Monday, February 11, 2013

Groundhog Project: Community Description

Hello Groundhog Friends!

Here is a little bit about our corner of Nevada.  We are the biggest town for at least 300 miles in any direction.  We are right on I-80 so it is a straight shot to SLC (a 4 hour drive, where most go for major medical stuff), and Reno (a 5 hour drive, where our high school teams go to play sports)  North is Boise and Twin Falls, Idaho (4 hours and 2 1/2 hours...yay!).  All can be considered "day trips", over and back.  Vegas is a little farther...7-8 hours.  Sometimes I think that people don't realize how out in the middle of nowhere we are.

We are in the high desert so we get hot and dry in the summer and snow and cold in the winter.  It is known as basin and range, so you go up and over one mountain range and into a wide, dry valley, then up over another mountain range and into another valley.  All of the streams from the mountains flow into rivers that end up sinking into salt flat deserts on both sides of the basin.  The mountains around us are very beautiful!
Needless to say this is good cattle country and we have a lot of cattle ranches (big and small).  We also host the National Cowboy Poetry gathering each January.  That is where amateur and professional poets, singers, and songwriters gather to share.  FUN!!!!
Elko is also mining country.  Gold mining.  Most of our families work in something that is connected to mining. 

Elko was founded in 1868 by the Central Pacific Railroad when they were building the transcontinental railroad line.  Before then is was just a wide spot on the California Trail.  We have a great trail center now, where we can go to learn more about that part of our history.

Nevada school districts cover the our school district is huge in land, small in population. We have several one and two room schoolhouses and go from the Utah border, to the Idaho border, to just 30 miles past Elko to the west and south (that would be a total of 17,182 square miles....and yes you read that right...17 thousand).   Elko's population is just around 20,000.  My school is K-4.  For some reason we have lots of young families moving in and we have 4 Kindergartens.  My class has 26 students, 10 boys and 16 girls.

Our little groundhog is Sarah.  I know she looks like a hedgehog, but remember they are related.  During a warm spell we got to out and check our own shadow.  I blogged about it here...but, winter came back and it snowed!!  Out my window today it looks like this.

I know our groundhog said 6 more weeks of winter...but I am really hoping he is wrong.  This winter has been extra cold and I am ready for this to melt and spring to come.

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