Roger J. Wendell
Defending 3.8 Billion Years of Organic EvolutionSM


Welcome to Nevada with moon in sky - December 2006
That white dot is the moon!


YouTube Logo - Small Click Here for my YouTube video of northern Nevada's high desert!

Okay, I don't normally create a web page for every state and country I've visited.* Nevertheless, Nevada warrants some attention since not only have I spent a lot of time there (many months for business in addition to having climbed its two highest peaks..) but it's such an unusual place! This page isn't meant to disparage or make fun of Nevada either - it's just that much of the state is so unusual (the high desert, whorehouses, nuclear waste dumps and secret government operations) I couldn't resist but recording some of my experience there!

In general, my impressions of Nevada are really favorable. However, there are some serious drawbacks that need mentioning. First, Nevadans consider themselves to be very independently minded - for the most part that's true except I think there's also a serious deep streak of political conservatism that runs through the population. Despite the gaming and prostitution, there's always a lot of support for Republicans, the war (While I was there, in early 2007, there was still a lot of flag-waving for Bush and his war effort), and conservative/restrictive religions.

Secondly, there's very little respect, throughout Nevada, for the environment and our natural resources. During my last visit recycling was still limited, ORV destruction unlimited, and mining cleanup almost nonexistent. And, of course, I saw more Hummer's than I could shake a fuel pump at and there we're countless off-road motorcycles, "all-terrain" vehicles, and motorboats parked in driveways and backyards all around the state.

Finally, Nevadans (in general) don't seem to care too much about the vast open space they've been blessed with - overgrazing and similar agricultural practices have completely devastated most of their landscape. Anytime I was ever out-and-about I could only wonder what Nevada's landscape USED to look like before all the cattle were released upon the land. Much of Nevada is cow-burnt, mowed down and brown - mostly because of grazing. Of course nuclear testing, out-of-control ORV use, and mining haven't helped much, either!

The good things in Nevada include their emphasis on freedom, low taxes, the Pneumatic Diner (Reno), wide open spaces, and complete tolerance of curmudgeons like me!

- Roger '07
*I've been to all 50 states and about 40 different countries...


(Click on any of this page's "thumbnail" images for a larger view...)


Miscellaneous Nevada:

Senate Chambers Invitation from Nevada Senator Harry Reid - 2007
(Nevada Senator Harry Reid)

Hamlet of Stateline, Nevada at Lake Tahoe - 11-25-2006
Hamlet of Stateline, NV
Tami Wendell at Lake Tahoe - 12-16-2006
Tami at Lake Tahoe
Highway art near Virginia City, Nevada - 12-16-2006
Highway Art
Spider art near Carson City, Nevada - 12-16-2006
Spider Art
Art near Virginia City, Nevada - 12-16-2006
Virginia City
Two Battles at Pyramid Lake, Nevada - 12-26-2006
Pyramid Lake battles
Entrance to the Pneumatic Diner in Reno, Nevada - 11-11-2007
Pneumatic Diner is one of my
favorite things about Nevada! My vegetarianism page has ten more photos of the Pneumatic Diner!
  Burning Man Festival
Burning Man Festival
Unfortunately I haven't (yet) been able to participate in the annual Burning Man festival, one of Nevada's most famous gatherings - known the world over! However, I have been near the site, a hundred miles or so north of Reno, and hope I'll have enough gasoline to join the next gathering. The July/August 2008 edition of Sierra had this to say about Burning Man: "North America's best-known countercultural gathering, Burning Man attracts more than 40,000 participants annually. For eight days ending each Labor Day weekend, a flat, white, dusty badland becomes an off-kilter outpost of civilization: Black Rock City. Attempting to explain the event is like describing Disneyland to a Martian. It's an odd mixture of yoga and body painting, fire spinning and skydiving, throbbing rave music, mazes, profligate drug use, and, at least once, an enormous bar carved into the innards of a three-story-tall wooden structure in the shape of a rubber duck." (Matthew Taylor, p. 32)


Nevada Stats:


Names and Gambling:

Nevada's official nickname is "The Silver State" with "The Sagebrush State" and "The Battle-Born State" as its other nicknames. The state name is derived from the Spanish word nevada which is the feminine form of "covered in snow."

