How to get to know the Silver State a little better this summer

Too many Southern Nevadans know more about Los Angeles, Chicago and Phoenix than they do about Carson City, Elko and Tonopah.

That can be corrected this summer by taking the time to travel the state and discovering its rich history and beautiful geography. Learn that the name Nevada comes from the Spanish meaning “snow-covered” after the snow-covered Sierra Nevada. Know that it is known as the “Silver State” because of silver’s importance to the state’s history and economy.

And know that Nevada is also known as the “Battle Born State” because it achieved statehood (Oct. 31, 1864) during the Civil War. The words “Battle Born” appear on the state flag.

“The great thing about traveling in Nevada is that every time you do it, you leave the known world behind,” said David W. Toll, publisher and editor of the guidebook “The Complete Nevada Traveler.”

“Even if you never leave the pavement, you are entering a realm of wide open country the way Mother Nature made it, full of minor mysteries,” he said. “Traveling in Nevada is not boring, especially at dawn into early morning and in the late afternoon into evening when the true landscape of the state reveals itself.”

Begin in Tonopah this weekend for the 46th annual Jim Butler Days and Nevada State Mining Championships currently underway through Monday.

Who was Jim Butler? Back in 1900, Butler was camping near Tonopah Springs when his burro wandered off. While chasing the burro, he picked up a rock — it was ore. The rest is history. And history demands that you spend several nights at the Mizpah Hotel, a Tonopah landmark since 1907.

Jim Butler Days has arm wrestling and watermelon eating contests, stock car races at the Tonopah Speedway, parades, live music, and food vendors up and down Main Street. The Mining Championships feature single and double jack drilling along with mucking competition among professionals and amateurs.

Another landmark is Lake Tahoe, the jewel of Nevada. It is the nation’s largest alpine lake, 22 by 12 miles of sparkling water surrounded by 72 miles of pristine shoreline. During the warm summer months, it’s a water-sports paradise; during the winter, it’s an Alpine wonderland.

This summer, schedule a trip to Incline Village and enjoy the Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival at Sand Harbor State Park. The plays are under the stars, just as Shakespeare intended, and include “The Comedy of Errors,” one of Shakespeare’s great comedies. The season runs July 1 through Aug. 21.

Down the mountain in Reno, Hot August Nights comes to life Aug. 2-7. It is the 30th anniversary of the internationally known classic car event where the streets vibrate with the sound of rebuilt engines and sunlight reflecting off polished chrome.

Nostalgia is the word to describe the five-night event and entertainment including Peter Noone’s Herman’s Hermits, America, The Monkees, Kraig Parker as Elvis and Paperback Writer: The Beatles Experience.

In nearby Sparks, the 28th annual Best in the West Nugget Rib Cook-Off is Aug. 31-Sept. 5 at Sparks Victorian Square. Enjoy all-you-can-eat ribs side dishes and desserts. The event transforms the Labor Day holiday into a must-attend culinary, music, craft and family end-of-summer affair where more than 40 bands will play on multiple stages. Event and food booths open daily at 11 a.m.

To the south of Reno and Sparks is Carson Valley, considered Nevada’s most scenic valley. It sits at the base of the Sierra Nevada. A great way to discover Carson City, Genoa, Gardner­ville and Minden is to attend the 106th annual Carson Valley Days Celebration, June 9-12. There will be carnival rides, live music, parades, crafts fair, horseshoe tournaments, face painting and food eating contests.

Virginia City was once a vital settlement between Denver and San Francisco and during its boom time, the area’s mining amounted to millions of dollars. Today, it is a Victorian-era town with authentic board sidewalks, Old West saloons, shops, museums, historic churches, 19th century homes and quaint cemeteries.

Virginia City’s biggest event of the year is the International Camel and Ostrich Races scheduled for Sept. 9-11 at the Virginia City Arena &Fairgrounds.

The International Burning Man festival in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert is set for Aug. 28-Sept. 5. Thousands gather to create Black Rock City wherein almost everything that happens is created entirely by its citizens who are active participants in the experience. They build a temporary metropolis dedicated to community, art, self-expression and self-reliance. Understand that Burning Man isn’t your usual festival.

