Tag Archives: Nevada

Friday Fascination

Nevada State Prison

Mr. Craves was watching an episode of Pawn Stars and he asked a question that I could not answer and was not even aware of! The episode was call “You Say You Wanna Revolution” and it aired on January 2, 2014. Corey is checking out a set of gambling tokens from the Nevada State Prison. The only legal casino to ever exist in a prison.

My curiosity was peaked and I had to find out more about this prison casino!

Located In Carson City, Nevada. The prison was opened in 1862 and closed in 2012. Check Out the book – Nevada State Prison by authors Jennifer E. Riddle, Sena M. Loyd, Stacy L. Branham, and Curt Thomas.

  • It was one of the oldest prisons still operating in the U.S.
  • The prison was a maximum security facility and home to some of the state’s worst offenders. Armed Robbers, Murderers and even Serial Killers.
  • It was designed to hold 841 inmates and employed a staff of 211.
  • The prison was established by the Nevada Territorial Legislature at the site of the Warm Springs Hotel in Nevada Territory. From a hotel to a prison.
  • The prison quarry provided stone material for the Nevada State Capitol and the U.S. Mint, which is now the Nevada State Museum.
  • Nevada became a state in October 1864.
  • The prison had two fires, one in 1867 and another one in 1870. In 1870 the prison was rebuilt with stone from the on site quarry.

Here Comes the Interesting History of NSP!

  • With the legalization of gaming in Nevada, NSP allowed inmates to gamble in the “Bull Pen”, a casino that was set up inside the prison in 1932 and closed in 1967.
  • The prison had a legal, prisoner-operated casino.
  • Prisoners could gamble on card games and dominos.
  • The prison had its own currency known as “prison brass”.
  • The casino expanded to include table games and sports betting.

Other Prisoner Activities

  • Since 1928 all license plates in Nevada have been made at the prison.
  • The prison offered inmates baseball, basketball and boxing teams.
  • The prison band was called The Boys in Blue who performed at charitable events and was featured on a weekly radio program.
  • The inmates produce mattresses as well as having a bookbindery and print shop at the prison.

I Would Like a Peek Inside a Territory Prison!


The Sierra Nevada

Snow Chains to Swim Suits

I joke, but it is TRUE that there are snow chains to swim suits packed when hitting I-80 and heading over the Sierras! Just traveling on I-80 is an ADVENTURE and at times ONE WILD RIDE too!

I DO NOT know how the pioneers DID IT when it came to crossing the Sierra Nevada! I-80 is a TEMPEST! You can and probably will experience 4 seasons of weather in one day. You can and probably will experience a rollercoaster of emotions too.

The Wonders of the Sierra Nevada

I recently read an article in Sunset magazine about “The 23 Wonders of the Sierra Nevada”. I was a little in awe of all the places CravesAdventure has traveled to as well as explored and adventured throughout the Sierra Nevada. I experienced 2 new things moving Out West; camping with bears and mountain hiking. I fell head over heels in love with living Out West!

The Sierra Nevada will draw you in, show you its beauty and have you coming back again! It will leave an imprint on your heart and soul and leave you wanting more. The BEST SIGHT TO SEE is its colors; blues, greens, browns to name a few! It has to be experienced in person and you only get a little taste here and there.

  • Yosemite National Park and Hetch Hetchy
  • Bridgeport, California
  • Mono Lake
  • Sequoia National Park and Kings Canyon National Park – The Congress Trail and Moro Rock
  • Mount Whitney
  • Mammoth, California – Devils Postpile National Monument
  • Calaveras Big Trees State Park and Ebbetts Pass
  • Lake Tahoe

Other Places Experienced in the Sierra Nevada

  • Truckee, California and Donner Lake State Park
  • Grass Valley, California and Nevada City, California
  • Murphys, California
  • Bodie State Park

The Sierra Nevada or Snowy Range. The Sierra Nevada runs 400 miles north to south and about 70 miles east to west. I think of Ansel Adams and John Muir. Here are some facts:

  1. Mount Whitney (14,505 ft) is the highest point in the U.S.
  2. Lake Tahoe is the largest alpine lake in North America.
  3. Yosemite Valley was carved out by glaciers out of 100 million year old granite.
  4. 3 National Parks – Yosemite, Sequoia and Kings Canyon.
  5. 2 National Monuments – Devils Postpile and Giant Sequoia.

In a way the Sierra Nevada is a TEMPEST too! The Sierra Nevada is unpredictable and ever changing!

Bodie Historic State Park

Calaveras Big Trees State Park & Ebbetts Pass

Marlette Lake (Tahoe Area)

Mammoth, California

Devils Postpile National Monument

Sequoia National Park & Kings Canyon National Park

Yosemite National Park

 


September 2007


October 2009


Spring 2010


September 2010

Hetch Hetchy

Donner Lake State Park


(Photos by RSheridan)

What Has Been Your Experience(s) with the Sierra Nevada? Love to Hear, Please Share!


