National Geographic : 1961 Jul
Buckaroos drive Herefords down from a mountain range on the Spanish Ranch near Elko, Nevada. Powdery dust kicked up by the milling herd blots out the blistering August sun, cakes the faces and clothes of the cowpokes, and turns sagebrush gray. Tenting on the range, Nevada cowpunchers relax around a campfire at the end of a day's hard riding. Buckaroos like these Allied Land and Livestock Company cowhands sleep outdoors the year around, except in bitter winter weather. chines and gaming tables. We stopped to eat in an Elko hotel and walked past a healthy stand of one-armed bandits to reach our table. The children were thrilled. "Let's try a few dimes, Dad," Will begged. I quietly explained the percentages and other considerations involved. "But isn't this one of the ways to see the elephant?" Hoist with my own petard, I resorted to the universal dodge of fatherhood: "We'll see. Some other time." Liquor, cigarette, and gambling taxes pay about one-third of Nevada's bills. If this pros perous State could exact a charge for view- ing its scenery, 16 million annual tourists would make Nevada's 285,000 citizens even richer. Its range-and-basin terrain is starkly magnificent and well-nigh unbelievable. And in every town Will wistfully pointed out the slot machines -especially in Reno, whose heartbeat is the whirr and thump, thump, thump of the slots. When we stopped for gas at the California State line, Will spied a casino with its "last chance" signs. I finally gave in. "All right. We'll try one dime, just to prove that you won't win." Will put the dime in; the machine whirred and came to rest.