Hi everyone! Hope you are having a beautiful weekend! We sure are. After a long week of work, our family decided to do something special Saturday (yesterday) to celebrate the official start of summer. We loaded up the trucks and took a drive to Willow Creek Recreation Area, about a 20-minute drive Away. We visited Willow Creek last year when we were staying in Battle Mountain and it was a great way to spend a day off work in the great outdoors.

The majority of the drive is a winding two track leading up into the mountains. It’s dusty and gravelly but the scenery is gorgeous. We saw a gray fox cross the road right in front of us and we were able to stop so Norah could get a clear view. The two track passes right by Newmont mine, a mine that Michael built tanks at last year. It was neat to see the dirt shelves where the huge trucks had hauled away tons of dirt, plus the giant doors that led to the underground mine.

It really hit home when I thought about how much Michael’s job depends on the price of gold. I think he said it takes a mine an average of $1200 of labor/equipment costs to mine 1 oz. of gold. When gold prices dip, the mines shut down and lay off employees because they can’t afford to operate when they can’t sell the gold at a profit. When mines shut down, any companies building storage tanks (such as Michael’s employer) must also leave. When mines shut down, they aren’t going to be able to pay people to come in and build storage tanks, nor do they have any use for storage tanks for cyanide, etc… Our paycheck each week really is dependent on something as fickle as if gold is selling for $12 or $120. Of course mines aren’t the only people who contract storage tanks, but they are a large percentage of the customer base. Just some food for thought that Michael and I chatted about as we made the drive into the hills.

Once we finally got to the recreation area, we immediately found our perfect spot– a newly cleared area with a swimming pond and picnic table.

It was breath-taking! Like a little oasis in the desert. As I found out later that afternoon from a woman hiking, the Battle Mountain Tourism Bureau received a $300,000 grant to improve the Willow Creek Rec Area. It really shows! The area was clean and well-maintained and the water was crystal clear. The Bureau will also be stocking the ponds with fish this summer too. One of the coolest parts of the area was the creek trickling into the pond. It sounded like a perfect babbling brook straight from a sound machine. As soon as we got there, Norah wanted to dip her toes in.

We brought a pop up shade canopy which was great for keeping us and the kids cool. The weather was perfect! Nikki, Pat, and their kids joined us for the day and we grilled steaks and drumsticks. Dustin and Norah played in the pond all day with shovels and buckets. They were absolutely filthy!

This is Norah before leaving… Covered in several layers of dried mud. Good thing kids are washable!

Another of the guys’ coworkers, Rusty, and his girlfriend Sam, also came out to Willow Creek. The three guys spent the majority of the afternoon setting up targets and shooting their guns. Us 3 women also got to take a few turns, which was super fun.

Guns & a Grill

All in all, it was a perfect day! Couldn’t have asked for better weather, scenery, food, or company. I’m so blessed to be able to create these types of memories with my kids. I know Norah had an amazing time, and everyone agreed we would be coming back.

Weekends are really great because we get to spend quality time with Michael. During the work week, he leaves the house at 4:30am and doesn’t get home until 6 or a little after. After eating dinner, showering, and packing lunch for tomorrow, its about time for him to go to bed. We really treasure the days where we get uninterrupted time together and not have to worry about waking up at 4am! He had a blast yesterday, and Norah did too– she was so tired out, she slept in this morning 2 hours after we were all up and moving around! Hope you all enjoy your Sunday, no matter where you’re spending it. Love from Nevada ❤