Greetings from “The Biggest Little City In The World”-Reno, Nevada. Actually we are staying in a small town west of Reno, Verdi in a KOA that is attached to a medium sized casino and a Cabela’s (sort of like Bass Pro Shop but not quite as big). Our title combines the somber remembrance of 10 years ago today with a show we used to watch (Reno 911). I am sure all of you are remembering the events from 10 years ago and recalling where you where on that infamous day.
We left Crater Lake and took a scenic road through the Klamath National Forest/Cascade Range with a stop at Klamath Falls, Oregon before staying the night at a small campground in Shasta, California. It wasn’t much of a drive so we toured through Weed, California (that didn’t take too long but long enough to pick up some awesome BBQ from a roadside stand) and the town of Shasta. We found some unique stores in Shasta and even picked up a few things at an antique store.
The next morning we got an early start as we were traveling a little more than our usual 250-mile limit in a day. We did take time to stop in McCloud, California to walk around the historic downtown. My parents, Marilyn and Jerry Tucker, traveled there a few times for some square dancing and socializing with their square dancing friends. McCloud is a company built mill town and today it is a gateway for fishing, skiing, hiking and square dancing. McCloud is nestled near the southern slope of Mt. Shasta, which at 14,179 feet is the 5th highest mountain in California. Mt. Shasta is a dormant volcano that last erupted over 200 years ago and there is the expectancy that it has the potential to erupt again in the next 50-80 years and possibly be more destructive than Mt. Saint Helens!
We drove along the 395 and arrived at our destination in Verdi, Nevada later that day.
On our fist day we took a long hike along an old railroad track and the Truckee River our first morning before venturing to Virginia City, Nevada. Virginia City is one of the oldest established communities in Nevada. Folklore is that that the town got its name from a man named James Finney who was nicknamed "Old Virginy". Finney was credited with discovering the Comstock Lode. As with most characters of the Old West, Finney had changed his name from James Fennimore because he had fled his home state of Virginia after killing a man. Like many cities and towns across the West, Virginia City was a mining boomtown; it appeared virtually overnight as a result of the Comstock Lode silver strike of 1859. During its peak, Virginia City had a population of over 30,000 residents and was called the richest city in America. During the 20 years following the Comstock success about $400 million dollars worth of silver and gold was taken out of the ground. The historic buildings and rich history fascinated us but the biggest surprise of the day was the Silver State National Peace Officers Museum. The museum was housed in the historic courthouse/jail and it houses the most extensive collection of police badges and police memorabilia Dennis had ever seen. Most of the items belonged to one man and he and his son built this museum to accommodate his extensive collection and to share it with others. The Comstock Fire Museum was fascinating as were the churches, cemetery and saloons. We could have spent another day there but there was more to see!
On our second day we drove into Reno and discovered the Riverwalk along the Truckee River. The city has done a good job of turning what looked like the L.A. River into a beautiful walkway dotted with restaurants, shops and of course, casinos. We found a huge antique mall and although we aren’t collecting as much as we used to, we did purchase a couple of pieces of WW II Marine Corps sweetheart jewelry. We had a fabulous Thai lunch and then spent quite a bit of time at the National Automobile Museum-The Harrah Collection. This museum houses over 200 antique, vintage, classic, special interest and one of a kind automobiles to include a few quirky ones that were built specifically for the Burning Man. If you or anyone else you know is into classic autos, we highly suggest you put this on your list of places to visit!
We are heading south back to the L.A. area along Highway 395; the highway runs from Oregon all the way to Southern California. We will enjoy the sights of the Sierra Nevada Mountains to the west and Death Valley National Park to our east. It should be a beautiful drive and another adventure for us…
"Oops! Notice"-I misidentified, in our last posting, the state in which Parris Island is. It should have been South Carolina...sorry to all you Marines out there!