The Misadventures of Mitch Kumstein
Valley of Fire State Park
Guest Blogger Mitch Kumstein
(a dog who blogs)
Got called back to Coyote Springs for sum warranty work on the Road Warrior (amazin’ how much damage you can do by overloadin’ a golf cart & drivin’ it 500 miles to a Burnin’ Man Festival)… so I figured while I was in the area, I’d cruise over to the first state park ever built in Nevada, Valley of Fire State Park.
The Park was an extension of the Hoover Dam Project, and dedicated in 1935, but the history I was lookin’ for came earlier, and centered around a renegade Southern Paiute named Little Mouse. I seemed drawn to ‘em ‘cause he was like me in a lotta ways; a real troublemaker! Legend has it that Little Mouse’s problems started after bein’ fired as a ferryman on the Colorado River for drunkenness and overall bad behavior. This was in the 1890’s, and the inhabitants at Valley of Fire were a mixture of prospectors, farmers, and travelers headin’ west to California.
The unemployed Little Mouse set up shop in the rugged sandstone mountains overlookin’ Valley of Fire, and survived by stealin’ everything from weapons to vegetables from his unsuspecting neighbors. People finally got sick and tired of this pilferer hoardin’ all the veggies, so they blamed him for the murder of two ol’ prospectors (who I’m thinkin’ snuffed each other out over a mining claim). A posse was formed, and Little Mouse was caught about 2 miles from his hideout in Muddy Canyon.
Most sensible people would have surrendered, but our hero tried to battle his way out and was killed. I guess everyone felt sorry for ‘em, ‘cause they decided later to name his secret hideout area Mouse’s Tank in his honor. It’s about a half a mile off the main road, and I hiked in there for sum quality pics. The weird thing was, though, as I was leavin’, HERE COME THE BIGHORNS AGAIN!! One of ‘em almost jumped in the back seat of the Road Warrior! These guys keep followin’ me around, and as cool as it was ta see ‘em the first time, THEY’RE REALLY BUGGIN’ ME!! (anybody got any desert bighorn repellant??)”
Well, the Road Warrior feels road worthy again, so I’m cuttin’ across the Sheep Range back to Beatty, my new home base. Man, all this misadventurin’ sure makes me hungry (hope Juanita over at the Ensenada Grille has sum of those huevos rancheros left!)…”
Mitch Kumstein Bio
“When people ask me about myself, I just hafta say I’m the luckiest dog on the planet! I was abandoned out in the desert just north of Las Vegas; left to fend for myself. After a few harrowing days and nights lookin’ for water and runnin’ from the coyotes, I stumbled onto a golf course, and was taken in by the staff. Soon, I came to the conclusion that I had a new lease on life, and there were a lot of adventures waitin’ for
me out in the wild. So, I took a leave of absence from chasin’ critters at the course and struck out to follow the scent of adventure. And, I decided to write about my findings so everyone could be exposed to the unbelievable history, scenery, personalities, and wildlife that make up our natural environment. If the pics are kinda shaky, and the writin’ kinda sketchy, just be patient….Remember, I’m just a dog!!” – MITCH
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