“A” is for Area 51, the probable home of some Aliens who landed on earth. “We can neither confirm nor deny their existence, but they do like strawberry ice cream.”
“B” is for the Basque Festivals and Basque Restaurants located throughout Northern Nevada. If you happen to be in Elko, Fallon, Gardnerville, Carson City, Reno, or Winnemucca and it’s dinnertime, you are in for a real treat. Go to the nearest Basque Restaurant. Seating is usually family-style, so even if you’re dining solo, you will get to meet some nice people. The dinner starts with salad with an oil and vinegar dressing, then come the Basque beans, soup or stew, French fries, and lots of bread. The main course is locally-grown steak, lamb, or chicken. There is ice cream for dessert. No one leaves hungry. The old guy sitting at the bar wearing a beret probably raised your entrée.
“C” is for Camp Galilee, the Episcopal Church Camp on Lake Tahoe.
“D” is for Desert and Driest. Nevada, mostly desert and semi-arid regions, is the driest state in the United States. As such, we have about 360 sunny days every year.
“E” is for the annual Elko Cowboy Poetry Gathering. Started in 1985 and now named the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering by Act of Congress, this six-day event showcases poetry, music, dancing, workshops, exhibits, conversations, food, and fellowship. Boots and hat are optional, but Elko folk can tell the tourists from the cowboys.
“F” is for Fallon Hearts O’ Gold Cantaloupes, an especially delicious variety of that melon which grows best in the unique climate and soil near Fallon, Nevada.
“G” is for the Great Basin National Park, located in northeastern Nevada. It contains Lehman Caves and Wheeler Peak, the tallest mountain completely in Nevada. It also has the Wheeler Peak Glacier, the only glacier in Nevada.
“H” is for Hockey and Highway 50, “The Loneliest Road in America”. The Las Vegas Golden Knights are an NHL expansion team in their first season. They are currently the champions of the Pacific Region of the NHL. There are seven Episcopal Churches along Highway 50 as it crosses Nevada from Utah to California making it much less lonely.
“I” is for Icthyosaur. 225 million years ago, Icthyosaurs, an ancient marine reptile, swam in a warm ocean that covered central Nevada. There is a State Park with their remains near the ghost town of Berlin, Nevada. For anyone who uses Archbishop Ussher’s proleptic Julian calendar, Icthyosaurs would date from Friday, October 28, 4004 BC. “So God created the great sea monsters and every living creature that moves, . . . . And there was evening and there was morning, the fifth day.” (Genesis 1:21a, 23 NRSV). (If anyone who is applying to be Bishop of Nevada adheres to this calendar, please inform the Search Committee.)
“J” is for The National Judicial College at the University of Nevada, Reno. It is one of two universities in the country offering a master’s program, and the only one offering a doctorate in Judicial Studies.
“K” is for KNPR, KUNR, KCNV, KUNV, KLKR, KLNR, KTPH, KVNV, and KWPR. Nevada Public Radio is available throughout the State. This is especially helpful; the Bishop of Nevada spends a lot of time driving around the state. For the right Bishop, the Diocese of Nevada might consider a satellite radio subscription.
“L” is for Las Vegas Philharmonic Orchestra. For 20 years, it has been providing classical music and classical music education for the people of Southern Nevada.
“M” is for the Burning Man Festival, an annual event in the Black Rock Desert of Northwest Nevada, about 100 miles north of Reno that draws 50 to 70,000 people. Its name comes from the ritual burning of a large wooden effigy on the last night of the event.
“N” is for NASCAR. The Las Vegas Motor Speedway hosts a number of NASCAR events every year.
“O” is for the Eureka Opera House. Built in 1880, it has been used as an opera house, movie theater, and convention center ever since.
“P” is for Pipe organs; two of the three largest pipe organs in Nevada are in Episcopal Churches, the third is at UNLV.
“Q” is for Quartzite, one of the main rock types in Nevada. Nevada rocks!
“R” is for Raiders, Rodeo and Reno Air Races. The Raiders of the National Football League are moving to Las Vegas in 2019. A stadium is under construction. For 24 years, the Professional Bull Riders World Final Rodeo has been in Las Vegas. The Reno Air Races have been held annually in September since 1964. It is billed as “the world’s fastest motor sport.”
“S” is for The Smith Center in Las Vegas. The centerpiece of Symphony Park, it is the home to many cultural offerings, including plays, musicals, symphony, pop, dance, comedy, jazz and a resident ballet company.
“T” is for TOPGUN and Thunderbirds. The United States Navy Strike Fighter Tactics Instructor Program, TOPGUN, is located at the Naval Air Station in Fallon. The United States Air Force Air Demonstration Squadron, the Thunderbirds, is assigned to Nellis Air Force Base in Las Vegas.
“U” is for Universities. The University of Nevada, Reno, and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, are the state’s research universities. Nevada State College, Truckee Meadows Community College, Great Basin College, the College of Southern Nevada, and Western Nevada College make up the rest of the Nevada System of Higher Education. There are at least three private colleges in Nevada.
“V” is for the Valley of Fire State Park and the Virginia City Camel Races. The park is located about 50 miles northeast of Las Vegas and it abuts the Lake Mead National Recreation Area. The original inhabitants of this area were the Anasazi, who left behind petroglyphs for us to ponder. The International Camel Races have been held annually since 1954. At times, camels had been used in the Comstock Lode instead of mules. It became “International” in 1991 when a team from Alice Springs, Australia won.
“W” is for Wine. There are wineries in Fallon and Pahrump. The Pahrump Winery has a 4-star restaurant.
“X” is for Xeriscape, which refers to landscaping or gardening that eliminates the need for supplemental irrigation. This is appropriate for most of Nevada because we live in the desert.
“Y” is for Yerington, a city in Lyon County and the home of St. Alban’s Episcopal Church. During World War II, a Japanese fire balloon landed on the Wilson Ranch near Yerington. The ranchers, not knowing what it was, notified the United States Government by mail. In the meantime, they cut it up and used it as a hay tarp.
“Z” is for Amtrak’s California Zephyr train, which uses the Union Pacific’s original transcontinental rail line for daily service from Chicago to Emeryville, California with stops in Elko, Winnemucca, and Reno in Nevada.