As the marvelous month of May approaches, mostly outdoor events blossom all over Cerca Country. Pick one, or a whole bouquet.
Today-Thursday, Valley of Fire State Park: Wally Pacholka, famed for photos of night skies, especially in the American West, shows his work at park museum. Will greet visitors today and Thursday. astropics.com.
Friday-May 3, Kingman, Ariz.: Route 66 Race. This event features a 10K/5K and 3-mile walk. Prizes will be awarded to the top 10K and 5K finishers for each age group and by gender. Powerhouse Visitor Center. (928) 757-0664, www.kingmanchamber.com.
Friday-May 3, Seligman, Ariz.: Historic Route 66 Fun Run. This three-day motor event travels 140 miles from Seligman to Topock/Golden Shores. Open to all street-legal vehicles; buses, RVs or roadsters and usually has more than 500 participants. (928) 753-5001, www.kingmanchamber.org.
Friday-May 31, Overton: "Images of the Southwest," photos by Las Vegas photographer Ann Carter, who will be present to meet the public 11 a.m.-2 p.m. May 16. (702) 397-2193.
Saturday, Virginia City: Cinco de Mayo Celebration and Chili on the Comstock ICS Cook-off. Official regional cook-off entitles winners to compete in ICS world championship. ICS-sanctioned chili contains no beans, but this event offers "People's Choice" chili, which must, and tastes are for sale. Also on hand will be mariachi bands, pinatas for smashing. (800) 718-7587 or www.visitvirginiacitynv.com.
Saturday, Flagstaff, Ariz.: National Astronomy Day. This daytime and evening celebration will have telescope viewing, indoor presentations and access to historic displays. Saturn will be the featured object to view through telescopes at night. Lowell Observatory, (928) 774-3358, www.lowell.edu.
Saturday, Lone Pine, Calif.: Wild Wild West Marathon. In the foothills of Mount Whitney and throughout the Alabama Hills, there are races for all ages and abilities including a 50K, a marathon and a three-mile race. (760) 876-4444, www.lonepinechamber.org.
Saturday, Zion National Park, Utah: Saturday Bird Watching. The goal of this full-day and evening workshop will be to find as many species of birds as possible. The group will travel from the park's lowlands and on up to the mountain forests. Reservations needed. Zion Canyon Field Institute, (435) 772-3264, www.zionpark.org.
May 4, Flagstaff, Ariz.: Eta Aquarid Meteor Shower. This evening program at Lowell Observatory focuses on the upcoming Eta Aquarids, whose source is debris from Halley's Comet. Telescopes set up throughout the campus. (928) 774-3358, www.lowell.edu.
May 8, Chloride, Ariz.: Chloride All Town Yard Sale. This is a fun event where the residents of Chloride go all out to offer visitors bargains on antiques and some useful and not-so-useful junk. The Historical Society also has a bake sale. (928) 565-2204. www.chloridearizona.com.
May 9-10, Pahrump & points northwest: Southern Nevada Tour with David Toll, the Nevada Traveler. Includes visits to Pahrump Winery, Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge, Amargosa Opera House, Rhyolite ghost town, scenic Titus Canyon. Scotty's Castle, You pay all entrance fees, but no charge to travel with experienced guide. www.nevadatravel.net/travelgram/excursionsonev09-05.html.
May 8-10, Fallon: Spring Wings Bird Festival. This is the height of spring migration to the Lahonton Valley wetlands, which become a temporary home to 260 species of birds. (775) 428-6452, www.springwings.org.
May 8-10, Reno: Reno River Festival. One of the nation's top kayaking competitions will also feature product demos, instructional clinics and live music. Truckee River Whitewater Park. (800) 367-7366. www.renoriverfestival.com.
May 9-10, Zion National Park, Utah: Zion 101. This workshop takes place over two full days; participants will learn basics of the park's geology and its ecosystems. Reservations needed. Zion Canyon Field Institute, (435) 772-3264, www.zionpark.org.
May 10, Flagstaff, Ariz.: Mother's Day Star Fest. This event features indoor programs and numerous telescopes set up for viewing. Mothers are admitted for free. Lowell Observatory, (928) 774-3358, www.lowell.edu.
May 16, St. George, Utah: Red Rock 200 Bicycle Race. This ultra-marathon travels from St. George to Cedar City and back over scenic southern Utah roads. The route travels about 200 miles, with 10,000 feet of climbing. www.planetultra.com.
May 16-17, Silver Springs: Lyon County Fly-in. This annual event at Silver Springs Airport features fly-bys, flight demonstrations, antique aircraft, military planes and rocket displays. (775) 887-1294, www.lyoncountyflyin.com.
May 17-23, Kanab, Utah: Amazing Earthfest. This festival celebrates public lands through scientific and cultural presentations, arts and entertainment and guided hikes and tours. Various venues throughout the area. (435) 899-1102, www.amazingearthfest.com.
May 18, Zion National Park, Utah: Geology: Kolob Canyons and Beyond. Join instructor Mark Colberg in a workshop that surveys 800 million years of geologic activity that shaped the basin-and-range provinces on the Colorado Plateau. Moderate hiking up to four miles. Reservations needed. Zion Canyon Field Institute, (435) 772-3264, www.zionpark.org.
May 19-24, Bishop, Calif.: Bishop Mule Days Celebration. Approximately 700 mules will compete in 181 events during the nation's premier mule show. Mule Days Parade on Saturday features the country's longest running nonmotorized parade. (760) 872-4263, www.muledays.org.
May 22-24, Flagstaff, Ariz.: Zuni Festival of Arts and Culture. Learn about the Zuni way of life, including their language, lifeways, dance and music. Demonstrations by weavers, inlay jewelers, fetish carvers, potters and painters. Museum of Northern Arizona. (928) 774-5213, www.musnaz.org.
May 24, Flagstaff, Ariz.: Memorial Star Fest. Retired scientist Kent Colbath will give an indoor presentation, "Dinosaurs, Plankton and Asteroids: The Science of Studying Mass Extinctions." Numerous telescopes will be set up for viewing. Lowell Observatory, (928) 774-3358, www.lowell.edu.
May 30, Zion National Park, Utah: Rim to Floor. This 10-mile ranger-led hike starts at the East Rim and travels down into Zion Canyon while exploring geology, botany and desert ecosystems along the way. Participants must be in fit hiking shape. Reservations needed. Zion Canyon Field Institute, (435) 772-3264, www.zionpark.org.
To submit items for the Cerca Country Calendar contact Deborah Wall at firstname.lastname@example.org.