Saturday, June 4, 2011

Virginia City, Nevada: A Gold Rush Day Trip

We awoke to yet another overcast and cold day but decided to make the best of it by taking the 50 mile drive to Virginia City.  DJ and Tom took their car and we took ours so we could separate if needed.  Someone told us the temperatures could be 10 degrees cooler at Virginia City, so we loaded our heavy coats, gloves and winter hats.  NOTE:  It's June 2 -- much too late to be taking a coat anywhere.

First time for me to see this kind of sign.
The clouds began breaking away and sunshine peeked through as we drove. The scenery got better and better as we drove up the winding road from Reno to Virginia City.

We drove along the Geiger Grade Road, named for Davidson Geiger who was responsible for the creation of the toll road built in 1862 connecting the Comstock Lode and the Truckee meadows.  We stopped at the roadside marker placed in his honor.
DJ and Tom at the Geiger marker

The Wayner. Behind him you can see the mountains, valley and Reno below.


DJ took this "family" photo of us

Now you have to know Tom to appreciate this.  He teases us about Lexie -- calling her "kitty" and swearing he wants nothing to do with a dog. BUT... He's quick to cuddle her anytime he thinks she might be cold.  He's a big softie.

We enjoyed taking pictures and roaming around the rock formations at the site of the Geiger Grade historical marker.  Suddenly and without warning, the sun faded and was replaced by snow.  Yes, it was snowing -- not just frail little flakes, but big wet snow "drops".
Big snow "drops" on DJ

I don't know the name of this mountain range but the view is to the west. The city of Reno is just out of view on the right side of the picture.  Lake Tahoe would be on the other side of the mountains.

The scenery was some of the most beautiful I've ever seen. Photographs just can't do justice to the natural beauty surrounding us.  The sun came out again as we continued out upward treck along the winding road to Virginia City. 

Coming into Virginia City, we stopped at this old cemetery.  Notice the white "V" on the mountainside.
Most cities and towns out here have this white letter indicating the name so it can be seen from the air, I suppose.

Everybody's got a gimmic to separate the tourist from his dollar. 
This old guy's scheme had to do with selling carrots to feed his donkey.

Saint Mary's Church in Virginia City.

We decided to take the 30 minute Virginia & Truckee train ride through the old gold mine area.

The yellowish dust piles remain from old gold mines.

More mining town remnants.  Wayne saw a wild coyote but the coyote was much too quick to photograph.

What is this!  Horrors. 140 school kids on a field trip were on the train with us. Oh joy.
 They loved going through the dark tunnels -- they screamed to the top of their lungs. 
Another old cemetery along the train route.

Remains of an old train tunnel that fell in.

Stage coach rides were available.

Wayne and DJ

Beautiful scenery again on the approach to Reno again.

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