If you think the Old West is long gone, head to Elko, Nev. That’s where the 33rd National Cowboy Poetry Gathering is under way this week with stories, music, food and of course poetry about the rural West.
A bonus: National Public Radio’s weekly “The Moth” storytelling show will feature the gathering for the first time Saturday night.
Story spinners (women and men) as well as singers take the stage in a series of events now through Saturday at the Elko Convention Center in the town roughly 288 miles east of Reno.
Forty-five performers from the U.S., Canada and Australia will take turns conveying what rural life on ranches and working with cattle is like.
Highlights include Luke Bell, who Rolling Stone magazine said was one of 10 country music artists to watch in 2016; and Doug Moreland and the Flying Armadillos, a Western swing band from Texas. Open mics, films and talks are part of the schedule too.
In addition, visitors can attend workshops that feature old-time skills like rawhide braiding, horsehair hitching, dancing and musical events, including how to play the bones, according to a news release.
Tickets to individual shows cost $20 to $35; check availability online or by calling before you go.
Bear in mind: It’s cold in Elko at this time of year. The town is located around 5,000 feet in the high desert of the Great Basin. Temperatures this weekend are predicted to hit highs of 40 degrees, with overnights dipping below freezing.
Info: National Cowboy Poetry Gathering, (888) 880-5885