Lights in a high mountain twilight.

I left my office tonight at that magic hour of dusk where the skies are Kool Aid grape and the first fingers of a winter storm are scratching the western sky. In the dark bosom of Peavine, the mountain local author Walter Van Tilburg Clark called “the great humped child of the desert” is a set of headlights. The lights are there one moment, gone the next, then bouncing back into play again like a firefly with hiccups. Someone up there is a million miles away from work on this December night, bending his way across roads that are heavy with snow. He owns an amazing view of the valley right now. But the simple sight of headlights up high is – to me – nothing short of mesmerizing. It’s not a chamber of commerce moment; it’s simply a truck on a mountain that’s unremarkable to most with a driver who likely has one hand on the wheel and the other on his beer. It is, however, a sight – simple and obscure at is – that reminds me why I love living in Reno. My den of an office is steps away from casinos, bars, museums and a kayak course that’s among the nation’s best. Tourism websites tout the poster children of local adventures – skiing, mountain biking, golfing, and flyfishing among them – but something slightly redneck about just bumping along on a snow-rutted road with an opportunity to be aimless and aloof in a world where we’re too often addicted to connectedness carries its inherent values as well.

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