Friday, September 23, 2011

Virginia City 100

For some strange reason I volunteered for the early morning shift of the VC 100 last weekend. I got up way too early and drove down to south Reno. It was cold!

I got to vet scribe. Yay, that's my favorite! The ride was quite small with only 25 entries. It's been a tough year for most rides, plus VC is usually spaced out far enough from Tevis that people can do both - but this year Tevis will be just three weeks later than VC, so I'm sure they lost a few riders there. The first check is down on the edge of south Reno, just a couple of miles from The Fancy Mall. Nothing there looked interesting enough to take pictures of (plus I hadn't had enough coffee to care). After the last riders came through, I went over to the fancy mall, bought some fruit at the farmers' market, and hit Starbucks. Then up the bus plunge scenic mountainside road to Virginia City.

Basecamp is about a mile outside of VC, in the tiny (1000 people?) community of Gold Hill. There is a big foofaraw about a new open pit gold mine right down the road - most of the houses in Gold Hill had "stop the mine!" signs. I know that mining is pretty much the only thing keeping Nevada solvent right now, but I'd be pretty pissed if they were open pit mining a mile from MY cute historic house and MY well.

I think this is the mine in question.

Here's Six Mile Canyon Bus Plunge Road, which leads down to some little community between Dayton and Stagecoach. The pale stuff that looks like a sand dune is historic mine tailings (good for tourism), as opposed to current mine tailings (bad for tourism).

Virginia City.

Ancient Jeeps from Storey County fire/rescue.

Inside the Ice House, which used to be a real ice house. (Where did the ice come from? Little lakes in the Sierras?)



Pretty cool.

At one point there was a small brush fire down toward Carson City, but the crews got it contained fast and it fortunately wasn't on the trail. (I think that's the most hardcore Surface Factors pull possible - trail was on fire so we pulled everybody.)

People had come roaring in to the first vet check right on time with the historical averages, but they were very slow getting to the lunch check. I actually really enjoyed sitting around talking to the vets and volunteers. I've been forcing myself to volunteer at rides and be social and chitchat, and I'm finally at the point where I recognize enough people (and enough people recognize me) that I can just talk and listen without feeling agonizingly out of place. The vets actually spent a lot of time talking Theory of Vetting, which was fascinating to listen to - what they think the trail will sort out versus when they want to pull the horse to keep it from being hurt. Of course most of the talk was about the crash at the air race. So sad!

I eventually went home about 4, to a Very Angry Horse and a dog who didn't really notice I left. She is the queen of snoozing on her back on my bed. :)


  1. i wondered about ice in the old days too. those places you photographed are the essence of america - something tourists dream about seeing but rarely do.

    the smile one is assured to receive at the bar is something i deeply miss. the casual friendliness that many (most?) europeans despise as superficial - i'll take it.

    hanging out at vet checks is something i've never taken the time to do. volunteering, sadly, also. it is invaluable and you'll learn more than if you rode. i just can't stand to watch other people ride! it's torture when you don't have the option of riding yourself.

    one thing that always bothered me at vet checks: people who sponge in cold windy weather out of habit, and people who blanket in blazing humid temps out of habit. do they really need vets going around and telling them, "hey, think about the weather conditions right now."!!

  2. Bus Plunge? That ice house is super cool. I lOVE old buildings like that. Such history.

  3. Great day! Love those pics, you should take more!

  4. I love that second picture of the ice house, with the light coming through the high window - gorgeous!

    So, today will be spent with Very Angry Horse, will it? Poor neglected animals - my dogs are always quite miffed when I spend a day volunteering without them - especially when I come home smelling of many other dogs!

  5. BTW - did you see this?

    Someone is using your brand! :)


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