We have hiked around 500 total miles here by my estimate (more than the amount of miles that I put on my car for this assignment). Funny story, the shoes that I have worn to hike all those miles actually belonged to my daughter. They are just a regular pair of athletic shoes. She left them behind when she left home. They sat by the back door for months. We wear the same size and they looked good and sturdy, so I packed them in the camper for this trip. I never expected them to become my hiking shoes, but they worked perfectly. They are in sad shape now. I noticed that my heel and knee started to hurt when we were hiking the trails. I guess the padding has broken down. They no longer absorb shock like they used to. They have served their purpose well, I will be retiring them today. I didn’t realize that it was possible to become emotionally attached to such a mundane item, but it will be difficult to toss them in the trash.
Nevada is known for mining. One of the most popular mines has turquoise. I promised myself a jewelry item before I left so I purchased this ring yesterday as a parting gift to myself. I had full intentions of finding a blue/green stone, but then I saw this. The stone is called White Buffalo Turquoise and it is mined nearby in Tonopah. I am jubilant about the discovery and will wear it in memory of the wonderful time that I spent here. I am so happy that I literally get to take a piece of Nevada to keep with me.
It is so hard to believe that fourteen weeks ago this journey started with an open director position in a town that is just a little dot on the map across the country. With only our imaginations (and a lot of faith) we made that long trek west. We endured a few trials along the way, but our high hopes got us through each one. I can only imagine what adventures that the next location holds. I am now feeling more excitement than apprehension. I am at peace with myself now that all the good-byes have been said. I won’t make it to the White Pine County Fair this year, but it will definitely be on my bucket list. Until next time Ely, Nevada, farewell my friend.
Fun fact: Walking away from the facility for the last time wasn’t as emotional as I feared that it would be (I was distracted by Wookie vomiting everywhere and losing an earring).
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