Postcard

Unique Find

A reader and fan of my blog asked me to share with my readers this “unique find”. Thank you! Talk about going the distance to locate a Nevada postcard and in of all places Chloride, Arizona.

Location:  The town of Chloride is between Kingman, Arizona and Boulder City, Nevada. Yes, basically in the middle of nowhere!

Once Upon a Time:  The town of Chloride began in the early 1860s. The town got its name from the Silver Chloride found and mined there. Also, found and mined here were gold, silver, lead, zinc, copper, and other metals and ore deposits (mining ended around 1944). You can still see the old bank vault, two room jail and the railroad station.

Interesting Facts:  #1 This town has the oldest continually functioning post office in Arizona although it has changed locations a few times. #2 Yard Art Anyone? This town just may have the largest collection of yard art, which one might consider junk. #3 This town may have a few ghosts in its buildings, mines and the people who have passed long ago.

Now:  The town of Chloride has a population of about 250 people with a motel, convenience store and a few gift shops.


Nevada Postcard (Photo by RSheridan)

Here’s to the Good Old Days of Sending a Postcard While Traveling!


2012 Travel Bucket List

TRAVEL, EXPLORE & ADVENTURE

The Great Adventures of 2011

Spring 2011 Road Trip

  • San Diego, CA (included the San Diego Zoo)
  • Phoenix, AZ
  • Las Vegas, NV

San Diego (Photo by RSheridan)

Summer Vacation 2011

  • Morro Bay, CA
  • Santa Barbara, CA (included the Channel Islands National Park & Reagan Presidential Library)
  • Avila Beach, CA
  • Paso Robles, CA (included Olive Festival & Firestone Walker Brewery and Tour)

The 3 Pelican Stooges in Avila Beach (Photo by RSheridan)

Sporting Events

  • Reno Aces Baseball Game

Reno Aces Baseball Game (Photo by RSheridan)

Outdoor Activities

  • Marlette Lake Hike (Lake Tahoe area)

Marlette Lake (Photo by RSheridan)

Wine Events

  • Hopland Passport Wine Event Spring & Fall 2011 (Mendocino, CA)
  • New! Calaveras Passport Wine Event (CA)

New Wine Regions

  • Temecula, CA
  • Paso Robles, CA
  • Lakes County (CA)
Grapes (Photo by RSheridan)

Coming Soon Adventures of 2012

Spring 2012

  • One Trip in March
  • One Trip in April

Summer Vacation 2012

  • Not in the Planning Phase YET!

Wine Events

  • Hopland Passport Wine Event Spring & Fall 2012 (Mendocino, CA)

Here’s to Great Adventures!


Nevada Ghost Towns – Part 3 – Virginia City

Virginia City, Nevada – Historic Mining Town

Virginia City is the county seat for Storey County, Nevada. The town is an unincorporated community and part of the Reno-Sparks area.

Fun Fact:  Virginia City is the oldest established community in Nevada. The town struck it rich in 1859 with the Comstock Lode.

I enjoy visiting Virginia City and “stepping back in time”. The town was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1961 and is the nation’s largest Historic Landmark today. Some people may consider the town a “Tourist Trap”, but it truly is a great place to explore.

The sidewalks are made from wood and you may hear the clink of spurs around you with men dressed up as Cowboys or Lawmen with guns on their hips. You will also see women throughout your visit dressed in period clothing. Check out the shops and swing into one of the local saloons for a drink and some entertainment.  Take in your surroundings and really look at the architeture of the businesses and houses in this town – some are so ornate and beautiful.

Virginia City is a tourist’s best gamble for a fun destination that is steeped with mining history, historic people and places and may have a ghost or two still hanging out. Check out the Bucket of Blood Saloon or the Famous “Suicide Table”. You may want to make an extra stop while in town and check out the cemetery – some old grave markers in there.

Tourist Mecca – Virginia City attracts over 2 million visitors per year.

Mining Boom Town back in its heyday and now a Historic Mining Town. The town became a melting pot with new residents arriving as well as miners to work the mines.

Has anyone heard of Samuel Clemens? In February 1863 in Virginia City, writer Samuel Clemens used his famous pen name of Mark Twain. I have traveled to a few places in Northern Nevada and Northern California with connections to Samuel Clemens/Mark Twain – pretty interesting at times.

Maybe people are more familiar with the Western television show called Bonanza. Virginia City is near the site of the fictitious Ponderosa Ranch.

All Aboard – the Virginia & Truckee Railroad’s northern terminal is located at Virginia City.

