Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Silver Sage Band

We were lucky to catch a performance by the Silver Sage Band this last weekend. We usually get to hear them once a year, and we really like their music--and their humor! They play old-fashioned country and cowboy and sheepherder songs.

Desert Girl was entranced. She really likes music, just like her big brother. I hope they both learn to sing a lot better than their parents! Fortunately, they both don't seem to mind our off-key singing. We've been doing more lately to get ready for Christmas. Maybe it's a good thing it's winter and cold and all our doors and windows are shut tight!

Desert Girl was sporting a flower clip that we had picked up from the craft fair held earlier that day. We found lots of treasures at the craft fair. Desert Boy wasn't happy when I told him some of them were surprises and he couldn't look at them until later, like at Christmas. He put on his perfect little pout and declared, "I want Christmas to be now!"

Desert Boy. Blinded by his Mama using the flash. I'm nice like that. And I didn't even give him the camera so he could reciprocate.

I didn't manage to get a photo of any of the dancing. It was fun to watch, with the younger kids doing their interesting dance moves. Later we watched some swing dance instruction. I'd like to learn how to do that someday. I wonder how hard it would be to get lessons way out in the middle of nowhere?

Okay, this photo wasn't taken at the music program, but I figured I should include it since it was musically oriented. Desert Girl loves sitting at the piano and playing. It won't be too many years till she can play better than me!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

A Snowy Train Ride

We headed to the East Ely Depot on a cold, snowy Saturday morning to ride the train. It was the annual food train, where you donate food and then get to ride the train. The bad weather deterred some people from riding the train, but we just added extra layers.

Desert Girl looked at her brother for guidance on this adventure. Desert Boy is an old hand at train rides. Well, at least for a three-year old.

Each train in the car had a wood stove in it, but it was still a little chilly. So I put Desert Girl in her warm oversuit.

Oh my goodness, can she get any more adorable? She garnered lots of attention from other train rides and the conductors.

She was pretty good at hamming it up.

Desert Boy enjoyed hamming it up, too.

He was in charge of the tickets.

It wasn't snowing much as we left the station and went on the tracks along the side of town. I wanted to get some different photos from the last time we took this route, last November. I think I mostly succeeded. Even though it was cloudy and cold last year, the views looked a bit different.

One thing I hadn't noticed last time were the city stables. Farm animals aren't allowed inside the city limits of Ely, so anyone who wants to have horses (or other large animals) can put them here.

We saw Dale at the train crossing, waving to everyone on the train. It was fun to wave back.

The Renaissance village was all decorated, and we hope we can visit sometime soon to enjoy the festivities there.

The passenger cars were also decorated in Christmas decor, which became obvious when we went through a tunnel and the little lights brightened the car.

Last time I wasn't fast enough to get a photo of the ore cars that were placed in the ravine to help stabilize the banks, but this time I got the shot I want.

The old West town looked forlorn in the snow. In fact, as we went up the canyon, it snowed harder and harder.

The fake cemetery has some amusing epitaphs.

It was a cold and snowy scene from the train.

Desert Boy really wanted to see the snow plow train, but it wasn't that snowy.

On the way back we amused ourselves with treats and photos.

Desert Boy even took a photo of Desert Girl and me that came out well.

It was a fun train ride, and we're already looking forward to our next excursion. The train holds many Polar Express rides during the next month that include visits to the North Pole to see Santa Claus. To find out more, check out the Nevada Northern website.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving! And safe travels, whether you're traveling far or just cruising around the house.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

A Trip to the Black Hole

One late afternoon in the not-too-distant past, I decided it would be fun to load up the kids and head out towards the fields and see what my husband was up to. The afternoon light was gorgeous, and it felt great to be out of the house.

We couldn't find my husband (he was out shuttling farm equipment), but we decided to enjoy our time outside and go on a little adventure trip.

We drove up one of the two-track roads until I spotted an interesting looking hole in the hillside. Usually I look at those holes and say, "I should go check that out some day."

That day I decided it was "some day." It was the day to go check it out.

So we piled out of the van.

