On the trail with Joe | NevadaAppeal.com

On the trail with Joe

Joe Nardone is not a household name. Nardone (pronounced nar-DOE-nee) has spent the past 25 years crisscrossing western America on the Pony Express trail. He passed through Carson City Friday on his way to San Francisco.

I first interviewed Joe as he was making his way across Utah on horseback. Call it a fetish, but Joe, who sports a cowboy hat and leather jacket and pants with tassels, sees what he’s doing as saving history.

Thanks to Nardone, the Pony Express Trail has been completely mapped. All but 13 of the 160 Pony Express stations have been located. Of the 110 stations that are marked, Nardone is personally responsible for 30 of them. All of the trail and station sites will be marked by the Pony Express Sesquicentennial in 2010.

He’s covered it by horseback, airplane, four-wheel drive, mountain bicycle and on foot.

This year, Nardone followed the trail on a motorcycle. As on all the trips, the trail is followed as close as possible to the original route, including all the branches that were used. A little more than 850 miles of the original trail of 1,943 miles, plus 69 miles of route changes, can still be used today. On each trip, special commemorative envelopes are carried that contain a unique U.S. Postal Service cancellation.

Nardone said he helped locate more than 200 miles of trail that had not been known before and found more than 32 station sites that were known but not located since starting his research.

Nardone is expected to stop in Carson City at Michael’s Cycle Works, 2680 S. Carson St., before cruising south and over the Sierra.

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With all the horror stories about people being held captive for hours in lines and then having to crawl out of the Department of Motor Vehicles on hands and knees due to exhaustion, here’s a good story.

Nancy Gardner, of Dayton, called Thursday about 5:30 p.m. to say that she had just returned from the DMV office in Carson City.

I braced myself and expected to hear one more DMV story.

“I walked right up to the desk, ” she said. “I thought they were closed at first and I had to ask.

“The guy at the desk said, ‘You’re it,'” she said.

Nancy said she registered and licensed her new car in no time flat.

“I was expecting the worst, but it has gotten better, I guess,” she said.

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There’s nothing like a perfect picture.

And, if you’re twentysomething rolling around the nation in a van promoting Polaroid products, there might be a perfect job.

For Paul Pratt and Timothy O’Malley, it couldn’t be better.

Their dream job is for Wal-Mart representing Polaroid’s new PhotoMAX digital camera and computer peripherals – all electronic stuff. They were in Carson City this past week, and boy do they know their stuff.

“We’re just telling folks about how cool, fun and uncomplicated digital photography can be,” said Paul.

Snapping photos and showing the immediate results was the order of the day.

“This has been one of the greatest kicks of our lives,” Tim said.

Both guys have been on the road since this spring, and said it’s been a long time since they’ve seen home. Paul and Tim are from Maine, and both are actor types.

They both agree that the huge cockatoo on the bright blue van draws a lot of attention.

Tim said the next stop is on the horizon. Good luck, guys.

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On your mark, get set – bag.

Clerks from Scolari’s Food & Drug Co. competed for baggin’ braggin’ rights as part of the annual chainwide bag-off competition.

Scolari’s stores compete for the championship trophy and the right to say they are the best, said Linda Thomson, spokeswoman for Scolari’s.

There will be 19 clerks from stores around the region competing for the championship trophy and bragging rights.

Winner gets to represent Scolari’s in the California Grocers Association Championship Bag Off Competition in Las Vegas later this month.

“Competitors were judged on speed, number of bags used per order, distribution of weight per bags, and style, attitude and appearance,” she said.

This year’s winner was Charlie Goldner III of Reno, who works at the South Virginia Street store. He’s only been working there since January of this year.