Smooth Ride, Small Tremors


October 25, 2022- I slipped out of Carson City in the early morning darkness, around 5:15, hoping to catch breakfast at a small bakery in Yerington, about an hour away, as Carson’s eateries don’t open until around 7. Alas, neither does the bakery in Yerington. It did give me a good start on the long ride back to Prescott, which I was determined to complete, so as to attend a celebration of the Birth of al-Bab, with my Faith Community.

This is the week when Baha’is observe the births of both al-Bab and of Baha’u’llah, as the days occur consecutively, on the Islamic calendar, which of course was the determinant of their birth dates. We use a calendar with similar reckoning, for determining the dates of Holy Days, such as these birthdays. So, this year, al-Bab’s Birth is celebrated after sundown on October 25, or during the day on October 26. Baha’u’llah’s Birth is celebrated after sundown on October 26 or during the day on October 27.

The drive itself was steady and smooth. I got breakfast at Beans and Brews, in Tonopah, and learned it is one of about two dozen branches of a Utah-based enterprise. The workers seem very happy, and they serve good coffee and food, so it is always worth a stop, when in Tonopah. Traffic was not heavy, even in Las Vegas. I was back in Arizona by 2 p.m., stopping only for gas and a light lunch, at “Last Stop in AZ”, which is ironically on the southbound side of US 93. Drowsiness started to kick in, as I approached Jolly Road, near Seligman, so I pulled off and rested for about fifteen minutes. It was there that I felt the unmistakable tremors. Sure enough, there was a shaking, 5.1, though in Silicon Valley, a distance of 647 miles. I still felt it, when I got back to Prescott, so there must have been a few aftershocks.

The gathering for the Birth of al-Bab was large and joyful. Someone who had recently been on Pilgrimage to the Holy Land gave each of us a rose petal and small card with a prayer on it. A nice, light meal was provided by the hosts and we caught up with what each of us had been doing, over the past two weeks. Later, I got a message from the Carson City family, saying I was already missed. This is ever sweet, and I know this: So many friends, far and wide, generate strong feelings of love in my heart. I will always do what I can to have their backs, whether they are in Prescott, Carson City, Phoenix, Grapevine, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts-or any of over a hundred locations, where a warm reception awaits.

The Carson Loop, Day 1: A Path of Constancy


October 15, 2022, Tonopah, NV- Any journey begins with securing one’s place of return. I began the day with a brief visit to Prescott Farmer’s Market, buying sprouts to help sustain me, whilst on the road and kombucha, for when I get back and need a boost, during the change of seasons. My other close-to-home errand was a stop at Chino Valley’s Harvest Festival, with the aim of helping some other Baha’is set up their booth. Alas, between leaving the market late and having a bit of trouble finding the site, by the time I got there, only one small task remained. I helped with that, and had to leave, which didn’t particularly set well with the Friends, but having to run back to the house and get something needful that I had forgotten, and wanting to be up here in time to connect with two Zoom meetings, I bid them farewell.

Getting to the Kingman area, I found myself in the midst of a rather intense post-monsoonal storm, which dumped nearly an inch of rain on the lower Mohave Desert, only dissipating just shy of Las Vegas. Slotsville traffic was relatively mild, and I passed along U.S. 95, with little trouble. Only one stop, at the Speedway Gas Station, on the north end of Las Vegas (my go-to place for filling up in the city, when on a northward run), was needed. No stops were made this time, in Amargosa, Beatty or Goldfield, but I did notice that the latter will soon have its own Truck Stop, south of the historic district. That will be good for those who otherwise go 95 miles in-between fill-ups between Beatty and Tonopah.

Once here, in this mining community, I returned to Economy Inn, carefully pulling in, and being mindful of a distracted young man, who was pacing around the parking lot, playing with a large sling shot. I checked in, asked about the young man, and was told he is the owner and was probably pacing because he is renovating the property and has to do a lot of thinking. I was also informed that WiFi service there is in abeyance, but that the casino down the street will let anyone use its WiFi.

