Blog 31 Sacramento, Ca and Reno, Nevada

Blog 31 Sacramento and Reno

We had 10 days staying at a resort in an area near Sacramento.  The crowd that live or stay at this resort are very nice and Pickleball mad so we got to play every day and for up to 4 hours on some days.  We were welcomed in and treated very well by all the residents at this resort.

One day I needed to go shopping and went to one of the nearby towns of Folsom.  I thought I would swing by the prison and see where Johnny Cash sang his Folsom Prison Blues but I ran out of time.  There is a museum there.

During our stay near Sacramento we were invited to various people’s homes for dinner and so we hosted a 3 course dinner for 10 on our coach which was fun-it took a bit of planning!

The resort was having a special Woodstock tribute weekend with revelers coming from far and wide and we couldn’t get a booking to stay over this period, but this worked out well as our dear NZ friends, Tony and Helen bought a motorcoach a couple of months ago and so the 4 of us planned to meet up in Reno.  We drove there from Sacramento via South Lake Tahoe which looked very nice.  We didn’t stop as there was too much traffic but it’s a place we might explore in another year.

We were warned that Reno in Nevada was going to be smoky from the fall-out of the Mosquito fire that had been burning for some time and it was.  The first day there was ok but the 2nd day was shockingly bad.

We parked up next to Tony and Helen and had a great time with them.

 The fancy flash Lugg mobile!!

On our first full day together Tony drove us up to Virginia City.

This is an old gold mining town where the massive Comstock lode was found in 1859.  The Comstock lode was a Silver deposit that was so prolific in size and wealth that the small town population boomed to 25,000 residents in 1870.  The mine output declined 8 years later and so did the population.  Today only 787 people live there.

The city is located at 6150 feet so hauling the silver down the hill must have been a mission in itself.  At the time, silver was worth the same as gold and the government bought as much silver from this mine as they could and turned it all in to coins.  Much of the stock was also invested into San Francisco so that city was built on the output of Virginia City.

Many miners that worked at Virginia City were from Cornwall as they were used to mining for tin which used similar practices.  A set square box system was made within the mine to stop it collapsing.  Life was hard for the miners, at such high elevation the outside temperature was freezing but the mine was warmed by hot springs which made it too hot for working. The miners were called Hot water Plugs.

Big Pants!!

Old Ford

Miner from days long ago

 Dodgy looking gun slinger

There was a huge fire in 1875 that destroyed lots of the buildings but many original buildings still stand including hotels, churches and shops and saloons.

Samuel Clemens lived in Virginia City in 1862 and used the pen name Mark Twain for the first time when there.  He worked as a reporter and eventually had to leave as he was challenged to a dual by a rival newspaper reporter.  He visited the city twice later when he was on his lecture tours.

In 1873 the government demonitised silver as the international market was flooded with it from this mine.

Today the city is very interesting to visit.  The shops have become touristy but you can see and feel how it used to be.


On our 2nd day we cycled into Reno from the campsite in Sparks.  It was about an 8 mile round trip with us on regular bikes and Tony and Helen on electric bikes.  It was mostly flat but when there was a hill Tony enjoyed zipping past us asking what the hold up was.  His bike is very powerful!

We saw lots of homeless people by the river-a ride that Stuart and I did in 2019.  It felt safe but sad to see so many-as usual.

In Reno itself there were many people around and all in costume.  I asked a local why everyone was dressed up and was told it was a treasure hunt with an Alice in Wonderland theme.  What a wonderful community fun day out!!

That evening we went out to the Texas Road House for a steak meal.  Very nice and a fun place to dine with line dancing and lots of yahooing!  We all ate too much.

After that we went to an Illusion show with dancing girls and -yes, illusions.  It was a fun evening out.

Our last day was spent walking over to Sheels outdoor store. This is no ordinary store, it has a ferris wheel in the middle, and they sell everything you could possibly imagine that is related to the outdoors.  This was the 2nd time we had visited but were all in awe of the size and scale of the store.

We had a final meal together and pulled out the next morning with us going back to Sacramento and Tony and Helen going to Lake Tahoe.  We will see them again back in NZ and hopefully over here next year.

We went back to the campsite near Sacramento for 4 nights then pulled out for Angels Camp.