Saturday, August 6, 2011

Truckee, California & Virginia City, Nevada

August 5-6.  We're still camping at the Bordertown Casino, north of Reno, and are taking day trips from there. We went over the border to Truckee, California to see the town, the Donner Memorial park & museum and Donner Lake. Truckee is a tourist town with lots of souvenir, clothing, home furnishing stores, restaurants and a California Welcome Center.  But, outside of town is Donner Pass and the memorial to the infamous Donner party, a wagon train that arrived in the high Sierra mountains too late in the year (1846-1847) and was stuck there all winter.  As the story goes, they were snowbound and when the food ran out, some of the 87 pioneers started to die, and some of those still alive ate the dead, as they were the only food source available.  Only 48 survived the winter. This was a true story of survival at all costs and cannibalism.
Back down in the valley, Donner Lake is beautiful and pristine.  All around the lake are upscale homes and cabin rentals. We drove up to Donner Pass, an increase in altitude of 3,000' and got some good photos. We stopped at another beautiful body of water in the mountains, Boca Reservoir, for a picnic on our way back to Bordertown.
Saturday we visited Virginia City, Nevada, where the Comstock Lode (Silver) was discovered and mined starting in 1859. Virginia City is another tourist town, nothing but tourist stores, restaurants with casinos in the high desert.  We visited the town cemetery to see the old graves, St. Mary's Church in the Mountains, and we saw the block long Hippie parade. We had lunch and headed home.

Donner Lake
Donner Party Memorial
Debbie up at Donner Pass
St. Marys of the Mountain
St. Mary's alter

Inside St. Marys

Boca Reservoir
Virginia City, Nevada


Debbie having lunch on her throne at Boca Reservoir


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