Tamara's Journeys

Journeys as great as the destinations.

I Never Thought I’d See This

June 29th, 2016

With more than 90 years of history in the mining industry, Newmont is one of the world’s largest gold producers. And I was lucky enough to be given a brief tour of their Carlin, Nevada mine and learned a bit about Newmont Corps. Rich legacy that’s linked to many key industrial milestones of the 1900’s.

Colonel William Boyce Thompson founded the Newmont Company in 1916. He named the company “Newmont” because, “he grew up in Montana and made his money in New York.” Today Newmont owns or controls approximately 2.8 million acres in Nevada. Our Nevada operations account for approximately one-third of Newmont’s worldwide gold production. Their 11 Nevada surface mines, eight underground mines and 13 processing facilities operate as an integrated unit and, together, they boast the widest variety of processing methods of any gold mining complex in the world. It’s a very impressive operation. In addition to gold, their operations also produce silver and copper as by-products.

Fifty years ago on May 4, 1965, Newmont poured the first gold bar (75lbs each) from the Carlin Mine marking the beginning one of the largest and most productive gold mining districts in the world. Newmont Carlin Mine has since generated millions of ounces of gold, created thousands of local jobs and helped the communities of northern Nevada grow and thrive over the last five decades. For more information: http://www.newmont.com/operations-and-projects/north-america/nevada-us/operation-facts/default.aspx

Newmont Mine 2 Newmont Mine 3 (2)

The pit is 1,900 feet deep and they are expanding to an additional 300 feet this year. Look at the tiny buildings.

The pit is 1,900 feet deep and they are expanding to an additional 300 feet this year. Look at the tiny buildings.

Newmont Mine 12 Newmont Mine 11

Before Newmont started operations in the area, there was gold found in the distant Jarbridge mountains. One of Nevada’s more unique mining camps holds a past as colorful as the scenery that surrounds it. You have to want to go there. Getting there requires 50 miles on seriously dusty, washboard roads one car wide with hairpin turns through the mountains. Maybe this is why the Shoshone didn’t populate the area, or it could be Tsawhawbitts.

According to Shoshone legend, a giant cannibal named Tsawhawbitts roamed nearby City of Rocks and Jarbridge canyon looking for unsuspecting souls to devour. Shoshones have avoided that region for fear of the evil giant who could capture and devour them.

Prospector’s efforts in this forsaken remote area seemed futile until 1909 and a rush for the riches led to the Jarbridge Mining Co. in 1911. At that time the town exploded to 1,500 people and boasted a schoolhouse, community jail (which still stands) and a variety of businesses. The mine was, at one time, the largest producing gold Mine in Nevada.

Jarbridge even had its share of problems with the law and has the distinction of being the location of the last stage robbery in America. In 1916 the stage drive was killed, and the culprit fled with the mail and $3,000. He was captured and tried by the bloodied palm print he left on a discarded envelope. This Jarbridge incident was “the first time a palm or fingerprint had ever been admitted as evidence in a court trial in the world.”

Then came the fire of 1919. A barrel of whiskey blew up in the bars basement. In all, 20 businesses and log cabins burned to the ground, including the telephone office, movie house and dance hall. Residents fought to get powerlines after that claiming powerlines wouldn’t have fueled the fire like their gas lamps – and they won.

Today Jarbridge has every right claiming to the title of most isolated town in the lower 48 states. I can attest to that! After a long and bumpy drive over Bear Creek Pass, I found Jarbridge tucked amongst a gurgling stream, and tall peaks, surrounded by miles of some of the most spectacular scenery I’ve ever seen. The areas pristine (because nobody can get to them) rivers and streams are abundant with whitefish and trout. The town is also popular with wilderness hunters seeking elk, mule deer and other wildlife.

Bear Pass road is one of two ways to reach Jarbridge.

Bear Pass road is one of two ways to reach Jarbridge.

Bear Pass is the most scenic route to Jarbridge.

Bear Pass is the most scenic route to Jarbridge.

Jarbridge 5 Jarbridge 6

Speed limit is to limit dust in the air.

Speed limit is to limit dust in the air.

Never forget the Shovel Brigade, Jarbridge's latest brush with law enforcement. The road is still under dispute 15 years later.

Never forget the Shovel Brigade, Jarbridge’s latest brush with law enforcement. The road is still under dispute 15 years later.

