Driving through the mountains up to Virginia City, we passed abandoned gold mines. The only evidence remaining of many mines are bright orange plastic fences encircling mine openings which say "Danger--No Trespassing." We would not want to find an unmarked mine entrance accidentally. The following sign lists the dangers.
Upon arrival in Virginia City, we had to find the Convention & Visitor's Bureau on "C" St. which is where the volkswalk (10K walk) paperwork was located. We drove back and forth a couple of times before we found it.
Weather at the start of our walk was clear and about 55 degrees--great for a six-mile walk. For those of you who have never been, Virginia City is at 6,200' elevation so the air is a bit thinner AND is built on the side of a mountain, so the walk was hilly.
The main part of town has wooden boardwalks.
Our first stop on the walk, after walking about 1/2 mile south on "C" St. was the Fourth Ward School. This is a museum during the on season; however late November is definitely off season here so it was closed. Boo.
Across the street was an open pit mine with fences and warnings all around it.
From C St., we went up one block to B St. There is so much history here, not to mention beautiful old mansions.
|Bob is reading the sign (below) which is on the Water Co. building (above). Check out the trunk of the tree in front of the building. It's pretty cool.|
Along B St. we passed by the old jailhouse, the Opera House and the Storey County Courthouse. The Lady Justice statue on the courthouse is rare in that Lady Justice is NOT blindfolded. I think there only 20 non-blindfolded statues of her in the nation
|On the back side of the jail, there is a hanging platform which is easily seen from A St.|
All along the way were historical markers. Bob, who loves history, said even he had his fill of history today.
Normally a 10K volkswalk takes us approximately two hours; today we took three hours because we stopped to read history plaques and take photographs.
As the afternoon wore on, it got colder. The sun set behind the mountains around 4 p.m. Then the wind kicked up. Brrrrrrr. It got mighty cold.
|Piper's Opera House (see history plaque below)|
|View of C St. from B St.|
|"New" fire hose house|
A number of old homes are bed & breakfasts. This town would be fun to visit for a couple of days to enjoy the B&Bs, shop in the stores, and eat & drink in the old saloons with expansive views over mountains and valleys. We looked in a couple of saloons and they are opulent with big bars, old furnishings and boot rails.
After walking up and down C, B & A Streets, we walked out to the old Comstock Cemetery.
Back in the day, cemeteries were designed with promenades and gardens. They were meant for quiet contemplation and were the precursor to our current parks. The cemetery in Virginia City is impressive even in disrepair. Terraced burial plots go from hilltop down the hillside. Large tombstones and markers remain.
|Entrance to Comstock Cemetery|
|Inscription on above monument.|
After wandering around the cemetery, we headed back into town to learn a little about Mark Twain and "The Territorial Enterprise," the local newspaper.
|This monument is made of ore from every Nevada county.|
|McKay Mansion (see photos below) has quite a history, including the beginning of the Hearst family fortune.|
|Such a gorgeous location!|
|Where's roadrunner? Meep, meep! (This was a decoration in a yard.)|
The church above was where we started and ended our day in Virginia City. (It's where we found a parking space.)
Overall, the walk was wonderful, but really cold for the last hour (after sunset) when the wind kicked up. Bob couldn't wait to be done with the walk, but we finished it!