Six weeks ago, we blasted off in a fictional interplanetary spacecraft, without leaving the comforts of home. This week, with our rocket fuel all but spent, we coasted on to spectacular Saturn, the last stop in our journey.
Nestled in the Virginia Range above Reno, the small old-west town of Virginia City, Nevada is the “birthplace” of Mark Twain, origin of the psychedelic “San Francisco Sound”, and the site of the Comstock Lode, known around here as the Big Bonanza.
When I was born, the doctor took one look at my face, turned me over and said, “Look, twins!” (Rodney Dangerfield)
“Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it.” (Norman McLean)
In the night sky, the brightest object other than the moon is the planet Venus. Here in our hometown, the brightest minds attend the University of Nevada (UNR), located just a short walk from downtown Reno.
If Reno is the biggest little city in the world, then Mercury would be the biggest little planet. The honor of most diminutive fell to the planet nearest to the sun, when pint-sized Pluto was plutoed in 2006. Mercury may be small, but its orbit is speedy, like the messenger of the gods for which it is named.
As a travel destination, there is no place like home. After all, it is the only place where we actually “live like a local”.