Northern Nevada has several large Basque communities. People of Basque heritage (northern Spain and southern France) immigrated to the Western United States around 1850 drawn by the California Gold Rush and slowly moved into the Great Basin region where they became prominent sheepherders and cattlemen.

Winnemucca is one such community. Its Basque Festival, June 11-12, features a parade, Basque luncheon, dancing and traditional contests. Don’t forget to have at least one Picon Punch cocktail.

Elko is another large Basque community. For the past 53 years, it has had one of the biggest and best Fourth of July weekends hosted by the Elko Basque Club. It begins July 1 and continues all weekend with picnics, dancing, singing, parades and games such as wood chopping, stone lifting, tug of war, weight carrying and a sheepherder’s bread contest.

Among the picnic food items are tri-tip, lamb stew, Basque beans, and paella. The festival concludes with the jota (Basque dance) and irrintzi (Basque war cry) contests.

Don’t leave Elko without enjoying the 12-mile drive into Lamoille Canyon Scenic Area within the Ruby Mountains. These mountains have often been called “The Alps” of Nevada. Wildlife includes mountain goat, bighorn sheep, elk, mule deer, mountain lions and coyotes.

Nevada’s largest national park is the Great Basin National Park and its main community is Baker, on the Utah border. The park encompasses high-mountain terrain with streams, alpine lakes, 3,000-year-old bristlecone pine trees, a miniature glacier and limestone caverns. One of the best things about Great Basin is the low number of visitors.

The town of Baker hosts the Great Basin Visitor Center, entrance to the park and Lehman Caves. Tours of the caves by park rangers highlight stalactites, stalagmites, and draperies, as well as rare cave formations including helictites (calcite formations that curve and seem to defy gravity) and shields (flat plates).

Something less strenuous nearby is the Snake Valley Festival, June 17-19. Participate in an ice cream social, community yard sale, parade, luau, solar telescope, food booths, pie sale, talent show and evening astrology program.

If trains interest you, head to Ely for the Nevada Northern Railway complex, a registered National Historic Landmark. It is the best-preserved, least altered and most complete main yard complex remaining from the steam railroad era.

It was established in 1905 to support the area’s booming copper mining industry. The East Ely yard escaped modernization because of its geographical remoteness and the decline of the mining industry it once served.

Items from the station have been restored and can be seen at the Nevada Northern Railway Museum.

The complex consists of the original railway locomotives, rolling stock, track, passenger station, and buildings that served the historic copper mining region of Central Nevada for over a century.

Enjoy train rides, learn how a diesel train engine works, learn how to drive a train and attend railroad history lectures.

Cave Lake State Park, 8 miles south of Ely, is a year-round park that offers recreational opportunities featuring a 32-acre reservoir that provides excellent trout fishing, boating, hiking, camping and picnicking.

Eighteen miles south of Ely is Ward Charcoal Ovens State Historic Park. The park is known for its six beehive-shaped charcoal ovens.

Silver ore was discovered here in 1872 and the ovens replaced an older system of producing charcoal. They operated during the silver boom years of the Ward mines, 1876-1879.

Closer to home, Laughlin is hosting the biggest barbecue of the year with this weekend’s Rock ’n Ribs Riverwalk Festival. It begins each day at noon with delicious barbecue and entertainment.

Mesquite, nestled in the rugged Virgin River Valley, is a popular Southern Nevada getaway. Mesquite sits on the edge of the Nevada/Arizona border and is just a short drive from Utah. The city’s Virgin Valley Heritage Museum has historical items such as the first slot machine brought into the valley, photographs, quilts, wedding dresses, a 1945 television, early telephones and a whiskey still.

Once there, get outdoors for hiking, mountain bike riding, guided nature tours and skydiving. Plus, it is a quick day trip to Zion or Bryce National Parks in Utah.

Pioche in Lincoln County became famous for the Potosi mine, the first lode mine in Nevada in 1868. A good time to visit is during the town’s Labor Day celebration, Sept. 3-5. Fiddle jam sessions, horseshoe tournaments, a craft show, a car show, adult mining events, lawn mower races, live music, a street dance and fireworks make for a community weekend.

