Nevada Correspondence – September 2017

In this edition:

Baker, Elko, Ely, Las Vegas, Laughlin, Lincoln County, Mineral County, Pahrump, Reno, Tonopah, South Lake Tahoe



September is one of the most beautiful months to visit Baker and the surrounding area. With the cooler temperatures and shorter days, the leaves start changing color, beginning at tree line and working their way down. Snake Creek, in the southern part of the park, has beautiful high elevation aspen groves. A hike to Johnson Lake takes you through them, as well as the newly restored Johnson Mill. HistoriCorps, a group of volunteers who restores historic buildings, worked on this old building for a month earlier in the summer.

Fall colors at Dead Lake

You can also try out the new trail to Dead Lake. Don’t be expecting much of a lake—it’s called Dead Lake because it often shrinks to a puddle. But it also has great aspens next to it, making for some nice reflections.

Snow will likely fall at some time during the month, contrasting with the fall colors. Although the 12-mile-long Wheeler Peak Scenic Drive may close temporarily, it will stay open throughout the month. Bring lots of layers, as it gets much cooler. If you’re planning on camping, bring some water containers, as the campground water will be turned off sometime during the month.

The longer nights make night-sky observing even easier. The annual Great Basin National Park Astronomy Festival will be held September 21-23. The keynote speaker is Tony Berendsen from Tahoe Star Tours. The festival features star-themed programs, lots of night sky viewing, kids’ activities, a night sky photography workshop, and more.

You can learn more about one of the local businesses, the Border Inn, in this KSL newsclip. The Border Inn is right on the Nevada-Utah border. They hold many great parties during the year, in addition to being the only area business open 24 hours a day. They are also the only place to gas up, eat or find a motel room along a 155-mile stretch of US Highways 6 and 50 from Ely, Nevada to Delta, Utah. Hunters frequent the Border Inn in the fall, fueling up to search for the plentiful deer and elk in the nearby mountains surrounding the park.

— Gretchen Baker

Visit Gretchen’s fascinating outdoor adventure blog, Desert Survivor.



September Camping

There is plenty of nice weather for camping in September. I recommend Angel Lake Campgound for a quick weekend getaway. It is only an hour and a half from Elko and is reached by taking I-80 to Wells and then following State Route 231 to Angel Lake. Route 231 is a state scenic byway and provides great views

of the East Humboldt Mountains as you head towards the campground. The campground sits in an aspen stand adjacent to Angel Lake. There are opportunities for hiking, fishing, swimming, and good old relaxing at this campground. Many of the sites can be reserved at and others are available on a first-come walk up basis.

Poe and Pints

Ghostlight Productions and Duncan Little Creek Gallery and Bar invite you to three evenings of performances of selected, dramatized works of Edgar Allan Poe, along with craft beer tasting, on October 5, 6, and 7, beginning at 7 PM. Frank L. Sawyer directs this unique take on Poe’s haunting works. For more information on how to attend Poe & Pints or how to become a sponsor, see

Edible Elko

I had nice breakfast at Dreez, the new restaurant on Silver Street, last week. They are in the old Biltoki spot on Silver Street. I enjoyed the “Eggs Royale” — a variation on eggs benedict with salmon. A side of fresh fruit and good coffee rounded out my tasty meal. A relaxed atmosphere and friendly staff make Dreez worth trying for something new in Elko. And please check out the Dreez Facebook page.

Fall Colors

By late September we will start to see the first hints of fall as the leaves start to change colors in the mountains of Elko County. Now is the time to plan a trip to see the spectacular display, which runs from the end of September through mid-October. Lamoille Canyon is the best and easiest spot to take in the colors. Bear Creek Summit, Angel Creek, and Jack Creek areas are other good spots for leaf peeping, too.

Up, Up and Away!

The Ruby Mountain Balloon Festival takes to the skies on Sept. 23rd through the 25th. Pilots and their balloons will take flight each morning at dawn in Spring Creek. You will have to get up early to see the launches, but it is well worth it. Check out the schedule at:

— Doug Clarke



The Cherry Creek Hot Springs Mural Refreshed

Ely has 20 murals that depict its rich heritage of mining and ranching, along with the people who called this part of eastern Nevada home. The Cherry Creek Hot Springs mural has just been refreshed with fresh paint, 17 years after it was first painted. Located at 696 Aultman Street, on the west side of Economy Drug Store, the mural was commissioned by the Ely Renaissance Society during the summer of 2000 and is the subject of the first Living Mural Production. Study the artwork done by Wei Luan as it depicts the old gold mining town of Cherry Creek and the Hot Springs resort and laundry operation. The Cherry Creek Mural tells the story of the Sundberg family, who settled in Cherry Creek in the late 1800’s. They came from Sweden and Denmark and were familiar with hot springs enjoyment and created a “spa” bath at the hot springs for the early miners. They also did their laundry. Telling the story of one Northern European family, this mural follows our theme of “Where the World Met and Became One.” The plaque on the wall at Economy Drug goes into more detail.

The mural was the third done in Ely’s downtown in 2000 by Wei Luan. The refreshment of the mural was done by One Bear Productions of Las Vegas. Economy Drug paid for half of the refreshment cost, and a grant from Great Basin Heritage Area Partnership paid the other half. The work was done to carefully follow the original artist style and paint colors. One Bear Productions also did the Lehman Cave mural on the Park View Motel in 2016. The brochure for the mural trail has more information on Ely’s murals.

The Ely Renaissance Society was formed in 1999 to preserve and renovate the downtown area through art that tells of our history. Recognizing the richness of Ely’s history, the Society choose the theme “Where the World Met and Became One,” which tells the story of the various ethnic groups who came to Eastern Nevada to work in the mines, ranches, and businesses. These groups brought a rich diversity to this community. Using White Pine’s unique historical theme to create giant canvases of art in the form of murals, the project sparked a sense of pride and revitalization to the community. During the summer of 2004, the Ely Renaissance Society hosted the Global Mural Conference.

The Renaissance Society believes the outdoor art in the murals and the sculpture park should be as diverse as the history that it depicts. The artists have been chosen not only for their outstanding talent but also for a variety of artistic styles ranging from abstract impressionism to trompe l’oile. By combining history with art and placing it in the outdoor domain, accessible to all, art becomes a part of everyday life. The history lessons expressed on the walls ensure that our mining and ranching heritage is forever enshrined.

Two new murals were added in 2016. One tells the story of Absalom Lehman and his discovery of Lehman Caves. The National Park Service celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2016 and the 75th Conference of the National Speleological Society meet in Ely, both to celebrate Lehman Caves as part of Great Basin National Park. The second mural, “Where the World Met and Became One,” recognizes the ethnic heritage of the area and features people and art of their cultures. These pieces of artwork were done by talented high school students.

Information about all the Ely Renaissance Society projects can be found at and

— Lorraine Clark


Las Vegas

The Mob Museum

It will soon be 2018, yet most people still think it’s 1970 in Las Vegas. That’s when the Strip was run by the Mob. Remember the movie Casino ? Well, Bugsy is out and Wall Street is in. Yet that old image of Bugsy still lingers, and Las Vegas promotes it in all its glory at the National Museum of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement (The Mob Museum) in downtown Las Vegas on Stewart Ave.

The Mob Museum is located in a courthouse built in 1933. The irony is that this courthouse was one of 14 in the

Moe Sedway, longtime associate of Benjamin “Bugsy’ Siegel and Meyer Lansky, testified before the Kefauver Committee in Las Vegas in 1950. Sedway, along with Gus Greenbaum, took over the operation of the Flamingo Hotel and Casino on the night Siegel was assassinated in 1947. “Moe Green,” a character in The Godfather, was allegedly based on Sedway and Greenbaum.

nation to hold the Kefauver Committee hearings on organized crime in 1950. It’s a perfect backdrop for an authentic view of the mob’s impact on the city. The Mob Museum presents the story from the perspective of both organized crime and law enforcement. Visitors get to be part of the action through theater presentations and interactive environments. Visitors can shoot a simulated Tommy gun, listen to authentic FBI surveillance tapes, and take part in FBI weapons training. There are more than 2,000 artifacts and storylines pertinent to the history of Las Vegas and America.

The newest display is artifacts highlighting the law enforcement work of the famous T-Men, the U.S. Treasury Department’s Special Intelligence Unit. The collection, an expansion of the popular “Follow the Money” exhibit, showcases key artifacts from the highly publicized trial of Al Capone, including the final memo detailing the case against the notorious mobster Moe Sedway.

Since opening in 2012, the museum has accumulated numerous accolades, including USA Today’s “12 Can’t Miss U.S. Museum Exhibits.” The Mob Museum opens daily at 9 a.m. 702-229-2734 &

Can anyone tell the difference between “complete” and “finished”? No dictionary has ever been able to define the difference between these two words. However, in a linguistic conference held in London, Sun Sherman, an Indian American, had an answer: “When you marry the right woman, you are ‘Complete.’ If you marry the wrong woman, you are ‘Finished.’ And, when the right woman catches you with the wrong woman, you are ‘Completely Finished.’” His answer received a standing ovation.

— Diamond Jack Bulavsky


So we gotta say goodbye for the summer …

Wait! No we don’t! This is Vegas! There are still feasts and fests to attend and enjoy while the heat is on!

The Prince Kuhio Ho’oalaule’a Pacific Islands Festival (H.P.I.) in Henderson is September 9th (10 a.m. until 8 p.m.) and 10th (10 a.m. until 6 p.m.) in and around Water Street, with stages set up at their Events Plaza and Convention Center. The festival will have arts and crafts, Hawaiian games, workshops, a petting zoo, a car show (on Sunday), live entertainment running all day and Hawaiian food. They will also have an indoor career/business and health fair. Admission is free so go enjoy!

While you are in the area, perhaps staying at Sunset Station or Fiesta Henderson, you might want to combine your trip and attend both the H.P.I. Festival on Sunday and the Polynesian Football Classic game on Saturday, September 9th, being held at Sam Boyd Stadium. There will be two games played with general admission of $27.25. If you have a student pass the price is $23.25. Both prices listed include the ticket fees.

At 3:30 p.m. the Utah Hawks will play the Liberty Patriots (Henderson). Fiji The Artist, a Polynesian artist with several albums to his Grammy nominated credit, features the Pacific Island Sound. He will be performing at approximately 6:30 p.m. (between games). At 8 p.m. the Utah Bingham Miners go against the Kahuku Red Raiders from Hawaii. Gates open at 2:30 p.m.

Have you ever gone to the Las Vegas Greek Food Festival? This will be their 45th annual event at St. John Greek Orthodox Church. The church is located west of Jones at Hacienda and El Camino Rd. Admission is $7 (12+ ages) with children under 12 free. They have a 3 day pass for $12. Also, you can save $5 if you call to purchase their coupon booklet for $20 which contains an admission ticket ($7) plus 3 food coupons ($6 each). Call (702) 221-8245 to purchase this booklet direct from the church. Hours for Friday are 3 p.m. until 11 p.m. Saturday and Sunday hours are noon until 11 p.m. and 10 p.m., respectively.

This is a fun event if you like everything Greek! Greek art, Greek food-gyros, baklava, shrimp santorini, souvlaki, Greek jewelry, Greek clothing … just shop after shop of stands to browse, and of course entertainment-music-dancing. Yes! You can dance! Opa! And, don’t be deterred … They also have non-Greek items for sale to keep your interest.

The parishioners of this church spend days preparing the food and pastries, and they are always good and worth taking home. The proceeds from this festival go to the church, so they have much invested in the outcome of their festival.

My tip for this festival is to go on Saturday or Sunday early and park on one of the side streets within a block of the grounds. If you wait until later, you will have to find parking in their lots or go farther out to Rainbow Blvd. and take their free shuttle back. The festival is always packed in the evenings, and the food lines are super long!

Now, here’s a relative newbie that began last year. The 2nd Annual Vegas VegFest will be held Saturday, September 30th at the Clark County Government Center. The event and parking are free, with donations accepted, and will be held in their Amphitheater and parking lot from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m.

This is not your typical ‘you-should-have-2 servings-of-vegetables-daily-such as,-broccoli-carrots…’ event. No, no, no … They have vendors with food prepared that you can purchase!

Panevino, Las Vegas’ famous restaurant with dining views across from the airport, is a sponsor and cooked up batches of gluten-free ravioli in a creamy tomato sauce last year. They also have smoothies, juices, veggie burgers, chicken, wings, bean salad, cheesecake, Thai food, Indian food, and Mexican food for purchase.

Of course, there will be speakers and food demonstrations. Bring your blanket and an empty stomach … and enjoy!

— Pauline Cimoch


Kaki King will perform at historic Fifth Street School

Screenshot from YouTube video “Kaki King, Visionary Guitarist & Composer”

Composer and guitarist Kaki King, hailed by Rolling Stone magazine as “a genre unto herself,” will perform at the Historic Fifth Street School Friday, Sept. 8 at 7:30 p.m. as part of her fall tour. Tickets are $25 for adults and $12.50 for those under 18.

The Brooklyn-based artist, who has released six diverse and distinctive albums over the past 10 years, has another release scheduled for Sept. 22. She has performed with Foo Fighters, Timbaland, and The Mountain Goats, and contributed to a variety of film and TV soundtracks, including Golden Globe-nominated work on Sean Penn’s “Into The Wild.”

For more information, tickets and reservations go to Kaki

Paiutes to open Huge Cannabis Marketplace

With recreational marijuana legal in Nevada, the 56-member Las Vegas Paiute tribe will be opening a 15,800-square-foot store on a 2.5-acre land parcel next month next to its already well-established Mini Mart at 1225 N. Main Street. On tribal land, the retail outlet will be called Nuwu Cannabis Marketplace and have a 168-foot checkout desk with 13 point-of-sale stations.

This is being billed at the largest stand-alone retail marijuana facility in the United States.

Spectacles via Snapbot makes Nevada Debut at LINQ Promenade

The LINQ Promenade is now the first and only Nevada location for the summer to have a Snapbot, an interactive yellow vending machine through which Snapchatters can virtually try-on and purchase a pair of Spectacles by Snap Inc.

“Spectacles” are sunglasses featuring a built-in video camera that records exactly what the wearer sees, hands-free, with a touch of a button. Snaps taken with Spectacles save wirelessly into Snapchat’s “Memories” and can then be uploaded to a Snapchatter’s Story or shared directly with family and friends in a new circular video format that can be played full-screen, in any orientation.

At the Snapbot location, customers can virtually try on each color sunglasses by pushing the corresponding button (coral, black, or teal). This virtual try-on technology leverages the same technology that powers Snapchat Lenses.

Fremont Street Experience opens Zombie Attraction

Fear of the Walking Dead Survival (Triotech Photo:Thierry du Bois)

The new zombie-themed walk-through attraction “Fear the Walking Dead Survival,” inspired by AMC’s hit TV series, “Fear the Walking Dead™,” opened downtown at the Fremont Street Experience. The multi-sensory experience is a combination of motion rides, mazes, and interactive videogames transporting visitors into a zombie apocalyptic world. Tickets start at $30. Hours of operation are daily Sunday–Thursday 1 p.m.–1 a.m. and weekends until 2 a.m.

The collaborative project is by the Fremont Street Experience, AMC and Triotech, a Canadian company known for producing technologically advanced, interactive award-winning attractions.

— Jackie Brett



Collin Raye Headlines at the Riverside

It will be “An Evening with Collin Raye” in Don’s Celebrity Theatre at the Riverside Sept. 14-16 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $30.

Country artist Collin Raye from Arkansas was one a big hit makers in the 1990s. With 24 top ten records and 16 No. 1 hits, Collin still continues to crank out soulful, heartfelt material with the honesty and richness that is signature to his vocals alone.

Raye has been nominated 10 times for vocalist of the year; five by the CMA and five by ACM.

Raye has consistently used his stardom to advance social causes. His new outreach is very personal after the loss of his precious 10 year old grandchild, Haley, in 2010. Raye and his daughter Britanny established The Haley Bell Blessed Chair Foundation to honor her memory.

Chicago will Rock the Rio Vista Amphitheater

Rock ‘n’ roll royalty Chicago will pay a visit to Harrah’s Rio Vista Amphitheater on Friday, Sept. 22 with a 9 p.m. show. Tickets start at $39.90.

Chicago is one of the biggest selling rock ‘n’ roll bands of all time having sold more than 100 million records worldwide. They sold 40-plus million alone in the 1970s, making them the No. 1 U.S. charting group of that decade. The 10-piece band has had five No. 1 albums, 18 platinum albums, eight multi-platinum albums and 21 Top 10 singles. The group was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2016 and members were inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2017.

Chicago is currently celebrating 50 years together.

Country Duo Montgomery Gentry Stop at E Center

CANCELLED due to tragic death of Troy Gentry , September 8, 2017


Eddie Montgomery and Troy Gentry, two boys from Kentucky, first burst onto the national scene in 1999 with their defiant “Hillbilly Shoes.” The hard driving country duo called Montgomery Gentry will headline the E Center at the Edgewater on Saturday, Sept. 30 at 8 p.m. Ticket range is $35 to $75.

Despite the millions of albums sold, the sold out shows and the scores of awards, Montgomery Gentry remains in touch with its working class roots. The duo has fourteen Top 10 singles, including five No. 1s: “Something To Be Proud Of,” “If You Ever Stop Loving Me,” Lucky Man,” “Back When I Knew It All” and “Roll With Me.” It is their induction into the venerable Grand Ole Opry in 2009 that means the most to them. They were acknowledged by the Academy of Country Music as the 2010 winners of its Humanitarian Award. They are active participants in many charitable organizations, including the U.S. military, the TJ Martell Foundation, Camp Horsin’ Around and the Make?A?Wish Foundation of Middle Tennessee among numerous others.

Viva Tropicana Celebration Includes Car Show

Viva Tropicana Celebration & Car Show will be held at the Tropicana Friday-Sunday, Sept. 29-Oct. 1. This hotel’s annual staple event features Latin-inspired live music, a wide variety of custom hot rods, low riders, show N shine, vendors, DJs, Sopas on Sunday from 8-11 a.m., and more.

The car show on Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to sunset will be held in the North Parking Lot. Viewing is free and open to the public. To enter a car the fee is $25.

On Friday and Saturday, the Tropicana for the first time during the event will host Lucha Libre Voz – Live Professional Wrestling in the Pavilion Theater at 8 p.m. each night. The Lucha Libre Voz event will feature international Lucha Superstars from Mexico and United States. The main event on Sept. 29 will be a championship match for the first Tropicana Laughlin Official Belt Title. The Sept. 30 event will be the Voz Ultra Championship Match where recognized international Lucha stars compete. Featured during these events will be King Kappa, Zagan, El Dragon among others. Tickets are $15.

There will be a dance party on Friday and Saturday in Tango’s Lounge with Latiln Crooners from 4:30-8:30 p.m. and Stone Soul from 9 p.m.-1 a.m. Another dance party will be in Victory Plaza with Thee Champagne Band 4-8 p.m. and Rocky Padilla Band 9 p.m.-1 a.m.

— Jackie Brett


Lincoln County

Pahranagat Man

Lincoln County’s Mount Irish Wilderness, home of the mysterious Pahranagat Man (Photo by Bureau of Land management “Basin and Range National Monument, Mount Irish Wilderness” | Flickr; CC BY 2.0)

Do you know what Pahranagat Man is, or where it is? Have you ever seen it? It does exist. It’s an Indian rock art petroglyph etched in the rocks near the Pahranagat National Wildlife Refuge untold centuries ago, about seven miles south of Alamo on U.S. 93.

But for now, it is the being used as the official trademark of the Lincoln Community Action Team (LCAT) and their efforts on tourism.

However, it is not the only rendition of the image. There about 20 others of various types on the rock art left by the ancient inhabitants in various places in the valley. The meanings of which are still undetermined.

Pahranagat Man, as seen at, is one of about 20 depictions of this man, shaman, figure in ritual dance costume, ancestral spirit, ancient deity, or space alien, according to various interpretations.

Petroglyphs are images created by removing part of a rock surface by incising, pecking, carving, or abrading, as a form of rock art. Outside North America, scholars often use terms such as “carving”, “engraving” or other descriptions of the technique to refer to such images. Petroglyphs are found worldwide and are often associated with prehistoric peoples. The word comes from the Greek word petro, theme of the word “petra,” meaning “stone”, and glyphein meaning “to carve”, and was originally coined in French as pétroglyphe.

The term petroglyph should not be confused with petrograph, which is an image that is drawn or painted on a rock face.

Lincoln County, especially in the Pahranagat Valley region, has a number of the rock art sites, most of which, if not all, have now been duly recorded and photographed and cataloged for current and future scientific study.

In 1970, the Bureau of Land Management designated 640 acres to what is known as the Mount Irish Petroglyph Site. This district has the largest known concentration of these ancient Indian art works.

Due to the complex topography in the area, many of the petroglyph panels are not easy to locate, and the BLM has published three or four rock art trail guides, including three walking tours at the Mt. Irish site. But a person should contact the BLM field office in Caliente informing them of your intention to visit.

“Pahranagat man keeping an eye on highway 93” (Photo by Thure Johnson/ CC BY 2.0)

Finding Pahranagat Man would be more difficult, but it can be done. Best to stop at the Visitors Center at the Pahranagat National Wildlife Refuge. Pahranagat Man (or one version of him) is located not far from the entrance to the refuge on U.S. 93. but getting directions or even someone to take you there is highly recommended. Surprisingly, another one, actually two others, are located on the other side of the highway, but down an access road you can’t drive on, but you can walk on. I did just that with refuge manager Rob Vinson, who pointed out that two of the images on opposite sides are looking at one another from one hillside to the other. Wonder what the reason for that was?

According to Marcia Hurd, president of LCAT, she says that for tourism purposes, some of which are even being used now, it might be possible to have Pahranagat Man registered as a trademark. Hurd said the U.S. Patent Office in Washington D.C., might be able to do that by establishing “common law rights.”

She explained that as adopting the Pahranagat Man image as a trademark, with the P-man character(s) and in conjunction with the present county tourism tagline, “Get Primitive,” by combining the image and the tagline it takes the wording “get primitive” from ‘descriptive’ to ‘arbitrary,’ which makes it valid for trademarking.

A future application for a registered trademark (®) can be done once sufficient funds are raised. “But it’s not necessary,” Hurd said, “unless we want to protect the use nationwide.”

For further information on exploring the Mount Irish Petroglyph Site and Lincoln County’s five other petroglyph sites, go to

— Dave Maxwell


Mineral County

The Great Outdoors

As summer is winding down and the high desert soil welcomes cool breezes, Mineral County remains a treasure trove of places to enjoy camping, while enjoying the sweeping views of Walker Lake and the vast circle of mountains surrounding it.

The shoreline of Monument Beach is easily accessible to those with kayaks and small, lightweight watercraft

Coming out of Hawthorne when traveling north on Highway 95, a first stop would be Walker Lake’s Monument Beach. Once known as the State Beach, it has now been dedicated by the County as a free, family spot. Day use is advised, but dry camping is available at the beach waters or in various other locations that offer a shady picnic cover. The boat ramp was recently rebuilt to accommodate the rising waters within the lake’s shoreline. Trash receptacles are in place and the request of proper pickup is mandatory. A directory greets you within a rock monument, explaining details of this Ice-Age lake’s progress and changes. Details can be found at these websites: or You will also see billboards which invite you to “Save Walker Lake,” sponsored by the Walker Lake Working Group and other supporters.

Bighorn sheep are a common sight on the mountainsides above the western shore of Walker Lake

Traveling north to the next location, be sure to watch the mountainside for the Big Horn Sheep, as they graze in the rocks and at times wander toward the desolate, rocky shoreline areas.

The next camping location will be Sportsman’s Beach, a Bureau of Land Management location that offers a rural setting, bathroom use, dry camping, shoreline fun, and hiking. Various signage is available to instruct and guide you in your “first come, first serve” camping stay. This camping is based on the honor system, with a box on grounds without staff on premises.

Back on Highway 95, round the corner to the north and you will see signage for another BLM campground called Tamarack Beach, which also allows you bathroom use only and a spacious area to relax among the wide range of views and quiet landscape. Collect unusual rocks or be entertained as various small critters and harmless lizards wander near you. No one monitors your stay, and the honor system is also available during your stay, as no park rangers are on premises.

Picturesque tufa formations at 20-Mile, located at the north end of Walker Lake

The last and northernmost stop on the lake is 20-Mile. This is a basic oasis of dry camping for the rough and ready camper. Set up camp on this north end of the lake and enjoy the peaceful waters as you watch an array of birds visiting the shoreline. Use binoculars to view wildlife on the western area, where the unusual tufa rock formations have created holes and dark cave structures. In the evening, view the city lights of the Hawthorne military base, many miles away.

As the summer heat surrenders to the brisk cool air, don’t discount the great outdoors as an easy escape that is offered all year round within Walker Lake’s serene landscape.

— Sheri Samson



The Pahrump Valley is one off-road adventure after another

Trail one mile west of Pahrump, with the cloud-shrouded Spring Mountains and Mount Charleston to the east

Climb aboard any off-road vehicle and head in any direction and within 30 minutes you leave civilization well behind. Whether you’re headed towards the Spring Mountains or exploring canyons and wide open desert, the town of Pahrump offers off-road adventurist something that most towns can’t — wide open space.

Pahrump is just 65 miles west of Las Vegas and 35 miles to the east of Death Valley National Park. The town may not look like much when you approach it from Highway 160 coming west from Las Vegas, which is about an hours drive, but the first thing that sticks out is all the open space that surrounds the town.

The Pahrump Valley is made for off-roading. The Spring Mountains are to the east of the town, and to the west there is a dry lake bed and the Nopah Range. To the north is the Last Chance Mountains, and to the south is wide open space.

Mountain trails east of town

Mount Charleston at 11,916 feet and is the tallest peak in Clark County, and the eighth tallest in the state. It is the crown jewel of the Spring Mountain range.

Getting to the Mountains is easy from Pahrump. The key is Wheeler Pass. Simply drive up the pass, and you’re in a whole new world within 20 minutes. Once in the mountains, people enjoy the herds of wild horses and burros that still roam the area, despite the thinning of the herds.

Wild horses drinking at Wheeler Well

Wheeler Well, just under 20 miles from Pahrump by trail, is a great place to see wild horses during the spring and summer months. The well is tended by wild horse lovers in town. During the summer months, the well is one of the only sources of water for not only the horses but wild animals, like deer and many birds. At one time, the well fed Pahrump cattle from local ranches.

The petroglyphs left behind by the Native Americans are another mountain treasure many visitors will want to see.

In every every cardinal direction, trails are waiting.

The trails to the north of Pahrump are also open to off-road vehicle traffic and are used mostly by gold seekers. Tourists are attracted to the infamous Johnnie Mine, known as the location where Butch Cassidy met his end in a mining accident.

The Nopah Range on the west side of the Pahrump Valley

On the west side of the town — the Nopah Range side — there is an abundant amount of trails. They can be tricky though. By law, riding on the California side, which is about 5 to 10 miles, depending where you are, is designated wilderness area, and off-road vehicles are prohibited. But the trails on the Nevada side are so plentiful that one can spend an entire day driving them still, without the dry lake bed. The Southwest section of these trails tend to be more bumpy and perfect for beginners to intermediate riders.

