|In the summer of 2007, we spent a wonderful three weeks with Anne’s sister Agnes and her family in Elko, northern Nevada. We stayed at their house, and received a great welcome from all of them. We visited a range of attractions in the area and further afield, spent time with the children, went out for meals, and had a fantastic time all round. I trekked off into the Ruby Mountains (Thomas Peak was a new high point for me at 11,325 feet), and Len even had me playing a round of golf with him!
It was my first ever visit to the "lower 48" states, and I loved it. The experiences all came together for this song, which I started putting together while we were still there.
Lamoille and Liberty are mountain lakes high in the Rubies; the gold is a reference to the mining operations (at the time, Len was driving a 300-ton truck in the Barrack complex); and the Union Pacific was a constant feature in the background. I realised later that verse 2 was maybe a bit close for comfort; that summer was particularly bad for wildfires all across the American West, and I generally miss out that one - the song is long enough without it.
And yes, I do hope to return. I’ve an eye on Mount Fitzgerald, for one thing...