Re: Nemo Pass
Posted by NoKarma4U on October 16, 2002 at 12:25:41:
In Reply to: Re: Nemo Pass posted by Alan on October 15, 2002 at 21:24:44:
I think Alan is on the right track. It is my understanding that the name was originally applied to a very narrow portion of the canyon where the route of travel though the canyon was reduced to only one narrow lane in each direction. In this section, head on collisions by travelers on opposite directions became quite frequent, especially in the dusk hours before night fall. Inhabitants of the region quickly became appalled at the frequent carnage in the canyon. They sought to make a sign to warn travelers of the dangers, but given the high rate of illiteracy in the far-flung mining camps of the period, they were soon forced to seek help from the monks of the Monastery de Veracity Inverosímil in the nearby Pueblo de la Mierda o de los Toros (later the town shortened it's name to "Irvine"). They pleaded with the monks for assistance. But as the monastery was currently preoccupied with meeting aggressive goat cheese production quotas, the brotherhood could only offer the services of their newest member, Brother Wyatt who while literate, had only a grasp of the most fundamental rudiments of Latin.
Brother Wyatt labored for hours to produce two diamond-shaped signs, each coated with the reflective orange pulp of the hazarda melon and bearing in bold lettering "NEMO PALAM SCABO" which Brother Wyatt mistakenly believed meant "NO ONE PASS NEXT 500 FEET" but which in reality translated into something akin to "NO ONE SCRATCH PUBLICLY". But the deed was done, and for years "NEMO PALAM SCABO" adorned the entrance to this dangerous stretch of canyon trail from either end. While the signs did little to reduce the bloody carnage in this canyon section, local residents were nonetheless pleased with the dramatic reduction in offensive displays on the part of the travelers. The name "Nemo" soon caught on as a general reference to the canyon, and it has stuck to this day.
While I cannot speak to the absolute veracity of this account, it seems as likely as anything else I've heard about the origins of Nemo Canyon.