Thursday, August 28, 2014

Early Morning Find and Re-Carve

On Wednesday I had time in the morning to pull up Box Radar and to my delight discovered we were staying 3 minutes from a Letterbox.  I hustled and got myself together and zipped over to nab the Letterbox before everyone was ready to leave for the day.  I found "Kisses for Hagar" at the Cedar Glen Lodge.  The gal at the front desk was so cute.  She knew about the box which was hidden with the Hershey Kisses they use from smores.  She said they trust everyone on staff with money but she does not trust anyone with the chocolate kisses.  I stamped in and was back to the cottages before anyone even noticed I was missing. 

I also had some time this morning to work on a re-carve that I have needed to complete for quite some time.  I do not enjoy re-carves because I have that "been there - done that" mentality.  I had to hunker down on this one as this stamp is # 12 in my Wizard of Oz Box of the Month collection.  It is called There's No Place Like Home.  The Box of the Month had enjoyed 11 months and two weeks in the wilds before a Muggle took the box (complete with leather logbook and the last stamp of the series).  Oh, the horror of having that happen after an entire year.

I need this stamp for a mini meet next Friday so I was forced to re-carve the image.  Usually when I re-carve the results are quite better than my first attempt.  In this case I think that my original image may have been a bit better than it's replacement (the old image and the new stamp are above).  Either way I am just thankful that I have it ready to roll so the pressure is off for me to get it done.  I also need to mail it off to a couple of places as they never received it due to the theft of the box.  Now I just need to make a logbook when we return home. Whew!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Bucket of Blood Saloon and Virginia City Sightseeing

The Bucket of Blood  has been serving 'em up since 1876. The building was constructed after the Great Fire of 1875 and sits on the remnants of Boston Saloon and is marked as a National Landmark for this.

Our first stop in town was at the Bucket of Blood Saloon.  We ordered lunch from the Bonanza Cafe and they delivered it to us at the bar.  The saloon is such a fun place to visit with lots of energy and interesting local characters.

Live ragtime and old west saloon music provided by the one and only Squeek Steele.  In 1988 Squeek played her way into the Guinness Book of World Records by performing on the piano one thousand eight hundred and fifty-two (1852) songs from memory in a three week period.  How could we not support this darling of a lady?  We purchased three of her CD's and she was so delighted!

New friends from the Bucket of Blood.  Jerry Jones on my left is a Comstock descendant, author and enthusiast.  He has written several old west novels which can be found on his website at:
Great Basin Brewing Company was at the local street fair.  We discovered that they have a restaurant right by our hotel.
Make a new feathered friend at the street fair.  He is a very famous owl from the Harry Potter movies among others.  We viewed his portfolio and there are pictures of him with just about every celebrity you can think of.  But he whispered to me that I am his favorite.  Check out his amazing eyes!  He only weighs about 5lbs and was so soft to the touch.

Hot Dog stand at the street fair. How cute is that!

Comstock History Center

The history center and museum displays one of the Virginia & Truckee Railroad's original steam locomotives, #18 Dayton. 

Saint Mary's in the Mountains - Catholic Church, Museum and Gift Shop.  Virginia City is home to a number of beautiful churches reflective of the late 19th century culture. One such church is St. Mary in the Mountains Catholic Church, arguably the most prominent historical structure and institution in Virginia City. St. Mary’s in the Mountains Catholic Church, Nevada’s oldest Catholic Church, is open to welcome visitors every day. Having been preserved during and since the Great Fire of 1875, this is the “Mother of all Catholic churches in Nevada.” It was built by the 6’4” “Paddy” Manogue, who ministered to the hard-working Irish-Catholic miners for almost 20 years and then became the first Bishop of Sacramento, California.

Built in the 1880s, Piper’s Opera House attracted famous stars from Europe and the United States and is listed by the League of Historic Theaters. One of the most significant vintage theaters on the West Coast, this stage once welcomed President Grant, Buffalo Bill, Al Jolson and Mark Twain. Today’s guests at Piper’s Opera House can keep their eye out for the ghosts who are said to attend many of the performances. Piper’s Opera House has recently undergone extensive restoration.