This is an original stove from the early Jarbridge settlement.

This is an original stove from the early Jarbridge settlement.

Jarbridge school bell

Jarbridge school bell

Downtown Jarbridge

Downtown Jarbridge

The Outdoor Inn, a great place to get away from everything and everybody

The Outdoor Inn, a great place to get away from everything and everybody

City of Rocks is popular with climbing enthusiast

City of Rocks is popular with climbing enthusiast

City of Rocks is also called "the silent city" and the Shoshone avoid the area.

City of Rocks is also called “the silent city” and the Shoshone avoid the area.

Jarbridge 21

The Salmon Falls Dam over the Nevada-Idaho border, was built in 1910 to provide water for irrigation to farms.

Jarbridge 18

So if you find yourself with a yearning to explore one of our most isolated treasures, the town of Jarbridge, Nevada awaits. Just drive a 4-wheel drive pick-up, have food and plenty of water with you and keep an eye out for Tsawhawbitts. You’ll be glad you went. And you’ll have quite a story to tell.

To learn about the 2000 Jarbridge Shovel Brigade: http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2001/01/shovel-rebellion


Sunday in Nevada

June 26th, 2016

The 41st Annual Lamoille Country Fair is actually an art fair that offers curious patrons like me the chance to experience the country charm of scenic Lamoille while wandering among booths brimming with local and state artists’ unique handcrafted items including original artwork, jewelry, furniture, pottery, garden art, quilts, birdhouses, beadwork, metal art, and much more including delicious refreshments. The Lamoille Women’s Club’s famous homemade lemonade was a highlight of the refreshments on this hot Nevada day.

Lamoille County Fair  6 Lamoille County Fair  7 Lamoille County Fair  9 Lamoille County Fair  11

Lamoille County Fair 24

Lamoille County Fair  21Lamoille County Fair  10Lamoille County Fair 13 Lamoille County Fair Lamoille County Fair 20

The Lamoille Country Fair was a nice was to start my day in the country. If you have the chance, get out and enjoy your local artists.

Friday Funnies

June 24th, 2016

In Nevada children study the gold rush in history class. That’s right: money, greed, and the founding of a state on the backs of individuals who fell for a dream of instant riches. In tribute to Nevada’s past, I offer these minor miner jokes:

Q: What’s are the three rules of finding gold? A: Mine, mine, mine.

Q: Why did the miner take a balloon ride in a thunderstorm? A: He heard that every cloud has a silver lining.

Q: Why did the miner stay in Nevada instead of moving northwest? A: Because he didn’t like the sound of a place called “Ore-gone”

Q: Why are so many gold-diggers children? A: Because it’s the only profession open to minors.

Q: What do you call the diggers with no clothes on? A: Strip miners.

Q: Why does everyone love gold? A: You can’t help but dig it.

Q: Why did the student pan for gold all night long? A: His mother told him, “You’d better finish your homework, ore else!”

Q; Why was silver more popular than gold? A: Everyone dug the silver, but panned the gold.

Q: Why couldn’t the miner ever find gold? A: He looked and looked, but searched in vein.

Q: What did they call the miner that threw himself down his mine shaft? A: A claim jumper.

I Never Thought I’d See the Day

June 22nd, 2016

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:2

I never thought I’d hear myself lamenting for the return to the “good old days.” Dreaming wistfully about a time that seemed happier and less stressful, simpler and less complicated. I guess I’m old enough for that now.

But the past isn’t always as rosy as our memories make it. I believe much of the nostalgia for the “good old days” stems from selective memory. Our minds tend to latch on to good memories and filter the rest – thankfully. Still, many of us think it would be nice to revert to the goodness we had yesterday. That has never seemed more true than now.

The economic upheaval beginning in 2008 was, in my view, a major event symptomatic of more dangerous changes to come. Many of the events that led to that collapse were cases of deceitfulness and immorality on the part of unscrupulous business practices. Any nation that’s drowning in debt, at war around the world and is in danger of losing global status has lost their moral compass. We’re in trouble. I’m concerned.

I don’t believe in our ability to solve the problems man has created, especially problems of enormous scale such as those our nation faces today. However, I am optimistic about God’s abilities. I don’t think He’s going to swoop in and return us to the “good old days.” Rather, I believe in God’s ability to keep His believers from being conformed to the chaos around us and His ability to transform us and raise us higher as the world sinks lower. I don’t know about you, but I need that protection to endure the intensity of the storms of chaos – today! This world is not our friend.

