West by Southwest, 2009 travel blog

The old courthouse is a museum now, but we didn't go in.

A lot of time was spent making the Mormon Station State Park...


The "museum" at the state park.

A great "watering hole".


Instead of staying at home today as a rest day between hikes, we decided to go for a drive to check out the neighborhood. Quite to our surprise, we found a Target just 2 blocks from the campground. That is good to know. I like Target better than Wal-Mart.

As we left the city limits of Carson City, we drove highway 207 which skirts the base of the Carson Range. We found rather expensive gated communities interspersed with cattle ranches. With the Carson River running through the area and the spring snow melt, a stretch of lush green bordered the brown desert beyond.

We parked the truck and got out to walk around in the tiny community of Genoa. Genoa claims to be Nevada’s first settlement. There seems to be some controversy over which came first--Genoa or Dayton. There are two main attractions in Genoa. First, is the Mormon Station State Park. In 1850 a couple of Mormon guys came from Salt Lake City to set up a trading post in Genoa which was a stopping point for those seeking gold in California. The community grew from that humble beginning. Today, Genoa has about 300 residents and a few small businesses. Most of the “town” consists of the park which is a very well maintained green space about two blocks long and a block wide with picnic tables, restrooms, and a small “museum” of wagons, farm tools, and other relics from the mid-1800s.

Our second stop in Genoa was at the Genoa Bar--Nevada’s Oldest Thirst Parlor. What a place! It was mid-morning when we stopped in--the only patrons at the time. We asked for coffee and the bartender was happy to make a pot for us. As we bellied up to the bar and sipped our brew, several others found their way to this watering hole. (as it turned out, we were the only ones drinking coffee.) The furnishings and wall decorations had obviously been there for years. One of the gentlemen sharing the bar with us said he had been coming there for 20 years. Back in that day, he claimed, even the cobwebs were original. There were plenty of cobwebs and dust there today, but our new friend assured us these were new within the last 20 years. I wish I had read the brochure while I was there instead of waiting until I got home. I would have known that Raquel Welch’s bra was hanging on the antler’s. However, even the brochure says that it is so dusty you can’t hardly tell what it is.

From Genoa, we made a big loop including the towns of Minden and Gardnerville. We didn’t stop in Gardnerville, but by the time we got to Minden, we were hungry so found the city park for our picnic lunch. After lunch we walked a couple blocks in all directions to check out the old town. Minden was established in the early 1900s and it seems to have been a small community with a warehouse, mill, bank, merchantile, and not much more.

We enjoyed our little tour of the area. Our next city to check out will be Sacramento.

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