I’m working two jobs at the moment. One is Bar 10, out in the Grand Canyon. The other, Bundu Bashers, out of Park City. My last tour is on the 6th. I guess, I’m done with work for the season. This is a three-day tour beginning when I pick folks up on the Vegas Strip. The first day we visit Zion National Park and Grand Canyon. One of the days we have Navajo guides take them to Antelope Canyon and then over to Monument Valley. On the third day, we go to Horseshoe Bend, Bryce Canyon, and then back to Vegas. For three more hours I drive back up to Cedar City. On the way, I stop at the Moapa Paiute Travel Plaza to gas up and look around the shop.
I’d like to go camping in the Mormon Mountains pretty soon. They are apart of the Mojave desert and north of Moapa. Maybe to a place called Welcome Springs. It’s warm during during the fall and real isolated. For a week I went into that country and never saw another two-legged, just wild horses. Of course that was more in the high country on the way to Pioche, through Rainbow Canyon. In the old west, Pioche was one of the most lawless towns in Navada. It is said that there were more then 75 men killed in shoot-outs before anyone actually died of natural causes.
So after these tours, I’m going to travel the Mojave this next winter. Most of Central and Southern Nevada are part the ancestral homelands of the Nuwuvi, or Southern Paiute. I just finished reading a fictional account of a great Southern Paiute Warrior by the name of Mouse… The chairman of the Moapa tribe is quoted on the back of the book, giving it praise. The author isn’t native. I thought it was pretty good read. Although I know books are all-to-often, subjective. There’s a place in the Valley of Fire, which is also known as the Place of Birth to the Southern Paiute, where Mouse hid out and continually resisted the European invaders in his homeland during the 19th century. He was a thorn in the side of the Mormons that lived in his country. Good for Mouse! If you visit the Valley of Fire, north of the Moapa Indian Rez, there is a place the locals call Mouse’s Tank where he spent his days of resistance. There’s a lot of history in Southern Nevada, and it’s pretty interesting. Most of it is unknown to a lot of people.
Some of the folks are getting to know me at the travel plaza, because of all the stops I make while doing this job. When I was younger though, my cousins, brother, and I, we would usually stop there to load up on fireworks before heading off to go camping. We’d travel to places like Hamblin Valley, or north of Pioche, up into the Pinon country. In the fall, you can gather pine nuts. The Travel Plaza itself, is a truck stop, book store, gift shop, clothing store, casino, and everything else. It has one of the largest stock piles of fireworks in Southern Nevada. Pyro Heaven!
So this winter, I’ll venture where wild horses roam and the wind constantly moves. Nevada is a big sky state. It isn’t hard to get lost while roaming hundreds of miles through the interior. After all the time I’ve spent, I have barely scratched the surface.
Southern Nevada is a land of the Nuwuvi and I will always remember it as such. When I take visitors through, I tell them about the Southern Paiute and the folks that run the Plaza. The last time I was there, I locked my keys in the shuttle van while getting gas. Luckily one of the employees had some knowledge about opening locked doors. He unlaced his shoe and made a noose out of a shoelace. Carefully we pried a side window in the van. He slipped the noose through the opening. It took about an hour before this boy was able to get the noose onto the locking mechanism, and unlock the door. I was amazed!