North to Alaska: The Land of Little Joe and Hoss


Northwest side of the Sierra Nevada mountains on a brisk morning.

Today we took the roundabout way to Reno, driving through Carson and Virginia Cities. We’re here because Matthew loves Bonanza. Apparently, there used to be the actual Ponderosa home from the series but it closed some time ago. I know, I know, Matthew would have loved to see it. So instead we had to make due with seeing the land where the Cartwright’s lived and grew up. What pretty country! I think we could easily live in Carson Valley. Still raising lots of cattle too, just like Matthew’s boys.


Bonanza country. The picture does not do justice to the steepness of the road.

Driving into Virginia City was quite the exciting 20 minutes. We came into the area Virginia City on the old back road which was windy and narrow; we soon learned just how steep and scary a grade 15% road is (steeper and longer than Lombard St in San Francisco!). The city probably does well as a tourist ‘Old West’ town but all around it are signs that it is still an active mining area. Some of the hillsides looked like giant gopher apartments with pockets of earth moved into piles sprinkled across the landscape. The stunning scenery surrounding us almost made up for the white-knuckled drive. While we wanted to explore the stores and sights more, a huge rain and hail storm poured down on us! Apparently, we had just witnessed one of the seven inches of rain that falls all year.

The highlight of our day was a reunion with my old high school friend, Steve, and his lovely bride Marla…. Alright, they’ve been married over 30 years.  After years working for airlines, Steve realized his true calling was to be a minister. He now serves as a chaplain for all of Reno in times of crisis. He also moonlights, doing both weddings and funerals. So if you need to be married or buried Steve’s your man!100_1172

He reminded me that the last time we visited we were the same age as my kids…

Tomorrow: Sacramento, and the I-5.


2 thoughts on “North to Alaska: The Land of Little Joe and Hoss

  1. Looks fabulous and cool. Is too hot here, but we managed to go up to Camp Verde for a night to get away for our Anniversary. Got to see Karl, Sarah and the kids also. All is fine at home. We assume Bob arrived in Seattle OK.

  2. Hi all Keep the traveling notes coming so I know what I am missing!!!! Safe travels and camping everyday and night. Take care God be with you all as you go on. Love ya Nancy

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