free kites for the little ones. And if you’ve never been to the Dangberg Ranch, you are in for a treat!

View from the slope of Mineral Peak of Carson Valley and the Carson Range
                                              View from the slope of Mineral Peak of Carson Valley and the Carson Range

Hike of the Month: Mineral Peak

For those willing to endure a little rock scrambling, the views from Mineral Peak are spectacular!

The verdant Carson Valley is nestled between the Sierra on the West (the Carson Range)

and the Pine Nut Mountains on the East, providing for great hiking all year round. The Pine Nuts, where the Washoe tribe has been known to collect its staple winter food, is better for spring and fall hiking, owing to warmer temperatures and earlier snow-melt. Surprisingly, very few two-leggeds seem aware of this gem of a range, allowing for a “wilderness” experience right in our own backyard! Within 20 minutes of leaving Highway 395, we are completely alone, with the only reminders of civilization being the occasional far-off hum of an OHV or target shooter. An array of wildflowers is emerging, and the fauna includes coyotes, wild horses, deer, hawks, eagles, rabbits, and even cougar (we saw the tracks but thankfully not the critter itself!).

There is one other dangerous element encountered on this trip though, which Erik and I did not previously consider. It’s that risk faced by every true desert rat when driving down a dirt road scattered with inviting peaks and rock formations and intriguing unmarked rambling roads: the irresistible urge to explore each and everyone of them.

Happy Hiking!

Amy Meeks



Ely Art Bank Host Reception

The Ely Renaissance Society has plans for a busy season with a reception/celebration planned from 4-7 p.m. on Friday May 6, at the Ely Art Bank located at 399 Aultman Street in downtown Ely.   Featured will be three exhibits including the Panorama exhibit from the Nevada Arts Council, Indian Art & Clothing show at the Garnet Mercantile and the third annual Student Art Show from White Pine High School and White Pine Middle School.  The food will be catered by WPHS Culinary Class.

Art is displayed inside a refurbished former bank.
                                                                        Art is displayed inside a refurbished former bank.

The Panorama exhibit features selections from the Nevada Arts Council’s Artist Fellowship Program and includes photography, painting, printmaking, and sculpture showing street photography to stitched textiles to cast bronze sculptures. The exhibition is a visual show with a wide angle view across the Nevada landscape, thus the name Panorama.

The Indian Art/Clothing show at the Garnet Mercantile is an exhibit from the Nevada Indian Tourism Show of Indian Art. This exhibit will feature Native American jewelry, clothing and art.

Art Among the Aspens HallThe third annual White Pine Schools Student Art Show will be featured May 3 – 7. This show features work

done by students in local art classes. Each student chooses their one best piece of art from this year’s class. The students come to the Art Bank to set up the show, learning how to put the items together to form an exhibit.

A Side Walk Art Show and Sale will be held at the Ely Art Bank on May 13 and 14. Local artists from the Ely Art Bank will be on hand to show their work.

The Art Bank is open on Friday and Saturdays from noon to 4 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. each week. Please stop in to enjoy the local art work by over 35 artists featuring oil and watercolor, photography, pottery, and jewelry. Downtown Ely is a great place to enjoy art and history with over 20 murals and the sculpture park.

— Lorraine Clark


Las Vegas

No May showers for this bunch of festivals!

We started with a few festivals in our April edition and now May is jam-packed with so much more outdoor fun and frolicking!

Clark County Jazz in the Park posterThere is a freebie every Saturday night starting at 7 p.m. from May 7 through June 4 at the Clark County Amphitheater.  It’s called Jazz in the Park and there is free seating and parking for this outdoor event.  The gate opens at 5 p.m. for the best seating with the show starting at 7 p.m.  You can purchase food and beverages on site or bring picnic baskets, low-back chairs and blankets to sit on.  People have brought in gourmet meals, and others stop at sub shops and bring in sandwiches.  A nice time to sit back and relax those muscles!

