Got an itch? If you don’t you probably will after you leave here…
After taking a day off to spend with family Aaron and I were back at it. We headed down through Washoe Valley towards the Nevada state Capital, Carson City. On the way there was one sketchy section of highway 395 with heavy traffic that we quickly made it through and turned off onto a quieter road. At this point we started to see landmarks from the old Nevada days. We passed by Bowers Mansion, located in Washoe Valley, built in 1863 during the Comstock mining boom.
Once in Carson City we passed by many government buildings in the historic area of downtown and it took me back to my school days and our school field trips to Carson City. Making our way through Carson City we headed toward the town of Dayton, passing by another seedier Nevada landmark, The Moonlight Bunny Ranch, and just before we arrived in Dayton we turned off towards the historic mining town of Virginia City.
As we made our way up the climb to Virginia City we passed by a lot of abandoned mines and mills left over from Nevada’s mining boom in the late 1800s. The further we went up the climb the gradient increased to about a max of 10% and an average of 8%. It was a nice climb and I was able to maintain a good rhythm all the way up.
Once in Virginia City you kind of take a step back in time. Although there is a bit of kitsch to it, it is still pretty cool to see. Making our way through the historic downtown strip past all the tourist attractions you get a good sense of what it was like back when famous residents, such as Mark Twain, were there in the city’s heyday.
After we shot a few photos the weather started to get worse. We decided to roll out before it got really bad. From Virginia City there is still a 3 mile climb to the summit so we made our way up to the top. At the top the wind was howling and as we tipped down to descend back into Reno and the wind made it a bit treacherous. With the winds hitting 40 mph it slowed the usual fast descent down Geiger Grade considerably. Once back down into the valley we made a right towards home and had a 30mph tailwind all the way home which made it easy going.
It was a great day and we were able to see a lot of the history of Nevada through our ramblings along the state’s desert roads.
"In Nevada…the cheapest and easiest way to become an influential man and be looked up to by the community at large, was to stand behind the bar, wear a cluster-diamond pin, and sell whisky."
-Mark Twain, Roughing It, 1871