Unregulated gambling started in the early Nevada mining towns but was outlawed in 1909 as part of a nation-wide anti-gaming crusade. Due to a agricultural declines during the Great Depression, Nevada's legislature legalized gambling in 1931 - it remains the state's primary income source today...


Nuclear Nonsense:

The Nevada Test Site was created in 1951 for the testing of nuclear weapons. Located 65 miles (105 km) northwest of Las Vegas, the site is approximately 1,350 square miles (3,500 square kilometres) of desert and mountainous terrain. Nuclear testing began at the site with a one-kiloton (4 terajoule) bomb dropped on Frenchman Flats. The last atmospheric test was conducted in 1962 with the underground testing of weapons continued until 1992. The Nevada Test Site is known for the highest amount of concentrated nuclear detonated weapons in the United States...




Casinos and the moon:

Although I consider gambling (including state-run lotteries) to be a tax on stupidity I've spent a lot of time at it! I've always been especially fond of "craps" and "21" - I've probably played a total of three slot machines, in my entire life, but have "made up for it" by countless hours at the card and dice tables. Okay, I'm stupid - but I do want to take this opportunity to discourage you, gentle reader, from taking up the gambling habit yourself! I, myself, have been pretty lucky. After careful record keeping, for three decades, I've determined that I've lost about $1,800 US Dollars in gambling throughout the United States and in parts of Argentina, Australia, Canada, and Europe.

Anyway, it calculates out that I've averaged about $60 in gambling losses, each year, for all of my adult life. Not bad considering I have met people who have added an additional quarter million dollars in 2nd mortgages to their homes to cover gambling losses! Although I've been relatively "lucky" at gambling, it's still been a big waste of time - not to mention a health hazard due to the smokey environment and sedentary lifestyle. So, my advise is don't gamble! Despite the wild stories you've heard very few people come out winners in the long run - it's countless gambling losses that pay for the fancy decor, bright lights, and pretty girls at the casino!

Cal-Neva Parking, Reno, Nevada - 01/14/2007
Cal-Neva parking
Downtown Reno, Nevada - 01/14/2007
Downtown Reno
Cal-Neva Parking, Reno, Nevada - 01/14/2007
Airport casino
Cal-Neva Parking, Reno, Nevada - 01/14/2007
Airport gambling
Nevada and the Moon by Roger J. Wendell - 12/06/2006
Nevada and the Moon...

Note: It's not often you're allowed to photograph anyone or anything inside a casino! The airport casinos are an exception because there are so many tourists (like me!) wondering through each day...

2n Note: What's the moon got to do with gambling? Not much! I just happened to capture this shot with an inexpensive camera outside of Reno and kind of liked it!




Brothel Matchbook - March 2007 Brothels:
The world's oldest profession flourishes in Nevada!
Yellow Pages Kit Kat Ranch, Nevada - 2007 Yellow Pages Sagebrush Ranch, Nevada - 2007
Telephone book brothel advertisements
Long before visiting Nevada I had heard about Mustang Ranch and some of the state's other famous brothels. With very little effort you can drive around and find a brothel or two tucked away in some corner off the highway or in a nearby sparsely populated county.

I know that prostitution is a controversial subject that won't let this particular web page squeeze through certain browser filters. Nevertheless, the world's oldest profession goes on all the time, all around the world - remaining a very poorly kept secret.

Although legalizing prostitution isn't high on my list of political priorities it's still an irritant like Colorado's "blue" laws (car dealers and liquor stores can't operate in my state on Sundays!!) or the government's insistence that we have religious messages on our money - stuff that needs to be changed but will cost the individual crusader way too much in time and resources...