Many Southern Nevadans are familiar with Beatty, which lies 7 miles from Death Valley National Park and just outside the ghost town of Rhyolite. Beatty is known for off-roading, bird watching, ghost town exploration, camping, photography and star gazing.

Rhyolite is at Death Valley’s east entrance and offers photographers, explorers and ghost town enthusiasts an enjoyable experience. The town was founded in 1904 after the discovery of quartz and once had a population exceeding 10,000.

Hundreds Attend Slides, Rides and Rock and Roll in North Las Vegas
Hundreds attended the inaugural slides, rides and rock and roll event in North Las Vegas Saturday. The event featured a car show, water slide park and live music. (Madelyn Reese/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
It's All Rainbows At The Center's New Cafe
The Gay and Lesbian Center of Southern Nevada (The Center) introduced its new coffeeshop, Little Rainbow Cafe, in June. Rainbows are everywhere, even in the lattes and toast, and employees wear t-shirts with the quote "Be a rainbow in someone's cloud." Owner Ben Sabouri said the concept is "built around the idea of, you know, be kind and treat everybody the same." (Madelyn Reese/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Get a Rainbow Latte at the The Center's Little Rainbow Cafe
The Center, a community center for the LGBTQ community of Southern Nevada, has a new cafe. Little Rainbow Cafe serves up a pride-inspired signature "Rainbow Latte." (Madelyn Reese/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Pedestrian killed trying to cross Sahara
A pedestrian was killed Friday trying to cross Sahara Avenue near Maryland Parkway about 5 a.m. A sedan struck the pedestrian while the person was outside the crosswalk between Maryland Parkway and Pardee Place, according to Las Vegas police. Police also said the driver of the sedan remained at the site of the crash. The pedestrian was pronounced dead at the scene. This is the 75th fatal crash that Las Vegas police have investigated in 2018.
Man shot multiple times
Las Vegas police are investigating after a man was shot multiple times early Friday morning. The shooting was called in about 3:20 a.m. at the Harbor Island Apartments, 370 E. Harmon Ave., near Koval Lane. The man was hospitalized and is expected to survive, but police are still searching for the shooter.
Former Military Police Corps Officer Celebrates 100th Birthday
Summerlin resident Gene Stephens, who served as a military policeman in WWII and escorted then-Gen. Dwight Eisenhower and President Roosevelt during the war, turned 100 on July 13, 2018. He credits his longevity to living a normal life, exercising regularly and eating three square meals a day. (Madelyn Reese/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Motorcyclist suffers serious injuries
A motorcycle rider was seriously injured Tuesday night after a crash on Charleston Boulevard. The crash was reported just before 10 p.m. near Durango Drive, according to Las Vegas police. The motorcyclist was hospitalized with unknown injuries but is expected to survive. Las Vegas police are investigating the cause of the accident.
CCSD Superintendent Jesus Jara Has Lunch With Students
New Clark County School District superintendent Jesus Jara continued his listening tour by having lunch with students at Red Rock Elementary School as part of the district's summer lunch program. In conjunction with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, children under the age of 18 can find a free lunch at 104 different locations across the valley through the summer months. Jara highlighted the free program and the importance of eating healthy during his visit. (Madelyn Reese/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Timeline Leading Up to Scott Dozier's Execution
Scott Dozier is set to be executed by lethal injection the night of July 11 at Ely State Prison. Dozier was convicted of the April 2002 killing of 22-year-old Jeremiah Miller and was given the death penalty in Oct. 2007. In 2016 Dozier asked in a letter to District Judge Jennifer Togliatti requesting that he “be put to death.” A three-drug cocktail of midazolam, a sedative; the painkiller fentanyl; and cisatracurium, a paralytic, is expected to end his life. (Madelyn Reese/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
New Program Helps Mothers Battling Addiction
Jennifer Stanert has battled drug addiction on and off for the last 21 years. It caused her to lose custody of one of her children, Alec, after she gave birth while high. A new program at Dignity Health St. Rose Dominican Hospitals aims to connect mothers like Stanert with community resources and provide case management services while still pregnant to get connected to lactation and parenting classes, group peer support and education on neonatal abstinence syndrome. (Madelyn Reese/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Felon caught with guns in Mandalay Bay room 3 years before Las Vegas shooting
