Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Points West...Then East...and Always South

Lloyd, his sister Joyce, and I started out on a road trip last week...It has taken us six days to arrive in Surprise, AZ because we went south, then west to California before heading south and east into Arizona.

So much to see, so much to do, and people to see.  I'll give an abbreviated story of our trip so far.

After a late start from home, we drove all day and stopped for the night in Reno, Nevada, "the biggest little city in the world".  It has grown a lot since our last trip there almost twenty years ago.  No casino visits for the three weary travellers though.  Just check in to a motel and go to sleep.

The next day we decided to tour the old west town of Virginia City, Nevada.  Fans of the old TV show Bonanza will remember that this city featured prominently in the lives of Ben Cartright and his boys, Adam, Hoss, Little Joe, and Candy.  What a trip to get to it though!  The road winds up and around a mountain, with long drops over the side, narrow road, sharp curves, etc.  I don't know how the silver miners ever found the place, let alone brought their billions of dollars of ore down.

The city is home to just 1,000 people now and the mines are all closed.  The main industry seems to be tourism.  It's fun to walk/drive around and see the old sights.  The huge profits from the old mines were used to finance the building up of a sleepy little harbour town which we now know as San Francisco.  More about that place later.

SIL Joyce and Me in Virginia City
 The old Fourth Ward School is in the process of being restored.  It is the oldest school of its type in the country that is still standing.  The interior is now a museum, complete with lovely old desks.

At the site of one of the old silver mines we came across the most interesting 'garden'.  Dead trees were decorated with bottles, wood carvings, bits of machinery, and anything else that could be found laying around.
Lloyd found an old car that had been decorated.
 One of the features of the mine site was this old car, with a decorated tree coming out of its back seat, two window boxes sporting dead flowers on the side of it, along with a watering can.  A real work of art???

The main street of Virginia City is pretty typical of an old wild west town, fixed up a bit to be safe for the businesses they house.  Of course the power poles and cars weren't there originally.

Downtown Virginia City
 Some remnants of the original businesses still exist of course...the Bucket of Blood Saloon among them.  I'm sure there's a history behind the name.

Local color abounds

The beautiful Court House is still standing.  An interesting point to
note here is that Lady Justice here is not blindfolded as she is usually
portrayed in courthouses throughout the country.  The idea being, I
suppose that justice isn't blind in Virginia City.
I think I'll leave you in Nevada for now.  Next time I'll show you our next stop in Sacramento, the Capital of California, and San Francisco.  Happy travels.



My last trip west was in 1966 and I too went to Reno and Virginia City. Loved hearing about your travels there.

RoeH said...

Gosh I think I was there at one time although I may be mixing it up with Virginia City, Montana. I remember Reno being a very small town.

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

I do appreciate seeing the pictures of your trip. I've never been to any of those places and doubt I ever will. I'll be looking forward to seeing more.

doodles n daydreams said...

Sounds like you're having a great trip. I'm enjoying the snaps of Virginia City. I love these pioneering towns that have been restored or preserved.


Granny Annie said...

The old car with the decorated tree springing out of the back gives me a idea for a lot of Ron's old tractors around here! What a neat tour. And thanks for reminding me about Candy on BONANZA. Finally it has dawned on me who that guy playing twins on the soap opera was. LOL