Anyway, legalizing prostitution would go a long way toward controlling disease, increasing tax collection, reducing organized crime and protecting women. And, even though legal brothels are working well in Nevada, Amsterdam, and other places around the world I'm not going to hold my breath for this issue or others like it, to be given a fare hearing anytime soon...

Brothel Advertising Sign near Carson City, Nevada - December 2006
Sagebrush brothel
Brothel Advertising Sign near Carson City, Nevada - December 2006
Brothel advertising
Brothel Advertising Sign near Carson City, Nevada - December 2006
Kit Kat Ranch
Brothel Advertising Sign near Carson City, Nevada - December 2006
Bunny Ranch
Mustang Ranch Museum Storey County, Nevada - March 2007
Mustang Ranch museum
Mustang Ranch, Storey County, Nevada - March 2007
Mustang Ranch parking
Old Bridge Ranch Brothel Buzzer, Storey County, Nevada - March 2007
Old Bridge Ranch Buzzer
Old Bridge Ranch Brothel, Storey County, Nevada - March 2007
Old Bridge Ranch
Wild Horse Canyon Drive, Storey County, Nevada - March 2007
Wild Horse Canyon Drive
Wild Horse Saloon, Storey County, Nevada - March 2007
Wild Horse Saloon
Bobbie's Buckeye Bar and Brothel (abandonded) Tonopah, Nevada by Roger J. Wendell - 08-02-2011
Bobbie's (abandoned) Tonopah
Bobbie's Buckeye Bar and Brothel (abandonded) Tonopah, Nevada by Roger J. Wendell - 08-02-2011
Bobbie's (abandoned) Tonopah

Mustang Ranch, also known as the Mustang Bridge Ranch or Valley of the Dolls, was Nevada's first licensed brothel in 1971 (Nevada brothels existed, before then, in a hazy legal world where they weren't legal but hadn't been exactly outlawed, either...). The original Mustang Ranch was located in Storey County, just eight miles east of Reno (Washoe County), immediately off Interstate Highway 80. Joe Conforte was one of Mustang Ranch's most famous owners - later fleeing to Brazil to avoid prosecution for tax problems...

The Mustang Ranch I photographed, above, was a few miles further east than the original location (as best I can tell...). I'm not sure but there may have been a total of three locations for Mustang Ranch - one of 'em with as many as 48 rooms. I do know that Storey County firefighters burned down what they called "Mustang Ranch II" on March 25, 2007. It had been poorly maintained and was burned for a training exercise before it became much more of a nuisance. The Mustang Ranch I photographed was actually constructing a museum - so, hopefully, we can all get our facts straight!


Brothel "Rules"

As I suggested above, even though I'm in favour of legalized prostitution it's not something I can afford to spend much time worrying about what with our planet's imminent death due to overpopulation, global warming, and our general disregard for Nature and the real world.

Nevertheless, I did take time to talk to some Nevadan's about brothels and prostitution and learned some of the following:

Apparently some politicians, during various election cycles, attempt to force moral codes and religious values on other counties, and include the abolition of Nevada prostitution in their campaign platforms. However, I've been told most of the electorate could care less about brothels and don't see them leaving Nevada anytime soon...

- Roger J. Wendell
March 31, 2007


"Nevada was a peculiar place. Strange seemed a fair word to describe it, though it was a strangeness imbued with quirkiness and magic. Whatever fear I held was not driven by rational thought, but Nevada was a place where rational had limited bearing." p. 284

"I rode into a landscape I hadn't remembered, could scarcely imagine. Nevada by automobile may be monotonous, but by bicycle it was a place of stunning beauty, a landscape that was constantly changing. By early evening there was a skew to the light, a magnificent glow that seemed to be a cross between the blue of day and the golden hue of dusk. There was no accounting for that light. The sun was still high in a sky that was clear in a way that perhaps all skies once were, so clear that when I stopped to gaze at the landscape and drink water, I removed my prescription sunglasses and realized that even without them, I could see clearly. Large boulders, the size of tool sheds, lay haphazardly over the desert floor, as if they'd been dropped like marbles from the sky. Mountains rose in the distance, jagged incisors over the palate of alkaline desert." pp. 285-286

