Downieville, California on Hwy 49 – A Most Unusual Historic Landmark – Road Trip Day 10 Ep.26

Lex sez:

Driving along Highway 49 was definitely one of the highlights of our road trip.  I loved riding with the window down to breathe the fresh mountain air and listen to the Yuba River crashing by!  One destination that Neek, Sar and I really wanted to check out along this stretch of road was Downieville, which has a very interesting history.

Named after Major William Downie who, along with a group of other miners, made camp here in their search for gold in 1849, Downieville was an important “49er” gold rush town in California.  By 1851, the population rose to a peak of 5,000 people living in what was then called “The Forks”, named because two rivers converged there.  With a population according to Wikipedia of 282, it is considered one of the least changed gold rush towns in California, and driving into it, we could see its rustic past still living! Continue reading

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Little Towns on The Mother Lode Highway – Hwy 49 – Road Trip Day 10 Ep.25

Neek sez:

California Highway 49 is named after the 49ers who came to this state in their search for gold in 1849.  It begins in Oakhurst on State Route 41 and travels north toward the Sierra Nevadas and ends at Vinton somewhat near the Nevada border.

We decided to take the Northern route towards Auburn, California bypassing the interstate.   Continue reading

Burning Man at Reno Playa Art Park in Reno, Nevada – Road Trip Day 9 Ep.24

Neek sez:

Burning Man is a seven-day event in the Black Rock desert 100 miles (161 kilometers) north of Reno, Nevada.  Aside from the wild night festivities and highly creative interactive artwork, Burning Man is a world renown Art event culminating in the burning a giant effigy on the last evening.  

I have never been to Burning Man and truthfully, the clothing optional aspects of it intimidate the hell out of me.  The artwork and designs of the temporary structures fascinate my aesthetic imagination, therefore, it was to my delight that some of the smaller artwork from the 2016 Burning Man is displayed at Reno Playa Art Park. Looking at the sculptures, it’s evident that Burning Man is a person who is stepping out to the beat of their own drummer. Continue reading

The Haunted Old Washoe Club in Virginia City, Nevada – Road Trip Day 9 Ep.23

Lex sez:

Walking up C Street in Virginia City, Neek, Sar and I decided to explore one last saloon in town.  Like the other saloons, this place has a history going back to the 19th century.  It also, like some other saloons, has reports of paranormal activity.  But there’s something about the Washoe Club that demands a closer look, which is exactly what we gave it!

Often called the Old Washoe Club as this brick building was built in 1862, it first came into existence in 1875 as the “Millionaire’s Club”, a place for the rich to hobnob in luxury.  Continue reading

The Old Saloons and 60’s Psychedelic Music of Virginia City, Nevada – Day 9 Ep. 22

Lex sez:

The main drag in Virginia City, Nevada (known as C Street) normally evokes the feeling of an Old West town.  The street is filled with old saloons, many of them dating back to the 19th century when the town was in the throes of a silver rush from the discovery of the Comstock Lode in 1859.  But on the day that Neek, Sar and I visited, the main feeling that C Street evoked was hunger! 

The reason for that feeling is that we happened to arrive in Virginia City when they were having their 34th annual chili cook-off! 

Continue reading

Piper’s Opera House in Virginia City, Nevada – Road Trip Day 9 Ep.21

Neek sez:

Fires are one of the biggest threats to the old mining towns of the West.  Most of the buildings were made of clapboard and very easily caught fire from wood burning stoves or an errant cigar left unattended. One such cigar may have cost a man a whole building.

During our Highway 50 Loneliest Road in America Challenge, we found out that the Eureka Opera House in Eureka, Nevada was a recently renovated cousin to the Piper’s Opera House in Virginia City, Nevada.  We decided to visit.  The road up to Virginia City was a bit windy and hilly.  I gave Lex directions and It didn’t take long for him to find the impressive structure.   Continue reading

Did We Finish Our Hwy 50, The Loneliest Road in America Challenge? Road Trip, Day 8 Ep.20

Lex sez:

After leaving Austin, Neek, Sar and I drove back on to Highway 50 and motored through the expansive beauty of Nevada.  It was around 2pm and while we had driven through half of “The Loneliest Road in America,” we still had four more stamps to get to complete our booklet and receive our certificate of completion.  We were a bit concerned that since some of the places that do stamping might close at 5pm, we would have to hurry to reach our goal.

110 miles (180 kilometers) later, we reached our next destination, the town of Fallon.  It is called the “Oasis of Nevada” and can trace its roots back to the California Gold Rush as well as the Pony Express.  Continue reading