WINNAMUCCA to MAMMOTH LAKES
After we left the Bonneville Salt Flats, we said goodbye to the amazing state of Utah and entered the State of Nevada.
This town is promoted as the Friendliest town in Nevada. The area is pretty and has a vibrant cowboy culture. We explored some of the area and bush camped at the water canyon area with amazing views over the valley and the village.
Reno is a city in the northwest section of the state of Nevada, near the California Border. Also known as “The Biggest Little City in the World”. Also known for its casinos and the Reno Arch. The Reno Arch was erected on Virginia Street in 1926 to promote the upcoming Transcontinental Highways Exposition of 1927. The arch included the words “Nevada’s Transcontinental Highways Exposition” After the exposition it was decided to change the wording and in 1919 it became the Biggest Little City in the World. This was a competition for the locals to produce a slogan.
Since 1931 Gambling is legal in Nevada, Reno local Bill Graham pushed this. In the mid 1930’s Reno had the largest casino in the world. In another first Reno allowed people to get divorced in 2 weeks instead of 6 months. People wishing to divorce travelled to Reno and many businesses in Reno started catering to these visitors. A jewellery store that offered ring resetting services to the recently divorced and hotels were built to cater to the high number of wedded couples seeking divorces in Nevada and leaving Nevada when their divorces were finalized. One local paper once wrote it appears all the people you saw on the streets in Reno were obviously there to get divorces. You would tell a friend “I am going to Reno,” became a way of saying “I am going to divorce my husband.”
Besides the Casino and the Reno arch it also has a thriving riverwalk along the Truckee River with lots of entertainment Bars, Restaurants, Shops, Cafés. Party-goers flock to several music-packed, street-closing events, such as the Blues & Brew Fest, Great Eldorado BBQ, Music festivals, Dunny Races etc etc.
43 kilometres southeast of Reno lies a little nugget of history in Virginia City. This historic town was a booming mining establishment for several decades in the mid-1800s. In 1859, placer miners and prospectors in the western Great Basin made two amazing strikes of gold and silver ore near Virginia City. Virginia City became a highly urbanized, industrial setting and by the early 1870s, together with its smaller neighbour, Gold Hill, reached a population of 25,000. By the early 1880s, it was becoming clear that the good times were over. the Virginia City population has stabilized over the past few decades after a dramatic decline following the mining boom. As of now, Virginia City has a population of around 850 people.
Interestingly, the NBC television Western, Bonanza, which ran from 1959 to 1973, brought a declining Virginia City back to life. Due to the enormous popularity of the show, visitors from around the world began to seek out and discover this famous Western city, thanks to the weekly adventures of the Cartwright family.
Walking the main and side streets is like jumping back in time. The main street still has the wooden sidewalks, lots of unique saloons. Once this was the most important industrial city between Denver and San Francisco. It is amazing how the locals love the history and lifestyle in this village. Meet them in the many saloons, we loved it. RV parking is hard in Virginia but when you are lucky you meet someone who allows you to park in their yard. Clary loved Grandma’s Fudge Factory, beers and Pizza at the Red dog Saloon, and Happy Hour at the Bucket of Blood Saloon for drinks, live music, and fun with the locals. the
In October they have the annual world championship of outhouse races, where three-person teams race decorated outhouses through downtown Virginia City. a hilarious afternoon! Virginia City is known for its quirky charm and one-of-a-kind events. Others are saloon crawls, Ostrich, and camel races.
Carson City is the capital of Nevada with a population of around 60000 people. Like many towns in the area, it all started when gold and silver was discovered in 1859. We did not visit the town, but we stayed on the river just out of town.
Lake Tahoe situated on the border with California and Nevada has become a boutique destination. Lake Tahoe is the largest Alpine Lake in the USA at 1897 meters above sea level. Lake Tahoe is just over 500 meters deep which means it is the second deepest after Crater Lake in Oregon. (594 meters deep)
Lake Tahoe is a major tourist attraction, it offers scenery, snow and ski resorts, winter recreation and summer outdoor recreation However the snow recreation is a major part of the area’s economy and reputation. And the Nevada side also has casinos. Two-thirds of the shoreline is in California, one-third in Nevada. Lake Tahoe is fed by over 60 little stream, rivers, and channels.
Some of the highest peaks of the Lake Tahoe Basin are Freel Peak 3320 meters, Monument Peak 3069 meters, Pyramid Peak, 3034 meters, Mount rose 3278 meters, Mount Houghton 3197 meters and Relay peak 3166 meters.
From Lake Tahoe we climbed the Sierra Nevada adjacent to Lake Tahoe on our way back to the 395 and our next destination the Ghost Town of Bodie. The Sierra Nevada is a mountain range between the central Valley of California on the west side and the Great Basin on the East Side of California. The Sierra Nevada runs 640 km north-south and its width ranges 80 km130 km across east–west.
The Sierra Nevada has many features but the most known are Lake Tahoe, Yosemite Valley, and the largest tree in the world the General Sherman in Sequoia National Park. The highest peak in the Sierra Nevada is Mount Whitney at 4420 meters high.
Bodie State Historic Park is a genuine California gold-mining ghost town with deserted streets of a town that once had around 2,000 structures and a population of 8,000 people.
The town is named for W.S. Body, who had discovered tiny amounts of gold in hills north of Mono Lake. In 1875, a mine cave-in revealed a rich vein of ore, which led to purchase of the mine by the Standard Company in 1877. People flocked to Bodie and transformed it from a town of a few dozen to a boomtown. In 1881, Bodie’s “bust” began and the town’s population declined drastically.
The town’s population continuing to decline until only a few remained. Two large fires in 1892 and 1932 reduced the town’s remaining structures down to only around 100 structures from the 2000 in around 1878. It was only 50 years ago that the last residents left.
Coming down the mountain from Body, Mono Lake appears to be like any other lake, but this is no ordinary large body of water. With a salinity level over three times that of the ocean, this is one unique, inhospitable, majestic ospreys’ nest on tufa towers rising from the lake.
Located in the heart of the breathtaking Sierra Nevada Mountains, the towering Eastern Sierra peaks dominate the horizon. The town is surrounded by mountains: on the west, Mammoth Mountain looms over the town, while to the south, the Sherwin Range dominates the view. The town is at 2400 meters and looks after an all-year-round population of around 7500 people.
Till next time when we travel via the Tioga Pass to Yosemite National Park, Death Valley, Las Vegas, and Lake Havasu to our end destination of stage 1 Western USA, PhoenixThis entry was posted in Latest Update