- Daryl Farmer in his book,
Bicycling beyond the Divide
(Two Journeys into the West)




Nevada's Politicians

Like my own State of Colorado, Nevada's politicans always seem to be in the news
for some bit of buffoonery or coroption. Some of their antics make national, and even
international, news at times. Here are some of the more recent and "newsworthy" candidates:
Nevada Governor Jim Gibbons Divorce filings accuse Nevada governor of affairs
AP - Monday, April 06, 2009 5:23:45 PM
"First lady Dawn Gibbons accuses Gov. Jim Gibbons in divorce papers of having extramarital affairs with a former Playboy magazine model and another woman to whom he sent hundreds of text messages last year. The Republican governor has been untruthful about his 'infidelity' with the two women, his estranged wife says in a divorce filing which was unsealed Monday by a court order in Washoe County Family Court."

"The governor has insisted both women were just friends. He filed for divorce last May, citing "incompatibility" with his wife."

"Dawn Gibbons identified one of the women in the documents as Kathy Karrasch, who over several weeks received more than 860 text messages from the governor on his state cell phone."

"The governor publicly apologized and reimbursed the state $130. He denied the messages were 'love notes.'"


Nevada Senator John Ensign Back in 1998 Senator Ensign was the first of Nevada's delegation to call for President Clinton's resignation due to the Monica Lewinski affair.

Funny, when Ensign's own infidelities with Cynthia Hampton were revealed, in 2009, he didn't seem too eager to step down and didn't get around to his own resignation unitl May 2011...

Nevada Senator Harry Reid In the book Game Change (about the 2008 presidential campaign) Reid was quoted making comments about candidate Obama's relatively light skin and lack of a "Negro dialect."

This, from a Democrat - the "party of the people," especially minorities? Of course Harry Reid's political record is even more disturbing - he's done a lot of damage to our country and should have been thrown out of office long ago...




Regular Nevada News:

Cliven Bundey Cliven Bundy made international news with his armed stand-off against federal agents in early 2014. Apparently Bundy, representing the sentiment of many welfare ranchers around the west, felt it his right to illegally graze his cattle on public land for over 20 years. Of course when federal agents came to collect grazing fees, and then later to impound Bundy's cattle, a band of armed "ranchers" appeared to defend their right to not only graze public lands into oblivion, but to do if free-of-charge as well.


Nevada governor injured after fall from horse
CNN.com - September 22, 2010

Nevada Gov. Jim Gibbons was recuperating early Wednesday after he was thrown off a horse, his spokesman said.
Gibbons was riding with his brother Tuesday afternoon near Pyramid Lake when the accident occurred, said spokesman Dan Burns.
The governor is an experienced rider, but the horse had only been saddled for a month, Burns said.
Gibbons was taken to a hospital where he was alert and coherent, but in a lot of pain, the spokesman said.
The governor is able to move his arms and legs, and doctors were evaluating the extent of his injuries, Burns said.





  1. Aconcagua (Argentina)
  2. Africa (Eastern) - Kenya, Tanzania, and my Kilimanjaro climb
  3. Africa (Southern) - Our trip through Botswana, South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe
  4. Amazonia
  5. America!
  6. Arizona
  7. Antarctica
  8. Australia Main Page
  9. Australia Two Page
  10. Bolivia
  11. Climbing
  12. Colorado!
  13. Ecuador
  14. France
  15. Friends of Nevada Wilderness
  1. Hawai'i
  2. India
  3. India Two (overflow)
  4. Japan
  5. Longhorn Ranch - Colorado
  6. Mexico
  7. Nevada Nuclear Test Site (zoom-in for a closer look at individual craters...)
  8. New Zealand
  9. Russia
  10. San Francisco
  11. Travel
  12. Travel Two
  13. United Kingdom - England
  14. United Kingdom - Wales and Scotland
  15. Waypoints




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