Tag Archives: Water Grab

Border – Snake Valley

Sean’s front porch needing no improvement

Visit with my busking mate Sean Laughlin is two days back. Getting into the Nevada mood at his place in Silver City, Nevada is a way to begin the induction. Western rural hard rock mining outpost of yesteryear is a clean break from suburban Northern California life.

There is lot of dust, doors have no locks and what’s in the building remains in need of restoration though fixing things up wouldn’t add a lick of charm. The whole lot of Silver City citizens I’ve met have setup shop here because it isn’t like anywhere they’ve come from. Three or four streets, twenty to forty dwellings, three defunct saloons pretty much settles matters. Mustang tend to wander through the place. Traffic heading up the hill to Virginia City comes through.

Seller Motivated

Silver City men have to a one a picture in their mind of the prettiest girl they have ever loved. Most have spent years with a woman and then the drought of affection dried things up and what they once had thought was for keeps goes lost. Pile up all these Silver City loser’s shoulder to shoulder come sunset for a proper adult beverage and they’ll being singing at the top of their lungs with not one ounce of lament mixed into the thing.

That was Tuesday. They were all stinking liberals with tattoos, long guns and pickup trucks. Bernie, they had sympathies for, but it was their friend Joe they figure can get the job done.

Wednesday, I put on my pants, brushed my teeth, tossed my bags into my continental crossing vehicle and made my turn east on Highway 50. The first hour heading east you’ll see signs of sprawl. Of course, not much big money sprawl. What you’ll find are people that have ended up setting up on five acres out in the middle of to hell and gone.

By golly I think I’ve got it

Once past Fernley most of civilization has been removed from the landscape. There is this first long hundred-mile long leg that ends in Austin, Nevada. Then you’ll run another hundred miles further to Eureka. From high on up in this outpost you’ll come down the other side and go a fair distance until arriving in Ely. I prefer something smaller in the way of places and near perfect is 66 miles further in Baker, Nevada.

Baker is gateway to Great Basin National Park. Park, restaurant and motels are closed for a few more weeks. Instead I stopped nearby in Border. At this waystation you can find a casino, restaurant, bar, general store, gas station and motel. Everyone that lives in Border works at this location. Bartender was born here. He was also the motel manager. Best thing about this barman was his story of a crow warning him that a coyote was running off just out of his sightlines and his turning and getting the rifle shot off just in the nick of time.

End of Nevada

There was a great bit of consternation about the cornonavirus. Highway repair crew were holed up and working nearby. It was a big lot of these men. None were too pleased by the news of the spreading virus. To celebrate there was quarreling, shouting, and pounding of hands on the bar counter to get their point across.

Most important conversation of all had to do with the Las Vegas water grab that had just that same day been thwarted. For more than a decade the legendary Snake Valley had been subjected to Clark County officials trying to buy out ranchers so they could obtain water rights. With deed to the land and the water beneath it they could ship that water down to Las Vegas. Nevada’s State Supreme Court finally ruled after a long series of appeals that there wasn’t going to be any Snake Valley water going to be pumped and shipped south.

Snake Valley Sunset…

Basque sheepherders run flocks in these parts. This is good forage for sheep. You’ve got a few mining operations and employees that work for the national park. There are artists out here. Near perfect place to locate for an easily distracted writer because there is near nothing here to distract a writer from fulfilling his or her duty at a keyboard.

I aim to return soon. I have wanted to run the Snake Valley north to south. I’m hoping I can get an introduction to some of the ranchers out here. I’d like to come out to see the sheep being fleeced. I’m curious too about the people. Last nights stay in Border was plenty good and restorative. I have more faith in the most woebegone places. That’s a good thing