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points of interest

An Afternoon in Gold Hill

Virginia City is where we go when we need to get out of the valley but have no good ideas. The USA’s largest historic district always has something of interest. This time we went up for a hike down 7 mile canyon east of town past John Tyson’s old place. We always look for minerals and found a little jasper and some rough quartz crystals so we weren’t skunked there.
It happened to be the day of the Outhouse Races so we avoided that and on the way home stopped at the Gold Hill Hotel to visit their cool saloon and have a cold beer after our dusty hike. Suddenly the place filled with ghosts, ghouls and Comstock characters as we learned it was the dress rehearsal for the show “Frankenfollies”, a light-hearted, Comstock centric, vaudelville-style dance and song review that premieres Friday, October 7. We shared cocktails with the devil as he reviewed his lines and got into character. The actors are all brave locals and the shows are hilarious. Where else can you patronize a historic bar that also doubles as “back stage?”
Next we took a short stroll up the hill to Maynard Station, another Gold Hill watering hole. This tidy establishment is run by a congenial husband/wife team and is a great place for mature conversation. On this day we met a couple in period costume, the local newspaperman, another 5th generation couple from my hometown and Don who owns and runs a one man hardrock gold mine near Austin, Nevada. He said that for years, he would work all day in the shaft while his wife worked the hoist and ran the mill by herself. We enjoyed a beer and a hot pastie (a meat and potatoes turnover from the mining days) while we talked history and mining.
Next time you want a mini-getaway, try the “ghost town” of Gold Hill!

Holiday Art Installation To Span Valley

Bill Goulardt, “Willow Bill” to many area schoolchildren is once again enlisting the talents of area children in the construction of the willow raindeer that spread holiday cheer throughout the area. This year, he says the line of raindeer will span 22 miles from the south end of Carson City to the north end of Washoe Valley. Eventually he hopes the efforts of his assistants, 13,000 and growing, will create the country’s largest willow art project stretching the 80 miles from Topaz Lake to Bordertown according to this article in the RGJ.com. For more information or to volunteer, call 842-3594.

Photographer Shoots WLSP

Kurt Kuznicki has some nifty photos of his recent visit to Washoe Lake State Park this month on his blog “Nevada Outside”. Included is one of the Gazebo at the top of the Dead Man’s Creek trail, a couple of fall color shots and a nice wide angle of Washoe Lake.

He also visited Little Washoe Lake in a previous post that has some great fall color shots also. it’s great to live in a place that is a mecca for nature photographers.

Rock Lake


Originally uploaded by RickC

Desert on one side, alpine forest on the other. A pretty sweet deal for people who like the outdoors in Washoe Valley. This is Rock Lake off the Ophir Creek Trail from Davis Creek Park. You can see how it got its name.