Nevada weather: wait five minutes and it will change

All too often I find myself missing TRE and all the wonderful friends I acquired during the five years I lived there. Last Tuesday was one of those days, so, taking advantage of what appeared to be a break in our series of winter's nasty best, I headed south on Highway 395.

About a mile south of Ruhenstroth I drove smack into a sound reminder of the singular reason I don't miss living in the south county, as well as the first Nevada joke I learned when I moved here in 1994: "If you don't like the weather where you are at, just drive five will change."

As I crested Jake's Hill, my steering wheel was almost jerked from my hands as a sudden blast of Nordic wind slammed me from the passenger's side. Ahead, Bodie Flat was obscured from view by the swirling clouds of snow funneling up like mini cyclones and the highway disappeared in a sea of white, snaking its way across the ground in front of me.

With no safe place to turn back, I continued southward and was pleasantly surprised to drive out of the snowy holocaust at Pine View Estates. Protected from the winds in the small canyon, I mentally braced myself for what I anticipated to be even worse, crossing Leviathan. Having driven this part of Highway 395 almost daily for five years, I envisioned, with dread, what to expect crossing that long straight stretch of high desert.

It was amazing. From Bodie Flat to Leviathan must have been the fabled five-mile-myth. All was calm ahead of me and all my anxiety was for nothing. God, I just love Nevada weather.

My first stop was at the Topaz Ranch Estates Community Park building where I knew I could find my good friend Ronnie Park, hard at work as usual, helping with the setup for the senior lunch program. For three days a week, Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, seniors can take advantage of a couple of social hours, playing free bingo, gabbing with neighbors and enjoying an inexpensive hot lunch. Doors open at 11 a.m. with bingo preceding lunch. Winners of the games receive lunch tickets. Collect 10 tickets and win a free lunch. Not a bad deal.

Also, just as a reminder, if there is volunteer work to be done, you will usually find Ronnie Park among the first in line to offer any help. She is still collecting pull tabs from aluminum cans which she donates all the money raised to a dogs for the deaf program. Give Ronnie a helping hand and save those tabs.

Then there was a stop at the Nevada Trading Company and Topaz Joe's -still upholding its reputation for being the gathering place of locals and the best dispenser of local gossip and information.

Among the flyers on the counter was one from the Topaz Ranch Estates General Improvement District offering a reward of up to $250 for any information leading to the arrest and conviction of the vandal(s) responsible for the destruction of 14 TREGID road signs. The senseless incident occurred Jan. 2-3 between 8 p.m. to 7 a.m. and caused about $1,400 in replacement costs. Anyone with information, call Ole Chavez at 266-3000 or 266-3212.

Joe Scalise reminds everyone about the live entertainment he provides on the first Saturday of the month. Taylor Gulch offers a variety of rock, country and blues for your listening and dancing pleasure, beginning about 8 p.m. this Saturday with no cover charge. Don't forget Super Bowl Sunday with quarterly prizes, football pools and lots of fun.

The cold weather hasn't chilled the spirits of many adamant anglers for the ongoing Topaz Lake fishing derby offered by Topaz Lodge and Casino. Friday and Saturday night entertainment is offered by The Look as well as Super Bowl Sunday events with quarterly prizes and give-aways.

Plenty of indoor fun available this weekend in the south county as more snow and wind is heading our way. As for me...I'll just keep on keepin' on, praying for spring to happen soon.

-- Jonni Hill can be reached at


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