"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime"-MARK TWAIN

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Virginia City, NV

Traveled up to Virginia City today.  Virginia City was the mining  town where the Comstock Lode silver strike was made in the late 1850's.  At one time there were over 30,000 miners and their families living in the town.  Now the population is nearer 1000, and the town looks more like Gatlinburg than a mining ghost town.

Shops selling a little bit of everything.  Just not as many tee shirt shops as Gatlinburg.

One of the things there wasn't a shortage of were old saloons.  There were two or three per block.  I suppose that if you spent your day down in a hole digging out silver ore all day, then you probably had quite a thirst when the day was done.

There were a few relics of times gone bye on display.  Apparently there were thousands of dollars won and lost every month while the boon was going on.  At one time Virginia City was called the richest city in America.  Over 400 million dollars worth of silver were recovered from the mines over 20 years.

To compensate for all the saloons, there were some outstanding examples of church architecture scattered around town.  These are a couple of examples.  There were also others.

One of Virginia City's most famous citizen's was Samuel Clements.  Supposedly this is where he first used the name Mark Twain.

Some examples of the old buildings whose upper floors haven't been changed much in 150 years.  That was about it for today.  Tomorrow, Lake Tahoe, if the weather cooperates............jc

Monday, May 30, 2011

Highway 50

We departed Ely, NV this morning around 9:30.  The snow had stopped during the night and there were bits of sunshine peeking through the clouds.  Since it was clearing, we decided to take Hwy 50 across the center of Nevada to Carson City.  It was a beautiful drive, but desolate.

You would drive for miles without seeing another vehicle.  There were sections of over 20 miles without any signs of civilization other than barbed wire and some cattle.

There was just enough traffic to keep you from feeling totally alone.

We stopped along the road to let Sally out for a few minutes.  The silence was total.  Only a slight wind blowing with not another sound.
Small herd of wild horses.

 It was a beautiful, but long, drive.  Wanda said she hoped we didn't have to do it again on the way back home.  I agree that one trip should be enough for the "loneliest road in America", but would recommend it to anyone traveling to or from central Utah and the Lake Tahoe/Reno area.

Sunday, May 29, 2011


As we departed Zion National Park this morning, it was approximately 70 degrees and clear skies.  We had planned to basically head due West through Nevada on Hwy 50,  the so-called "loneliest highway in America".

After we had made our turn to the West, we had traveled somewhere around 75 miles.  As we topped a pass through some mountain range, it began to snow.  Little did we know what was ahead.

The farther we traveled, the harder the snow fell.  We traveled over 4 more mountain passes before arriving in Ely, Nevada.  Each one was higher and had more snow than the one before.

The afternoon finds us in the RV park of the Prospector Hotel & Gambling Hall, in Ely, Nevada.  It is snowing to beat the band.  Approximately 4 inches on the ground with another 2 inches forecast for tonight.  We have full hookups and a 24 hour restaurant 50 yards from our door.  Could be a lot worse. The weather may change our direction of travel.  May have to head more South as we enter California.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Hiking day

Saturday morning found some of us heading out for various hikes.  One that many went on, was a fantastic walk to an overlook of the Zion valley.  Later, Wanda and I did one up the canyon for a ways.  It was very crowded in the park due to the holiday weekend.  We returned around 3pm and just chilled the rest of the day.  Tomorrow we leave, headed West toward California.  Is kind of sad that the Casita gathering is over and we all go different ways tomorrow.  Have enjoyed visiting with some old friends, and getting to know some new ones.  I'm sure there will be a few tears tomorrow morning.

Admiring the view.

Just looking around.

Beautiful Cactus blossoms.

A pair of Jerry's.

Some of our group visiting. 

Dinner tonight.  Grilled Salmon, mixed veggies, and buttered rice.  Life is tough!!!!!

Grafton Ghost Town

After arriving in Zion NP on Thursday morning we got set up and then did a grocery run.  That took up most of the afternoon.

On Friday morning we took a little ride to the ghost town of Grafton, UT.  There wasn't a lot of buildings still
standing, but the few that were, were very interesting.

This was the combination church/school.

This was one of the family homes.  It was used for the scene in the movie Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, where Paul Newman was riding the bicycle around while the song Raindrops keep falling on my Head was playing.

Since that was the case, a bicycle was brought out and everyone imitated him riding around the yard.

Old barn.

The story of Grafton.

More of the story, very sad, the hardships these folks faced trying to settle this country.

Just imagine losing your daughter due to a swing breaking.

Or losing a son to an Indian atack.