As February wraps Nevada’s mountains with ice, the Cerca Country traveler focuses on lower and warmer elevations such as Elko and the Colorado River communities. Take your pick from the list below.
Through Saturday, Elko: National Cowboy Poetry Gathering. Poets and musicians gather to celebrate this year’s theme, "The New West: Grabbing the future by the Horns." Now in its 24th year, this week-long celebration of Western life was the original that inspired a movement of such gatherings. Poetry, music, film screening, photography, more. Western Folklife Center, (888) 880-5885, (775) 738-7508, www.westernfolklife.org.
Saturday, Death Valley National Park, Calif.: 19th Annual Death Valley Trail Marathon and 30K. The grueling course runs from Beatty through Titus Canyon onto the finish in Death Valley. The marathon course climbs 2,300 feet in the first 12 miles and descends 5,000 feet over the last 14 miles. The 30K is the last part of the marathon. (415) 868-1829, www.envirosports.com.
Saturday, Zion National Park, Utah: Native Plant Seed Propagation. This workshop focuses on native plant landscaping, collecting seeds, planting, and caring for your new plants in the pot and in the ground. Reservations needed. Zion Canyon Field Institute, (800) 635-3959, www.zionpark.org.
Feb. 3, Prescott, Ariz.: The African American Experience in Arizona: 500 years of History. This presentation explores the history and life of people of African descent in Arizona from the 16th century to the present. Sharlot Hall Museum, (928) 445-3122, www.sharlot.org.
Feb. 5, Virginia City: The Archeology and the History of Chinese on the Comstock. This slide presentation and lecture features a look at the importance of the Chinese during Virginia City’s heyday. Buffet dinner. Gold Hill Hotel, (775) 847-0111.
Feb. 7-10, Wickenburg, Ariz.: Gold Rush Days. Head "Out Wickenburg Way" to celebrate the town’s gold mining origins. One of the highlights is the parade that has more than 125 entries, including 1,000 horses, classic auto floats and marching bands. Other activities include gold panning, a rodeo and a carnival. (800) 942-5242, www.wickenburgchamber.com.
Feb. 8-10, Laughlin: Colorado River Bluegrass Festival. Enjoy great music along the banks of the Colorado River. This year’s line-up includes Ronny Reno, Rarley Heard and the James King Band. Craft, food and beverage booths. Davis Camp, (928) 768-5819, www.flinthillspecial.com.
Feb. 9, Zion National Park, Utah: Water in the Desert. This workshop will discuss conservation issues, the history of Western water rights, resource management and political and social perspectives. Handouts, conservation tips and information you can put to use in your own neighborhood. (800) 635-3959, www.zionpark.org.
Feb. 9-10, Lake Havasu City, Ariz.: Winterfest. A weekend of family fun featuring the Havasu Idol Contest, re-enactment gunfighters, and musical acts including the Bittercreek Outlaws. Children’s activities include a petting zoo, bouncers and slides. (928) 855-4115, www.golakehavasu.com.
Feb. 14-17, Lake Havasu City, Ariz.: Winterblast. During this annual meeting of the Western Pyrotechnics Association, city visitors will be able to watch random launching and detonation of new fireworks, as the "pyros" test various products and show off their newest mixtures. On Saturday night, visitors can see a spectacular $100,000 fireworks show. SARA Park, (928) 453-3444, ext. 20, www.westernpyro.org.
Feb. 16, Zion National Park, Utah: Winter in Zion with a Naturalist. Learn about the role winter plays in the park. Search for porcupines in the treetops, waterfalls and animal tracks. Be prepared for up to eight miles of hiking. Reservations needed. (800) 635-3959, www.zionpark.org.
Feb. 16-18, Bryce Canyon, Utah: Winter Festival. This annual event features cross-country ski races, archery clinic and an archery biathlon competition. Snowshoe tours, photography clinics, snow sculpture, children’s fun races, entertainment and more. Ruby’s Inn, (800) 468-8660, www.rubysinn.com.
Feb. 17, Flagstaff, Ariz.: Winterfest Star Fest. This special event will feature indoor programs and numerous telescopes set up for viewing throughout the campus. Lowell Observatory, (928) 774-3358. www.lowell.edu.
Feb. 18, Flagstaff, Ariz.: School’s Out & Kids Are Free. This daytime event will offer science demonstrations, space theater shows, telescope viewing, scavenger hunt, tours, presentations and movies. Lowell Observatory, (928) 774-3358, www.lowell.edu.
Feb. 20, Flagstaff, Ariz.: Total Lunar Eclipse. Learn about and view the lunar eclipse. The eclipse is from 6:43 p.m. to 10:09 p.m. with totality running from 8 p.m. to 8:51 p.m. Lowell Observatory. (928) 774-3358, www.lowell.edu.
Feb. 22-24, Pahrump: Fiber Arts Show. Craft demonstrations including fabric painting, ribbon embroidery, medieval spinning, card weaving and needle punch. Bob Ruud Community Center, (775) 751-5440, www.pahrumpchamber.com.
Feb. 23, Zion National Park, Utah: Organic Gardening. This workshop will cover the basics of creating and maintaining an organic vegetable garden in the desert Southwest. Learn about soil fertility, pest management, watering, sowing and transplanting. Reservations needed. Zion Canyon Field Institute, (800) 635-3959, www.zionpark.org/
For inclusion in Cerca Country Calendar, event organizers may contact Deborah Wall at Deborabus@aol.com.