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Posts Tagged ‘Nevada’

Virginia City

After spending two days in the national forests of northern California, we came out into civilization: first in Truckee, CA, where I kept my ball-cap tightly down over my greasy, matted hair while we ate breakfast at a Mexican restaurant on a little side-street off the main drag.  Then we emerged onto the shores of Lake Tahoe, my first glimpse of the scenic landmark– and a special territory all its own.  On a Sunday afternoon, the first warm sunny weekend of the season, all parking lots for the state park were full and the highway was lined with vehicles and people walking with their float toys and coolers.We managed to figure out a way to park and then get ourselves down to the lake (with dog, without sliding down the steep slope and breaking our necks!).  Predictably, the beach was littered with people, coolers, beer cans, dogs, frisbees, broken glass, and plenty of noise.  But, the lake is still very impressive.  It’s huge and clear and beautiful.  Joda was thrilled to go for a chilly swim and then hid under a boulder until it was time to go back.After a pit stop in refreshingly quiet Carson City, we decided not to head directly to Reno, but instead drive up into the hills where the historic mining towns are in hopes of finding affordable dog-friendly accommodations.

This photo looks out over the more aesthetically pleasing part of the town.  Virginia City is one of those places that John McPhee would write about, where the landscape has been so drastically changed by humans that it’s actually geologic-scale  events on a historical scale.  After getting pizza and salad at The Red Dog Saloon while the live band played excerpts from The Who’s “Tommy” (which was piped out to us in the “patio seating area,” done up like a Hawaiian luau spot), we wandered out down the hill, only to see– holy cognitive dissonance, Batman! — a dromedary out in the city arena, peacefully looking around.  He (or she, I’m not sure) seemed pretty lonely, and was thrilled to have choice tidbits from our salad leftovers.

The other memorable bit from Virginia City was the newspaper office where Mark Twain got his start, and first published his writing under the synonym Mark Twain.  The plaque on the building said he wrote about Virginia City in Roughing It, so I will have to read that book this summer.

I am still pretty skeptical about Nevada’s possibility as a place of landscape beauty, but Virginia City was a good stopover, with so many friendly people (and animals) that I will be sure to go back sometime when the Mark Twain museum is open.

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