Day 19 – The Old West

While preparing to depart the Walmart in Reno this morning, I noticed a small puddle of coolant on the ground. After a short investigation, I found that the screw for the clamp that holds the hose onto the bottom of the radiator was a little loose. I tightened that up, checked the oil, transmission fluid, brake fluid and the tire pressure and we were good to roll.

Since we have been putting quite a strain Lady T with these crazy grades, we attempted to find the flattest way possible to Virginia City. Starting in Carson City, we began our ascent up the hills and eventually came upon a sign directing us to a trucks-only route. Although not as bad, this route was still quite steep. The view was beautiful, though, and Jasmine handled it like a pro!

I had visited Virginia City about 10-12 years ago when I worked out here so I knew what it was all about and really wanted Jazz to see it. Virginia City is the same place you see in all the old western movies. It’s an old gold mining town with a bunch of saloons and less gold these days. Most of the business are as old as the town itself, dated to the late 1800s. The buildings and sidewalks are right out of the old west and they perform shootout shows daily. We missed the last show by the time we got into town but we did see one of the “cowboys” walking around with his six-shooter and spurs on.

The shops in Virginia City are full of all kinds of things, from tourist staples to handmade goods. We explored several of these, one of which had a singing Ray Charles doll that Jazz played with. The last shop we visited was called The Rainbow Metal Art shop. The owner Jay (great name) had taken over the shop about 11 years ago from a guy that made metal sculptures and figurines out of small motor parts. Jay carves and decorates wooden art, everything from famous cartoon characters to animals. Some of the metal art is still on display and everything in the shop is fantastic. Since Jazz loves handmade stuff, we walked out with wooden Sully and Mike Wazowski from Monsters Inc. Jay signed both pieces and Jazz promised to e-mail him for a custom ferret piece.

It was almost time to hit the road again, but not before having a drink at the world famous Bucket of Blood Saloon. I had been there about 10 or 12 years ago and picked up a t-shirt that I actually had on. I picked out a new t-shirt and we sat down to have a drink at the bar. I took my sweatshirt off and asked if there was a discount for wearing my old shirt. The bartender was happy to see the older design and yelled for a couple other employees to come over and have a look. In the end, we didn’t get a discount but we had fun. We paid for our drinks and I told the waitress I’d be back in another decade for a new shirt.

Leaving Virginia City, we headed north to meet up with Interstate 80 to continue our trek homeward. Still having almost 450 miles of Nevada left, we drove for another 180 miles or so and turned off in Winnemucca, NV at another full-service Flying J. They are awesome, by the way, and have the best truck stop coffee ever and lots of flavored creamers to choose from.

We settled in for the night, had some dinner and hopefully will get caught up on the blog. The rest of the way home, we will try to do at least one fun things a day so you all don’t get bored with us.

~J&J

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