Chollar Mine- Virginia City

My AC wasn’t working still wasn’t working to its fullest potential. It was miserable and yucky. I considered turning around and going back to Reno, even though the Chollar Mine sounded intriguing to me.

Good thing I ignored that impulse; I found I actually quite liked the mine.

Instead of turning right out of the parking lot down the main street, I turned left onto a side street. To get to the Chollar Mine, you have to take a sharp turn onto another short road. I missed this turn off at first- hello, illegal u-turn!- Moments later, then, I found my way to the mine entrance. Or, rather, the road that would take me there.

I parked my car; there were a couple other vehicles, but no signs of anyone else. It seemed to be warmer here than up on the main drag. I went into the one building (again, no signs of life of fellow tourists- I assumed they were on a tour)- it bore resemblance to an old garage, the kind that might serve as a car mechanic shop.

In this one-room garage were three people: a couple guys, one on a ladder changing a light fixture, and an older lady behind a desk. I was told that the next tour would be in twenty minutes. I was also told that the tour would cost fifteen dollars.

A bit much? Maybe.

But I had a hunch it would be worth it, so I paid the amount and, since I had to use the restroom, I inquired as to where it was. Turns out, the restroom was a nice, rustic (and clean!!) outhouse.

Continue reading “Chollar Mine- Virginia City”

Fourth Ward School Museum, Virginia City

The parking lot had plenty of spaces when I arrived at the museum for the Fourth Ward School. I hoped the inside would be air conditions but, still, when I exited my car I grabbed my warm bottle of water. You never know when you might need a sip of water in the summer, even if it isn’t cold water. It’s the thought that counts, right? In any case, I was getting thirsty. So there’s that.

I glanced down the road, away from Viriginia City’s main street, and noted a sign indicating a tour of an old silver mine. Well, I was down for that! I made a mental note to venture there after touring the museum.

The interior was delightfully cooler than the warm- and getting warmer- outdoors so I greeted the air conditioning with a smile as I walked toward the counter. I had to pay something to get in. I don’t remember what the amount was. I was given a map of the school before going on my merry way.

I should say- what I was given was really what looked like an old newspaper page with the map of the school on one side and old news articles on the other: articles discussing the history of the school.

There are two floors open to the public, all the open rooms dedicated to the history of the school and the area. Continue reading “Fourth Ward School Museum, Virginia City”

I’m still here, friends!

“Who the heck is this person, and why is she posting on this strange blog?” I can hear the thought tumbling through your mind.

Well, I’ve got a confession.

I’ve been so danged busy the past almost month (!!!) I haven’t had the time to write up much of anything, even though- I promise!- I have a couple drafts in the works. One needs some tweaking and the other is being written. I’ve just been going at a snail’s pace. Chipping away at the block of marble one chunk at a time. (I don’t know how hard marble is to carve, but I can imagine it is, so I chose it as my metaphor. That’s ok, right?) I left my job, got a new one…so much else going on.

BUT…

I promise I am still working on it! I haven’t abandoned this little passion project of mine. Heck, I will get the next post out this weekend at the latest. So never fear!

Love you a miss you, friends! Live long and prosper!

Natalie.

Virginia City

After the Geiger Lookout Wayside Park, it was another thirty minutes to Virginia City. Give or take a minute or two or three. Or something like that. I hadn’t been here in over twenty years. Probably more like twenty-three years. Maybe. I remember being awed the first time around. So full of life and promise and vestiges of the old west! It still seemed like that to me even now, but I felt like I was able to appreciate it on a different level than I did over two decades ago.

I first stopped when I came across the “Welcome to Virginia City!” sign. It was situated just a short distance outside town, off the road enough so that a few cars would have room enough to pull aside and snap photos. Like I did. I snapped a couple. Another car showed up and the occupants piled out, jabbering away amongst themselves. I shyly hung back while they took photos of each other in front of the sign.

I saw my opportunity and offered to take a photo of them all together. They liked this offer and, once I had done so, they took a photo of me in front of the sign.