The semi-annual San Gennaro Feast runs May 4th through the 8th at Craig Ranch Park in North Las Vegas.  It is located on Craig Road bordered by Martin Luther King Boulevard on the west and Commerce Street on the east.  The Feast opens on Thursday and Friday at 4 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from noon. The general admisision price is $10, and you can obtain coupons for $2 off each adult in advance. With the 70-plus vendors they have available you should be able to find something to suit your taste.  They also feature live bands, performers, amusement rides and games.  Ride Coupons are $25 for Thursday and Friday and $30 for Saturday and Sunday.  This is for all day riding.  You can also purchase individual tickets or sheets of coupons starting from $1 up to $70 for a sheet of 80 coupons

The Art Festival of Henderson is always a must on my to-do list to visit the artists and their creations while enjoying the weather and walking around the downtown area of Henderson on Water Street.  The free event takes place the first weekend of May, 5/7 & 5/8 starting at 10 a.m.  Don’t forget to stop in at the newest brewery, Lovelady Brewing Co., just a few blocks north of the festival on Water Street.  Owner Richard Lovelady is aveteran brewer who worked at Gordon Biersch.

Helldorado Time 2

Las Vegas Helldorado Days at the MGM Resorts Village for the Rodeo, Last Cowboy Standing and festival is May 13th through May 15th.  The events Downtown will feature a parade (May 14), the Whiskerino Contest in front of El Cortez (May 12 at 7 p.m.) and the pub crawl around Fremont Street (May 12 right after Whiskerino).

The Brews & Blues Festival is on Saturday, May 28, from 4 p.m. until 8 p.m. at the Springs Preserve.  General admission is $35 in advance or $40 at the door and includes a commemorative mug (for the first couple of thousand guests) and unlimited beer samples.

To round off the month a trip to the Best Dam Barbeque Challenge in Boulder City the Saturday and Sunday (5/28 & 5/29) of Memorial weekend is a great time.  Just walking around and being enveloped by the various BBQ aromas will get your body moving to try anything and everything offered at this great event.  And, this is just the kick-off for a terrific summer!  Let’s get moving!

— Pauline Cimoch

Fast Cars and Super Superbooks

Speed Vegas

Since Diamond Jack lives in the fast lane, SpeedVegas, a $30-million motorsports complex featuring a 1.5 mile Formula One-inspired course, is a dream come true. It just opened on Las Vegas Boulevard South and features 60 feet of rising elevation, banked corners, and a half-mile straightaway that compares to the top circuits in the world. There are indoor and outdoor observation decks, a café, meeting space, and the opportunity to drive such exotic supercars as Ferraris, Lamborghinis, Corvettes and Ford Shelby Mustangs. All have an “automatic mode” where the clutch and gear selection is handled by a computer. You can also choose the F1-style paddles to operate gear changes. Some also use “sequential manual gearboxes” or triptronic shifters. This new E-Gear technology is a manual gearbox where the clutch and gear selection is handled by a computer when you pull the gear change paddle. Kia? Smart Car? Go away. 888-261-4925.

SuperBook - Westgate Resorts

The world’s largest Race and Sports SuperBook just got bigger at Westgate Las Vegas. The 25,000 square foot SuperBook has been completely renovated and is now home to the most technologically-advanced sports book anywhere. That means, among other things, 4,488 square foot HD video screens measuring 240 feet wide and 20 feet tall making it the world’s largest indoor LED video wall and the highest resolution screens in the state. Also, more than 400 seats, 19 wagering windows, private booths, and Interactive Player Terminals wagering, where players have the convenience of betting from their own seats, as well as access to track pools and even video replays of past races. Then there is the Ultimate Fan Cave where fans can enjoy sports in a custom-built room that that is smoke-free with three 120” HD screens with the capability of showing 12 HD events simultaneously.

Fast cars and Super Superbooks. And people still ask me why I live here?

— Diamond Jack Bulavsky

The Scintas Extend Their Run at the Plaza through November!

Las Vegas’ first family of entertainment, the Scintas, is extending their limited engagement performance schedule of their highly regarded music and comedy show through November 2016 at the Plaza, where they opened last February. Their schedule will be to perform at 7:30 p.m., two select Friday and Saturday nights every month. Upcoming dates include May 6-7, 13-14 and June 3-4, 24-25.

