I’m Moving Out of Las Vegas

After getting back from Tonopah and Goldfield, it was very clear to me that I needed to move. I returned from lightly travelled roads to the nightmare that is Las Vegas traffic. Las Vegas isn’t as bad, yet, as Phoenix Metro or Atlanta, but it is bad.

I’m concentrating on Pahrump right now. It’s an hour’s drive west of Las Vegas. It has a hospital that takes my insurance and a 24 hour emergency room. I’d rather live elsewhere but none of the places I like have medical services anywhere close.

My present lease runs out in two months. I want to sign papers on a new place at least a month before September 1st. I know that means carrying an extra rent payment for a while but I do not want to be rushed. I want time to pack, move, arrange utilities, and settle in.

This morning I went house hunting for a rental and just missed a place I would have signed papers on. It’s a complex world that real estate agencies live in.

In the Pahrump Valley there may be 10 or 15 real estate agencies. A homeowner could decide to sell or rent their property through anyone of them. The agency they choose becomes the primary listing agency. In turn, the agency shares this availability information with all the rest of the agencies.

Today I met with the largest real estate agency in the Valley and was shown two properties. This agency was not the primary for the properties. The agent called the primary before showing me the house I especially wanted to rent. He was told there was already an application in, however, the homeowner had doubts about the renter and that the application might not go through. The primary thought the best thing was for the agent to show me the place, and then I should come over to them to fill out an application, just in case things fell through with the first applicant.

I really did like the property but by the time I got to the primary the owner had changed his mind and approved of the tenant.

I see the house is still up at Zillow as if it is available. You cannot expect real time web changes in a small town like this or information to be coordinated well. People are doing their best so I will continue looking, even with this odd swirl of multiple companies trying to get a place rented or sold.

Also, be prepared to fill out several applications, each at a different agency. These look into your financial status and most probably your criminal record. Expect a fee of fifty to seventy five dollars at every agency. At least in Pahrump, there is no central clearing house for an applicant for all the real estate companies. Instead, you fill out an application one at a time, depending on if that company is the primary agency for a property. Only the primary agency deals with the application form and the property owner, the secondary real estate agencies simply show the property, collecting a fee of a few hundred dollars if a rental goes through. Whew! I am learning much.

Although I missed a wonderful house today, I learned that I will wait for a house that is by itself. Many have been available in the past which sit on an acre of land. The second house I saw today was in a conventional neighborhood with no more than twenty five feet between houses. Yuch. I can’t tolerate living like that anymore and I am sure my neighbors wouldn’t tolerate me. Besides the better privacy of a big lot, I want to buy a rock saw again and get cutting. We’ll see what happens. I have five weeks before my drop dead date. If not Pahrump, maybe Ely, Nevada.

Follow me on Instagram: tgfarley

Two Minutes Walking in A Desert Wash

I’m documenting some different things at Wikimedia Commons for anyone to view or use.

Wikmedia Commons uses an odd video file format that may not play on your device. It’s called .webm. These videos open and operate reliably in the Firefox broswer, my iPad, but not my iPhone.

Editing or otherwise working with a Wikimedia Commons hosted video may prove fruitless unless you have a commercial converter. I use Movavi products for all of my video work. They are very cheap compared to anything Adobe and are far simpler to use.

Follow me on Instagram: tgfarley

Nevada’s Spring Mountain Ranch

I just added  into the public domain this photo to Wikimedia Commons. It shows a view looking south at the Spring Mountains from the driveway of the main ranch house. That house also serves as a museum and the Park Headquarters. The property lies within the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area.

As with many Nevada State Parks, it is currently closed. Howard Hughes once owned this park although no one can confirm if he ever visited perhaps his most beautiful property. The park lies only ten miles from the city limit of Las Vegas, Nevada.

The full size file is here, along with its unlimited copyright release:


Some might ask, “Why not crop out the straggly looking tree on the right?” That would certainly be possible but today I provide unedited photos if I am happy with most of the photograph. A photo editor wants as many pixels to play with and they can always crop later. When I used to submit magazine photos I would crop the photos as I would like to see them. I stopped that when I decided to leave any choices to a magazine’s layout crew.

