It became the 36th US state on October 31st, 1864. Home of streets named Lovers Knot Court, Wild Thing Court and Kisses Avenue, all leading onto, and this is true, Hanky Panky Street. Only in America. Home to 15 of the world’s top 25 biggest hotels. Birthplace of former professional tennis player Andre Agassi. Home of the Stratosphere Tower, the tallest freestanding tower in the United States, at 382 yards tall. The most common names are Noah, Liam and Alexander, for men, and Sophia, Olivia and Mia, for women. Home of Lake Tahoe, America’s second deepest lake, 648 yards at its deepest. Birthplace of Dat So La Lee, a celebrated basket weaver of the indigenous Washoe People. Home of Area 51. And it’s the home of towns named Owyhee, Eureka and Jackpot, plus the wonderfully named wilderness, Goblin Knobs. Look it up. Today, we’re visiting the Silver State, Nevada.
Nevada is a liberal, unique and sandy landlocked state in west America, bordered by Arizona, California, Idaho, Oregon and Utah. It is the seventh largest state in America at 110,571 square miles, with the 35th largest population with just over two million people. The motto of the state is, ‘All for Our Country,’ and the name comes from the Sierra Nevada mountain range, Spanish for ‘snow-covered,’ making Nevada, largely desert, the ‘snow-covered state.’ I bet they wish it was.
This is a dry and semi-arid place, broken up by hundreds of rugged, snow-covered and forested mountain ranges, plus hot springs and geysers, remnants of dying volcanoes that once populated Nevada. Deep canyons and steep ridges are also evident, as are scattered and solitary hills and the rare flat topped mountain here and there. This is an extremely hot state, home of many cultures and nationalities, populated by an easy going, helpful and tolerant folk. A highly individualistic people who adore their college sports and are very proud of their indigenous culture. A creative people, strong and adventuresome, chilled out and laid back. Incredibly proud of their state and rather tetchy about how you pronounce it…
This a beautiful place, with sights to see such as Spring Mountains, a supernaculum mountain range, an extraterrestrial construction, a supreme transcendental stunner, a vista most gorgeous. Then there’s Fly Geyser, like something from a Dalí painting that’s come to life and melted. A hipster’s paradise of psychedelic colours and groovy curves, thrown together on the whim of a madman. Bubbling and oozing, beating and pulsating like a funky message from beyond the Moon, landing in the heart of rural Nevada. Something strange yet utterly amazing, nonetheless.
Then there’s the awe-inspiring and empyrean Bonsai Rock, poetry of an otherworldly origin, titillating the senses. An aura isangelous, one you can taste on your lips. A feast of majesty for the eyes. A silence you can almost hear. A beginningless marvel, a supratemporal jewel.
But my favourite sight of Nevada is the awesomely named Valley of Fire State Park, covering just over 42 thousand acres. One gentle gaze upon its brutal red facade transports one to some alien and ethereal world, one populated by raw and untamed natural beauty, chalcenterous and raimentless, a captor that reduces your beating heart to a frozen muscle. Captivated and catapulted to a heavenly realm, struggling for breath never mind words. Such is the beauty of the Valley of Fire. The surface of Mars or Venus, made real. Bonny, sure, but such harshness also oddly soothing. Like something completely unreal and beyond human imagination. Yet there it is. In Nevada of all places. A remarkable wonder, a sight to behold.
Nevada. The state of adventure, deserts and Goblin Knobs.
Images (Click on Them to Enlarge)
1) The Valley of Fire State Park
2) Bonsai Rock
3) Fly Geyser
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