The Scintas

The Scintas, brothers Frankie and Joe, “honorary Scinta” Peter O’Donnell and newest addition, Janien Valentine, have become a fixture in Las Vegas for the past 16 years. Tickets start at $29 for general admission and $49 for VIP. A special “dinner and a show” package is available for $99, which includes a three-course prix fix dinner at Oscar’s steakhouse.

Family road tripsNeon Museum Presents Family Road Trip Lecture

On Wednesday, May 18, the Neon Museum will host a Times of the Signs lecture,Are We There Yet? Remembering the Family Road Trip.” Presented by Susan Sessions Rugh, the discussion at 6:30 p.m. will cover Rugh’s research on motels and the evolution and impact of the family vacation on society as part of the museum’s Times of the Signs Series held in the Neon Boneyard. She will sell and sign copies of “Family Vacation” following the presentation, which is free but advanced registration is required online.

THRIVE Cannabis Marketplace Holds First Friday Preview Event

THRIVE Cannabis Marketplace, downtown’s newest and largest medical cannabis dispensary, will host a one-time-only opportunity for the public to visit the facility and learn about the benefits of medicinal marijuana on Friday, May 6 from 4-9 p.m. The event will feature food and drink, live entertainment, raffle prizes and free parking. There will be no cannabis products on the premises that day so everyone can tour the 10,000-square-foot facility.

Cotton pajamas salvaged from the wreck of the Titanic
Cotton pajamas salvaged from the wreck of the Titanic

THRIVE will open for business on Friday, May 13.

RMS Titanic Artifacts On View at Luxor To Be Retired July 18

Seven priceless artifacts recovered from the RMS Titanic wreck site will be retired from public view and returned to its conservation facility after a three-month special engagement April 15-July 18 at the Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition inside at the Luxor.

These treasures will be displayed for a final time after the accident that happened 104 years ago and took the lives of 1,523 passengers and crew. This is nearly 30 years after the artifacts were brought from the wreck site to the ocean’s surface. All seven artifacts, which include textiles, personal goods and paper documents, will be housed in a special conservation case. Textiles and paper products are incredibly rare as they usually deteriorate in the marine environment.

Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition is open daily from 10 a.m.-10 p.m. with the last admission at 9 p.m.

— Jackie Brett


Lincoln County

Memorial Day in Caliente and other things

“See the USA in your ….There was the name of a certain automobile in that 1950s commercial, but we’ll stop right there and invite you to visit Lincoln County this spring and summer in whatever kind of vehicle you want.

Memorial Day is Homecoming in Caliente, on U.S. 93. The annual event traditionally features a parade, softball tournament at Dixon Park, art exhibit, volleyball tournament, craft fair, car show, kids’ games, a big barbeque, and other activities.The event is intended for those who once lived in Caliente or the surrounding area and families thereof, to feel the call to come home again, if only briefly. But of course visitors from any place are equally welcome.

Prizes are even given for the classic car that comes the longest distance and for one that might still be under construction.

Current record=holder Jim Peruto and his Dodge Charger
                          Current record=holder Jim Peruto and his Dodge Charger

If you want to see the USA on a public highway at top speed, then the Nevada Open Road Challenge, May 12-15, might be for you. Run from Ely to Hiko on State Route 318 — specially closed for the day — sponsored by Silver State Classic Challenge, Inc., it is listed as the fastest race on a public highway in the world.   Current record time is 217.5570 mph by Jim Peruto in a Dodge Charger in 2012.

A similar race, the Silver State Classic Challenge, will be held on the same course Sept. 15-18.

The beautiful scenery along a section of the Gravel Grinder's course (Nevada State Parks photo)
                               The beautiful scenery along a section of the Gravel Grinder’s course (Nevada State Parks photo)

For mountain bike enthusiasts, the Nevada State Parks offer the 4th annual Beaver Dam Gravel Grinder, scheduled for June 18. Josh Ivins, park supervisor at both Cathedral Gorge and Beaver Dam State Parks, said the 35-mile course will be much the same. “It’s a bit more intense than rides 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.”

Beginning at Beaver Dam, it is a beautiful ride with scenery in the mountains of eastern Lincoln County. “Our roads look to be in really good condition this year,” Ivins said.