Here’s how I would crop out the tree and part of the driveway but notice how the photo lacks some of the visual punch as before. Somehow, that extra width and depth provides the better canvas.

Follow me on Instagram: tgfarley

Another Desert Field Trip Coming Up

I didn’t find what I set out for on my latest trip to the desert. I did gain, however, a tremendous number of insights that I want to share with you. To do that will take some time over the next few days.

The video below introduces my unsuccessful hunt for uraniferous sand and gravel, no indication of what yet to come.

7 Magic Mountains Desert Wash from Thomas Farley on Vimeo.

And now it is on to another part of my visit. Click here to go to part two.

Follow me on Instagram: tgfarley


Visual Rock ID Sessions at UNLV

This just in from the Geoscience Department at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas, located in downtown Las Vegas. Session is back in and rock ID for the public continues as it has for some years. This year they have changed their days and increased their hours. The Department’s notice below, my comments below that.

From The Department

From: Geoscience Department
Date: August 30, 2023 at 4:03:35 PM PDT
Cc: Maria Rojas
Subject: UNLV Visual Rock I.D. Sessions


Here in the department, we hold visual Rock I.D. sessions on Monday 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm, Tuesday 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm, Thursday 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm (does not include holidays) for the Fall 2019 semester. We will not be accepting any more walk ins after 4:45 pm.

Rock IDs are visual inspections only; we do not keep or buy any rocks/fossil and we do not give any monetary value.

In terms of making an appointment, you don’t have to make one, you can just come during the listed time and day.

Regarding the limit on amount of rocks brought it, we have a limit of 3.

For parking and directions please click on this link for more information. https://geoscience.unlv.edu/rock-identification-2/

To do Rock I.D., make sure you come to Lilly Fong Geoscience Building Room 104.
Questions or concerns feel free to contact us (702) 895-3262 ; [email protected]

University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Department of Geoscience
4505 Maryland Parkway
Las Vegas, Nevada 89154-4010

My Comments

I’ve been to several sessions and met good people. You will be lucky if you run into Drew Barkoff, he is a P.hD student and has been a friend of my book. I am always astounded at what he knows and I learn tremendously every time I talk with him. I also met Sara last year, a Masters student. Everybody is excellent.

Locality is extremely important in any ID, of course, so bring in as much information as you can. A geologic map or a small printout of same, no matter how simple, will help tremendously. You can find these at either MyLandMatters.org or especially at Macrostrat.org. I once brought in a rock from Plymouth, CA and did not and could not expect anyone there to know the geology of the area. Bring a map if possible. Oh, and a small flashlight since the conference room is dim. And a loupe. They have some simple things like streak plates.

Parking can be tough. Many meters accept quarters but in some lots you will get only 10 minutes to a quarter. On many of those meters they have a credit card system also in place. You call the number on the meter and voice prompts walk you through a ten minute process to register your credit card, take down your license plate, and so on. It is frustrating and lengthy to set up for the first time, considering you will be in full sun the entire duration. If you return at a later date your account will be all arranged and it will be just a matter of calling the number back.

There may be other options for parking listed at the link the Department mentioned above that I do not know about. Check them out. If you are a short distance from campus a Uber of Lyft may be a good idea.

If you have large or heavy rocks, bring a cart or hand truck. You will need it, the Geosciences Building can be a long walk from wherever you wind up parking. Everything is on the first floor and handicap accessible. There is an outstanding display of rocks and minerals on the first floor and I noticed that they must have replaced all the lighting this semester. Things look great. This collection is almost worth a visit it just by itself. All campus staff is friendly and people will happily point you out to the Geoscience Building. Take water and they have a nice water fountain bottle filler near the conference room.

Good luck to anyone going and understand that at times people may get hung up or delayed for a little while before meeting you. Such is life.


Follow me on Instagram: tgfarley