Laugh Factory

Spent my last night in Reno enjoying a comedy performance by 3 separate comedians. Recommend this as an event for all to attend. Humor was clean and funny. Cost via Groupon was $30. with drinks available. The shows are Tuesday through Sunday at 7:30 pm.

The Venue

Pictures and taping of the performance was not allowed, however, let me reveal a few insights. The show began with a young performer warming up the crowd regaling his dating scenarios. The second performer was a 6 foot 295 # former Mormon married 27 years with 3 children. His routine surrounded family life and his obesity.

The main performer was Spencer James whose performance was varied chatting about everything from working a cruise ship to his family anomalies.

A night of laughter for all. Great way to end the visit.

The Reno Riverwalk

Not far from “The Row,” of casinos, Silver Legacy, Circus-Circus, and the El Dorado Hotels, is the Reno River walk located on the Truckee River.

It is a restful walk filled with much beauty and activity.

Even Fishing

And while there are homeless present, they stay to themselves. Police patrol the area.

Returning from the Riverwalk noted much building art. The Circus-Circus Casino has devoted a side of their building for this. Interesting building art is located throughout Reno.

Quite a variety.

Rancho San Rafael/Wilbur D. May Arboretum

Visited this Garden area and was impressed. They have much for children – a playground, dinosaurs to climb, and a ranch to visit. The Ranchero in the early 1900’s was a farm where pigs, sheep, and chickens were raised. For an adult visit there are many shaded places to sit and view the garden’s beauty. It is a lovely place for a picnic or walk with ample parking. They are having a Symphony Under the Trees on 9/24 from 6-7.

While I loved this place sadly my cell phone did not cooperate, and only have 2 pictures from the visit. However, here was something I had never seen – a wild poinsettia climbing on a tree.

A Must See

Animal Ark

Great ratings on this place and understand why. Animals are well cared for in appropriate habitats, employees friendly, well informed, and dedicated. Only 20 minutes outside Reno, a nice distraction from gambling.

All that said, let’s explore the place.

The Bears

This happy camper was enjoying the sun. Asked staff how they handle hibernation. In December they begin to decrease food, and by January the bears retreat to a hut next to their habitat. By that time they have increased their body fat 20%, and sleep till March. During that time they do not poo or pee. Go figure.

Gibbs is a new addition to the Park. A new habitat is being created for Gibbs as their bears can’t live together. He’s a pacer, and hopefully his new home will be ready soon.

Further down the way..

Also at the Park is a picnic area and playground for children.

Let’s check out a few more animals..

The 10x cell phone zoom really captured this guy snoozing..

Visit early as animal are more visible at that time. The Ark is open at 10 a.m. Tuesday- Sunday, closed Monday.

The Visitor Center has some interesting gifts, and while there caught this sweet creature, a marsupial, being cared for by Ark staff..
What a fun visit..

Reno Accommodations

Stayed at this hotel in Reno. Two other hotels are joined with this hotel – Circus-Circus and El Dorado, all owned by the Caesar Casino Corporation. While each hotel has their own casino they share a restaurant and shopping complex in their lower levels. Have found this to be a neat way to get around avoiding street concerns. Rooms are recently renovated, spacious, and decorated in a modern theme, but mainly comfortable and relaxing with wide windows giving mountain views.

While not receiving remuneration for this blog, I endorse the small town feel of this area and continue to enjoy my visit. It’s not over yet folks. So if thinking of a gambling vacation with some other attractions thrown in, consider Reno.

Caveat: Free parking in a nearby, safe garage.

Lake Tahoe

After a long and arduous drive through the mountains was excited to finally get a peek at this august body of water.

Then came across the Cave Rock area pull out. Cave Rock was a spiritual area for the first inhabitants of Lake Tahoe, the Washoe people.

Lake Tahoe fun facts according to Auntie Google and area signage:

  • Is one of the largest fresh water lakes in the world
  • It borders on Nevada and California
  • It is deeper than the Empire State Building is tall
  • It is over 2 million years old
  • It has no outlet, it evaporates
  • While it does not freeze, it can carry water temperatures as low as 39 degrees

Stopped at my favorite store, Dollar Tree, along the route. The store was directed to close by 4:30 pm as winds had changed and there were fire safety concerns. While checking out locals told me of a route to take as some routes had been closed. Several miles down the road some damage was seen.

Park closure and thank you signs for fire fighters were everywhere along the drive.

Stopped at Emerald Bay along the route. While all areas were closed, could not pass this one up. This is a must see.