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

The 21st annual Kids Free Fishing Derby, sponsored by the Nevada State Parks system, will be at Echo Canyon Reservoir June 11. Last year saw about 360 participants and over $10,000 in give-aways and prizes.

So this spring and summer, “See the USA in your….” Well, at least Lincoln County, Nevada anyway.

Dave Maxwell



Whether you are a dedicated metal-head, or just an open mind seeking new forms of entertainment, Reno’s local metal scene is something you’ll definitely want to check out while you’re in town. In my personal opinion, the most rockin’ metal show of the month will be We Predict a Riot with Decades In, Contortion, and The Lives We Live. The show will be put on outside of Remedy’s in Carson City (20 minutes South of Reno) on Saturday, May 14th.

Decades In
                                                                  Decades In

The metal/hardcore band formerly known as Dennis is Dead will be making their debut as “Decades In” during Saturday’s show. The band, based out of the bay area, is composed of four dedicated and unique individuals who came together through their passion for metal music. Some of it’s members have actually been playing music together since 2003, when they were only in 7th grade! Since then, they have released 2 EPs as Dennis is Dead, and dedicated several years to touring and sharing their talent with fans all across the West Coast. Come be a part of the action and support these guys, as they kick off their greatest venture yet, Decades In. More information can be found on their Facebook page, or check out their Youtube channel.

Sushi RoseReno has a bunch of all-you-can-eat sushi joints. I recently met up with some

friends at Sushi Rose, a somewhat new restaurant located in North-West Reno. The sushi was absolutely delicious, and appetizers and dessert were included. What blew my mind though, is that the beer and Saki was free (Mon-Thurs)! That’s right, free beer! Now that is a rare treasure that definitely makes this restaurant stand out from the rest! All of this was under 25 dollars per person. To top it off, the service was great! Our server was very hardworking, fast and friendly. So the bottom line is if you want to enjoy all you can eat sushi served in a friendly environment during your stay here in Reno, and like free beer, go to Sushi Rose.

The pedestrian walkway on the west side of the new Virginia Street Bridge incorporates the railings from the old 1905 bridge.
The pedestrian walkway on the west side of the new Virginia Street Bridge   incorporates the railings from the old 1905 bridge.

If you haven’t been Downtown lately, you should go check out the new Virginia Street Bridge. After waiting for nearly a year, residents and local businesses are thrilled that the bridge has finally been opened. A lot of people were disappointed about the removal of the old bridge, due to its historical value; however, for public safety and flood protection purposes, the bridge needed to be replaced. Fortunately, they were able to transfer the railings and lights from the old bridge over to the new one, allowing for a piece of history to remain a part of the newer, safer bridge. This allows for quick and easy access to the many awesome local businesses downtown. The bridge also has a path down to the Truckee River, which is beautiful and full of water due to the recent snow-melt.

The weekend of May 20th — 22nd hosts the Hot August Nights “Spring Fever Revival” event. This means downtown Reno will be poppin’! There will be lots of show cars, food vendors, and rock-n-roll! This event is a precursor to the big Hot August Nights event that takes place in August. Part of this event will be a Celebrity Choice Show-n-Shine. There is an opportunity for the winner to have their car pictured on the official 2016 Hot August Nights 30th anniversary poster. Also, the top 10 winners will have the opportunity to show-off their cars at the Reno Aces Stadium during the baseball game on Sunday May 22nd.

Speaking of the Reno Aces, the Reno baseball team has a handful of games this month that will take place here at the Greater Nevada Stadium. So make sure to take your loved ones “out to the ball game” while you are in town.

— Charlotte Meeks


South Lake Tahoe

Springtime at Lake Tahoe

Get out the shorts and t-shirts, but don’t put your parkas away just yet.  It’s day-by-day weather up here at the Lake.  One day it can be 70 degrees and sunny, then 30 degrees and snowing the next day. Daytime activities on the South Shore become limited when it’s cold out and the ski resorts have closed.  But when the temperatures are comfortable there is outdoor fun sprouting all over.  And of course, with nightlife fun you don’t need to depend on mother nature to have a good time at the south side of Tahoe.