A felon was caught with guns in a Mandalay Bay hotel room three years before the October 1st mass shooting. Six weapons were found inside Kye Aaron Dunbar’s 24th floor room in November 2014. Four were semi-automatic. One was a scoped rifle pointing toward the Strip, according to court documents. Dunbar was sentenced to 40 months in federal prison for unlawful possession. The case just came to light in a lawsuit accusing Mandalay Bay of negligence in connection with the Oct. 1st shooting.
Illegal fireworks in the Las Vegas area garner complaints
Clark County received nearly 25,000 complaints over the Independence Day holiday on a new illegal fireworks site. Reports from the site led to at least 10 illegal fireworks busts across the valley overnight. As of Thursday morning, the county is still compiling the total number of citations issued.
House fire displaces 2 people
Two people were displaced after a house fire early Thursday morning. The fire, at 963 Temple Drive in east Las Vegas, was reported just after midnight, according to a battalion chief from the Clark County Fire Department. Crews from the North Las Vegas and Las Vegas fire departments also were called in to help. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.
"Red White and Boom" July 4 Fireworks at the Stratosphere
Full video of the Fourth of July "Red White and Boom" fireworks show at the Stratosphere as seen from the 8th floor Elation Pool. (Madelyn Reese/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
July 4th fireworks at the Eureka Casino Resort in Mesquite
July 4th fireworks at the Eureka Casino Resort in Mesquite. (7-04-18) (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas Crowds Enjoy Fireworks at the Stratosphere
Revelers enjoyed watching fireworks displays from the Stratosphere's 8th floor Elation pool on July 4. (Madelyn Reese/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Pedestrian killed in Henderson
A pedestrian trying to cross St. Rose Parkway at Bermuda was hit by a vehicle on Tuesday night and later died. The crash was reported around 11:30 p.m. Las Vegas police responded initially, but handed over the investigation to Henderson police once it was determined the accident happened in their jurisdiction. Las Vegas police did respond to a report of a pedestrian being hit by a vehicle on the Strip. The person, who was hit by a BMW near Fashion Show mall, suffered serious but not life-threatening injuries.
USPS owes $3.5 million for using Vegas Statue of Liberty on stamp
The United States Postal Service has been ordered to pay $3.5 million to a sculptor after using the Las Vegas replica of the Statue of Liberty in a stamp. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
What to expect at Station Casinos' Fourth of July celebration
Station Casinos' is hosting its annual 4th of July celebration with Fireworks by Grucci. Fireworks scheduled to go off on Wednesday, July 4 around 9 p.m. at Green Valley Ranch Resort, Red Rock Resort, Fiesta Rancho and Texas Station. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Officer Brent Horlacher shoots at Jessie Murillo
Las Vegas police video of an officer-involved shooting on June 29, 2018. Officer Brent Horlacher, 28, fired a single shot at suspect Jessie Murillo. Murillo was not injured. The radio audio is of the officer who fired the gun and the body camera video is from a different officer. Radio audio excerpts are added to the video and are not the precise times the audio was spoken.
Pawn Stars' Richard Harrison honored at memorial service
A memorial service was conducted for Richard "Old Man" Harrison at Palm Mortuary in Las Vegas on Sunday, July 1, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
UNLV professor cautions dangers of distracted walking
An alarming number of adults do not cross the street safely according to a study conducted by professor Tim Bungum of the School of Community Health Sciences at the UNLV. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas-Review Journal) @brokejournalist
Car left in remote desert 21 years is recovered for late owner's children
Showboat casino blackjack dealer Mark Blackburn died outside of White Hills, Ariz. 21 years ago. His 1980 Datsun B310 wagon remained in the remote desert until a network of volunteers recovered the car for his children. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Resort on Mount Charleston Sold for $4.8 million
