On 2010 Thanksgiving, we decided to make a circle around western Nevada. We had three vehicles in the group: Oleg & Vera in Isuzu Axiom, Sergey & his son Iliya in MB G500, and Kostya & Galya in Mitsu Montero.


Sergey made his own set of pictures; the best of them are here: Sergey's pictures

First day, we were driving from Walnut Creek, CA, to Virginia City, NV. The first stop was at Eagles Lakes exit, freeway 80.

The temperature in the mountains was 6 degree F. When we shot this picture of the on-board computer, it was 8 degree F:

We stopped in Reno for lunch and to get some gas. A snowy winter town is an unusual experience for us Californians.

Our first night destination was the SIlver Queen hotel in Virginia City. This is an good antuqie hotel.

The town of Virginia City offers great views. I've been to this town many times, and still I enjoy making the pictures.

Old Washoe Club is one of the most haunted houses in the US. Besides, it has a museum and a bar. The weather was chilly, and we had to use the bar extensively to warm up. So we spend a good deal of time that day in the club.

Before us, the club was visited by General Sherman, General Grant, Tomas A. Edison, Mark Twain and other prominent people. So, we were in good company.

This is the haunted stairs, the longest unsupported stairs of this kind in the US:

This are the internals of the museum in the club:

The bar is as antique as everything else around:

The next day we planned to drive to town Hawthorne, near Walker lake. This is our second day road map:

Our first stop was in Fort Churchill state park. This park is dedicated to the 19th-century fort that maintained the fragile piece in the local towns.

Our next destination was the eastern shore of the Walker Lake. We found a remove canyon to the east of the lake. We set a picnic there, and we enjoyed the shooting and scenery.

Kostya is trying to concentrate and to catch a Wi-Fi network in the canyon.


By the night, we reached Hawthorne. We stayed in El Capitan - a hospitable hotel & casino complex.

On the third day, our plan was to cross the local mountains into California. We were going to pass through Aurora and Bodie ghost towns. The weather in the morning was great, and we were very optimistic about our plan.

Morning view from Hawthorne toward the mountains:

When we reached the first mountain pass, the road was clean, and the weather was still good. We stopped for the pictures.

When approaching the ghost town of Aurora, we encountered this industrial marvel of 19th century:

This year, the gold prices are up, and the mines around Aurora have been reopened. The road through the center was blocked by the security post. We had to make a detour through the town cemetery.

Then we left Aurora and went toward Bodie. The winter storm was coming straight toward us.

We passed the last remaining building in ghost town Del Monte and we were heading in the canyon to the Nevada-California border.

The border post was abandoned, and the border line was very rutty. The storm was approaching.

The Bodie was empty. No usual tourists, no rangers, no excursions. The town was closed due to the bad weather.

After Bodie, we went over secondary Masonic road to Bridgeport. Unfortunately, the storm was getting stronger and stronger, and eventually we stopped when the fresh snow reached our knees and the vehicles could not move uphill. There were still many miles to Bridgeport, and the only our chance not to spend winter in the mountains was to backtrack our way while the snow was not very deep. We turned around and made the whole way back to Hawthorne. In places, our traces were already covered by deep snow. We were too busy to make the pictures.
Kostya made a movie about the trip, in Russian; in the end you can see how we failed to drive through and we had to make a U-turn: The Trip Movie
This is the map of our third-day adventure: