NevadaGram #153 – Getting There, Post Card from Shorty and “Queen of the Night”


Getting there. When you hear someone say that our long highway distances are boring, it’s easy for a Nevada-lover to suppose they lack a crucial gene.

As a service to our subscribers, we present this delightful version of our state song so you can sing (or hum) along as you read this. Or clean house, drive to Winnemucca or hike at Red Rock.

It’s a cock-eyed perception of our beautiful state, but it’s widespread. The biggest problem is simply that people do a lot of their traveling at the wrong time of day. It’s obvious you’re not going to have a view of the landscape at night, but not so obvious that the mid day sun is almost as big a view-killer as darkness is. It’s like having a perpetual flash bulb lighting up everything at once. But at daybreak you can watch the light seep back into the world and the landscape take shape around you in the silent symphony of the dawn. In late afternoon or early evening the sun’s low angled rays illuminate and emphasize each detail, and every clump of brush lights up. I think that’s really where the problem lies: we see the details so clearly here. It helps that there aren’t any trees to get in the way of the view, but the view itself is of Mom Nature at her nakedest, and no make-up. It’s disconcerting and baffling and so we ignore it and listen to the radio or the iPad and think what a bore it is to make this drive.

Comstock Mining Update

Another Goose Egg for CMI
Another Goose Egg for CMI’s bottom line.

CMI’s long-awaited year-end 10-K filing with the SEC have revealed some interesting information. First and foremost, another zero in the profits column. CMI’s 2013 loss: $21.3 million.

Read the Comstock Mining Update Here

A big problem for many newcomers is that they don’t see the familiar elements of the beauty they’re used to back home and they don’t know how to look at it. This problem resolves itself over time. Or not.

Another source of difficulty is ignorance and sloth. We drive mindlessly across the landscape and complain that it’s boring. Before the Interstate highways a drive across Nevada was a small adventure, punctuated by actual places with histories, traditions and local characters. Nowadays we have to make our little adventures. Take a detour on a dirt road that reconnects with the freeway ten miles along. It’s a modest departure, but you will remember it forever and the world you drive through will begin to take on meaning. Look for opportunities to pause, even if only long enough to take a photograph of the landscape that suddenly arrests you with its amazing beauty. It will if you look for it.

Plans are shaping up for the World’s Largest ATV Jamboree to take place next year at 10 (maybe more) ‘hubs’ around the state, each hub offering a dozen different trails to ride, and all of it happening on the same day. “The event capitalizes on our amazing landscapes, wide open spaces and the diversity of developed trails in Nevada, and the fact that we already draw overnight trail-riding enthusiasts from across the country” . . . Congratulations to Sally Sanjani, whose books on Nevada history are great reading for any Nevada-lover. Her story, “Another Life” won the 2013 LAURA Award for the best short story about a western woman in a national competition sponsored by Women Writing the West. Her story is here, along with the other winners for the year

A Post Card from Shorty

Shorety and Harley in Diamond Valley
Me and Harley on the Walking Road

I’ve been enjoying some much needed rest at my Eureka hideaway, taking morning walks with Harley and our posses. We have a Walking Road there that gives us a nice view of the Diamond Valley. It’s so perfect with the morning sun on the snow, and the scents that float in that clear, clean air are all rarified by the chill. And no photo shoots here, “Look this way! Sit still! Lie down!” — do you know how tedious that gets when you’re basically not interested? Out here though, it’s just goofing off and lying around. Except for the orange cat they call Rusty it’s a good life! . . . Tailwags, S H O R T Y (please Like me on Facebook)

Overheard at the Red Dog Saloon in Virginia City: “Fritzi, suppose some people’s faces were as unfinished as their minds — what monstrosities would we see walking the streets then?”

Brief notes from beyond the Mountains:

Five years ago in the NevadaGram

Buster Keaton
Corporal Murphy?

History books will tell you that the first American soldier to shed his blood in World War I was a lieutenant in the medical corps, wounded by a shell burst on July 14, 1917 while serving with the British Army near Arras, France.

But the history books are wrong. Three months earlier, on April 12, and only days after Congress voted to enter the war, Cpl T.M. Murphy of the California National Guard was shot through the legs while defending the sacred soil of Elko County.

Read the whole thing here

Fallon‘s Spring Wings Festival is an annual celebration of shorebird and waterfowl migration through the Lahontan Valley. Check the website for updated information. Spring Wings is based at Churchill County Fairgrounds Complex, off Sheckler Road and US 95 in Fallon. Watch for directional signs on the major routes leading to the fairgrounds . . . The Hotel Nevada and its satellite properties in Ely have a new managing partner. Bert Woywood, the former managing partner, is now the owner of The Prospector on US 93 on the north side of East Ely . . . As persistent drought and water issues dominate the news, the Cowabunga Bay Waterpark at 900 Galleria Drive, Henderson, just east of the Galleria Mall, is scheduled to open May 24. A “limited” number of passes are available before permanent pricing goes into effect. From US-95 (I-515), take Exit 64B and head for the highly visible water slides . . .

