Mindfulness, Murals and A Milestone

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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.

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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.

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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 andbrews.com)

 

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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

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

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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.

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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.

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There Is No Empty

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May 28, 2016, Carson City- The medical emergency which hospitalized an old friend, yesterday, has abated somewhat.  As is usually the case in a responsible medical institution, she has been kept overnight and will be able to leave hospital tomorrow, if her condition holds and tests turn up negative.

So, with my anxiety thus relieved, I headed north from Prescott, at a suitably early hour ( 8 A.M.), stopping for a late breakfast at Westside Lilo’s, my restaurant of choice in Seligman, a fun, touristy town, some 34 miles northwest of Prescott.  Lilo and her husband have had this German-Mexican fusion establishment since 1963.  It, along with several other places in town, do a land-office business, owing to the popularity of the area as a pit stop between Las Vegas and the South Rim of the Grand Canyon.   After a lovely chorizo scramble, and some banter with Lilo, I was off again, this time without the transmission issues that clouded last year’s Reno trip.

Being a holiday weekend, traffic through Kingman and Las Vegas was a fraction of what it normally is.  I made it through the metro area in rather short time, choosing to stop at Indian Springs, on the far north side of Clark County, for a refueling.

U.S. 95 was characteristically sparse with traffic, most of it being commercial on this serene Saturday, and much of that was comprised of fuel tankers, of all things.  A spot of rain in and around Tonopah, and again in the area east of Boundary Peak, gave a bit of a shake-up to the droning drive.  Another point of interest is the transition zone between the Mojave Desert and the Great Basin.  The Joshua Trees, and other plants native to the Mojave, fade out near Coaldale Junction, about an hour north of Tonopah.  The Basin is largely grassland, at least in this area.  Salt flats are a bit more common than I remember seeing, in previous visits.  Then again, I was pre-occupied with the car last year, and may not have noticed.

Speaking of which, my stop in Hawthorne, just south of Walker Lake, was brief and uneventful this time.  A tankful of gas was all that was needed.  Looking in the restroom mirror, though, I saw a scruffy face, with an uneven shave, looking back at me.  That may have explained the “30-45 minute wait” I was offered at Pizza Factory, near the Shell station.  I moved on, taking a quick look at the lake, before heading to Carson City in greater earnest.

It is still cool here, in the eastern reaches of Sierra Nevada, and it will be a while before Mt. Grant (above, right) sheds its snow cover.

The old friend whom I am visiting these next few days  has,  this very day, moved from Reno to Carson City, closer to her younger daughter and youngest grandchild.  It is partly my purpose to help with the inevitable furniture moving and unpacking of boxes, as her settling in again continues.  After a lovely drive through the scenic Smith Valley, with its towns of Yerington, Wellington, Gardnerville and Minden, punctuated by the gorgeous West Fork of the Walker river, I found it prudent to get a hearty dinner at El Charro Avitia, on Carson City’s south end.  There, I enjoyed the delights of seafood enchilada and shared in the locals’ joy in their favoured Golden State Warriors’ come-from-behind victory.

It took a bit longer to locate my host’s new residence, but here I am, at the end of the day, and in the process helping her to note that her new apartment complex has two distinct sub-complexes.  Out of confusion comes learning.  I am fortunate to have several places where I feel like I’m with family.  Tomorrow, a little angel will explain to me the world of cartoon dragons.

 

The Road to 65, Mile 176: Northwestward, Day 2

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May 23, 2015, Reno- I ended up here, exactly where I wanted to be this evening.  It was the way I ended up here that is one for the books.

The morning dawned, grey, cold and gloomy in Tonopah.  I had a light breakfast, then headed up the street a bit, to downtown, to take in the Jim Butler Days Parade.  This is Tonopah’s Founder’s Day event, so all the area converged on Hwy. 95, and thereabouts.

Tonopah, NV on a grey Saturday morning (May 23, 2015).

There is an urgency, with respect to the protection of children here, as in many communities.  These pinwheels serve as a reminder that this is everyone’s responsibility.

At 10 A.M. sharp, the parade started.

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As is always the case, local service organizations provided clown cars and other motor vehicles.

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A hobby horse took center stage, atop a local car dealer’s entry.

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Young ladies performed a belly dance,with dignity and grace.

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I passed by the venerable Mizpah Hotel, centerpiece of downtown.

My attention was then drawn to Tonopah Mining Park.  Similar to Arizona’s Jerome State Park, the expansive spot celebrates Nevada’s rich history in extracting gems and minerals.  No serious study of mining can ignore the Silver State.

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The entrance to Tonopah Mining Park.

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Ore wagons and drilling bores are on display, with visitors asked to keep a respectful distance.

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This is an example of where miners lived, here in Tonopah.

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Here is what is called a Grizzly, where the ore and mineral were separated.

In the Park’s museum, I paid attention to the many examples of gems and minerals offered by the soil and rock of Nevada.

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Note, in particular, the azurite (bright blue stone).

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Malachite is also important here, as it is in Arizona.

Finally, I caught the view of downtown Tonopah, from the hillside.

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I walked back to my Nissan, and had little trouble heading northward, until I got to the small city of Hawthorne, just shy of Walker Lake.  There, the same issue which landed the old warhorse in a shop in Prescott, recurred.  I waited ninety minutes here, enjoying a tasty calzone, from Pizza Factory, and writing in my journal.  I received a message in my head, saying “We’re going to get you to Reno.”  Trusting this, I started the car up again, and voila!  On we went, along the shore of scenic Walker Lake, past the towns of Yerington, Silver Spring and Fernley, and a tripped railroad gate, which was not an issue for me, as I kept the car in park, then was able to go around, with help from a sheriff’s deputy, who was engaged in traffic control at the errant gate.  (There was no train.)

I got to Sparks, and called my friend from  Sierra Sid’s Casino parking lot.  Then, it happened again, no power when shifting into gear.  Considering the four stop lights and two left turns that lay between Sid’s and my friend’s house, I got a tow.  No one else was inconvenienced and the mechanic saw what my problem was.  I have a safe place to stay, the car is parked securely here, and on Tuesday, I will get the vehicle to a transmission shop. We will get to the  bottom of the issue, this coming week, and then the journey will go on.  In the meantime, I will get to see more of Reno and the surrounding area.