We weren't at all prepared. I didn't have the baby carrier for Emma and I didn't have a flashlight. The hole was so far away you can't even see it in the photo above.

But we had a snack and we had gumption.

What else do you really need?

I say that the kids are easily distracted by what's around them, but I have to admit that I was, too. I really liked how this Indian rice grass looked in the afternoon light with the faded autumn vegetation around it.

We're getting closer, but you still can't see much of the hole in the rocks. Henry was happy to run around. Can you see him?

It was nice when we started getting to rock, the walking was easier and it just felt more adventurous.

Desert Boy and I took turns leading. He didn't like all the bushes in the way, but he had been promised a snack when we reached the hole, so he kept going.

It got steeper and more interesting.

And then I couldn't resist racing ahead so I could get a photo before the sun disappeared behind the mountains.

Whenever that happens, Desert Boy asks, "Is the earth turning?"

You betcha.

Desert Boy did a good job getting up the steep parts.

Even though he was wearing his cowboy boots on the wrong feet.

Some of the climb was a hand-and-foot scramble.

The hole was big, and little Desert Girl makes it look even bigger. However, it didn't go back far. Oh, well, now we know.

We had our snack and everyone was happy.

We enjoyed the last rays of the setting sun.

Then it was time for the long hike back to the van. But before we left the rocks, we spotted something else...

...another cave!

We will return to explore some more someday. And eat more snacks.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Checking out Hogum

I've been wanting to check out the ghost town of Hogum for a while, and we finally made it over there today. It's located near Osceola, a mining town that was started in 1872 and expanded to a tent city of over 1,500 souls.

In 1889, rumor spread that gold had been found four miles away. Miners rushed there, only to find that all the claims had been staked. Disgusted, they said, "Only a few have hogged them." The name Hogum stuck. (Source: Effie Read's 1965 White Pine Lang Syne).

Hogum was never a big place like Osceola. In fact, the peak population approached 50. Nevertheless, the area is criss-crossed with numerous roads. We were a bit surprised when a good road we were on suddenly ended in a pile of recently graded dirt. There had been no sign warning us that it was a dead end road.

We climbed out of the truck and went over the pile of dirt.

Then we saw why the road had been 'dozed. A huge sinkhole had opened up in the middle of the road.

That would have been an unhappy surprise if it caved in while driving over it.

I saw a DANGER Unsafe Mine - Stay Out-Stay Alive sign nearby and went over to investigate. It was one of the entrances into the mine.

It was clear that the old wooden support beams were no longer doing their job. Huge amounts of soil and rocks had caved in.

I'm not sure how many entrances the mine originally had, but now it had several.

While my husband kept track of the kids, I wandered around and was amazed by all the open pits.

Fortunately all the ones I saw had signs near them. The holes went straight down into the black abyss. I don't know how far down they went down, but it was farther than I would want to fall!

The top twenty feet or so looked like rather loose gravel, cobbles, and soil. I don't think I would be brave enough to be a miner and go digging in that loose material. I'm not sure what was deeper than that--I didn't want to lean over the edge or get anywhere near it.

There were some cultural remnants scattered among the pits, like this rock wall.

I liked this tin can. Originally it pulled open, but now it's rusted shut. There were lots of tin cans scattered around. The miners obviously were more interested in finding gold than where they put their garbage.

All that was left standing of this building was the door frame. I tried to do an artistic photo, but it didn't work out right. Maybe another time...

Another open shaft.

Although most of the area was obviously no longer mined, some of it is. There were big no trespassing signs and even a Beware of Dog, so we turned around and didn't go up to the current mine. It looked like there is at least one private residence in Hogum, complete with a huge satellite dish. Electric and telephone wires go up into the area, so if you are mining, I guess you can do it in comfort.

We found a good spot for a picnic lunch. Eating outside is always more fun that eating inside if you're a kid. (I have to include a kid shot to keep the grandparents happy!)

We wandered around a little more and found some fun gravel to walk on. The views were great, and it's a place we'd go back to again to look around some more.

If you go, just watch out for all those deep pits! They were a little freaky. And this is coming from someone who normally loves pits--but pits in solid rock, not in loose ground!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

blogger templates