Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Reno and beyond

October 4-7, 2013;

October 4th and we are leaving Susanville RV Park, a very nice campsite and heading for the bright lights of Reno.  We can add another state to our map !  A smooth easy ride on Route 36 to Route 395 through much high desert ranch land.  Shamrock RV Park was easy to get to and another easy pull through campsite.  It is in an Industrial Park area about 2 miles from downtown Reno.

We took a ride on Virginia Avenue through downtown Reno, we have been here before, but only for a few hours and we remember nothing. Downtown Reno in the day time is a bit seedy looking, it's far better in the dark. It is a fun diversion for a while, but it gets depressing to see mostly poor looking people blowing the little extra money they have on the slots hoping to hit the jackpot. 

You gotta take a photo of the famous Reno sign

A more artistic element in downtown Reno

A lot of Reno is covered by this 

I found a counter culture area on Virginia Ave (the main drag) just south of the downtown Casino area where there are several weird business establishments, murals, old motels and signs that I love.  I spent some time there taking photos while Twinkles locked herself in the truck for safety. 

The love the 777 Motel

Nice Flowers !

Another great Motel sign

That's a special entrance

Not so sure it is a winner ?

We took a walk down the Reno River Walk and we spotted a couple that we did much hiking with last winter while staying at Desert Trails in Tucson, Arizona. It was really special to run into them on the street.  We will see them again this winter.  The Truckee River is really a nice fast flowing stream.

The Truckee River flowing through downtown Reno

Bridge over the Truckee River

Saturday, we went to Virginia City for the Outhouse Parade and Race.  The drive to Virginia city takes you up the Geiger Grade, several miles of sweeping curves and switchbacks to the top of the mountain.  Virginia City sits at the top and from the "Bucket of Blood Saloon" they advertise a 100 mile view and it sure looked true.  Virginia City was one of the largest, richest and wildest mining towns of it's day. Somehow it survived relatively intact and is a really cool town today.  It has managed to be a big tourist attraction without looking too touristy, fake or tacky.  Samuel Clemons (Mark Twain) who started here as a newspaper reporter would certainly be surprised to see his name all over town now.

E ClampusVitus "The Clampers" have the best historical signs

Very contrasting hero's in Virginia City

View of downtown Virginia City

Virginia City information may be a big overstated ?

The original "Bucket of Blood Saloon" ?

The Miners Union Hall

This is how they dealt with undesirables in Virginia City

The Outhouse event was big fun and brought out a very large, interesting, weird and heavy drinking crowd.  The MC's had endless lines of bad jokes, some quite good.  The best one was a race where one of the pushers almost lost his pants and the MC said the race was decided by a crack.  The E Clampus Vitus guys (my favorite civic organization) were there in force and even have a chapter and a building in Virginia City.

The Out House Race MC's 

The start of the Out House Parade

Quite an interesting parade outfit

Here's Johnny entry

The Can entry

The Pot Rod entry

A large crowd for the race

The race is on, all the drivers had a look of terror on their faces

One of these guys about lost his drawers

This all put me in the mood to finally do it, buy a cowboy Hat.  I've been wanting one for a long time, I look and feel good in them but you need to be a cowboy or at least be in cowboy country to feel really comfortable wearing one. It's  sort of weird, but if you put on a cowboy hat, tight jeans and cowboy boots you will feel the vibe.  People will notice you, people will be intimidating (helps to be 6 foot tall) and you will soon start to walk the walk and talk the talk, like John Wayne.  (That's what I've been told)

Friday, the 10th will be a crazy day for us, dropping the RV off for maintenance/storage in the morning then catching an afternoon flight, arriving in Newark, NJ in the wee hours on the 21st.
More will be revealed about Reno in the next post which I will probably send from New Jersey.

Twinkles and Slick

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