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Archive for nevada

Beehives in Nevada

By Linda Tancs

In the 1870s six kilns were constructed in the Ward Mining District of eastern Nevada to process rich silver ore that was discovered in the area. They were designed in the shape of beehives to efficiently burn pinyon pine and juniper into charcoal to support mining production. Now, this isn’t your typical beehive. These structures are 30-foot-tall, 27-foot-wide otherworldly ovens that could hold 35 cords of wood at a time and produce 1,750 bushels of charcoal. Once mining ended, they were used as a shelter for travelers and even as hideouts for stagecoach bandits. Today they’re a photogenic attraction at Ward Charcoal Ovens State Historic Park just south of Ely.

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To limit the spread of COVID-19, attractions may be closed or have partial closures. Please keep those affected by the virus in your thoughts and be sure to follow the safety practices advocated by the Centers for Disease Control. Stay safe, and be well.

America’s Loneliest Road

By Linda Tancs

U.S. Route 50 is a transcontinental highway in the United States, stretching from California to Maryland. The Nevada portion crosses the center of the state and was named “The Loneliest Road in America” by Life magazine in 1986. The natives beg to differ. After all, the Nevada route features stops along the Pony Express, a horseback mail service in operation from 1860 to 1861. And where else will you find the Shoe Tree, a giant cottonwood adorned with hundreds of shoes dangling from its branches. The area’s silver mining history is hard to miss, especially at Stokes Castle, a stone structure built in the late 19th century for one of the region’s most eccentric silver mine investors. You get the point. You’ll hardly need “survival skills” as the vaunted magazine put it. But in any event you can get a copy of the Official Highway 50 Survival Guide and get it stamped at the seven largest towns (Austin, Dayton, Eureka, Ely, Fallon, Fernley and Baker) along the way.

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To limit the spread of COVID-19, attractions may be closed or have partial closures. Please keep those affected by the virus in your thoughts and be sure to follow the safety practices advocated by the Centers for Disease Control. Stay safe, and be well.

Valley of Fire

By Linda Tancs

Nevada’s Valley of Fire State Park owes its name to fiery Aztec sandstone, which formed from shifting sand dunes during the Jurassic Period. Established in 1935, the park comprises over 40,000 acres dominated not only by its iconic outcrops but also by creosote bush, burro bush and brittlebush. Consider yourself lucky if you spot the desert tortoise, a rare species protected by state law. Temperatures are mild this time of year, making it a preferred time to visit.

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To limit the spread of COVID-19, attractions may be closed or have partial closures. Please keep those affected by the virus in your thoughts and be sure to follow the safety practices advocated by the Centers for Disease Control. Stay safe, and be well.

Iconic Events in Reno

By Linda Tancs

Despite its competition, Reno, Nevada, has held on to its famous moniker “The Biggest Little City in the World.” Located by the Sierra Nevadas and Lake Tahoe, it’s known for its casinos, nearby ski resorts and vintage cars, to name a few things. What you might not know is that the Reno Tahoe region boasts a series of events from May to October dubbed “The Iconics.” Those experiences include a rodeo, a Shakespeare Festival at Lake Tahoe, hot air ballooning, air races and a taste of Italy.

The Last School Standing

By Linda Tancs

Fourth Ward School in Virginia City, Nevada, is the last Second Empire-style school building standing in the United States. Named for the ward in which it is situated, the school opened in 1876 to alleviate overcrowding in the heart of the Comstock Mining District. The distinctive four-story school with a mansard roof was a combination grammar and high school, designed to accommodate 1,025 students. It remained in use until a new school was completed in 1936. The Fourth Ward School Museum showcases the town’s history as one of the largest mining camps west of Denver. The venue is open from May through October.

Pinball Wizardry

By Linda Tancs

The world’s largest pinball collection is housed at the Pinball Hall of Fame in Las Vegas. It’s a museum of sorts but quite interactive; fun is mandatory here. Close to The Strip, it’s run by a veteran arcade operator. You’ll find 152 machines: Gottlieb, Bally, Williams and other makes. Solid-state and electro-mechanical. It’s all there, including the 1975 Bally Wizard, featuring pinball score glass art work with Ann-Margret and Roger Daltrey of The Who’s “Tommy” musical.

Down on the Ranch

By Linda Tancs

Less than a half hour from the bright lights of downtown Las Vegas is Spring Mountain Ranch State Park, a peaceful haven sporting a historic ranch house that was once home to luminaries of a different kind. Through the corridors once roamed millionaire Howard Hughes, German actress Vera Krupp and Chester Lauck of the comedy team Lum & Abner. Open for tours, the house features Hughes’ bar as well as personal belongings of Krupp.

Water, Music and Light

By Linda Tancs

Themed water shows are nothing new, but few of them consistently make the world’s top 10 lists.  Of that class, the Fountains of Bellagio in Las Vegas rank supreme.  Over 1,000 water-emitting devices spout streams choreographed to light and musical routines ranging from classical to Broadway.  Running daily, it’s free, too.  Now you have something fabulous to see once you’ve donated all your money to the tables.

Tripping the Light Fantastic

By Linda Tancs

Neil Young sang that it’s better to burn out than to fade away.  When iconic neon signs in Las Vegas burn out, they don’t just fade away.  They find a home at the Neon Boneyard.  Home to more than 150 historic signs that once graced the likes of Caesars Palace, Binion’s Horseshoe, the Golden Nugget and the Stardust, each sign is accompanied by a history lesson about its design and development.  The outdoor museum is accessible only through daily one-hour guided tours, weather permitting.  Park for free at McWilliams Avenue.

The World’s Highest Wheel

By Linda Tancs

There are plenty of high rollers in Las Vegas, but one High Roller is getting all the attention: the 550-foot-tall observation wheel commissioned by Caesars Entertainment.  Debuting in March, the wheel promises unparalleled views of the Strip.  At 51 stories high, it bests the Singapore Flyer, the Star of Nanchang and the London Eye, making it the world’s highest observation wheel.  As usual, Vegas will not be outdone by anyone.

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