Trails are unmarked

A weak point about off-road adventures in Pahrump is the fact is the trails are unmarked. There is a way around that. Parker Kawasaki at 1201 S Highway 160, has trail info and they even have a free BLM map. Call them at 775- 537-6686.

If you also go to there are trail maps too.

The good thing about off-road travel in town is that Pahrump is a valley, and as long as you can see the mountains, it is difficult to get lost.


Fall is coming to Pahrump and that is the best time to visit the desert for off-road fun. Combine an off-road trip with the Fall Festival, which runs during the second to last weekend in September. This year it will be from Sept. 21-24 at Petrack Park. Festival includes rides for kids, a rodeo, food, and nightly entertainment.


Pahrump is experiencing a boom in lodging, with hotel occupancy at its height of 418 hotel rooms and with two more hotels coming in. In addition, Pahrump has 1,100 RV sites and 57 cabins.

— Vernon Hee



It’s All About the RIVER, Babie!

The river matured late this year, with cold water and bank to bank flows persisting into late August. The upside is that the river should still be tube-able (and swimable) in September. We plan to over-indulge in this refreshing activity, putting in at Mayberry Park upstream and taking out at the Truckee River Whitewater Park downtown. For free maps and info, go to the Riverwalk District’s website or pick up one of their free maps downtown. If you are appalled by nature, grossed out by river sludge, or simply can’t tolerate the idea of your kids getting washed downstream without you, Reno and Sparks are swimming with free water parks and beaches that enable little ones to cool off without the inherent danger of river play.

Mount Rose Trail

Wild Lupine along the Mount Rose Trail

Another great activity close to Reno is the Mount Rose Trail. The only time I have been disappointed by this trail is when I tried it this year in June and was met with a massive wall of snow at the parking area. The payoff, though, is there were still fabulous snowmelt-fed wildflower displays at the

end of August, which will likely carry over into September. At 10,776 feet, Mount Rose Summit is the perfect place to beat the heat, with spectacular views of the Tahoe Basin, the Sierra to the west, and the vast Basin and Range to the east. On a clear day, you can even see Mount Lassen! The last half-mile is a painstakingly slow drudge for us, but I love the feeling of being in the loose slate rock above the treeline, the Krumholtz, and the unique vegetation and critters that only exist here. Thrilling! Just be sure to pack a down jacket; no matter the temp on the valley floor, there is a chilling wind at the top.

View of Lake Tahoe looking south from atop Mount Rose

If you are hiking with kids, or just don’t feel like abusing your body (Mount Rose hike is 10.6 miles round trip with a 2,300 foot elevation gain), you can opt for a “halfway hike” to a fantastic waterfall (a mostly level 5 mile round trip).

The ‘Space Whale’ in City Plaza, Downtown Reno

Public Art

The Public Art scene is Taking OFF in Reno, with an emphasis on sculpture and murals. Visit the City of Reno’s Public Art Page for a free map and guide to the City’s installations, many of them right in the Downtown area. There are even several “art parks” such as the Playa Art Park, City Plaza, and Bicentennial Park, where you can view numerous pieces in one stop, and a mural display on the side of the Circus Circus Casino, thanks to the Reno Mural Marathon. The newest installation that is drawing a lot of attention is the Space Whale, recently erected in City Plaza (former site of The Mapes). While this installation is somewhat controversial because of the cost (64K to rent for one year), hanging out at its base, especially at night with its cosmic light display, made a convert out of me. The 50-foot piece has two thousand stained glass panels and debuted at Burning Man 2016.


Reno hosts some of its biggest events in September. The Great Reno Balloon Race, Sept 8-10 at Rancho San Rafael Park, is a free and must-see-at-least-once annual event, followed by the Reno Air Races (Sept 13-17), and Street Vibrations motorcycle rally (Sept. 27-Oct. 1). For those active-minded individuals, there is the Edible Pedal, Sept 17, which involves some great views, exercise and fresh air (with different length and difficulty options), accentuated by great FOOD! And, for the less ambitious exerciser, there is the monthly Beer Crawl (Fourth Saturdays, $5 for mug and $1 fills) and Winewalk (Third Saturdays, $20 for glass with free samples).

— Amy Meeks


South Lake Tahoe

Kayaking off Zephyr Point on Lake Tahoe’s Nevada shoreline.

It felt as if every person on the planet visited Lake Tahoe this summer. People from all walks of life came to the South Shore in search of the great vacation and great times. Much like waves crashing on the shores, the crowds kept coming and coming. Temperatures in the lowlands were hitting triple digits, so to many the logical escape was Tahoe. Local businesses welcomed them with open arms: after all, tourism is the life blood of the economy up here. It was crowded, but the general vibe was very chill; people mixed well and the crazy season went off without a hitch.