As Christians we must seek protection from conformity and power to be transformed to be more like Jesus in order to find peace in this life.  How can we know if we’re being conformed to the world? Over the past 9 weeks I’ve covered topics in which God has a will for His people: committed to marriage, to the Bible, to understanding the rise of rogue powers on the world stage, to supporting His chosen people, and so on. A Christian who is transformed will study the will of God, live the will of God and love the will of God. They won’t fear the world’s chaos. We will stand as beacons of light, life and hope to all who are tired of being squeezed into the mold of this world. Amen!

May you and I make the choice daily to decide, determine, and discipline ourselves to be living demonstrations of His will.

Friday Funnies

June 17th, 2016

This weekend marks one of the greatest motorcycle events in the old west, the Elko “Rumble in the Rubies” Motorcycle Jamboree. (http://www.elkomotorcyclejamboree.com/) Hundreds of motorcycles swarming the area to experience rugged mountains and twisting canyon roads. Their days will be spent loitering in Elko merchant store fronts and nights will be non-stop gambling action, street music and entertainment. I can’t think of a better choice of topic for this week’s funnies. Bikers are funny!


A young man walked into our insurance office to purchase coverage for his new motorcycle. Only one question confused him. “Do you have a lien holder on the vehicle?” “I’ve got a kickstand,” the prospect replied. “Is that the same thing?”

Bikers arrived in Heaven and Gabriel ran to the Lord and said, “I have to talk to you. We have a swarm of bikers up here who are causing problems. They’re swinging on the pearly gates, my horn is missing, and they’re wearing t-shirts instead of robes. There’s BBQ sauce everywhere, especially all over their t-shirts, the dogs are riding in the chariots and chasing the sheep. And they’re wearing cowboy hats and baseball caps instead of halos. They refuse to keep the stairway to Heaven clean and their boots are marking and scratching up the halls of wisdom. There are sun flower seed hulls and chicken wing bones all over the place. On top of all that, they refuse to walk and insist on riding their Hog everywhere.”

The Lord said, “Bikers are Bikers, Gabriel. Heaven is home to all my children. If you want to know about real problems, call the Devil.”

The Devil answered the phone, “Hello, hold on a minute.” The Devil returned to the phone, “OK, I’m back. What can I do for you?” Gabriel replied, “I just want to know what kind of problems you’re having down there.” The Devil said, “Hold on again. I need to check on something.” After about 5 minutes of waiting and trying Gabriel’s angelic patience the Devil returned to the phone and said, “I’m back. Now what was the question?” Gabriel said, “What kind of problems are you having down there?” The Devil said, “Man, I don’t believe this! … Hold on.” This time the Devil was gone for 30 minutes before he returned and said, “I’m sorry Gabriel, I can’t talk right now. Those crazy bikers have put the fire out and are trying to install air conditioning!”

Two guys were roaring down the road toward Elko on a motorcycle when the driver pulled over. His leather jacket had a broken zipper, and he told his friend, “I can’t drive anymore with the wind beating me in the chest like this.” His friend said, “Just put the jacket on backwards.” (brilliant thinking?) They continued down the road but around the next bend they lost control and wiped out. A nearby rancher saw the accident and ran to call the police. The asked him, “Are the bikers showing any signs of life?” “Well,” the rancher replied, “the driver was until I turned his head around the right way!”

I’ll fight the urge to get a tattoo, Mom.

Now You See Me 2

June 15th, 2016

What really makes me happy? OK, yes, the ocean, good food and good movies make me pretty happy. But what else? Spending time with my near and dear friends. The happy-meter only goes up when you combine friends with good food and a movie. So last weekend I reunited with a dear friend and we watched the Four Horseman reunite for another impossible heist in “Now You See Me 2.”

Three years have passed since the first ‘Now You See Me’ came out to the big screen. Now, audiences have the chance to see a new installment in the magic-oriented action comedy. ‘Now You See Me 2’ brings back familiar faces fans know and love as well as a number of new and mysterious faces. Will the magic still be there for part two of this act? Or will it be curtain call for the Four Horseman?

