Election Day was notable for a number of reasons, among them the fact that we crossed on that day into Nevada, the 39th state/province since departing our home in Dallas in March.
Why Nevada, you might ask? It’s not on the perimeter; it hardly qualifies as part of your Year on the Edges of America.
Right-o. We deviated a short ways from the perimeter for a purely record-keeping reason. The photo that leads this post provides a hint as to why.
Do you see the single Western state not colored in? That would be Nevada.
That can’t stand.
The Casita, you see, has been all around Texas, from Big Bend to Palo Duro, Hueco Tanks State Park to the Sabine National Forest. It also has been to New Mexico, Colorado, Arizona and Utah several times since it joined our family 11 years ago.
We visited five other Western states in it during a 2013 summer vacation – Wyoming, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas and Oklahoma. And on this trip we added six more Western states (among others) – North Dakota, Montana, Idaho, Washington, Oregon and California.
What’s missing from that list?
Not any more.
We crossed into Nevada just after noon on Election Day, settling into an RV spot at Don Laughlin’s Riverside Resort Hotel and Casino on the banks of the Colorado River just in time for a leisurely afternoon walk before tuning into the election and watching the returns late into the night.
We’ll resume our perimeter route soon, probably heading south along the Colorado River toward the Mexican border before heading east again. We’re familiar with many of Nevada’s canyons and casinos from previous visits, sans Casita, so we won’t be venturing further into the state on this trip.
But now we get to add that Nevada sticker to our map.
A few quick interesting facts about Nevada:
- This Colorado River is grand, flowing 1,400 miles from its natural headwaters in the Rocky Mountains through seven states (forming the Grand Canyon in northern Arizona along the way and much of the Nevada-Arizona and California-Arizona borders) and Mexico before emptying into the Gulf of California. By comparison, the Colorado River in Texas is contained within the Lone Star State and is roughly half as long as this one, giving lie to the assumption everything is bigger in Texas.
- Nevada leads the nation in the production of gold, silver, barite, lithium, gypsum and mercury. It’s also a major producer of geothermal and hydroelectric power.
- Nevada is officially known as the “Silver State” because of the importance of silver to its history and economy. It is also known as the “Battle Born State” because it achieved statehood during the Civil War.
For those interested in the sorts of nerdy details about our perimeter trip that so fascinate me:
- Nevada marks our 32nd U.S. state on this trip. (We also visited seven Canadian provinces, bringing the international total so far to 39.)
- We should be able to add Arizona and New Mexico to this tally in the next few weeks/months. The Casita has visited them on previous trips, but we haven’t included them yet as part of the perimeter-trip count.
- If all goes according to plan, we should have visited a total of 34 states by the time we return to Dallas in March, 41 if you include the Canadian provinces.
But wait, something’s missing.
Here’s what the map of stickies looks like on the door of our Casita right now. You can see Nevada colored in – no more Western island.
But what’s that island in the middle of the country?
There are just seven continental U.S. states that the Casita’s not yet visited. They are Arkansas, Tennessee, Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa and Missouri.
What’s up with that?
I smell a 2020 seven-state Casita tour in the making….