Ponderosa Day

In the 1960’s living rooms were filled with Hoss, Little Joe, Adam, and Ben – the Cartwrights. The show was Bonanza and the ranch they lived on was, of course, the Ponderosa. That show is still available on cable TV and it’s as good now as it was then. These 4 men owned and operated the ranch and were great roll models. The mythical ranch included the shores of Lake Tahoe almost all the way to Virginia City, Nevada.

Today was our day to explore the real life geography of the area described by the Ponderosa map above. We left Williams, CA and headed east on CA-20. The morning weather was comfortable – around 70 degrees. As the day progressed so did the temperature. It finally hit 86 late this afternoon.

CA-20 has a lot of road construction which in this case involved one lane shut downs complete with flagmen and pilot cars. Ugh! The good thing about CA-20 is that it runs along the shores of Lake Tahoe and through the tourist area of the town of the same name. We rolled into town looking for a gas station.

With the bikes full of gas and our snacks consumed we tried to get a glimpse of Lake Tahoe. A few miles down the road we found a convenient pull-off that offered a great view of the turquoise blue waters.

We stayed on the two lane CA-20 and skirted the lake over to the Nevada side. We were on NV-20 except for a short jaunt on I-80. We rode a few miles on the Lonliest Highway – US50. The day’s mileage was wrapped up with 8 miles on NV-342.

The day’s destination was Virginia City, NV. We walked up the street and I really mean up. The side streets leading to the main passageway through town are at a really steep angle. We ate dinner at the Red Dog Saloon. I was underwhelmed with the food but it was the only restaurant open at 5:00 PM. In fact all the businesses in this tourist town shut down at 5:00 PM. I didn’t understand that. I did manage to score a hat pin before the General Store closed.

I took some shots of the rapidly emptying street and buildings. The Washoe Club has been featured on the show Ghost Adventures multiple times and there are supposed to be several other haunted buildings and mines in Virginia City. Here are a few of the pictures I managed to take.

I had a difficult afternoon on the bike. I’m not sure if it was dehydration, the altitude, or the left-over effects of a medical issue I had years ago but my equilibrium was really messed up by the time we got to Virginia City. I needed some help with the bike and my friends were quick to respond. They made sure I was OK. Thanks Max and Mike. I’m hoping for better endings from here on out.

Thanks for riding along with us.

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