In this movie the Four Horseman are given a target. As they make an attempt to end their target’s fraudulent act, a bigger magic trick is being prepared. Old enemies resurface and interrupt the Horseman’s attempts and ultimately causes them to run from the FBI. After a series of unexpected events, the bigger picture is revealed and the Four Horseman are now forcibly hired by a mastermind who needs them to pull off a heist to acquire technology once stolen from him.

I found “Now You See Me 2” just as entertaining and hilarious as the original. The team of actors and actresses in the movie brought a certain kind of presence to the screen with each scene. The film continued with their trend of unexpected twists that few may expect and I continued to love just as much as the first film. As I sat there at the end of the film. I was attempting to figure out which one I liked more and to be honest, I couldn’t pick just one. I had a brief moment of being bored in the middle, but as soon as the magic tricks and acts began again, I was instantly back into the film and being entertained.

‘Now You See Me 2’ is not going to win a major award, but it’s nicely meshed together with film and stage magic. If you have the chance, check this one out and if you haven’t seen the first, you should rent it first and then see 2.



Friday Funnies

June 10th, 2016

My sweet little niece has experienced chronic ear infections since she was born. Yesterday she had tubes put in and her adenoids taken out and we expect she’ll be a much happier (if that’s possible) toddler and happy parents that don’t have to struggle giving her medicine. With a happy family comes humor to celebrate.

Doctor: “Your daughter’s adenoids are enlarged and need removing.” My brother: “So we need to subtractnoids?”

Woman: “Look here Doctor you’ve taken out my tonsils, my adenoids, my gall bladder, and my appendix, but I still don’t feel well.” Doctor: “That’s quite enough out of you!”

My young nephew was going into hospital to have his tonsils removed.  He told his playmate, “I’ll be gone for a while.  I have to have surgery.” On the day he was admitted his mother asked the doctor., “Could you please also circumcise him while he is asleep.” The doctor agreed.  When he woke up and was very sore down there for several days. After about a week he got to see his playmate again and the playmate informed him that he was also going to have to have his tonsils out soon.  He asked him to tell him about the surgery. My nephew replied, ‘All I can tell you is your tonsils ain’t where you think they are.’

Gracie Adenoid

Aunt Tam Tam loves you!





I Never Thought I’d See the Day

June 8th, 2016

I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed. Genesis 12:3

I believe America’s future depends partially on our relationship with Israel. And given recent political trends, I believe America is putting her future at risk. We supported Israel in the mid-twentieth century when she was re-formed politically. I never thought I’d see the day when we would diminish that support. But that day has come, and I believe if we don’t return to our previous supportive policies toward Israel, our future as a nation is in peril.

No nation, including America, should take lightly the promise in Genesis 12:3, if for no other reason than self-preservation. The entire population of the earth was destined to be blessed through the nation of Israel. Therefore, people who recognize God’s purposes for Israel and do whatever they can to preserve, protect and defend Israel will be preserved, protected and defended.

Conversely, people who stand in the way of Israel’s’ prosperity will find themselves standing in the direct path of God’s purposes for Israel on earth. And history is clear on the tragic stories of what happens to anyone who puts himself in that unenviable position. It’s that simple. God created a people for Himself in order to bless the human family. Those who stand in the way will find themselves experiencing judgement.

Will we support Israel’s return to her homeland and continue to aid her progress? There was a time when America answered the call, and I believe America’s greatness was due in part to that support by our leaders. Today, however, I fear America has lost sight of our responsibility to bless the people of God. And I fear if we continue descending into depravity while at the same time abandoning Israel, we can expect to suffer just as many other nations have suffered in the past.

You and I can do two things to influence America’s support of Israel: First, we can use whatever means are available to influence Washington policy makers through voting and contacting our representatives. We are the governed who need to make our voices heard. Second, we can pray for our leaders and for peace between our nations. Pray for “the peace of Jerusalem”! (Psalm 122:6)


Sunday in Nevada

June 5th, 2016

The 13th Annual California Trail Days began yesterday and continues today. I’ve been looking forward to this family-friendly opportunity to see pioneer life along the trail and Native American culture come to life! Some of today’s historic displays and presentations include: Cowboy church, how to use a Bow and Arrow, how to pack a wagon, Shoshone basket weaving, Black Powder demonstrations with non-firing rifles, frontier military drills, mountain man storytelling and pioneer games. It was fun to hear the stories of the pioneers who endured the 2,000-mile trek; some seeking land, some gold, others seeking adventure, and some for reasons none of us may never know or understand.