Fanette Island is the island in the middle of Emerald Bay. Here a Norweigan woman, Lora Knight, built a Scandinavian castle, Vikingsholm in 1929. Mrs. Knight also had a tea house on Fanette Island. The Castle is close to this area, next visit.

Will return in better, and safer times. Oh the perils of climate change.

One wonders, what must the animals think about all that is transpiring?

On the way to Lake Tahoe

Decided to visit Lake Tahoe as the hotel concierge said the wildfires had improved and it was safe. On the way came across a sign for Bower Mansion and decided to stop. Sadly, the Mansion is only open Saturday and Sunday from 11-4 through 10/31, however, if in the area check it out and send me some pictures. I’ll bet its spectacular inside..

A little history – Sandy and Elley Bowers erected this Mansion with monies from their gold and silver mines in Comstock. Elley lost the Mansion in 1876 when the mines ran dry, and it passed through several owners. The Mansion then came into disrepair. In steps Henry Riter who purchases the Mansion site unseen. He restores the Mansion then hears of Elley Bowers death and has her ashes restored to the family plot on the hill behind the home.

While Riter never lived full time at the Mansion he leased it to others finally selling at 80 years of age to a group of women who had the same vision as Riter for the the property. The women, cash poor, started a statewide campaign to save the Mansion, acquired the monies and a park was developed on Mansion grounds.

Next stop, the state capitol, Carson City. Was hoping the state museum was open, however, it was closed. Saw the sign for the Governor’s Mansion and stopped. What a majestic home. The Governor does not live here full time, only stops in now and then according to his neighbor across the street.

From here visited historic downtown Carson City which had many shops and restaurants. What a clean and quaint town. Came across the state tourism bureau but this was closed as well. Took that as a sign to continue on my way to Lake Tahoe.

State Tourism Bureau

Virginia City – Part II

Followed the noise of the train whistle and found myself at a railroad station.

From here bought my ticket for a half hour ride through silver and gold country.. In the 1860’s when Virginia City was ablaze with those wishing to make their fortunes in the gold rush this steam train flourished. In fact by 1859 $40 million (which equates to 8.4 billion in today’s values), of gold was discovered. The train system was built to accommodate the industry as horse drawn transit was costly and slow. The docent had much information and gave insights into a fascinating American era. Sit close in order to hear as the train is loud as are the visitors.

The area has much memorabilia for viewing. But this gal who recently returned home is perhaps the most fascinating. She’s been in over 65 motion pictures and returned for the first time since 1938. She deserves an Oscar. 🙂

Here’s a list of other things to explore in Virginia City..

  • MacKay Mansion – John MacKay an Irish immigrant was the wealthiest man in town. The home also has paranormal events besides tours.
  • The Way It Was Museum
  • The 4th Ward School and Museum
  • Firehouse Museum
  • Mark Twain Museum – here the famous writer got his start in a local newspaper
  • The Chollar Mine Tour
  • The Gold City Mine Tour

And before closing some pics of Downtown.

Farewell from the Sheriff of Virginia City.

Virginia City, Nevada

Visiting this 19th century Victorian boon town was like being placed in a past era. How these folks made it to Virginia City is beyond me as the trek up the mountain while perilous, was a thrilling ride. When motorcycle dare devils past at exorbitant speeds as a senior driver I took the many pull offs letting them pass and enjoyed the views.

Virginia City has much to see and do besides the shops, bars, and restaurants. First on the visit was the Silver Terrace Cemetery at the beginning of town. Began in the 1867 this cemetery has the departed from various religions and fraternal organizations. Many interesting, cemetery pieces with intact engraving exist as the departed were wealthy and able to afford marble headstones.

A few more modern stones.

Good segway.. on to St. Mary of the Mountain Catholic Church

What a beautiful church… Make a stop, say a prayer, you will be inspired. Then the whistles of the train spur you on to another great town visit..

Nevada Art Museum

What a collection, really enjoyed it.

Started with land art – how different. Check these out..

Framing on a board – adding to the art.

Loved the modern art selections..

Rose B. Simpson – The Four A dramatic piece representing the 4 directions, moving and beautiful. This woman has a varied education – besides an MFA she also has education in automotive body repair.

The Museum has purchased the catalog of Judy Chicago, an 82 year old New Mexican woman who works in smoke sculptures using pyrogenics. She narrates a documentary on her life at the exhibit. See it.

One of her pieces

The Museum has quite a history beginning 100 years ago when locals joined as a club doing art work together. Lorenzo Latimer, was the instrumental founder of the group, and later the Latimer School was born. Much of the lovely art work from that early group is on display. Here are a few.

And finally, stop on the roof for the view…….

A must see Museum!