Friday, February 17, 2012

The Road to Elko ~ Friday Day 4

Sorry for the few days between posts, but it's been about 68 degrees and the garden sent out an irresistable call to come play in the dirt. We got started on prepping the garden, planting bulbs, laying out the drip system design, and building a work table to hold a vintage sink we've had for years. Now we'll be able to rinse vegies and compost containers before we bring them back up to the house.

The artist at work

We flat foot shuffle over to JR's Restaurant about 8:30am and get in line to be seated. We make it to the head of the line and this cowboy gets up from his table and says "we just had three more friends show up, go ahead and take our table, your coffee's on the way". You gotta love it! Next thing we know three of our friends show up so the hostess patiently reseats us.

Rod, Linda, Trisha, Shelley & Leland

First event of the day is "National Treasures" that introduced 3 National Heritage Fellowship recipients including Wally McRae and National Medal of Arts recipient Ramblin Jack Elliott. Singing, poetry and stories to make you think, bring a tear to your eye or laugh you silly. The podcast link is:

Our next event isn't until evening so we decide to take a drive down to Lamoille Canyon and the Ruby Mountains to do a little exploring. We didn't get too far up either road due to snow and ice, but the drive was gorgeous. We're making plans to return in the fall so we can explore the area in detail.

The Road to LaMoille Canyon

Part way up Lamoille Canyon
The Ruby Mountains

The Ruby Mountains just after sunset

We get back to Elko in time to change clothes and get a bite to eat before the evening show, a celebration of Charlie Goodnight: His Life in Poetry and Song.

Born in 1836 he moved to Texas with his family in 1846. He was a quintessential frontiersman and one time Texas Ranger. In 1866 he and his partner George Loving drove their first herd of gathered feral Texas Longhorn cattle northward to New Mexico and the railroads, along what would become the Goodnight-Loving Trail. He invented the chuckwagon, first used on the initial cattle drive. Upon arriving in New Mexico they formed a partnership with New Mexico cattleman John Chisum for future contracts to supply the US Army with cattle. Goodnight and Chisum extended the trail from New Mexico to Colorado and Wyoming. A bakers dozen of poets, reciters, singers and story tellers told his story to an entranced audience (link to this podcast is the same as the one cited above).

Charlie Goodnight (ca. 1880)

When you attend Gathering events you get to know the folks sitting next to you, it just happens, part of the magic. The next day, at the Classic Poetry performance I started up a conversation with my "neighbors" and find out we're sitting next to Charlie's great grand nephew. What are the odds?

Two full days into the Gathering and it's already becoming a blur so I'm constantly taking notes on pieces of scratch paper and the yellow pad on my Iphone. It's going to be fun sorting it out when I get home. Another amazing day draws to a close. Some of our friends are off to gather at a local pub for the evening, but we decide to head back to home base for a little slot play with backup from Ernie Sites and his band. It's easier to walk across the driveway than to drive back from town, granted it's less than two miles, but we're kind of light weights in this party crowd.