Sunday, November 29, 2009

Museum of the Future

We have a coming attraction to our area:

Museum of the Future--Coming Soon

Here is the future Board of Directors.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanskgiving!

Wishing all of you a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Thanks for taking the time to check out this blog.
I am truly thankful for all the wonderful things in my life, and am glad I can share some of them here.

We've been enjoying visiting with family, and Desert Boy loves playing with more cousins.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Nevada Northern Railway: Food Train

This past weekend the Nevada Northern Railway held their special food trains. The price of admission to ride the train was canned food that would be donated to the Food Pantry to help those who needed food for Thanksgiving.

I took Desert Boy and three of his cousins. Desert Boy had ridden the train in May, and since then whenever we go to Ely we have to at least go and look at the trains.

The train was a lot colder in November than May, but we had warm coats, a blanket, and sat close to the wood-burning stove in the passenger car.

We pulled out of the train yard with Desert Boy making additional train noises. He sure likes the train whistle--"choo choo."

The train took us along nearly the entire length of the town of Ely, and I found it fascinating to look at the town from that perspective. The town seemed longer by train than by car, and the slow speed meant we could look the entire time and take it all in.

We passed the Renaissance Village, an architectural reconstruction of the town's early mining days.

The village was larger than I had expected, and seeing it made me really want to go and explore it. An adventure for another day!

We also got to see some of the town's brothels. This is an area of Nevada where they are legal. In the above photo, the Big Four Ranch brothel is in the foreground. In the background is the old football field and a kids' playground.

The Stardust Ranch is also in the neighborhood.

Here you can see some of the local businesses along main street.

Then we headed out of Ely and through an old tunnel.

Desert Boy has been watching the PBS kids' show Dinosaur Train, and he called the tunnel the time tunnel. His cousins had fun listening to and encouraging him. They kept spotting dinosaurs running away on the surrounding hills.

It was quite dark in the tunnel.

Eventually we came out the other side.

We found we hadn't traveled back to the Jurassic, instead we had traveled to the North Pole! Next weekend the train begins its Polar Express train rides, where Santa is waiting at the North Pole and there is hot chocolate and cookies for everyone. Sounds fun.

We continued further up the canyon, heading towards the town of Ruth, where the huge copper mines are located. Many of the pennies made before 1982 contain copper from these mines.

Before we got there, though, we saw plenty of other mining activity, reminding us why Nevada is nicknamed the Silver State. Mining is still a huge component of the economy.

The kids had to rest a little--seeing so much and the mesmerizing clickety clack of the wheels on the track made the train a good place for a little snooze.

As we got close to one of the huge mine tailings, we saw a mega-dump truck dump some of the overburden on top of one of the piles.

Then we went past some old, abandoned mine shafts.

This one had an interesting looking gate on it.

We ventured outside periodically, where the view was much better, but it was also much colder.

The train stopped under the bridge, and then we backed up on a side rail and turned around.

On the way back down, I noticed this sign above my nephew's head. It says "Nevada Brothel Owners' Assn. Supporting the Olympics in the spirit of the Old West. For historical or public relations tours please call..." Although I've mostly gotten used to living in Nevada, every once in awhile there's something that makes me blink twice.

The train has quite a few signs on it from when Salt Lake City hosted the Olympics in 2002.

It was relaxing riding back down the canyon...

...and going through town again.

We saw some really nice meadows and a stream running through them. In the background of the above photo is the train depot and shop.

Our train ride ended, and we had to get off the Ghost Train and reenter normal life in the current time period. It was a wonderful trip, and we were really surprised that more people hadn't taken advantage of it.

The Nevada Northern Railway will continue to have special train rides on selected weekends in the winter, and then when the weather warms up will go back to a six-day-a-week schedule. It is really a neat experience, and I look forward to the next ride. All Aboard!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Playing in Leaves

One nice, warm, calm day recently, we went out in the yard to play in leaves. I raked up a pile, with no illusions that the pile was for anything except to play in. We always have several truckloads of leaves to haul from our yard every autumn, but it was too nice a day to actually start that. So that meant it was time just to have fun!

Desert Boy quickly got into the spirit of things. He liked being buried up to his neck in leaves. Then he invented a game of picking up a bunch of leaves and throwing them.

I'm not sure why that amused him, but it did. And I was comfortable so I just watched.

Of course two-year old attention spans are rather short, so before long it was time for another game. This one consisted of running back and forth through the leaves. It went on for quite awhile. I kept hoping he might be using up some of his abundant energy. I find that his abundant energy comes from a very deep source and can last much longer than I would ever expect!

With the leaves scattered, it was time to rake them back into a big pile and get buried again.