North Carolina couple and hoteliers Deanna and Colin Crossman have purchased the Resort on Mount Charleston for $4.8 million. (Madelyn Reese/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Traffic stop turns into officer-involved shooting
Las Vegas police are investigating after an officer fired a shot at a suspect fleeing a traffic stop early Friday morning. The officer tried to pull over a black Dodge Durango with license plates that belonged to a different vehicle. The driver took off northbound on Lamb Boulevard and at one point crossed into the southbound lanes. A man got out of the car and fled on foot. During the chase, the officer saw something in the man’s hand and fired a single shot, police said. The man wasn’t injured and was later taken into custody. Police could not confirm if the man had a weapon when he was arrested. This is the 9th officer involved shooting of 2018. Per police policy, the identity of the officer will be released after 48 hours. 01:05
5 Dead in Shooting at Capital Gazette Newspaper in Maryland
5 Dead in Shooting at Capital Gazette Newspaper in Maryland Five people have been killed and two have been injured in a "targeted attack" at the newspaper, which is owned by the Baltimore Sun. Anne Arundel County deputy police chief Bill Krampf said the suspected gunman entered the building with a shotgun and walked through the lower level of the building, where the newspaper is housed. According to Krampf, the suspect "possibly" had a connection to the paper through social media. The suspect was identified as Jarrod Warren Ramos. Ramos filed a defamation claim in 2012 against the paper but the case was dismissed. He is currently in custody. President Trump was briefed on the events.
Clark County Fire inspects fireworks booths
Clark County Fire Prevention Inspector Amanda Wildermuth talks about inspecting fireworks booths to keep everyone safe on Fourth of July. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Robbery suspects apprehended
Four robbery suspects were taken into custody Thursday morning after a vehicle and foot chase that ended in an east Las Vegas neighborhood. The incident began when a person was robbed at gunpoint around 4:45 a.m. near Maryland Parkway and Desert Inn. Officers arriving at the scene tried to stop two vehicles. One vehicle escaped but police chased the second into a neighborhood on Flamingo Road near Mountain Vista Street. Police surrounded the neighborhood and the suspects were apprehended. It looked like one police vehicle was involved in a collision with the suspects' car. One woman suffered an unknown injury and was taken to the hospital in an ambulance. 01:04
Las Vegas Monsoon and Flood Season Are Approaching
The Clark County Flood Control District held a press conference to remind the public that monsoon season begins in July and runs through September. The exceptionally rainy season brings with it dangerous flooding events that can put the public in danger. (Madelyn Reese/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Garage catches fire in central valley
No one was injured after a detached garage caught fire early Wednesday morning on Lawry Avenue near Lake Mead Boulevard and MLK. Crews from the Las Vegas Fire Department responded to a fire call just after 2 a.m. When they arrived, firefighters had to cut holes in the roof to clear out smoke inside the garage so firefighters could enter safely, The cause of the fire is still under investigation. No injuries were reported.
'NO H8' Campaign comes to Las Vegas
Hundreds of locals participate in the NO H8 campaign founded by Adam Bouska and Jeff Parshley as a response to Proposition 8, a California ban on same-sex marriage. The campaign has since evolved to represent equal treatment for all. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Over 40,000 People Attend The 4th Of July Parade In Summerlin In Las Vegas
Over 40,000 People Attend The 4th Of July Parade In Summerlin In Las Vegas. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Star Wars and Golden Knights mashup at downtown art shop
Star Wars and Vegas Golden Knights fans attend the Boba Fett Golden Knight Paint Class at The Bubblegum Gallery in Las Vegas, Friday, June 29, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Bark-Andre Furry meets Capitals superfan Ovie the Bulldog
Two of NHL's furriest fans met at the Forum Shops in Caesars Palace on Tuesday, June 18, 2018, in Las Vegas. Vegas Golden Knights superfan Bark-Andre Furry and Washington Capitals superfan Ovie the Bulldog shared a plate of meatballs and spaghetti with help from Logan, "The Girl with the Hat." (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
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