August 3-7, 2011 – Lake Tahoe, Nevada Side

Wednesday, August 3rd we drove around the north side of Lake Tahoe and crossed into Nevada.  We noticed that the Nevada side of the lake is less developed and you can see more of the lake from the highway.

We are staying at the Silver City RV Resort just south of Carson City.  This is a very nice RV park and even has 3 fenced dog areas.  Cody and Camille are really enjoying being able to run around off leash.

Thursday we took a 2½ hr cruise from South Lake Tahoe to Emerald Bay on the sternwheeler, Tahoe Queen.

We boarded at Ski Run Marina, a very busy marina renting out boats and jet skis.  They also take people out on parasails.  We had a lot of people parasailing around our boat as we cruised.

We enjoyed talking to two ladies who are retired teachers from Sacramento.  We exchanged taking each other’s pictures.

As we entered Emerald Bay we saw this Osprey in its nest.

A view of Eagle Falls – a much better view than the one we got from the highway on Tuesday.

This is the Vikingsholm Castle that we saw from the highway on Tuesday.  This is the backside of the beautiful Scandinavian home Mrs. Knight had built here in 1929.  It is now a California State Park.

The 14 acre Knight estate also included Fannette Island, the only island in the lake.

This is the tea house Mrs. Knight had built on Fannette Island.  Unfortunately in the 1960’s vandals built a fire on the marble floor and burned the wood roof.  The State of California decided it could never replicate the beautiful craftsmanship of the original roof so they did not restore it. 

On our return trip we passed the M.S. Dixie II, the sister boat to the Tahoe Queen.

It was a beautiful day for a cruise and we enjoyed the great scenery.

Our replacement rim from the manufacturer arrived so Friday we went to a tire shop and had the tire mounted on the new rim.  We also did some shopping as Rex needed some new shorts.  We spent the rest of the day relaxing and enjoying the warm weather.

Saturday, August 6th, we rode the Virginia & Truckee Railroad from Carson City to Virginia City.  Our engine was a 1914 Baldwin oil fired steam engine.

The Virginia & Truckee Railroad connected Reno with Carson City, Virginia City, and Minden.  Operating for 80 years it was Nevada’s Bonanza Railroad as it hauled valuable Comstock ore to quartz reduction mills located at Silver City and along the Carson River.  We rode by many ruins of old Comstock era mines.

After a very scenic trip through the Virginia Range we arrived in Virginia City – a real tourist trap with shops, restaurants and casinos.  We think this old miner was looking for some lunch. 

We spent 3 hours in Virginia City and after a great BBQ sandwich we walked around window shopping and seeing the sites.  St. Mary’s in the Mountain Catholic Church was the first Catholic Church in Nevada.  It was built in 1869, burned in the 1875 fire that destroyed most of Virginia City, and was rebuilt in 1876.  Actually during the fire the townspeople asked the priest if they could use the church as a fire break to stop the fire.  He agreed and they blew up the church which stopped the fire from spreading further.  The entire town, including the church, was rebuilt in one year.

The inside was beautiful and had gorgeous floor to ceiling stained glass windows on both sides.  We also visited the museum that was in the basement.  They had artifacts from Catholic Churches all across Nevada.

This is the Gold Hill Mill in the old mining town of Gold Hill.

This is the remnants of the Comstock Mill.  The story goes that two brothers spent a winter here on their way to the California gold fields and decided the area looked promising but never filed claims to their diggings.  They continued on to California where they both met unfortunate ends.  A man named Comstock was living in their cabin here.  Upon hearing of their deaths, Comstock rushed to Virginia City and filed claims.  Two mine shafts were dug but they never found any ore.  Comstock sold shares of the mine to investors and each year the shareholders had to invest more money into their shares or lose them.  Comstock made a fortune selling and reselling shares in this worthless mine (does the name Bernie Madoff come to mind).  To make a long story short – Comstock died penniless.

We saw a herd of 7 wild horses – the Conductor said these wild horses are protected by the State of Nevada and are not a part of the BLM roundups.

It was a very nice train ride and the weather was perfect – sunny and in the low 90’s with a light breeze.

Sunday was laundry day and bath day for the Camille and Cody.  We were going to take the kayaks to Lake Tahoe today, but it was pretty windy so we spent the rest of the day relaxing and getting ready to move on tomorrow.


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