Saturday, January 21, 2012

2012 Sheepherders' Party-Open Mike

 Last night was the open mike part of the Sheepherders' Party, hosted at the Border Inn. It was a grand old time, with lots of entertaining stories, poems, and music.
 Kenning from the Mountain West Digital Library mentioned that they are willing to archive photographs, videos, and documents that help capture the spirit of the West. You can already find some great information there, like some oral histories collected by the Great Basin National Heritage Area, a co-sponsor of the Sheepherder's Party.
 Hank Vogler was an outstanding emcee once again.
 Dave entertained us with some excellent guitar playing and singing.
 Now he's got some helpers!
 Kelly recited an entertaining poem.
 Jack had a couple of poems, including one that was written decades ago about Garrison.
 John's humor spread through the crowd.
 Scott told stories about nearby Tule Valley.
 Melanie sang a song for us.
 Lane shared a story about a bad winter. I can't imagine how lonely it must be to be out in the middle of the desert with only the sheep to keep you company!
 Lee recalled a story of pulling a VW through Snake Valley.
 Lois gave us a taste of what life was like with a family out in the desert. Her story of wash day, with the need to split the wood, warm the water, wash the kids, wash the dirty cloth diapers, string a line up somewhere for them to dry, hang up the diapers, unfreeze the diapers, wash some more diapers, hang up more diapers, then find the horses all tangled up in the line and all the freshly washed diapers down in the manure so the whole process had to be repeated, brought tears to my eyes. I don't think I would be that tough to do all that!
 Andy had a poem to share and also invited everyone to the new Great Basin Visitor Center. Although it's usually closed in winter, it will be open from 10-2 on Saturday.
Denys, who started this wonderful tradition, made some closing remarks and then reminded everyone of the schedule for Saturday, which includes a sourdough pancake breakfast, documentary, music, dinner, and more music. It should be a great day!

To see photos and video from past years at the Sheepherders' Party, click here.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Clase de Espanol

La Valle de los Serpientes pueden ser un lugar muy interesante. Hay una variedad de cosas para hacer. Para seis semanas, algunas personas van a aprender espanol, una noche cada semana. Es una buen pasatiempo para pasar el invierno. Las clases incluyen pronunciacion, gramatica, cultura, canciones, y mas. Es todo por ahora. !Hasta luego!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Road Art Renaissance?

 I noticed some new road art yesterday and put on the brakes. I love road art--it's a great way to express our ingenuity and humor. To read about the origins of road art along the Cave Road in Snake Valley, click here. And here's a post with more road art.

Above is a nice play on Rowland Springs--Rollin' Springs.
 This one says Bristlecone.
 I really like how the beads make the water sparkle as it comes out of the bucket.
 Rollin' Ranch isn't a new one, but I haven't photographed it before. It's nicely executed.
Here's a cute beetle. There's still more, but at this point I noticed a hissing sound from the truck, which turned out to be a punctured tire. We had to skedaddle. I'll be back, though!

Seeing this new road art made we wonder if it's time to put more up. Once upon a time there was road art all along the Cave Road, making the drive so fun. One friend suggested we should have a Road Art Renaissance. I heartily agree. What do you think?

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Sheepherders' Party Coming Soon

Sheep are back in Snake Valley, making their winter rounds. That means it's time for the Sheepherders' Party! The ninth annual Old Sheepherders' Party will be held at the Border Inn on January 20 & 21.

Here's the schedule:
Friday, Jan 20: Arrive and visit
5 pm (NV): Border Inn Appreciation Dinner (for sheepherders, sheep owners, and others in the sheep business)
7 pm: Open mike program

Saturday, Jan 21
7 am: Breakfast buffet with Dave Okelberry serving up yummy sourdough pancakes ($8.95)

10 am: Documentary "Sweet Grass" done by Wyoming PBS

2:30 pm: The Red Hill Rangers in concert

5 pm: Lamb and Beef Roast dinner served Basque family style ($25 RSVP to 775-234-7300)

7 pm: The Sheepherders' Ball featuring Kirk Hoggard and his Silver Sage Band

Sunday, January 22
Sheepherders' non-denominational church service conducted by Kirk Hoggard.

If you'd like to see what happened other years at the sheepherders' party and read an article by Denys Koyle, who started it, click here.

Bald Eagle

We saw this bald eagle near Snake Creek the other day.
He didn't seem to mind us watching him watching us. What an amazing bird!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Where's the Snow?

Image from

The above image on the left shows the snowpack this year on January 4, with the blue areas denoting snow. Even some of the highest peaks (like the Sierra Nevada in California) are virtually bare. Compare that with last year's conditions on January 4, when the Sierra Nevada was purple and much of the Intermountain West was dark blue. Snake Valley was buried in snow all January, while this year even Wheeler Peak and Jeff Davis are nearly bare. What a difference one year makes!

It will be interesting to see what happens the rest of this winter. Maybe we shouldn't have put off those skiing trips...