May you keep discovering and learning along your adventure.Califonia Interpretive Center Shoshone crowd California Interpretive Center Black-Powder California Interpretive Center Pony Express California Interpretive Center Wagon Calfiornia Interpretive Center Baskey Weaving California Interpretive Center Cooking California Interpretive Center Leather Tanning California Interpretive Center Mule

Friday Funnies

June 3rd, 2016

Folks hereabouts hold a rip-roaring bull-busting Country & Western theme night of music, dancing and dress-up two Thursday’s a month. Here are a few personal observations about what it means to be Country & Western in Elko.

For example, when I asked a fellow dancer “What music do you like?” She looked at me a bit strangely and responded, “Both sorts…country AND western!” Okey, dokey then.

Word in this area is that, if you play any Country and Western record backwards, your wife returns to you, your dog comes back to life, and you get out of prison.

Two music lovers were being held hostage and both were going to be shot. One of them was a local country music lover and the other an out-of-town city slicker that enjoyed all kinds of music.  Before they were shot they were asked for one last request before they died. The country music lover said, “I would like to listen to Achy Breaky Heart’ fifty times in a row.” The city slicker said, “Please, shoot me first.”

Rejected Country-Western Song Titles: 1) The Trailer Sure Seems Lonely Now That You and Our Nine Kids Are Gone 2) You Can Take the Boy Outta the Country, but You Can’t Take the Bullets Outta That City-Boy Who Just Cut Me Off with His Mercedes Actual Country and Western Song Titles: 1) When I’m alone, I’m in bad company. 2) I may fall again, but I’ll never get up this slow.




I Never Thought I’d See the Day

June 1st, 2016

Love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in Heaven. Matthew 5:44-45

“In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful: All praise be to Allah, the Lord of the Universe, and peace and blessing be upon our Master and Prophet, Mohammad, and his pure Household, and his noble Companions and on all divine messengers. Oh, God, hasten the arrival of Imam Al-Mahdi and grant him good health and victory and make us his followers and those who attest to his rightfulness!”

That prayer was offered in New York City before the Sixty-fifth Session of the United Nations General Assembly on September 23, 2010 by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, president of the Islamic Republic of Iran. A generation ago it would have been unthinkable that the leader of a nation could pray such a prayer at the UN with impunity. Yet this prayer, and the absence of any negative public response, demonstrates the growing impact of this leader from a country where church and state are one in the same. A system of beliefs that Iran is using to destabilize the Middle East and intimidate the global community.

I never thought I’d see the day when an ancient, repressive nation could intimidate the modern world using threats based in theology. We’ve seen plenty of international bullies (Hitler and Khrushchev come to mind) but these leaders were primarily based on military might and their personal desire for power. Ahmadinejad is different because he’s a theocratic leader with nuclear capabilities on one hand and a “divine mission” from God on the other.

The fact that Iran views itself as the “true” keeper of the Muslim faith where the Mahdi will return and the religious leaders reside, gives her a superior view of her role in the world and makes her a bully to other Muslim nations in the Middle East. This religious fundamentalism has made the world nervous. Nations are apprehensive not because Iran has the third-largest oil reserves or the fourth-largest army. But because she has a cult leader with a ticking time bomb.

There’s so much I don’t understand about Islam, but I’m sure of two things: First, Iran is intent on creating instability in the Middle East to hasten the return of their God. Second, we can be sure that there’s a day coming, as foretold in Ezekiel, that Iran’s hopes will be dashed as they try to eliminate the State of Israel.

Perhaps the most important thing to remember in the face of Iran’s threat is that God loves each of us and pursues us as individuals even inside the borders of nations hostile to Him. Iran may have risen against Him, but within that nation are people who can hear God’s voice when He calls and respond to Him with love and dedication even when faced with persecution from families and friends.

That’s why we have to remember who the real enemy is. A nation may have defied God, but within that nation are Christians and potential Christians who need our prayer. Remember God is all powerful and no one is outside the length of His reach. Join me in trading fear of Iran’s threats for praying for both our nations under God.

Tamara's Journeys

Journeys as great as the destinations.