Sunday, February 7, 2016

Taking A Sunday Drive #14

With all the silver jewelry I have purchased over the years - much of it as my 'souvenirs' from vacations - Nevada, The Silver State, could be *my* state.  Another nickname for Nevada is The Battle Born State because it became a state during the Civil War.
I didn't know about the Battle Born nickname before, but we did stop one night in Battle Mountain, NV which had the nickname, Armpit of America! And no, no battles were fought there.

You know what they say about the Grand Canyon, that everyone should see it at least once? Well, I had been told the same thing about Las Vegas even though I had absolutely no desire whatsoever to visit Sin City.
We were on our way home from visiting Kari & Ken in Portland when we ran into a late spring snowstorm in Idaho. We both agreed we hadn't taken that vacation to be back in snow. I looked at the map, said "You know, we could head south to Las Vegas" and that's all it took.

We stayed a couple of nights, walked the strip, ate at fabulous buffets, even did a bit of gambling (slots).
This is Bud outside The Luxor Hotel & Casino. We also visited the Mandalay Bay Aquarium.

And, of course, the original site of The Flamingo because of Bud's interest in the whole Bugsy Siegal saga. Bud wanted to see the memorial to Bugsy and I found the whole garden area very attractive and peaceful.

On the way home from Mark and Sarah's wedding in California's wine region in 2006 we decided to see some of Utah's National Parks. That meant driving through Nevada.

Instead of taking the Interstate, we decided to take The Loneliest Road - U.S. Route 50 - which crosses the central portion of Nevada. There were some pretty desolate areas of desert, but there were also some mountain passes and pine forests. This photo is of Sand Mountain Recreation Area.

We stopped to see the petroglyphs at Grimes Point just outside Fallon. From the time I first learned about petroglyphs as a young student, I always wanted to see some for myself. Every chance I get we stop for petroglyphs.

I made Bud pose for a photo op, too. He is saying, "See, here is a petroglyph which means....." (Censored!)

One of the most unusual (to me) sites along The Loneliest Road was this tree full of shoes. It was really out in the middle of nowhere. The how or why of shoe trees is a mystery. (We have seen one other, in Idaho, I think, on another trip.) This one is believed to be the largest and to have begun in the 1980's. According to legend it happened when a young couple was on their way to get married in Reno. Supposedly the bride-to-be was getting cold feet, no pun intended, so the young man tied her shoes together and threw them up in the tree so she couldn't escape. It is good we saw this sight when we did as four years later the tree was cut down.

There are many small towns along Highway 50 which began as boom towns when silver was discovered nearby. The Loneliest Road was also part of the Pony Express Route during its 1860-61 existence.
We did not have our 'passports' stamped to show that we had survived crossing Nevada on The Loneliest Road, but we were glad we did it and just as glad to get on into Utah to see some of its spectacular scenery.

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