Another Fun Fact:  Check out the Virginia City Spite House, which is still standing and occupied today. Here’s the story. In the 1950’s two neighbors got into a dispute. One of the men moved and built a new house. While the other man got even and bought the lot next door. He built the house less than 12 inches apart to deprive the other man of both a view and a good breeze. Talk about some sour apples!

Check Out Historic Downtown Virginia City Today – You Will Not Be Disappointed!


Nevada Ghost Towns – Part 2 – Galena

Galena, Nevada – Historic Mining & Ghost Town

Galena is a Ghost Town in Lander County, Nevada near Battle Mountain, Nevada. The population of Galena is 10 people – what draws people to stay while others have already left! Is it the place, the people or the history – what remains in a somewhat deserted town in of all places rural Nevada.

The town was formed in 1869 and the Dutch Creek Mine eeked out about a cool $5 million in silver and lead extracted from the native ore in the area. Once a historic mining town known for the size of its cemetery and that it had a park. Now a deserted ghost town. You could say the town of Galena has had several lives throughout the years.

In the 1870’s the town experienced its heyday. The population increased as well as more businesses opened along with 2 stage lines. The mining activities increased until the 1880’s when those activities started to decline and then increased again in the 1910’s & 1920’s.

Today you can see the mining ruins in the town of Galena. A Word of Caution:  When exploring, especially a historic mining camp, be aware of your surroundings. It can be DANGEROUS going into old buildings and steer clear of open shafts.

A Small Town With a Mighty History!


Nevada Ghost Towns – Part 1 – Metropolis

Metropolis, Nevada – Ghost Town

Metropolis, Nevada is a ghost town in Elko County, Nevada. The name chosen for this town just does not seem to quite fit for a rural town in Nevada. Someone was trying to be fancy to attract the city slickers back in the day! I could not imagine moving out west and living the pioneer life in the 1900’s, especially in Nevada with its desert/mountain climate – winds, drought and a variation of cold and hot temperatures.

The town was created as a project for the Pacific Reclamation Company by businessman Harry Pierce (from Massachusetts) and some other investors from Massachusetts and Salt Lake City. Metropolis was to be the hub for a huge farming district. This businessman and the investors purchased 40,000 acres of DESERT land back in 1910 for FARMING – say what! Irrigation would be key, so a dam was built on Bishop Creek to create a reservoir.

The Project consisted of building a meeting hall, a post office, a school, a train depot, and a modern hotel. If you were to visit Metropolis today you would see the ruins of the Lincoln School, the Metropolis Hotel and the Metropolis Cemetery. In 1912 train service helped increase the population of this rural town.

Unfortunately Pierce did not obtain water rights to Bishop Creek and the town of Lovelock downstream sued. The town was left with enough water for the town and a few thousand acres of farmland. This resulted in dry-farming with its share of successes and failures. The farmers experienced drought, an over abundance of jack rabbits due to killing the coyotes and a Mormon cricket invasion.

The town of Metropolis experienced its ups and downs over a 40 year period. Pacific Reclamation declared bankruptcy in 1920 with the railroad discontinuing service to the town in 1922. In 1924 the town had a population around 200 people and in 1925 the meeting hall and hotel burned down – shortly after that the last store closed in 1925. The post office was able to hang on until 1942 and the Lincoln School until 1947 (opened in 1914). The residents then turned to ranching and by 1950 Metropolis became a ghost town.

 The desert is not a very forgiving force to reckon with and will claim back what residents have taken from it! You have the survivors who stayed and stuck it out and those whose left for greener pastures. Now the town of Metropolis has its history and maybe some ghosts who still linger to add some mystery to this desolate place.

You NEVER Know What You Might Find Off the Beaten Path!


Marlette Lake

Hiking to Marlette Lake

The hike to Marlette Lake is about 8 to 10 miles roundtrip and is a moderate hike. Let me tell you this was not a leisure stroll through the woods! This hike was challenging to strenuous at times, especially climbing up the trail from Marlette Lake. Once you catch your first glimpse of the lake you know the hike is so worth it! The lake is at about 7800′ elevation.

1st Glimpse of Marlette Lake from the hiking trail (Photo by RSheridan)

1st view of Marlette Lake once off the hiking trail (Photo by RSheridan)

History of Marlette Lake

Marlette Lake, Spooner Lake and Hobart Reservoir were built to supply water to the mines by a number of flumes and pipelines. Virgina City, Nevada was one area receiving water from this area water system.

Trout Spawning

Brook trout were introduced to Marlette Lake in the 1880’s with Lahontan Cutthroat trout in 1964 and Tahoe Rainbow trout in 1984 to the lake. The lake opened to fishing in 2006 and is a brood lake for Cutthroat and Rainbow trout.


