Friday, July 31, 2009

State of the Economy

Here's a sight you wouldn't have seen until this last year: A UPS Freight truck hauling a load of hay.

Yep, that's right, it's really UPS Freight. I sure did a double take.

It turns out that these UPS trucks are subcontracted to take loads of pipes from California to Utah. But in order to make the trip worthwhile, they need to haul something back to California (that's called a backhaul). Someone figured out that hay would be a good load.

So a couple of the UPS trucks showed up on our ranch yesterday and got loaded with hay.

This friendly driver said they started backhauling hay about a year ago. She seemed to really like her job.

I guess you might say that some creative options are being explored to make a profit in the current economy. Have you seen some other creative ways to make a buck?

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Snake Valley Festival--Part Three

Here are some more photos from the Snake Valley Festival.

First, a few from John W. of the parade.

And a few from Kathy R.:
Here's Smitty driving the old loader. It was quite a contrast to the ones used today.

Molly did a great job keeping her horse under control.

The parade made everyone smile.

Reita and her family kept busy flipping flapjacks.

Back to more photos from John:
All ages came to the festival.

The yard sale was hugely popular. It alone raised more than $1,000. Nothing was priced, so people just paid what they thought items were worth.

Patricia made an eye-catching figure with her witch's hat. There were more holiday goodies to be found on the tables.

This booth doesn't look busy--that's because the toilet paper throwing part of it was right next to it and was the attention getter. 

It's great seeing photos from different points of view. There was so much to see and do!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Snake Valley Festival--Part Two

This is a continuation of the Snake Valley Festival report. If you missed the first part, click here!
Booths were set up along main street, and one of the larger ones was the used book booth. There were all sorts of books, from childrens to books on tape and all genres. There was also some delicious lavender lemonade and plants. In this photo, they're still setting up the booth, so there aren't people around.

This booth had some beautiful rocks and jewelry for sale. I didn't manage to get a photo of every booth, but there were cookies, crocheted blankets and other crafts, turquoise jewelry, Fish Springs t-shirts, local honey, cookbooks, and Snake Valley telephone books (because Snake Valley encompasses five counties in two states, no commercially produced telephone book covers it all!). 

Now the booths are getting some customers!

The Snake Valley cookbook contains a wonderful assortment of recipes. It will soon be available for purchase through the Internet, and I'll give details when I learn them.

Here's a little cowgirl enjoying some lunch.

The shaded picnic tables were crowded as people felt their stomachs grumbling.

Food options included pizza,

burgers, hot dogs, juice, and beer.

Over on the lawn at Baker Hall, I found one very wet little boy. He was happy about it, though.

He had just played Soak Your Sweetheart and was about to get his revenge. In this clever rendition of a dunk tank, one person sits on a lawn chair under a basket holding a water balloon. When the thrower hits the target, a nail pierces the balloon, drenching the person sitting underneath. The thrower has to pay $1 to throw 3 bean bags, and the target has to pay $1 for the honor. Amazingly, there was no shortage of people willing to play. I guess it helps to be in the desert!

Wearing a hat could help a little--but not much!

There were also free kids' games with prizes. The all-time classic ring toss was a hit.

Lots of kids (and a few adults) also participated in the parachute game.

Later another game arrived: toss the toilet paper into the toilet bowl. It was fun to watch! 

Inside Baker Hall there was free entertainment.

Glenn Terry read some of his cowboy poetry. He sure has a way with words.

In the back part of the room was a silent auction. It doesn't look too busy now, but...

...after some more cowboy poetry (with a good dose of humor),

singing and music acts,

the silent auction got downright crowded! It really brought out the competitive spirit of some people

In the evening was the barbeque, live auction, and dance. I am sorry to say that I forgot my camera (it was a long day!). Perhaps someone else got some photos and I'll post them. 

Anyway, the barbeque lived up to its expectations, with absolutely mouth-watering food. The live auction was entertaining, and the dance was a lot of fun. Desert Boy even got to dance with a couple little girls his age. 

