By Vernon Robison
Moapa Valley Progress
Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval and Lieutenant Governor Brian Krolicki paid a visit to Moapa Valley on Thursday afternoon, May 31. The visit was part of a series of road trips that the two have taken this spring to explore unique and treasured areas in the State of Nevada and to encourage Nevada residents to travel within their state and see all that it has to offer.
The visit began at the Valley of Fire State Park visitor’s center in the early afternoon and later continued at the Lost City Museum in downtown Overton.
During the visit, Sandoval presented a special plaque to Valley of Fire Park Supervisor Jim Hammonds which celebrated Valley of Fire as the top treasured State attraction in the Las Vegas territory.
This designation was one of the final awards in a recent ‘Discover Your Nevada’ poll held by the Nevada Commission on Tourism. The online poll asked Nevada residents to nominate their favorite spots in five different geographic regions of the state. Valley of Fire State Park took first place among southern Nevada residents for this region.
A sixth statewide region was also added into the poll specifically for Indian Territory. The Lost City Museum was named as the runner-up in this region. The first place winner was Pyramid Lake in northern Nevada.
Hammonds said that Sandoval and Krolicki spent about an hour and a half at the Park. They began at the visitor’s center where the Park staff showed the changes that had been recently made, including the new gift shop at the center.
The tour then went on the road and made a stop at Mouse Tank trail where they viewed the petroglyphs. The governor was interested in talking to other visitors while they were there, Hammonds said.
“They wanted to determine how many of the visitors there were Nevada residents and how many were from out of state,” Hammonds said. “We came up to the first Nevada license plate where people were getting out of the car and asked where they were from. Of course, they were from North Carolina in a rental.”
This wasn’t a surprise as 70% of visitation at the Park is from out of the state and out of the country, Hammonds said.
The tour continued to Fire Canyon and then to the White Domes area.
“He was impressed with all the variety of colors at the park,” Hammonds said speaking of the Governor. “Of course, he is from Sparks and he had never been here before.”
After the visit to Valley of Fire, Sandoval and Krolicki continued down the road into Overton and stopped at the Lost City Museum. They spent about 90 minutes with museum curator Dena Sedar and other staff members looking over the museum’s collection of prehistoric puebloan artifacts. Sedar showed them several items not on display in the collection that she has been recently working on including a number of incised stones and other artifacts from near the old Salt Mine area.
Sandoval and Krolicki also took a look at, and went inside of, the pueblo dwellings that are on the grounds of the museum. According to Sedar, the pueblos were just receiving their annual refinishing where new adobe mud is placed to smooth the walls of the structures. The restorers had left a few strips of the old adobe exposed to show the difference between the year old adobe and the newly refinished structures, Sedar said.
“I enjoyed Discovering my Nevada with the Lt. Governor in Overton last week,” said Sandoval in the days after the visit. “It was a wonderful opportunity to see the treasures in our own back yard. I encourage all Nevadans to go out and find the treasures in Overton, in Mesquite, in Las Vegas and all across our great state.