It’s a glorious time to visit: it’s the secret summertime that has everything July has, but it’s a little more mellow. Room rates drop at local hotels, there are no lines at restaurants, beaches become quiet, and there are still plenty of events to enjoy outdoors. One such event is the 8th Annual Sample the Sierra, September 16 at Bijou Community Park, 1201 Al Tahoe Blvd., South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150. Sample the Sierra is Lake Tahoe’s largest farm-to-fork festival, and it’s back to celebrate all that Sierra Nevada region has to offer. Locally crafted food, wine and brew. The event, which goes from 12pm to 5pm, brings together local chefs and restaurants with neighboring growers/producers to turn out some scrumptious samples. For more information and tickets, visit Sample the

Swimming with the dogs at Kiva Beach

But if you would rather just sit back and enjoy a pleasant day at the beach, and perhaps your dog is also on vacation, go down to Kiva Beach, also in California, down off of Emerald Bay Road (Hwy. 89) in the Tallac Historic Area. A beach among the pine trees creates a good place for both the sun worshiper and the shade seeker, and Fido can splash around in the water.

Another fun thing that keeps happening lately is the opening of new businesses. One is Clyde’s Coffee Roasting Company, which opened their doors over the summer at 292 Kingsbury Grade, Stateline NV. 89449. Coffee beans roasted on site that they turn into a nice hot cup of coffee or Clyde’s Cold Brew, both can challenge Starbucks with taste and perk. The handmade pastries are a treat to the senses, as well. Clyde’s is family owned and pet friendly.

Table-top stove at Hot Pot Shabu Shabu at Stateline, Nevada

Then, just down the road is The Hot Pot Shabu Shabu at 177 Hwy 50 Suite 101, Stateline, NV 89449. Just recently opened in late August, this new eatery is already catching on for a great place to get delicious Japanese soups that you create. Choose your ingredients, and make yourself a big bowl of soup.

After Labor Day weekend, a sense of calm will come over the locals. The switch is flipped, and summer is suddenly over — not completely, but it slows way down. The feeling of fall starts to combine with summer, and that is the beauty of September at Lake Tahoe; the warm days will remain, but you might want to start carrying a sweater because the chill nip of autumn can suddenly hit you. The changing of the season that you can feel and even witness at Lake Tahoe is a very subtle and comforting way to ease into the cold that awaits us in winter, and it makes this area such a special place.

— Brendan Packer



Working Together: Tonopah High School and the Town of Tonopah

Every day and each night there are visitors and locals alike exploring the Old Tonopah Cemetery, made famous by its proximity to the Clown Motel and an episode of Ghost Adventures. The Cemetery has been painstakingly caretaken and researched by Allen Metscher, President of the Central Nevada Historical Society.

Allen has been working in the Old Cemetery for 38 years, where he has replaced wooden grave markers, looked up death certificates, researched deaths in the old newspapers, added dates and causes of death, and kept the cemetery from falling into disrepair. Last semester, Dr. Whelan’s Tonopah High School Leadership Class and Town of Tonopah’s Tourism/Events Coordinator Shari Bombard worked together to add a little bit more — a walking tour video of the Old Tonopah Cemetery and a brochure to accompany it.

Using the Library of Congress’ Chronicling America website, Shari’s previous research in the Cemetery from her work on Tonopah’s Ghost Walks and Dr. Whelan’s expertise with videography, the group spent an entire semester researching graves, writing a grant application to TravelNevada to fund printing the brochure, and creating and narrating the video.

Some of the fascinating “permanent residents” of the cemetery include: Big Bill Murphy, local hero and victim of the Sept. 23, 1911 Belmont Mine Fire; George “Devil” Davis, owner of the Eureka Saloon and political leader of the Tonopah African American community, who was shot in the back by his wife while playing pool; the Marojevich Brothers, who were killed by a runaway ore cart; and New York socialite Bina Verrault, who fled prosecution in New York City for swindling rich gentlemen out of over $100,000 in cash, clothing and jewelry ($2.2 million in today’s dollars) only to end up dead in Tonopah a year later. (Her story made headlines all over the world.)

If you would like to learn more about the Old Tonopah Cemetery and some of its “permanent residents,” please check out the YouTube video “Tonopah Old Cemetery Tour.”

The brochure is headed to the printer and will be at the Old Tonopah Cemetery, at businesses around Tonopah and online at by the end of September. The entire project was made possible by the collaboration between the Tonopah High School and the Town of Tonopah, as well as grant funding from TravelNevada. See you in Tonopah!

— Shari Bombard