Pee Wee's Adventure Summer 2010 travel blog

Emerald Bay, Lake Tahoe

Lake Tahoe, NV

State Capitol Building Carson City NV

Mountain peaks around Carson City

railroad at Nevada Museum

prospector and his donkey in Virginia City

cemetery at Virginia City NV

Carson City was named after the Carson River by city father Abraham Curry in 1860. In 1861 the Nevada Territory was formed, and Carson was made its capital. Nevada was granted statehood on Oct. 31, 1864.

Of the 17 counties in Nevada, only Carson City and Virginia City have remained county seats since the beginning of statehood

In 1859, gold prospectors hit silver in the hills east of Carson City. The Comstock Lode, as it was called, was the largest silver find in world history. Tens of thousands of miners poured into Carson City and Virginia City.

In the 1860's, Carson City was a station on the Pony Express and the Overland mail under both Butterfield and Wells, Fargo and Co. In 1861, true to Curry's prediction, and largely because of his shrewd maneuvers, Carson City became the capital of the Nevada Territory.

Virginia City was born in 1859 when Peter O'Reilly and Patrick McLaughlin found gold in Six-Mile Canyon, land also claimed by H.T.P. Comstock. Hundreds of prospectors rushed to the "Comstock Lode" to seek their fortune. James Finney, a miner from Virginia, is said to have called the town "Old Virginny Town." That name became "Virginia City."

In its heyday, the 1860s and 70's, 24-hour silver and gold mining works dotted the mountain. The Comstock Lode made so many millionaires, this was called "the richest place on earth." Area wealth helped finance the Civil War and paid to build old San Francisco. Mark Twain also began his writing career here.

Today, Virginia City is the nation's largest National Historic Landmark with 2 million visitors a year. A must-see for any visitor to Northern Nevada, it offers a glimpse of history and a rousing good time.

Lake Tahoe is a large freshwater lake in the Sierra Nevada mountains. At a surface elevation of 6,225 ft it is located along the border between California and Nevada, west of Carson City. Lake Tahoe is the largest alpine lake in North America. Its depth is 1,645 feet making it America's second-deepest (the deepest is Crater Lake in Oregon, being 300 ft deeper, at 1,945 feet).

The day we drove the 25 miles from Carson City to Lake Tahoe was clear and 85 in the RV park in Carson City. At the 7,000 ft summit near the intersection of Highway 50 and Highway 28 the temperature dropped to a pleasant 75 degrees.

The lake comes into view at Cave Rock and again near Zephyr Cove. Those beaches and residential areas were packed with weekend visitors from the Sacramento and San Joaquin Valleys just 100 miles to the west of Tahoe. We drove up Ski Run Boulevard to Heavenly Valley Ski area. It was like a ghost town and no snow at this time of year.

We will stay one more day in Carson City and then travel to our home in Sun City West. Judy took in too much coastal air and then there were 40 lightning caused fires in the Susanville area and the valley was really smokey by the 2nd and 3rd days we were there. She will need to see her doctors and get her lungs back in shape. I think she is missing her house somewhat too.

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