Silver State National Peace Officers Museum.  This museum is dedicated to sharing the rich history of law enforcement nationwide. Located in the Storey County Courthouse 1876 jail, the museum boasts the Nevada Peace Officers Memorial Room, a children's interactive room and an old time law enforcement themed photo studio.

Red's is the oldest operating candy factory and mercantile in Nevada, and continues to make a wide variety of fudges, brittles, chocolates and toffees, caramel apples, turtles and specialty hard candies daily.

Quick Letterbox find at Gold Hill

An amazing bracelet from Mr. Dally that we picked out at the Jewelry House on C Street.  The stone is from the White Buffalo Mine which recently closed.

Dinner at Great Basin Brewing Company

We had such a great day visiting Virginia City.  We had not been there in over 10 years.  We made sure to visit a few favorites but also visited places we had never stopped in before.  You could go back again and again to sample different parts of history and honestly you need more than one day to experience Virginia City.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Virginia City Silver Terrace Cemetery Letterboxing

I am afraid that I am a bit of a Historic Cemetery junkie.  It may sound creepy to some but the historic stones and rusted iron work are amazingly beautiful and unique.  The engravings on the stones are often very different from the ones that are produced today.  I am hard pressed to pass up a visit to a historic cemetery and often seek them out when we travel.  Nothing like asking the visitors center where the cemetery is.  Almost without fail I find historic cemeteries to be ghost towns (no pun intended) as they are often desolate and serene.  The cemetery in Virginia City seems to be an exception with a few tourists milling around while we were there.

Anthony knows my affinity for cemeteries and made a special point to take us to Virginia City with our first stop at the Silver Terrace Cemetery.  This is actually a collection of cemeteries dating back to 1867.  This cemetery and the stone work is a feast for the senses.  Although there is no one famous in the cemetery it is full of average working people like miners, shop owners and the hard working individuals and immigrants.  Many of the headstones indicate a persons country and town of origin. 

I really enjoyed strolling through the cemetery and took lots and lots of pictures of the headstones and some of the iron work.  Anthony was busy working the Letterboxing Clues as we were on the hunt for two of the boxes that have been planted there.  We were successful in locating both the Flowers From My Garden:  Strawberry Blossom and Flowers From My Garden:  Lilly of the Valley Letterboxes.

I noted on their information flyer that they are open for walks Halloween Evening for $5.00 per person and they also do Living Tour-Fun Time Theater and even weddings.  It had never occurred to me to book a wedding in a cemetery.  You must obtain a special permit and plan quite a bit in advance but for those who want a very unique wedding this might just be the spot for you. 

Comstock Cemetery:

Leaving Your Home State to Find a Home State Boxers LetterBox

The second box we found on the trail was carved and planted by Bird on a Wire (one of my home town girls).  I had to laugh that we drove all the way to Nevada just to find one of her boxes as she does not have many local plants.  As always Ginger is a very accomplished carver and her carving did not disappoint.  The box is located off of the Geiger Grade.

The Geiger Grade is a twisting mountain road built in 1862 to haul silver from the Comstock Lode. The road gets its name from Davison M. Geiger, a local physician who financed its construction. Daredevils with four-wheel-drive vehicles still take the old grade. But most drivers (like us) stick to the newer Geiger Grade (built in 1936), Highway 341.

Cutting through the same scenic area, it begins in the valley south of Reno off Highway 395 and winds its way through a rocky landscape dotted with junipers. At the 4.6-mile point there's a turnout with spectacular views of the Sierra and a plaque paying tribute to Dr. Geiger. Down toward the valley, you'll see the old, snaking, unpaved route. The new road curls over the mountains and south into historic Virginia City.

There was no information about the ruins at the turnout but the views were wonderful and the ruins were interesting to walk around and photograph.  It appears that people like to party at this turnout as there is lots of broken glass and some graffiti here too. 

Thank you Birds on a Wire for an amazing Letterbox and plant!

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