Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Winnemucca Nevada – Skruffy One Year Later

Wendover Will

Heading from Lake Jordanelle, through Salt Lake City, and on across I-80 into Nevada, there are certain sites that you just pass by.  In Wendover Nevada we passed by “Wendover Will”, who use to stand right on the state line of Nevada and Utah along the old highway…it now is about a mile to the west from the state line, still along the old highway.  Wendover Will is the "World's Largest Mechanical Cowboy", according to Guinness Book of Records, standing 63 feet tall.  We filled up at the Pilot with gas.

Metaphor: The Tree of Utah

About 25 miles east of Wendover you pass by the “Metaphor: The Tree of Utah”, also known as the “Utah Pine Tree”, “Utah Christmas Tree”, and “That Awful Waste of Money Tree”.  All of these latter terms I have heard people call it, among some things which I cannot place in this family friendly blog post.  Back in the days of traveling with a “CB”, truckers and fellow travelers would always blast the thing.  Over the past few years (it was built in the early 1980’s) they have had to put the fence around it…but I remember the days before the fence.  Created by and paid for by Swedish artist Karl Momen, it stands 87 feet tall.  The “Tree” contains “100 tons of chrysacolla rock, 4 tons of epoxy, 160 tons of steel, 15 tons of colored cement and sand, 18,000 imported ceramic tiles, 5 tons of welding rods, 7 tons of timber for mold formers, and 20 tons of plaster.  All-in-all the structure ended up weighing 875 tons and had consumed 21,000 man hours of labor.  The project had also cost Momen over $1 million of his own funds, which was more than double what original estimates had indicated.”  (Click here for the website on the tree)

Ruby Mountains

Near Wells, you can see the northern portion of the Ruby Mountains, as the Interstate runs just north of the mountain range.  Ruby Dome, which you can see from the town of Elko, is 11,387 feet tall…but I did not like the picture from Elko due to the haze.  The southern portion of the Ruby Mountains is the known for a B-17 crash back on January 2, 1943.  It took until June 24, 1943 to find the wreck, and it took a week to recover the bodies of the ten fliers, four officers and six enlisted men.  An Accident Review Board concluded that, while on instruments, the pilot had not maintained sufficient drift correction to stay within the airway, and that extreme downdrafts caused the aircraft to descend approximately 1300 feet below assigned altitude, resulting in the crash into the mountain.

Route from Lake Jordanelle to Winnemucca

I have driven the 380 mile route that we took today at least 50, perhaps 100 times.  In a car, I try to cover it “as fast as I can” from Reno to Salt Lake City.  By motorhome, it is hard to keep it at 62, my normal travel speed…but I did keep it under 65 most of the time, but hard to do on a few hills.  Also, there are a few areas where I had to shift down to second gear…the most notables are just before Elko and near Battle Mountain..and in the 95 degree heat, I turned off the A/C, but did not see any increase in my temperature gage….better safe than sorry.  We got to Winnemucca at 3:30, with a time change of an hour at Wendover, so it took us seven hours.  Hmmm…seems I have made it from Salt Lake City to Reno is seven hours before by car…but now days, who is in a hurry????

Skruffy June 21, 2016    Skruffy June 22, 2016

12:05 am, June 21, Seward AlaskaLast year at this time we were in Alaska.  Spent the “morning” of the longest day in Seward where, at the stroke of midnight, saw the moon come over the mountains on the other side of Resurrection Bay…if you click on the picture left, you will also see a small fishing boat along the reflection of the moon in the water near the mountains on the far side of the bay.  But we awoke the next morning with a very sick little dog.  Skruffy, whom we were watching closely over the weekend, awoke on Tuesday throwing up.  A visit to the local vet found that he had gone on vacation…and a call to the emergency number told us to go to Soldotna or Anchorage…about the same distance away.  Thank God we picked Soldotna Animal Hospital.   The top picture shows Skruffy in the arms of Marcia…the left picture with Skruffy as we traveled to Soldotna (100 miles, about three hour trip), and the picture to the right of Skruffy the next day after Dr. Meezie had started to successfully treat her.  On Tuesday when Meezie told us, “…if she makes it through the night…”, our hearts hit the floor…we had no clue she was that sick.  She turned out to be diabetic, which due to our ignorance, turned into pancreatitis, and she was very anemic.  After two nights in the Soldotna Animal Hospital, and seeing that she was having Separation Anxiety, we were able to bring her to the motorhome on Thursday. When we returned that afternoon with her, she barked at everybody and they said, “Wow, that is an entirely different dog.”  However, it was Meezie’s (click to read our post about Meezie, a GREAT Vet, Fisherman, and person) professional and loving care (with the help of the entire animal hospital) which kept our precious little girl from passing on to the other side of the Rainbow Bridge.  A week later, we took her in for the final appointment, this after a trip to Anchorage to have a ultrasound of her liver.  The tests on July 8th came back with positive results of her liver healing…and off we went.  But it was a very difficult journey for us.  On the night of the 21st (3 am in the morning of the 22nd), I awoke and started to write Skruffy’s obituary.  On the day that we got the test back that she was going to heal, I finished the obituary with a twist…and posted it.  Read “Skruffy’s Last Bark?”, but warning…you will need tissue.

Skruffy, June 20, 2017

So here is a picture of Skruffy I took yesterday or the day before.  A year later, our little girl is doing very well.  I posted another thank you to the Soldotna Animal Hospital on their facebook, and emailed Dr. Meezie again to say thanks….again.  She is so nice, she answered back within a couple of hours, and said, in part: 
“Glad to see Skruffy is still doing well.  She (and the rest her family) will always hold a special place in my memories of cases I was proud to be a part of.  She is a little trooper.”
Meezie…we just can’t thank you enough….and all the people you work with...


  1. There's that little face I love!! Scruffy is a very lucky girl to have you two for parents!!

    1. All that is missing is a large 'bird' (in other words, Cooper, Jesse and 'big bird' Parrot Johnathan are lucky to have YOU.


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