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!|