All the silver ore we learned about when we visited Virginia City yesterday had to be processed and assessed; that happened in Carson City. Carson City was already a town, a place where California bound travelers stopped over to recharge their batteries. It was named after Kit Carson, a famous mountain man and explorer. When Nevada became a state in 1864, Carson City became the capital. Although it is more or less midway between Reno and Las Vegas, it if moved a few miles west it would be in California. We are left with the impression that most of the rest of the state of Nevada is devoid of people.
As all that silver from Virginia City accumulated, an energetic local named Abraham Curry traveled to Washington DC to get permission to built an official mint in his town. The timing was poor. Washington was distracted by the Civil War and it took Curry many trips and much lobbying to get the mint sanctioned and built. For awhile both gold and silver coins were legal US tender, but once the country went on the gold standard, the mint was put out of business. If you have a silver dollar with the CC mint mark, you've got a very valuable old coin.
Today the mint is a state museum, housing all things Nevada. When we stopped at the Carson City visitor center an energetic man practically met us at the door advising us to go to the museum and take the walking tour in town. He even recommended a great restaurant for lunch.
Frankly, Carson City was about as exciting as a visit to our own state capital. When we went to the old part of town, we found the blue lines painted on the sidewalk that indicated where we should walk to see old buildings of interest. Hollywood fell in love with the old town and many of the homes and buildings provided realistic backdrops in Westerns. In some spots the sidewalk had deteriorated and in others, the blue line was covered with fallen leaves, but on such a beautiful day, it was fun just to be outside wandering around. We haven't expected the vivid fall colors we're seeing here. We suspect that except for the cottonwoods which are bright yellow at the moment, the other trees have been brought in and lovingly watered.
Our original plan was to leave this area tomorrow, but the weather mavens warned that a front is coming through with high winds and perhaps rain or snow. It is likely that the precipitation is a wishful fantasy, but driving a motor home through mountain passes in high winds seems like a bad idea, so we've decided to stay put for a few more days until the weather forecast improves. We are enjoying the campground and the urban comforts of Reno and will return to our national park agenda when it's a pleasure to be outside as it was today.