Teri Vance: Celebrating Nevada every day
November 3, 2017
In my column last week I shared some responses from social media about cool places to visit in Nevada in honor of Nevada Day. I love to hear about new places I haven't yet seen or to be reminded of some of the coolest places in our state.
The problem is, I only got through about half the responses. Although the official day has passed, I don't think it would be out of line to continue the celebration one more week.
After all, isn't every day Nevada Day?
Sandi Hoover said she and her husband, Brett, spent one Nevada Day visiting half a dozen or so cemeteries in the Carson City region and reading headstones.
"It seemed a glorious way to celebrate Nevada Day, Halloween and the crisp, clear fall day," she said.
Some of the people who responded to my query have since moved and look back with nostalgia, others, like Randy Gaa, were enticed as adults to move here.
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"When I was a kid growing up in the Midwest, my dad used to take my brother and me on camping trips out West to see the mountains," Gaa said. "It's a tradition my brother still carries on to this day with his kids. But I went even further and I moved to the mountains. So if you ask me what is my favorite place in Nevada, I'd have to say anywhere there are snow-capped peaks."
Marianne Dahl Johnson, born and raised in Starr Valley, shared a lesser known spot in the Ruby Mountains.
"I love Hidden Lake up Soldier Canyon" she said.
April Meservy named Virginia City and Reno; Kathy McClintock listed Lamoille in autumn, Kingston and lower Mason Valley; John Chewsbro Somers selected Austin. I would add my vote of approval to all of those places, but especially to Lamoille with the changing fall leaves.
Jennifer Waldo-Speth said she loves Lake Tahoe, but also other places tucked away within the state.
"I love driving through Austin and seeing the old castle on the hill lit up," she said. "Driving Highway 50 was a love/hate adventure every month for three years, and the sky stretched out longer than any place I've ever driven.
"I also fell in love with the Mizpah Hotel in Tonopah. Oh, and I love Great Basin the night sky puts our small lives into perspective. And I love Reno, the Sierra mountain range is what I miss most of all, my heart aches to see the sun set from those mountains!"
Brett Fisher agreed about the sunsets.
"Any place in Nevada watching sunrises and sunsets is a great place," he said. "In my 14 years as a Nevadan, I haven't seen a bad one yet."
The place he loves most, however, is Wilson Canyon between Yerington and Smith Valley. "Geology is stark, and rock formations are distinctive," Fisher said. "I could nap on the banks of the Walker River that cuts through it. I feel a sense of serene peace standing at the ruins of Fort Churchill State Park during sunrise and sunset. The scene is ghostly quiet, a great place for this natural introvert to think about life's bigger questions."
From her new home in Denmark, Liz Margerum recalled some of her favorite places.
"Diana's Punchbowl, any of the hot springs in the Black Rock Desert, High Rock Canyon and Denio," she said. "OH, OH, OH, AND the Death Valley Candy and Nut Company in Beatty. Because they have EVERYTHING."
Hank Hanstad, who grew up in Montello and now lives in New York City, said, "anywhere near sagebrush after a rain."
But, he said, what's most remarkable about Nevada is its people. I couldn't agree more.
"Anywhere I can see my beautiful friends who live different lives and believe very different things, but whose humanity and generosity makes me yearn for the Silver State, even if my heart resides in NYC."
Teri Vance is a journalist, freelance writer and native Nevadan. Contact her with column ideas at firstname.lastname@example.org.