Surreal Moments in White Pine County

Yesterday I experienced one of the most surreal moments of my life.

A few minutes past 7:00, just as the sun was sinking behind the Nevada mountains, I pulled up to the curb outside Tara’s house. She was there to greet me, and we hugged each other tight and kissed hello. You have to understand, for years now I’ve read about her house and seen pictures of it, but never in my wildest dreams would I have ever imagined I’d actually be staying here. Seriously, there was no conceivable scenario in the world that I could think of that would land me here.

Except for one, it turns out. 🙂

Even now, writing this entry in her house and enjoying a cup of coffee while she is at work is just…bizarrely cool. We’re meeting up for lunch (I’m going to meet her coworkers – a little nervous about that!) and she’s hoping to get off early. I’m really excited to check out downtown Ely – from what I saw when I passed through last night, I was impressed. Seems like a cool little town. I don’t have any photos to share yet, because there’s no wireless connection for me to use my laptop – I’m borrowing Tara’s for the time being. Out here in the sticks, the internet runs s…l…o…w.

My day began at 5 AM when my alarm went off. An hour later I hit the road. It was a strange feeling to be traversing the very same stretch of highway I drove two months ago, only going in the opposite direction. I remember what a novelty Idaho was in June and July. Now? Not so much. Once I hit Twin Falls I turned south, and Nevada wasn’t too much farther. As remote and desolate as I found Montana and Wyoming to be, Nevada was even more so! Just a straight and lonely two-lane highway surrounded by sagebrush and rocky outcroppings. I wondered how many bodies were buried out there. I also wondered how close Area 51 was. And, my speedometer hit 93 mph at one point. OK, I was passing a semi, but still. You can get away with that out here. When I entered White Pine County, I grew excited. I was getting closer by the minute! The scenery, while not as green and lush as back home, was still a sight to behold. Finally, after 13 hours on the road, I was there.

Tara gave me a tour of her house and fixed us up some Bloody Marys using a bottle of pepper vodka I had brought with me from Washington. I had never had a decent Bloody Mary until I met her…she knows how to do ’em up right, lemme tell ya. Good stuff. We sat on her front porch with our drinks and talked, but the evening was growing cold, so we didn’t stay out there long. Ely is at 6400′ elevation and you can really feel that chilly mountain air! It was 41 this morning. Meanwhile, back home we’re having a heatwave. The timing of this trip couldn’t have been better. Another thing about Ely (or technically Ruth, where Tara lives)? It is so damn quiet I can’t get over it. It’s a good thing, just…different. After we finished our drinks she drove us out to the middle of nowhere so we could look at the stars. The moon was a little bright, but they were still plentiful and fantastic. It was pretty romantic, despite the chill.

We came back home, and then we…

Well. Some details should remain private. Let’s just say it feels really good to be here with her. If the rest of my time here is as good as the first few hours, then I know I’m going to return home a different person.

This’ll be my only post from Nevada. We’re going to be too busy having fun the next few days for me to think about the blog, so I’ll catch you up with all the details next week!


Published by Mark Petruska

I'm a professional writer and editor living my best life in south central Wisconsin.

16 thoughts on “Surreal Moments in White Pine County

  1. I’ve been waiting so patiently for this post of yours and I know it’s not kosher, being the Mom and all, but I felt I was right there with you and Tara. I’ve traveled the same roads and have seen the same sights…except her new deck and where you were out in the middle of nowhere.

    I know you are going to enjoy the rest of your trip Mark and some of the sights are just going to blow you away.

    Looking forward to more postings and pictures….


  2. Aw, you’re so giddy, it’s adorable. I hope you two are having fun! Sounds like Miss Tara treated you right the first night. Bloody Mary’s AND stargazing! How will you ever top that? Might I recommend wine in a canteen and sunset hiking? Bring a compass!


  3. I just got home from work and was so happy to see on my reader that you had posted you arrived!

    Yaaaaaaaaaaaaay! Sounds like an awesome first few hours!

    Enjoy the rest of your time there, buddy.

    See ya when you get back!


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