My backyard

Posted by | Filed under Nevada | Mar 20, 2011 | 2 Comments

Overton is a small town. There are no fixed population numbers to be found anywhere, but during the winter months the population increases by a couple of hundred.

Downtown Overton

Snowbirds from the northern states, Idaho, Utah, Wyoming and even Canada, come down here to escape the deep freeze and all that snow in their states. The population for the Moapa Valley which encompasses an area of 44 square miles is approximately 8,000. Robbin’s Nest, my current

My ice-cream and sandwich place

home, is a community within the community; 150 mobile homes and a handful of RVs and trailers. If you stay long enough you get to know your neighbors.
Overton and neighboring Logandale melt into each other and they almost turned into bedroom communities for Las Vegas sixty five miles south.

Cattle in front of Mormon Mesa & Virgin Mountains

What once used to be farmland has turned into unfinished gated communities and large out of place homes on one acre lots. The development boom has come to a screeching halt with the bust of the housing market.

Old meets new "Cinderella Castle"

Robbin’s Nest is located at the south end of town, budding against the Overton Mesa. It is pretty cool to have your very own mesa in your backyard. I have walked out the backdoor and hiked / climbed over the foothills and slopes looking for a way to the top of the mesa. Not always easy and there has been that

Undeveloped housing lot

heart stopping moment once or twice (not to worry, I am always careful).

My backyard - Overton Mesa

Hiking around the desert with its washes, gullies and canyons is very different from a walk in the woods.
You always wonder what the first settlers and pioneers must have thought when they came through this part of the country. I feel a little bit like a pioneer when I am out there. Thinking I might be the first to have come this way

The spot where I climbed atop the mesa

until I stumble over a beer can most likely tossed away be an ATV (all terrain vehicle) rider. It is frustrating to see what gets dumped in the desert; cars, fridges, computer screens, tires, cans, box springs, you name it. Nevada has a peculiar law, you are not allowed to pick-up anything in the desert that is older than fifty year because that is considered an artifact. All those useless, rusted cans miners left behind are considered artifact, you go figure.
The geological diversity of this area is quite astonishing. White and red sandstone formations in the nearby Valley of Fire, mudstone hills along Lake Mead and else where, conglomerate rock, aka cement rock, in the washes and as part of the mesas, limestone in the Muddy Mountains, silt, volcanic rock and much more.

Conglomerate rock on top of a sandstone rock

Often appearing all in the same area or with little transition from one to the next – millions of years old, mind boggling.

Shooting a Winchester rifle

In the past weeks I have been to the shooting range out back by the mesa a few times. Not to worry, I have not joint the NRA, just some target shooting. I wouldn’t call it fun. I was scared every time I pulled the trigger of the Winchester riffle. First there is the kick-back and then the loud bang or is it the other way around?

Bull's eye! from 100 yards

Ear plugs only help a little with the noise. We were aiming at targets between fifty and four hundred yards in the distance. I am kind of proud that I did hit all of them. It
also gave me a whole new respect for anyone who has to use a gun in their line of work. Television makes it look so easy quickly pull and shoot. We used a scope and it takes a while to fix on the target and actually hit it. Being in a stressful situation with a moving target, good luck.

Firing a six shooter 1858 Army revolver

After shooting a six shooter 1858 Army revolver

The second time out shooting we used a 1858 six shooter Army revolver. That thing is loaded with black powder and 44mm lead balls, no scope, no support stand, just free standing. When you shot that thing you can’t see anything but lots of smoke. Hard to believe they used those revolvers in the Civil War. This is just one way to entertain yourself around here; bingo at the Senior Center or the movies are other possibilities.

Overton movie theater

When I arrived in Overton shortly before Christmas I had planned on staying two or three nights. It is now mid March and I am still here. Spring has sprung and the wanderlust is setting in again. Feeling the warm air through the open windows of the truck is wonderful. I have decided to leave by the end of the month. After some consideration I’ll be heading to Palm Springs to spend a couple of days at the Dinah Shore Women’s Event before heading east. It won’t leave me with too many extra days making it back to New York City, but so be it.

2 Responses to “My backyard”

  • Phil says:

    looks like there’s a new sheriff in town!

     

  • Helga Love says:

    So glad you enjoyed your stay in Overton. It really is a special little place. As I tell my friends, it’s an hour and a world away from Vegas. I enjoyed hiking with you and so happy you finely got the pictures of the big horn sheep. The little buggers made you earn that opportunity!
    Have a safe journey home. Helga