Thus, I sat on a bench, in the lobby of Tonopah Station, joining the two Zoom meetings, as a mostly silent participant-owing to the intermittent foot traffic and occasional noise of the lobby. This, again, didn’t seem to set well with a few of the meeting participants, but we do what we can in this life, and it has nothing to do with priorities. A young boy sat next to me, for a bit of the second meeting, comparing my laptop to the one he uses at his school. He was also enchanted by a music video, featuring Yusuf Islam joining a group of artists singing his song “Peace Train”. It’s always a joy to befriend children, and there is always time.

After conversing with a man who happened to be from a town near Kingman, and alerting him to ths storm that had hit that area, I went back to Economy Inn, and settled in the night. This post comes to you from Beans and Brews, a delightful coffee house, attached to a Union 76 gas station, and a must-stop when I am in Tonopah. The “kids”, both teenagers and older, are playful and very happy on the job. They also serve good fare.

Catching, as Catch Can


June 28, 2021- When I was in the military, one of my snarkier quad mates was fond of saying “Catch as catch can”, when he or others interrupted someone’s sleep in the middle of the night, or when food was in short supply. That phrase has, ever since, been a burr in my saddle-as if life is meant to be an endless competition, with the cup ever half empty-and “Oh, well”. I know that some, including one of my regular commenters, see the world that way-and more’s the pity.

I have learned to face life’s struggles a bit more stoically, and with a view towards getting through the matter, and drawing a lesson from it. This morning, I left Carson City, around 5:30, after a heartwarming and very full five day visit with extended family. The drive from Nevada’s capital city, to within forty five miles of Las Vegas, was smooth as silk and included stops at two of my favourite “Outback” places: Beans and Brews, in Tonopah and Fort Amargosa-across from the Area 51 Alien Center. There are, in fact, any number of places where one may get a warm welcome, between LV and the Reno/Carson area.

Smooth was the road, with little traffic; then came Indian Springs. The normally sleepy town, centered on Creech Air Force Base, was the scene of a traffic standstill, precipitated by a call to the US Air Force, claiming that a bomb was at Creech’s main gate. US 95 was thus closed, in both directions, for well over an hour. Now, the 200 or so people sitting in, or milling around, their vehicles were learning another connotation of the aforementioned phrase. We were catching comfort, as catch we could. I was able to do just fine, by shutting the engine off, and rolling down the windows. Every so many minutes, we were allowed to move forward, about a hundred feet or so. That was when I would put on the AC, for a 3-5 minutes, though it was, relatively speaking, not that hot.

Just after 2 p.m., the all-clear was given. I learned a bit about how to handle a certain emergency, in tie-ups like this, by watching how the party in front of me employed a 5′ x 10′ bit of fabric as a curtain. All in all, the sense of stoicism was pretty much universal, though, especially after word came from the front of the line that law enforcement was involved. Not much else was disclosed, at the time- I would learn of the bomb hoax later, whilst having dinner at Yesterdays, a small cafe in the old mining town of Chloride.

A hoax is just inconvenient, though. I feel for all those who lost loved ones in Surfside, FL and those who are enduring record heat in the Pacific Northwest. May there be relief, and soon.

Mindfulness, Murals and A Milestone


July 22-27, 2019, Carson City-

In my life since 2011, there have been a few constants:  My community in Prescott, wherever my son is,  Birth Family on the East Coast, friends all over the country and my northern Nevada family, here and in Reno.

I have made at least one stop here, each year since 2012, when  I joined Michele and Tom on a road trip to the Bay Area, for a Baha’i commemorative.  He passed on, a year later, making a visit with Michele, like a sister to me, that much more urgent.  The kids are always a good part of the mix, to say the least.  So, when V was given a part in a community theater’s rendition of “The Little Mermaid”, I set aside this week for my annual jaunt.

After a veritable pit stop in Prescott, I drove up to Kingman, on Sunday evening.  That cut three hours off Monday’s drive which, other than slow traffic stemming from an accident, just shy of the state line.  I noted that Rosie’s Den, a place in White Hills, where I had stopped a few times, to and from Nevada, had closed.  Iron Horse Cafe, in Henderson, was my first stop.  Being still the morning commute rush, as I passed through Las Vegas, no stops were made there.

That meant lunch was in Beatty, about 3/8 of the way north.  This old mining town has its funky side- the huge Death Valley Nut and Candy Store and, until last year, a motel in an old trailer park.  Then, there is Sourdough Saloon, where one enters-finds an empty bar (before noon, anyway) and goes in the back, where a lone waitress is glad to see anyone.