Ten years ago in the NevadaGram

Robin at Cathedral Gorge
Robin at Cathedral Gorge

Cathedral Gorge in particular is a unique attraction and popular destination on US 93. What separates this smallish wash from countless others in this wild country is that its walls are made of a chalk-soft suede-textured tan bentonite clay which has eroded into a fantasyland of intricate shapes. Cathedrals, yes, and wedding cakes; fortresses and hunchback men; pillars and dragons; palaces and melting elephants; baroque architectural creations and structures as yet undreamed of — lacy, filigreed, fluted and feathered. A Visitor Center at the entrance to the park is open from 9 to 4 daily.

Read the whole thing here

Tesla Motors has prompted an auction with Nevada and three other states offering carrots to coax the ‘gigafactory’ battery plant the electric car company plans to build to produce lithium batteries for a half-million cars by 2020. Nevada is considered the front-runner, the only state among the four that has lithium mines; the other candidates are

Arizona, New Mexico and Texas with California playing the Dark Horse role . . . Laughlin will celebrate the 32nd Laughlin River Run April 23-27 as more than 40,000 motorcycle enthusiasts roar into town for the festivities. This is the largest motorcycle-oriented event on the west coast. Activities will include stunt shows; motorcycle exhibits; custom bike shows; all types of vendors; the annual Miss Laughlin River Run contest and the always-popular “River Run” to Oatman, Ariz., on historic Route 66. Several Laughlin hotels will feature top-name entertainment and specialty acts during this event; contact your favorite hotel for room packages for this amazing event . . . The Jackson House in Eureka is slowly coming back to life. The bar re-opened several months ago, the first sign of life in years, and now it has brought the gourmet kitchen installed during the hotel’s restoration back into production — but without a dining room it offers only service at the bar or take-out. You can get a major league burger with fries to go for $8 . . .

Spring of 2014, US 50
Last week the drive along US 50 was marked by transient rain squalls, snow flurries and patches of bright sunshine, as if to formally introduce the Spring of 2014.

Local artists, members of the Boulder City Art Guild, a 501(3)c non-profit, are working hard again this Spring to bring the community the two enjoyable days of fine art during their annual outdoor Boulder City Fine Arts Festival April 12 and 13. The 29th Annual Boulder City Outdoor Spring Art Show, presents approximately 100 Artists from 7 Western States at Bicentennial Park (Gazebo Park). There will be food, live music, and fine art with FREE Admission and free drawings from 10 am – 5 pm both days. The guild supports scholarships in the Arts and the ABC Art Center. Exhibiting artists will have a display of donated artwork at the Credit Union to be raffled off for the scholarship fund as well. The Boulder City Fine Arts Festival is produced by Boulder City Art Guild, a 501(3)c non-profit organization . . . “Let’s Go To The Market!” April 26,

Henderson Heritage Parade & Festival
Complimentary Admission,
Complimentary Bike Valet Available!

2014 Henderson Events Plaza & Amphitheatre *Complimentary Admission This year’s Henderson Heritage Parade & Festival will be celebrating the Farmer’s Market’s 15th Anniversary at the downtown Henderson Events Plaza on April 25 and 26. The event begins Friday evening with a Carnival, Saturday kicks off with the City of Henderson’s Mayor & Council Welcome Breakfast, then the annual Spring Parade, followed by a classic car Show, and a traditional folk arts and folkways festival which includes music, dance, crafts, and food from different cultures and nations . . . A return to the largesse of an earlier era? From April 1 to 30, stay at Buffalo Bill’s at Primm for only $49.95 per night mid-week and $95.95 per night on weekends and receive a $25 food credit per stay.

Parting Shot

Queen of the Night by Trish ReynoldsQueen of the Night

This flower began as a meager cutting given to me by a friend back in 2004.

It’s been growing and sprawling all over my sunroom here in Eureka ever since, but there were never any buds.

In August I noticed some new growth, which was different than what I had ever seen before. Lo and behold, there were nine buds! It takes so much energy from the plant to make a flower, only one bud survived.

I started doing some research on the plant and learned it was not a night blooming cereus as originally thought. It is a Queen of the Night [epiphyllum oxypetalum]. It too only blooms at night and the blooms only last one night. I watched the bud develop over the next several weeks.

At first I thought it was going to be a small bloom, as the stem just kept growing longer and longer. Then, the bud began to enlarge both in length and girth. It hung straight down and I was trying to figure out how I was going to photograph it…laying down and shooting up at it?

During the last week of bud development it began to angle upwards and the sepals were twisting around the tip of the bud. As the sepals loosened their grip, the tips of the petals finally ‘popped’ and I knew then the flower would be opening soon. It began opening around 7 pm and it was fully open around 8 or so. I photographed until about midnight when the flower was showing signs of withering. The Queen of the Night gave off a subtle, sweet scent, which lasted the better part of two days.

Now that the plant has finally bloomed after waiting nine years, it should bloom annually and hopefully produce more than one flower. I look forward to my next photo session with the Queen!

Trish Reynolds, Eureka




Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here