Monday, June 25, 2012
Monday found Mary back at work, Jesse back up at the Lake for his own job and Flash the dog home, alone, getting used to all the new furniture. I know he spent much of his day testing each couch, chair and mattress for softness. Later in this travel saga Flash will take you on a walk around his new home. For now, though, join Jeff and I as we take to the road for a trip across Jack's Valley, between Carson City and Genoa Nevada.
This is where I want to live if I move to Nevada.
Named after an obscure Mormon pioneer who settled here just long enough to get his name attached, Jack's Valley is a beautiful, place with a slow, twelve mile, two-lane road that leads from Carson City to Genoa. It is currently a place of ranches dotted with small ponds filled with the water that flows not too far below the surface.
Each of these ranches used to butt up against the base of the Sierra Mountains, specifically the mountains that serve as the dam for Lake Tahoe whose uppermost level is a couple thousand feet above. Today, though, much of the land on the foothills side of Jack's Valley Road is in the hands of developers who are slowly selling million-dollar (plus) homes to whomever will buy them. The land bust that hit most of the United States and the world hit Nevada extremely hard. While this is bad for investors, it is good for nature lovers and people like me who like to see the wilder side of creation. Of course, you probably noticed that early in this post I said that I wanted to live there. If I had a million dollars to spend, I would probably buy one of those homes.
Where I really want to live, though is right downtown in the village of Genoa.
Genoa is the oldest non-native settlement in Nevada. It began with Mormon Station, whose original trading post was built in 1851. The Nevada State Parks web site has a video depicting the rebuilt Mormon Station. It is a small park in the middle of the quaint village.
Starting in 1848, during the California goldrush, people flocked to California across the California Trail. The final challenge of their journey was crossing the Sierra Mountains. The Sierras are rough, steep high mountains. Travelers needed to stock up on supplies before crossing the mountains. The Carson Valley of which includes Jack's Valley, was and is a fertile valley with a good supply of water. It was a perfect place to rest before crossing into California. At the time this was Utah Territory under the leadership of Governor, Brigham Young Most of the first settlers were members of the Latter Day Saints (Mormons). BrighamYoung appointed a judge to govern the area. He changed the name to Genoa. Most of the Mormon settlers left in 1857 when they were called back to Salt Lake City to defend it against the United States Army.
The town was probably named after Christopher Columbus' birth place, Genoa, Italy. In Nevada, we were told, the accent is placed on the first syllable. Genoa, Nevada is built against the base of a Sierra Mountain though it doesn't climb too high. The few streets are unpaved other than the main crossroad. Some of the homes are very old but well kept. Perhaps the best part of town for us is the Genoa Bar and Saloon, the oldest drinking establishment in Nevada. Genoa Bar and Saloon is the red brick building with white pillars in the photo, below. Luckily for you, it has its own web site, Click Here for anyone who wants to learn more. Any nice day (and there are many of them in this part of Nevada) finds motorcycles parked out front for it is an important stop on any bike trip. One of my favorite parts about the bar - other than its own Pale Ale offering - is the fact that it is one of the few places that make my house look clean. I am pretty sure that the place has never been dusted above knee level. The web site says that Raquel Welch's bra hangs from the ceiling but I have never noticed it - probably due to the dust. That is part of the charm that is the Genoa Bar and Saloon.
My current dream home is just around the corner from the bar.
Here is The Pink House. It has a lovely side yard that regularly runs through my imagination as the main character in garden ideas. Yes, I know it is a close contest between quaint and tacky with this home, but It has that wonderful porch, lovely wood inside and calls my name. While I would never choose to have a pink-painted house, it would have to stay that way because it was painted pink soon after it was built in 1856 by John Reese who established Mormon Station. It is currently priced at $575.00. that is wa-a-a-ay over my capabilities, being that I have made about $19.00 in 2012 from my writing. Still. . . just think of what I could write from that porch . . .
We will be back to Genoa.
To read more on the early settlement of Genoa and the rest of Nevada choose a book from my store by clicking on the tab at the top of this page.