There were a few more events on Sunday, with the pancake breakfast delivering a delicious start to the day, a bike ride for those up early, a continuation of the SnakeDance film festival that had started the day before at the Border Inn, and a night sky program at Great Basin National Park.

Over the entire festival, almost $10,000 was raised!! That sure beat everyone's expectations, and will certainly help protect Snake Valley. More than that, the festival was a wonderful community event, and it was so good to see neighbors, meet visitors, and have a lot of fun.

We'll be meeting soon to decide if there should be a second annual Snake Valley Festival. 

I have to end with a couple parting shots--the part of the festival rarely seen: the cleanup! 

Boy, some of that parade candy sure was sticky!

Hopefully we'll be back next year, and we hope to see you!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Snake Valley Festival--Part One

Well, the much-anticipated weekend arrived! We went to a fantastic dinner at the Garrison LDS Church. Unfortunately I forgot to take any pictures--the food really was that good that I didn't think at all about photos. There was a wonderful array of dishes from many accomplished cooks.

Desert Boy was tired, so we weren't able to go to the music and cowboy poetry evening program, but the next morning we were up early to drop things off at the yard sale. 

There was good business at the yard sale, with lots of donations and lots of shoppers.

Nearby was a reminder of why the Snake Valley Festival was happening--to raise money for the Great Basin Water Network to help protect the area.

The size of the pipe is absolutely enormous (84 inches in diameter), the actual size some of the pipeline is slated to be to take water from rural Nevada towards Las Vegas. When you look around the rather dry valley, you wonder where that water is expected to come from.

Another morning stop was the pancake breakfast.

There was a good turnout for some tasty food. It's always fun to eat with community members, and some I haven't seen in awhile came.

The menu was pancakes, ham, eggs, and coffee.

I haven't eaten such a large breakfast in a long time!

We had to go back to the yard sale to see what else was there and found a fun bucket with kids' tools for Desert Boy and Christmas ornaments for all of us. We kept revisiting the yard sale throughout the morning and found some more treasures.

The Cub airplane flying around reminded us it was time for the parade! It's been several years since there's been a parade out here.

The Garrison Fire Department truck led the way.

Then came Partoun's, with a bunch of kids on the top.

We had one intrepid walker, carrying a canoe with a sign that says, "Where's the Water?"

This patriotic float brightened the street.

The old Jeep brought back memories of early days in the valley.

Following it was quite a contrast, a convertible with a bunch of waving folks. And although we didn't have a Princess contest, the pretty girl on the rear sure looked like a princess!

A golf cart was a perfect place to launch water grenades from.

The other golf cart wanted them to be first so they didn't get sprayed!

But following was one of the Baker fire trucks also spraying water.

A fire truck from Great Basin National Park was in the parade.

And then some horse riders, who were quite unused to riding with so many people around! They all did great, even the second grader!

We had no shortage of fire trucks, and the lights and sirens made the route seem very festive. 

This is a new wildand engine for the community.

The ambulance was all shiny.

The old Model-A Ford had to be jumpstarted, but it ran. My husband drove it, while Desert Boy, Grandpa, and his friend rode in the back. 

Desert Boy was so excited about throwing candy. One of the funniest things about the parade is that since we have so few parades here, the kids don't know what to do when candy is thrown. As a result, the street was littered with candy.

When Desert Boy realizes Mama is taking a photo, he smiles.

A parade in an agricultural community isn't complete without a tractor. Following it was an old loader, which didn't make the return trip through town. The parade route was go from one end of town to the other (all three blocks), turn around and go back. So everyone got to see the parade twice, from two angles!

The huge loader brought up the end of the parade. No one got in its way!

I jumped on the loader at the beginning of the parade to get a shot of heading into "downtown."
You can see the old loader just ahead of us. Things have certainly progressed in terms of technology!

And here you can see some of the booths and people downtown. We haven't had such a crowd in a really long time. 

There's more to the festival, so check back later for more photos and descriptions!
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