Latin Soul - LakesideThe first week of May it’s party time, starting with Cinco de Mayo on Thursday.  Restaurants and bars all over town turn the Mexican victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla in 1862 into a full on rager.  One spot to start the fiesta is at Latin Soul Restaurant inside of Lakeside Inn and Casino: try the Latin Soul Margarita and see where the night takes you.

The fun continues into the weekend with great bands at Harrah’s and Mont Bleu.  The super group Chickenfoot, featuring Sammy Hagar, Joe Satriani, Chad Smith, and Michael Anthony, will play two nights, May 7 and 8, at the South Shore Room at Harrah’s, starting at 7:30 pm.  Over at Mont Bleu is the Marshall Tucker Band, a Southern rock/Country band that can really rock the house in the style of Lynyrd Skynyrd, on Saturday, May 7 at 8pm.  To finish out the weekend, why not celebrate with mom on Sunday, May 8 at the many great places Tahoe has to offer for Mothers Day brunch?  One being the Riva Grill at 901 Ski Run Blvd, right next to the lake at the marina.

Paddlewheelers on Tahoe

Tahoe recently rose to its rim at 6,223 feet elevation, so that means plenty of water this year for boating, fishing and other water related fun.  Marinas around the lake will begin opening, and one that is scheduled for an early May opening day is Round Hill Pines Resort.  The Pines is a fun old Tahoe beach hangout — a small stretch of beach nestled in between Nevada Beach and Zephyr Cove.  It really gets going during the summer months, but on a warm day in May it’s a great place to go sit on the beach or sip on a drink at one of their two lakeside bars that offer grand views and a good food menu as well.

Softball field at Zephyr Cove Park
                               Softball field at Zephyr Cove Park

May is the rough start for boating season and other outdoor recreational activities.  Tennis anyone?  How about disc golf or softball?  At Zephyr Cove Park at Highway 50 and Warrior Way you can do all these things and a lot more.  The Zephyr Cove Tennis Club gets going in May on their six lighted courts.  The courts are open now but the club officially starts May 28 with Viva La Tennis, which coincides with the French Open. It starts at noon with plenty of tennis and a barbeque.  Also, there is  an 18-hole disc golf course at the park that is fun and challenging, but great for all skill levels. If you don’t own a disc, head into the library next to the course and rent one and get slingin’.

bicycle sculpture for Amgen race at LakesideIf you don’t want to exert yourself too much, why not watch others do it?  The Amgen Tour of California will be riding through this part of Nevada on May 19.  Professional cyclists will be pedaling around Lake Tahoe.  Stage One of the women’s event will start on the south shore at Emerald Bay and head clockwise around the 72-mile loop of the lake and finish at Heavenly.  Spooner Summit, at the junction of highways 50 and 28, would be a good spot to watch these amazing athletes going full steam ahead down the hill toward Glenbrook. For more information on routes go to

Spring has sprung here at Lake Tahoe, and the buds of events and activities are just waiting to burst into the full bloom of summer — when the fun really starts. But, as always, there’s never a bad  time to visit the lake!

— Brendan Packer



A Glimpse of Tonopah

Here is a glimpse into a few things of many that you can do on your visit to Tonopah, Nevada. Today we’re going to stop by the Clown Motel, where this local business earned its name because of the beautiful collection of antique and modern clowns. The Clown Motel is located at 521 N Main Street. According to, the Clown Motel is America’s scariest motel and makes claims that the motel is haunted by hundreds of ghosts.Tonopah I met with Bob Parchetti, fifth generation Tonopah native and owner of the Clown Motel. Bob explained that the motel sits next to the town’s first graveyard, which opened its gates in 1901. Fourteen miners who died in an Clown Motel Facebook page 01underground fire at the Belmont Mine in 1911 were laid to rest at this burial site. Among the many other people buried here are numerous victims of a mysterious disease dubbed the “Tonopah Plague” when it first appeared in 1902.

The Clown Motel offers 30 rooms, each room equipped with two spacious queen beds, 19′ color television, Dish Network Satellite, wireless internet, and fresh coffee in the office made daily. Each room has a refrigerator and microwave. A soda and water machine along with free ice are located on the premises, with a candy and snack machine in the office. The warm and friendly staff at the Clown Motel take great pride in serving you.

