Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Welcome to Carson City, NV

I have just a few more thoughts to pass along about our drive across Nevada on Highway 50, the Loneliest Road. (You can read more in Part 1 and Part 2.)

On the last portion of our drive, from Austin, NV to Carson City, NV, we dropped in elevation from about 6,500 feet to 4,600 feet so the terrain went from a lovely, springtime sage green to a rolling landscape in many shades of brown. Nevada is famous for its wild horses and we saw a band of five almost as soon as we hit the road, and spent the rest of the drive searching diligently for more. Beautiful creatures!

Signs warning of wild horses are common throughout Nevada.

One thing that made the drive especially interesting was the Pony Express Territory CD. We were given this free audio disc at the Ely Visitors Center and listened to each track as we neared the destination along the road. This was a very well done road trip CD, combining history and current attractions, and gave us information on sights we'd likely plan to explore further if we pass this way again.

Sand Mountain Recreation Area just East of Fallon, NV.
Sand is blown into and trapped in this one small area just off highway 50.

We're now settled in Carson City for at least nine days while our truck is repaired from being hit in an RV park in Escalante, UT. We've got a rental car and we intend to do some serious driving in that car, once we get beyond a day or two of rain.

Even before the truck got damaged we intended to spend a week in Carson City. It's the capitol of Nevada, has lots of interesting history, and sits right on the Eastern edge of the mighty Sierra Nevada Range.

The downtown district has a wealth of beautiful old homes making a it a wonderful place to walk. We were amazed to walk street after street full of lush green lawns and gorgeous gardens, we haven't seen this much grass anywhere in the West. I later read that even though there is not a serious water shortage at this time, people are starting to talk about the need to plan for the future and start xeriscaping.

The Nevada State Capitol building is hidden among the trees in a beautiful park setting.
Enormous trees are common in the old downtown area.

There are many well preserved Victorian homes/businesses.

The Governors Mansion.

We took a drive up to Virginia City, a Silver boomtown dating to the 1859 discovery of the Comstock Lode. Though the town was extremely touristy, the number of old buildings still standing was very impressive. Some fully restored, some looking quite rustic.

On the drive to Virginia City we saw a number of cars and people stopped along the side of the road...
turns out it was a wild horse sighting traffic jam! 


Several blocks of neat old buildings line the main drag of Virginia City.

Some beautifully restored mansions can be seen on the side streets.


 


After walking the town we continued up highway 341 to make it a loop drive. Finally, we spotted some wild horses in a beautiful setting without dozens of other people stopped to gawk...we got to gawk at them all by ourselves!

The Sierras loom in the distance as these wild horses graze peacefully on a high sage meadow.

Now we've got a day or two of rain so we'll get some shopping done (Carson City has everything you could possibly want, including Trader Joes), I'll get a hair cut, Hans will work on his ailing laptop, and there's even some time for a little cooking, my favorite rainy day past time!

These Banana Blueberry Oatmeal Muffins have no added fats and very little sweetener.

Rosie was wiped out by two days in a row of over 150 miles each...she is catching upon some much needed rest!



19 comments:

  1. Yum! Love the muffin recipe! I am making those this week for sure :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. BTW, it calls for 4 bananas...I used 3 large ones I had in the freezer. These are very good and amazingly healthy! I used flax in place of the wheat germ.

      Delete
  2. LOL at Rosie needing a rest after all that driving. I never knew Nevada was so interesting so thanks for putting it on my radar. That picture of the Sand Mountain Recreation Area is gorgeous. Beautiful buildings in both Carson City and Virginia City. I was surprised at all the trees since I always though Nevada was all desert.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Rosie does not like travel days...sometimes she meows a LOT. It's kind of stressful for her as well as us!

      We were amazed at how green Carson City is...they have to be using a LOT of water.

      Delete
  3. I would love to have that CD for the drive. I use to teach the Pony Express while my class traveled the Oregon Trail. What a neat idea for the Visitor Center.

    Looking forward to more of your adventures in Carson City! Good luck with the truck repairs;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pam, you can actually hear the stories from the CD on that web site, it started playing automatically when I clicked on the link. Perhaps you can copy them to a CD??? Otherwise, if we see you before you make that drive I will give you the CD!

      Delete
  4. We've never been to that part of NV but now we want to go!
    Poor Rosie. She sounds like our cats on driving days. They never sleep so they always crash after we stop and get settled. They lead such stressful lives!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We rarely travel two days in a row and those were a couple of long ones...she was a zombie for 24 hours! You'd think after a year and a half she'd just deal with it instead of being so wired and sort of stressed.

      Delete
  5. I love northern Nevada and am so glad you two got to see the horses! I used to see wild horses every year down near Valley of Fire just north of Las Vegas, but haven't seen them in some time now:(

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They are such a lovely surprise to see!

      Delete
  6. Sorry to hear about your damaged truck!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I'm a big fan of the Carson Valley area - with mountains all around it always feel like a safe haven after all the wide open space of most of Nevada - likely why it became home to the state capitol. Tessa can be a whiner on road trips so we're anxious to see how she does in the MH. Vet recommended Rescue Remedy as a natural preventative but I don't know if they make it for cats (we haven't tried it yet). Fredricksburg used to be a fun little place to visit in the valley but don't know how it is today. Enjoy!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We are really liking this area, so much it could go on our list of potential places to settle some day. Thanks for the tip on Fredricksburg. I don't see a town with that name but do see a road with that name down by Gardnerville. We're heading that direction today.

      Delete
  8. When we workkamped at Amazon.com in Fernley, NV, we stayed in Fallon because all the RV parks in Fernley were full. We had AMAZING sunrises and sunsets every day we drove to and from work.

    Saw lots of wild horses on side roads between Reno and Fernley.

    We drove U.S. 50 a couple of times while we were in the area. Went to Great Basin National Park to tour Lehman Caves - awesome tour. Small cave, but lots of cool formations.

    On our driving trip to Oregon we plan to do the capital Volksmarch in Carson City.

    Glad you're enjoying the east side of the Sierras. There's so much to see.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I do think that spring is probably the best time to drive 50, things are pretty green and it's not too hot!

      Delete
  9. It's always nice to have a down day to catch up on things. When we stay in a tight RV Park, I'm always concerned about someone backing into us. Sorry to hear about the damage on the truck and I'm so glad you saw wild horses.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wish there were just a few more rainy days here and there. Hopefully saying that doesn't bring on too much rain!

      Delete
  10. Your posts are perfect timing for us -- we've been dithering about which way to get back to southern Oregon from Bisbee, AZ and have just decided that we're going to go north and then catch Hwy 50. Haven't made that crossing in about 25 years -- it looks a bit more civilized now. (Just a bit.) :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. :-) Civilized in pockets!

      The CD really is a nice bonus for the drive. See if you can pick one up at a visitor center, or just listen to it from the web site.

      Delete