The fare at Sourdough is simple, but on par with road food I’ve found anywhere. For some reason, Pastrami Cheeseburgers are a fairly big thing in western Nevada.  Sourdough’s is tender and moist.

I hadn’t noticed on earlier passes through town, but looking at the ridge north of Beatty, it seems a Teddy bear is keeping watch.


Another constant on my drives north is a stop at Beans and Brews, a small coffee house inside Three Deserts 76 gas station, in Tonopah.  The shop is run by high school and college students, who never drop the ball when it comes to congenial service and generous portions of iced coffee, espresso and lattes.  (Photo, courtesy of  http://www.beans



The rest of the drive was made easier by the stop at B & B.  I noted that Walker Lake is higher, this year, than in the past seven.  The word is that the flow from Walker River has been increased.

Much of Michele’s focus, and mine, is on the little family of four:  V, her parents and infant brother.  Father is a multifaceted artist, whose work includes murals.


The week included many long conversations about mindfulness and holistic health (always a concern with us Boomers), the efficacy of  fairy tales (specifically the message presented by some Disney versions) to child development, and how best to approach the welter of social movements in our time.  Chess with V was actually more challenging than one would think it would be, with a 7-year-old opponent.  She has a fine analytical mind. We each won a match.

The play, Friday night, featured V as one of the Starfish.  They appeared in one scene, dancing to the song, “Under the Sea”.  It was heartening to see the turnout- a packed house for opening night.  As with any child, I leave it to V’s parents to determine whether to share photos from the occasion.

Here, though, is a video clip of the song.


It’s been another good week, which I hope augurs well for Fall up here.  I know that my own autumn will be a full one.




Sixty Six, for Sixty-Six, Part XLII: More Flow than Ebb


July 2, 2017, Sparks- 

The drive through northwestern Arizona and western Nevada, yesterday, was quite pleasant, thanks to a well-maintained vehicle and the unusual amount of energy I felt.  This last was despite having had to tend, however briefly, with a neighbourhood emergency, in the wee small hours of the morning. Long story short, when it comes to the welfare of children, or vulnerable adults, I am not going to just look at the clock and roll over, back to sleep.  Police were called, matter was resolved, and I did get back to dreamland.

One of my concerns, along the way, was the water levels of the major lakes, en route.  I stopped, briefly, for a look at Lake Mead, before doing the customary straight shot through Las Vegas.  The reservoir, which has suffered, mightily, in the drought of the past several years, has made a modest recovery, this Spring.



The shimmering haze reflected the heat, 112 in mid-afternoon.  Needless to say, this is why I don’t tarry in LV, in July.   A brief stop at Snow Mountain, north of the valley, for a turkey wrap, was sufficient.

Another of my interests, in western Nevada and across the Mountain West, is the architecture of various mining towns.  This runs the gamut from Victorian elegance to honky-tonk kitsch.  It’s all good.  I stopped in the eclectic little town of Goldfield, between Beatty and Tonopah,  On the west side of town, there are a few examples of the latter.



There is also plenty of faded elegance, begging for restoration. In the background, stands the vacant Goldfield Hotel.


This is not exactly the Arc du Triomphe, but it serves as a reminder of the frontier spirit.


My mining town fix having been satiated, I headed on, to Tonopah, stopping at one of that fine town’s newest offerings:  Beans and Brews Coffee Shop, for a much-needed boost.  Tonopah, also, has much to offer, in the way of late 19th Century memorabilia, as I’ve documented on prior trips.  I had four more hours of travel, though, so my cup of Joe was to go.

Hawthorne, just above Walker Lake, has seen my smiling face a few times.  This town, you may remember, is where my Nissan began to falter, two years ago, and my angels took over, to get it to Reno. The guys at Pizza Factory,  prepared a delicious baked spaghetti with meat sauce, which I took to an overlook, four miles north of town. Walker Lake also looks in much better shape.



My Reno/Carson family were glad for my arrival, at 10:15 PM, and we caught up on life, for about an hour.  Today was more of the same, in the modest family home, here in Reno’s neighbour.  The kids made slime, the adults watched family-friendly movies and the menagerie kept guard.