Signs of fall have slowly been inching into Reno one-by-one. Many people would disagree with me, as it’s still in the 80s and 90s during the day, but as an early-morning barista, I know the true story. It begins when I wake up in the morning before anybody else, and grab a sweater on the way out the door, because it’s 6:00 a.m., it’s in the late 50s, and my tank top isn’t cutting it. I head to work, and still groggy, brew the drip coffee first thing. I grab a mug, letting it warm my hands as I turn on the grinder. The sunlight finally appears as I switch on the open sign, and Reno starts to warm steadily. The kicker of this situation is that Reno is always at least a little bit cool when it’s dark outside. That’s what makes it the perfect place to host bonfires and sit on the porch late into the night mid-July. However, there’s a different feel to the air when it starts turning into fall. It’s slightly colder, and the air smells different. I don’t know how to explain it, but I know it when it appears.
Although I absolutely love fall, it also signals the beginning of classes, which I will be attending in just a few, short days. Naturally, I’m already missing summer and all of my little adventures. A few weeks ago, I visited Vegas for my brother’s graduation party and to help my parents move some stuff into their new house in Reno. I had recently been told about the 7 Magic Mountains, an art exhibit by Ugo Rondinone located in the middle of the desert, by a friend from the Nevada Museum of Art where I regularly volunteer. Hearing about it, I knew I had to go. Huge, brightly colored boulders in the middle of drab, dry Southern Nevada desert? Amazing.
The drive out to the 7 Magic Mountains is super easy but a little confusing. Just take the I-15 South to Sloan Rd., turn left onto Las Vegas Blvd, and drive for about 15-20 minutes. However, you won’t see the exhibit itself until the last minute – this is the confusing part. You’re driving and driving, and all you see is flat desert. Then, a tiny hill, and then…suddenly there’s an enormous, rainbow sculpture right to the left. Luckily, there’s a parking lot right out front. After a short walk, you’re looking straight up at overwhelmingly large, neon rocks.
Now, I went to the 7 Magic Mountains in the midst of Vegas summer, when heatwaves radiate off of the pavement late into the afternoon, and you get an instant sunburn walking to your car. While the exhibit was amazing, it was absolutely not the best summer activity. But Vegas fall? Beautiful! This would be an amazing Sunday afternoon activity in late October/early November. If you will be traveling there, please take a break from casinos and drinking, and go see this! Locals of course should take the trip – Nevada culture is flourishing and so important to support!
Unfortunately, the 7 Magic Mountains have already been vandalized (this is why we can’t have nice things), but they are still breathtaking and worth the visit. However, because of this, I want to give my little spiel on art: Artists work incredibly hard to improve this world through beauty, whether it’s painting, music, dance, sculpture, or any other medium. Please be respectful to their art, support it, and love it. Spread the word. Help your community by supporting local museums and events. If Reno can change as drastically as it has in the past few years, many communities can also.
Click here for more information on the 7 Magic Mountains.
Does the dress look familiar? This might be why. It’s one of my favorites!
XO Sara Lynn
*Song of the Day: Full Circle by Half Moon Run