But first, as we do now, they came into broad green flats abundantly fertile with grass, knee-high grass, a fill for the oxen, the last gesture of the river before it vanished into the air. The emigrants called this place the Big Meadows ofthe Humboldt, and something like two hundred and fifty wagons would be resting here at any given time. “There was a sea here in the Triassic,” Deffeyes remarks. “At least until the Sonomia terrane came in and sutured on. The sea was full of pelagic squid, and was not abyssal, but it was deep enough so the bottom received no sunlight, and bottom life was not dominant.” “How do you know it was not dominant?” “Because I have looked at the siltstones and the ammonites in them, and that is what I see there.” Visions of oceans before and behind us in time, we roll on into Lovelock. SLOW-DUST HAZARD. Lovelock, Nevada 89419. There are cumulus snow clouds overhead and big bays of blue in the cold sky, with snow coming down in curtains over the Trinity Range, snow pluming upward over the valley like smoke from a runaway fire. Lovelock was a flexplek huren utrecht station of the Overland Stage. It became known throughout Nevada as “a good town with a bad water supply.” An editor of the Lovelock Review-Miner wrote in i915, “There is little use in trying to induce people to locate here until the water question is settled. . . . Maybe tl1e water does not kill anyone, but it certainly drives people away.” In i917, Lovelock was incorporated as a third-class city, and one of its first acts was to enforce a ban on houses of prostitution within twelve hundred feet of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Another was a curfew. Another ordered all city lights turned off when there was enough moon.
Here in the Big Meadows of the Humboldt, the principal employer is the co-op seed mill on the edge of town, which sends alfalfa all over the world. On the sidewalks are men in Stetsons, men in three-piece suits, men in windbreakers, tall gaunt overalled men with beards. There are women in Stetsons, boots, and jeans. A thin young man climbs out of a pickup that is flexplek huren rotterdam painted in glossy swirls of yellow and purple, and has a roll bar, balloon tires, headphones, and seventeen lights. There are terraces of Lake Lahontan above the ball£eld of the Lovelock Mustangs. Cattle graze beside the field. The Ten Commandments are carved in a large piece of metamorphosed granite outside the county courthouse.