Monday, 28 August 2017
Carson City, Nevada to Lake Tahoe, California, about 35 miles
Map credit: Google Maps 2017, courtesy AAA
We awoke to a bright sunny day in Carson City and decided to have some of our French silk pie from the night before for breakfast. My, was it good – rich and chocolatey – and we didn’t even eat the whole piece. Our plan for the day was to go see the capitol of Nevada and explore Carson City a bit and then drive the short distance to Tahoe early enough to enjoy the lake a bit and to get there before Happy Hour!
Carson City is not a big place, so it was easy to find our way into town, and we parked in a public lot behind the State Supreme Court, which is next to the silver-domed capitol building. In between the court and the capitol is a lovely shaded greenspace full of monuments and lined with an arcade of leafy trees. It was so cool and attractive there, especially on a hot summer day. We saw a statue of Abe Curry, founder of the city, and Kit Carson, for whom the city was named. There was a memorial to law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty and a statue honoring the miners from this state, which probably became a state due to the wealth of mineral deposits found and mined here.
Nevada Supreme Court
Abe Curry, founder of Carson City
Kit Carson, for whom the city was named
Up close view of Kit’s spurs and such
Memorial to fallen law enforcement officers
The capitol building, completed in 1872, is a Victorian building made of sandstone quarried from a local quarry (owned by Abe Curry) using prison labor (no extra cost to the taxpayers) and whose cupola was topped by a real silver dome, back in the day. Today’s dome only looks like it’s the real thing. It’s not a big building, nor is it lavishly decorated. The walls are made of Alaskan marble and there is an interesting painted border at the top of the walls that honors the many different minerals, metals, and rocks that are (or were) so plentiful in the state. The original Supreme Courtroom here was big enough for about a dozen people to sit in. The legislative branch is no longer housed in this building, either, but the House chamber was still set up as it had been. The Senate chamber is now a museum about the capitol and Nevada’s history, so we spent some time in there.
Capitol Building from the front
In case you weren’t sure…
The once silver-coated dome
Painted mineral border
A colorful safe
Former State Supreme Court
While in the museum, we ran into a young man in biking clothes, so of course, we started talking to him. Turns out he is riding his bike from Boston to San Francisco (and moving there) and we’re pretty sure he is the biker we passed on Highway 50 yesterday. His name is Colin, and his blog is called No Edge Lines. As I am writing this post, he is likely riding victoriously into San Francisco to the cheers of his friends and family. Way to go, Colin! We also met a Carson City resident and author named Don (check out his blog HERE), who told us about the city and some places to be sure to see and places we might want to eat. Since it was getting on noontime, we decided it was time for lunch, so we walked a few blocks down to the Union, a new brewpub that Charlotte at the Hampton had recommended to us. Good choice!
More about Nevada’s mining heritage in the Capitol museum
Original plan for the Capitol
The Lincoln Highway traverses Nevada, now known as The Loneliest Road in America
The Capitol after some of the trees have grown
On the Kit Carson trail
Colin and Kim in the museum
Don and Colin
We sat outside (under shade) and started off with a shared flight of beer samples – Peach Ale, Taco Truck Amber, Cherry Berliner Weisse, and a stout called Redheaded Stranger – and a most satisfying heirloom tomato salad. For lunch, Kim had a pepperoni and homemade sausage pizza, and I had a BLTA sandwich and a cup of onion lentil soup. Our server, Heather, was so friendly and nice – we enjoyed chatting with her and with the two other tables of women out on the patio. Since we were in no hurry, and since we were going to Scoups later for ice cream, we took time to enjoy another adult beverage. Kim had a peach ale and I had the special of the day, a lavender lemonade (with a bit of gin). One of the women next to us suggested that we go to the Nevada state museum, so when we were done, we headed that direction. Sadly, it was closed on Monday, so we followed the blue line on the street per Don’s recommendation and went to see the home of Orion Clemens, former Secretary of the Nevada Territory and brother of ne’er do well Samuel, who became famous as Mark Twain after moving in with Orion to serve as his secretary and to get his act together. Samuel went on to become a newspaper editor in nearby Virginia City, and well, you know the rest of the story! The home is now a law firm, and was across the street from a sweet little Episcopal church which had won an award for the best stop on the Wine Walk. My kind of church!
Part of the Union menu
Our beer flight
Heirloom tomato salad
My BLTA and soup
A Sassy Sister lunch
Lavender Lemonade and peach ale
Orion Clemmons home
St, Peter’s Episcopal Church in Carson City
We were getting pretty hot and it was getting late, so we walked on down to Scoups, which is famous for its ice cream and for its soups, hence the name. Kim splurged and had a brownie sundae with salted caramel ice cream and I just had a scoop of salted caramel with chocolate sauce. Oh boy, did that hit the spot. The ice cream parlor was right next to a splash pad where a mom was watching her two kids run through it in their bathing suits. I was still so hot that I made them (and anyone else watching) laugh as I ran through the cold water, fully clothed. Gosh, did that feel good! And my hair looked great afterwards…
Scoups Ice Cream
Running through the fountain
We walked back through the arcade on the capitol grounds and got ready to go to Lake Tahoe. Laura had warned us to be sure to gas up in Nevada, so we made that stop on our way out of town, and it wasn’t long before we saw the huge blue shimmering water between the trees and mountains. We also passed Colin going up the mountain, so we honked and waved at him. If you have never been to Tahoe, I highly recommend it! I had been here several times before, but it was a new experience for Kim, and it was new for me to have such a perfect place to land for a few days! Thanks, Laura and Don!
Our first glimpse of Lake Tahoe
Laura is one of my Facebook friends who I had gotten to know via pixels2Pages, and it just happened that she saw a post about our trip one night a couple of weeks ago. When she heard we were headed west, she asked if we would be coming to Tahoe, and since it was a big part of our plans, I answered affirmatively. She insisted that we stop by to meet her and talk to her about what to do, as she has been summering in Tahoe for her whole life! The Sassy Sisters never turn down an invitation like that! As it turned out, it took us so long to get there that we ended up being invited to stay with them in the most delightful cabin directly on the beach of the lake!! It could not have been a more perfect place to stay! Laura is a great cook and Don is a fab grill master, and we even got to do laundry! We slept like logs and woke up to the most spectacular sunrises over a lake that looked like glass. We had cocktails every afternoon at five and we delighted in the ducks and dogs that frolicked nearby. We met neighbors (lifelong friends of Laura and Don) and we had a blast sitting by the lake sharing stories and becoming ‘old’ friends.
View from the cabin
A few of the ducks
On the beach
I had read Colin’s blog to Kim as we were driving to Tahoe, and we knew his plan was to stay a day or so here, so we contacted him and invited him to join us for dinner. Laura suggested a place called Freshies that was not far from where Colin was staying, so we left Don watching football and took off to meet Colin. Freshies was awesome – fantastic healthy and fresh food as well as wine and beer – and Kim, Colin, and I all had tacos, and they were so tasty. Laura, Kim, and I peppered Colin with questions about his ride, his new job, his old job, his schooling, etc. and he was a good sport and filled us in. It was quite dark by the time dinner was over, so we offered Colin a ride home in Laura’s Santa Fe (just like Kim’s). He took the wheels off his bike and we crammed it in the back of the car and dropped him off at his motel.
Colin, taking the wheels off
Back at Laura and Don’s, we gave Don his stir fry (I’m sure he was about to gnaw on his arm by then!) and we just sat and chatted and looked at photos and blogged a bit until time for bed. What a fabulous day!