Success!

We piled back into our respective vehicles, now friends of a sort, and went our separate ways.

Continue reading “Virginia City”

Geiger Lookout Wayside Park

I left Reno around 10:30am or so. I blasted out the country music from my new favorite station over the speakers, the AC still only partially working. It was warm out, but not unbearably so. I sped through the desert in a horseless carriage with a name and enjoyed the differing contrast between where I was now and my usual stomping grounds in California.

After leaving the main interstate, I turned onto a smaller, older stretch of highway that would take me to Virginia City. At this time of day, from Reno to the old west town, it was roughly an hour. About twenty or twenty-five minutes into my sojourn, I came across signs indicating a look-out point where one could view the scenery.

Hey, why not? I thought excitedly.

What? Blink blink.

I wasn’t from around here. I wanted to soak up as much as I could. So, I approached the Geiger Lookout Wayside Park with the curiosity of one wondering what their gifts under the Christmas tree might contain.

Continue reading “Geiger Lookout Wayside Park”

Driving the Perimeter of Lake Tahoe- Part 2

There was a small hill I traversed and the, finally, lake’s edge it was! I enjoyed the view, and the sound of the water lapping up against the shore. More people than I thought were here, enjoying the warm day, the sun, and the refreshing water. I spent a few minutes here before journeying back up the hill. Although I couldn’t find the path I’d taken again, I went in its general direction and eventually found my way to a large house. It had a name, too. The Hellman-Ehrman Mansion. I couldn’t go in it for reasons I don’t remember, so I just walked around it and then headed back to my car.

But before that happened, I went inside a nearby visitor center in the park. Looked at what souvenirs one could by and ended up getting a cute pair of bear earrings. And then I went to my car.

~*~

I thought about eating my sandwich then; but I thought, “Nah, let’s wait until I get to Emerald Bay! I can park, eat, and enjoy the view!”

The joke was on me.

I couldn’t find a parking spot within a mile of where I wanted to be, so crowded were the roads. By sheer luck I found a spot maybe a mile and a half from where I originally wanted to stop. And it was too hot to go walking around any significant distance. Right then, I swore to myself I’d come back up here in the off-season (ie, school year) so I could more fully enjoy it. And actually explore it. As it was, I had to battle scores of my fellow humans.

But hey: I was still technically in Emerald Bay, at least.

I didn’t realize it would be so popular, but I was wrong. I could have mistaken it for an amusement park given the crowds. I mean, sheesh. The north end of the lake wasn’t this populated with sight-seers. Hey, at least I got to snap some cool pictures. That’s something, right?

Continue reading “Driving the Perimeter of Lake Tahoe- Part 2”

That Time I Drove the Perimeter of Lake Tahoe… (Part 1)

So…now it’s the day after I arrived in the Reno/Tahoe area. There was something I’d been wanting to do for a while, I’ve just never had the time.

“What is it? What is it??” You excitedly ask me while hopping up and down in anticipation.

“Well,” says I, knowing grin playing at the corners of my lips. I lean in closer and say- nay, whisper- in the manner of one conspiring, “Driving the perimeter of Lake Tahoe. You know what? Today was that day!”

You hunker down next to the fireplace and pull the checkered blanket up close, to chin level, and wait expectantly. The mug of hot cocoa sits, forgotten, beside you.

~*~

I started out driving south on California-267 (also known as North Shore Boulevard) toward the lake. A somewhat hilly drive if ever there was one, through a cleared meadow before plunging into the thicket of trees surrounding everything else. I ended up in Kings Beach, where my parents, sister, and I stayed in a small, four-roomed cabin for a few days two or three times in my childhood. The exact number eludes me.

At the light, I turned right, toward Tahoe City. There was a café called Syd’s that I’ve been to a couple different times before, though the last time was several years ago. They sell these amazingly delicious sandwiches on bagels. I couldn’t erase the memory of them from my thoughts.

Continue reading “That Time I Drove the Perimeter of Lake Tahoe… (Part 1)”