Fall in Elko, Nevada

It’s been a while since our last post and many of you have been asking what’s happened. The answer is not a lot really, or at least not as much as we usually get up to. However, that will all change in a week as we go on a short road trip to Park City, Utah. Located not far from Salt Lake City, it’s where they hosted the Winter Olympics in 2002. It’s still used for training for winter athletes and is open to the public. But, let’s not get ahead of ourselves as that’s a topic for another post.

The weather in Elko has been typical Fall, with most trees now shedding their leaves in preparation for winter. This has carpeted the streets around our house, with the roadside gutters full of leaves. The days generally start well below 0 degrees but generally reach 18-20 degrees by mid-afternoon. Today it’s dropped to a top of 9 as a cold front moves through, and once the clouds lift we’ll no doubt see a light dusting of snow on the surrounding hills and mountains. A few weekends ago we visited Lamoille Canyon after Harrison finished his track morning in Spring Creek. We had a picnic lunch with friends at a small park at the base of the canyon where a river runs through what was an old power house site. The trees were well into Fall with many of them turning all the different colors you’d expect. Whilst we packed a traditional picnic lunch, the others stopped by KFC for a bucket of chicken on the way. We’ve never tasted KFC like it before. It wasn’t the usual greasy pieces of chicken you’d get in Australia. It was so good we’d probably have it again. (Given we’ve had KFC about twice in the last 7 years this is a big statement!).

One the way back from the canyon we stopped into the little town of Lamoille itself. They were having a country fair so we decided to take a look. It reminded me a bit of the Closeburn markets (for those of you from Brisbane) and had stalls of mainly hand-made or hand-crafted goods, including some great local honey. The star attraction though was the hand-raised rabbits exhibited by some local kids. I’ve never seen rabbits so big, nor have I seen a rabbit sleep on its back, so all in all it was an educational visit. Of course Harrison spent most of his time with the chooks and ducks the kids were showing as well.

Julie’s work card arrived a few weeks ago and she quickly got the required Social Security Number. She has already started work with a local real estate agent as assistant to the owner. It’s for 3 days per week and 6 hours a day which suits nicely and fits in well with Harrison’s school routine. He’s doing very well at school with all his subjects now an A. He had a few that were a B, but he’s worked hard on homework and class tests to bring them all up to an A. Now the challenge is to keep them there.

Tomorrow I’m off to an all-day Hunter Education course run by the Nevada Department of Wildlife here in Elko. I have to do the course if I want to shoot competitions as I need the course certificate before I can purchase a handgun. The majority of the course is geared towards hunters and covers topics such as gun safety, moving through the landscape while hunting, animal identification, conservation and other hunting related topics. The DoW are very strict on hunting, with each hunter having to purchase a ‘tag’ to shoot certain animals. When there’s competition for certain animals like stags but limited tags, often they’ll raffle the tags with only a few people getting the right to shoot one. And if you don’t get anything, you don’t get your money back! Tags for deer and elk cost anywhere from $10-$40 and help raise funds for conservation, but also help the DoW track the number of animals hunted. Hunting is very important here as the numbers of elk and deer can get out of control without it.

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