Next, we take a glance of the Tonopah Speedway a 1/4 mile oval dirt track located just a few miles outside Tonopah on Highway 6 headed towards Ely, NV. The track opened its doors to racing in 1983.  Currently running on the track are IMCA Modifieds, Hobby Stocks and Mini Stocks being the main classes. The Central Nevada Racing Association is in charge of running the Tonopah Speedway. You can view their website here. Lee Ketten, the president of the Central Nevada Racing Association, explains that Jim Marsh is a great contributor to the track, helping fund  insurance through advertisement from all his many businesses that contribute to the Tonopah Speedway.  “Without his generosity we wouldn’t be able to continue to race at the Tonopah Speedway”.

The racing starts at 7 pm mostly, except special events or two day races. The schedule of races at the Tonopah Speedway is posted on the website listed above. Tonopah Speedway serves hamburgers, hot dogs, nachos, candy, soda, water, and beer.  Stop by Kiddy Corner’s Booth, where you can find toys, t-shirts, hats, and of course candy! Enjoy the roar of the engines and an exciting night out at the races here in Tonopah, Nevada. Followed by some good eats and refreshing beverages of your choice.

Tonopah's founder, Jim Butler, presiding over festivities in Tonopah,1903. (UNLV Libraries photo)
Tonopah’s founder, Jim Butler, presiding over festivities in Tonopah, 1903. (photo: UNLV Libraries)

Last but not least, the Jim Butler Days celebration starts May 23rd  and runs through May 30th. This year marks the 46th year of the celebration. Events included during Jim Butler Days are a street dance, a parade, ceremonies, the State Mining Championships, arm wrestling, gold panning, and tours of Tonopah’s Historic Mining Park. And there’s a comedy show on Sunday May 29th: Adam Hunter’s Comedy Show.

This is just a glimpse of some of the things and places you can visit here in Tonopah, Nevada. So take a stop by the Clown Motel, check out the races at the Tonopah Speedway, or come celebrate with the Tonopians during the Jim Butler Days Celebration. Enjoy food, drink, fun, dancing, the State Mining Championships, Adam Hunter’s Comedy Show on Sunday May 29th,  and much more during this annual celebration. Come explore the old western town of Tonopah, Nevada, and see for yourself why many people chose to call Tonopah their home in the past, now and into the future!

— Caleb Neumann



One Cowboy’s Culinary Treat May Be Another Person’s “Eww!”

Old timers will tell you that some years branding calves in Independence Valley may extend from

April 15 to 4th of July. It depends on the weather and the size of the herd. If it goes until July, the cowboys are darn ready to head to Elko for the Silver State Stampede and to whoop it up for a few days.

An educated guess from a longtime Independence Valley rancher is that during late spring into early summer between ten and fifteen thousand calves are branded on the ranches — from the IL and Petan ranches on the northernmost edge of the valley to the Wrights, the Rhoads, and the VanNorman ranches on the southern end.

On most ranches, branding requires the help of friends and neighbors. Help is repaid with the hospitality of the branding lunch, always a bounteous affair.

Branding calves at the Wright Ranch, Tuscarora, Nevada.
                                                               Branding calves at the Wright Ranch, Tuscarora, Nevada.

For the health of the herd, branding includes ear tags, vaccination, and castration of the bull calves. The calf testicles are considered a delicacy by many, and each ranch cook has her own way of preparation.

This recipe for calf fries from Barbara Wolf of Rancho Grande, North Fork, Nevada is found in The Real Ranch Cookbook: The heritage of Northeastern Nevada’s working ranches, their recipes, histories and photographs, produced by the Elko County CattleWomen. The cookbook is a gem of photos, anecdotes, and good country cooking.

Calf Fries (also known as Rocky Mountain Oysters)
calf nuts
crushed saltine crackers
seasoned salt
garlic powder

Clean calf fries — remove outer sack; with a sharp knife slice the nut almost in half and scrape out meat. If you are using large nuts, you may want to slice in half depth-wise so that the meat cooks up firm, not mushy. Crush crackers and add seasoned salt and garlic powder. Combine egg and milk. Dip nuts in egg and milk wash, then roll in cracker crumbs. Fry in hot oil ‘til golden brown.

— Nancy Harris McLelland



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