And then it was time to get back up and start the cycle all over again!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

UFO Sightings

I wasn't able to attend the recent MUFON meeting in Ely, but fortunately KOLO TV was there and they've filed a story about a recent UFO sighting, including the video footage that the observers took.

I wonder if more UFOs are spotted during the winter, when the nights are longer, or in the summer when more people are outside, even though the nights are shorter. And is that same pattern evident in both the Northern and Southern hemispheres, or do UFOs prefer one part of the planet earth more than another? So many unanswered questions...

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Pronghorn Antelope

The other day we caught a glimpse of this pronghorn antelope.

Then a few more joined it.

And even more. Usually pronghorn are a little more leery of humans, but these have been hanging around the fields and pastures and are used to noisy vehicles traveling nearby.

I really enjoy seeing pronghorn antelope and thinking about how they evolved with the sagebrush that is ubiquitous in this part of the world. The pronghorn can digest this shrub better than about any other animal because of its long relationship with it.

Eventually the pronghorn got nervous of us watching them and took off. They are the fastest land animal in the Americas, reaching speeds of over 70 km/hr. If you want to learn more, click here.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Goin' Fishin' Part Two

Last weekend we decided to go fishing--but not using Desert Boy's earlier method (with a bucket). We went out to a spring-fed pond. We weren't sure what fish were in there besides carp, but we thought we'd give it a try. Plus it was a good excuse to get out of the house.

Henry wasn't particularly helpful. He thought it was fun to chase the hook, get in the mud, and then shake himself off near us. We kept expecting we'd have to untangle him.

Desert Boy was eager to learn how to use a rod and reel.

We didn't catch anything, but Desert Boy can't wait to go again. It's cold this weekend, feeling like winter, so unless we want to do some ice fishing this weekend, we might have to wait a few months.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Recent UFO Sightings Attract Attention

Apparently people have been seeing unidentified flying objects around the area lately. Someone, a credible person, apparently even captured one on video.

That's got the attention of the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON), which is going to be holding a meeting Saturday evening in Ely. I really wish I could go, but I think I'm going to need some help from my alien friends to get there and back.

A certified MUFON field investigator will be around during the weekend investigating recent sightings, and encourages folks to talk with him if they've seen something strange lately. I was wondering what it took to become a certified field investigator for MUFON, so I went to the MUFON website. Apparently you need to become a dues-paying member of MUFON, order the Field Investigator's book from their website, and take the open book test in the book and receive at least 80% grade on it. You are also encouraged to accompany an already-certified MUFON field investigator to practice interviewing methods, investigative tactics, collateral contacts, and technical background.

I think it could be a very interesting weekend...To see more info about the meeting Saturday night, here's a link to the Ely Times article and comments.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Harvest Festival

Last week we attended the annual Harvest Festival, a fundraiser for the local schools. Following a yummy potluck dinner with abundant food was the auction. Over 80 items had been donated. We saw a few things we wanted, so we had fun bidding on them. We got some of them and helped contribute to the night. We were amazed how much was made--$1800. Quite a good fundraiser!

I'm afraid I wasn't so good at taking photos that night. Sometimes it's just hard to get motivated!

I did manage a short video clip of what was happening at the back of the hall. Desert Boy and one of his uncles were busy cleaning the floor:

Monday, November 9, 2009

Cooking Up a Storm

I found this cute kitchen at a thrift store and couldn't resist bringing it home for Desert Boy. He loves "helping" in the kitchen, and I thought it might be good to let him cook up his own recipes.

He likes all the buttons and knobs.

He also likes cooking different things in his pot, and spicing whatever it is regularly with salt and pepper.

The pie plate works as a mixing bowl.

Time to add something else to the pot. He regularly washes the dishes and puts things in the oven and refrigerator.

The best part was when I was cleaning the real kitchen and he wanted to clean his kitchen.

So far the cuisine from Desert Boy's kitchen has included spaghetti, broccoli soup, cake, and more. He has three plates to serve everything on.

He also gets a bit creative with some of his cooking tools, as you can see in this short video:

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Cool Outhouse

When we go touring around old homesteads, we frequently see an old outhouse or two. But this one caught my attention, because it's not built like most outhouses. Most have planed lumber that is nailed together. Take a look at the size of logs on this outhouse--and how they're heald together. Why, it's a Lincoln log outhouse!

The door is slightly askew, but there's still a hole inside.

It's hard to make out the first word on the sign above the outhouse, but the second two words read "Guest Potty."

It looks like a fairly sturdy building even after decades. Good construction lasts. I have to wonder if anyone knows anything more about this outhouse and who went to so much work to put it together.
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