Trout Spawning Station at Marlette Lake (Photo by RSheridan)

Wildflowers

The wildflowers were putting on a show on our hike and around the lake.


Wildflower #1 (Photo by RSheridan)

Wildflower #2 (Photo by RSheridan)
Wildflower #3 – Thistle (Photo by RSheridan)

Marlette Lake Additional Photos – Enjoy!


Marlette Lake #1 – My Favorite (Photo by RSheridan)

Marlette Lake #2 (Photo by RSheridan)

Marlette Lake #3 (Photo by RSheridan)

 No Pain No Gain – Get Out & Go Hiking Today!!!


Goldfield, Nevada

Driving through Goldfield is like driving back in time. This town is the county seat of Esmeralda County with a population less than 500 people. You will drive through the town if you take US Route 95.

There is a mystery to this town that tries to draw me in when passing through. Why do these towns just slowly disappear over time? Did the residents leave for bigger cities, the gold ran out or was harder to mine, illegal land/mining claims, health epidemics, etc.???

What is the town’s history? The Earp brothers lived around Tonopah and Goldfield in the 1900’s. History states that Virgil Earp died in the pneumonia epidemic of 1905 in this town. The fire of 1923/1924 destroyed much of the town – the Goldfield Hotel, the Consolidated Mines Building and the School House survived the fire.

Interesting Fact:  The unoccupied buildings of this town that almost look abandoned each have an owner – some owners have plans to renovate. The Goldfield Hotel is in the process of renovation with no set completion date.

The town looks forlorn and abandoned. The town has a unique and interesting past – could you imagine meeting the Earp brothers or Mark Twain or just being there in its gold mining heyday. The town is presently holding onto its remaining historic buildings. The residents and/or owners of those historic buildings are trying to bring it back to its former glory and into the present day. Hopefully Goldfield does not become a Ghost Town of Nevada.

Driving through Tonopah I noticed empty commercial spaces – the hotels and gas stations in town seem to be hanging in there – there is a Subway in town now along with the McDonald’s and Burger King. Usually stop in Tonopah for gas and a quick bite.

These rural towns of Nevada are interesting to visit and pass through. Sometimes I catch myself wondering what do people do out there and why. I like the country, however; in Nevada it is somewhat isolated and towns can be few and far between. Sometimes you feel like you are in the Middle of Nowhere.


U.S. National Parks

I have visited my fair share of National Parks throughout the years. I want to see Yellowstone in Wyoming and Zion, Bryce and Canyonlands in Utah. I have a few favorites, however; every experience is unique and lets you create your own experiences that will last a lifetime. Some experiences remind me of my childhood while other experiences remind me of the time spent there with my spouse. I have found a new passion in my life through traveling and hiking – landscape photography and now have found a passion for writing about my experiences.

There have been encounters with wildlife – bears, deer, coyotes, marmots, squirrels, lizards and a bat – yes a bat – a bat decided to roost on the outside of our tent trailer and we did not know it was there until we went to close up the trailer. Then we headed to The Redwoods and had our very first close encounter with a bear – one smelly bear with a lot to chuff about that bumped our trailer at 4 am – we did not request a wake up call but received one anyway!

Get out there and visit your parks – the adventures await and remain with you for a lifetime.

Squirrel in Yosemite trying to get a handout – SAY WHAT! No Trail Mix for Me! (Photo by RSheridan)

California:
Yosemite (a favorite)
Redwood National & State Parks (had our 1st bear encounter here)
Alcatraz Island (another favorite)
Golden Gate National Recreation Area
Lassen Volcanic National Park (Check Out the Bumpass Hell Trail – interesting, smelly and  expect  to be covered in white, gray dirt on the hike in and back)
Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks
Devils Postpile National Monument
Point Reyes National Seashore (Gorgeous & the Cows make Great Cheese – mmmm)
Death Valley National Park (drove around it – would like to go back for an actual visit)

Oregon:
Crater Lake National Park (Water So Blue and an Island called Wizard Island)
Oregon Caves National Monument

Nevada and Arizona and Hawaii:
Lake Mead National Recreation Area (drove across the Hoover Dam – cool!)
Grand Canyon National Park (Majestic)
USS Arizona Memorial (an important part of American History)

Montana and Wyoming and South Dakota:
Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument
Devils Tower National Monument (Remember Close Encounters of the Third Kind movie)
Mount Rushmore National Monument
Badlands National Park

Arkansas and Tennessee and Florida:
Hot Springs National Park (the hot springs still run under the streets and most fountains have hot water coming out of them)
Great Smokey Mountains National Park (a favorite)
Everglades National Park (went on an air boat tour and there was a gator guarding the dock to the boat)

Travels Abound – Get Out There!!!


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