Day 3

Tonopah  + Virginia City 

7:30 am breakfast The Pittman Café in Mizpah Hotel
One of the two hotel restaurants. Airy comfortable space set with white tablecloths serving a complete breakfast. Good wait-staff, speedy service.

8:30 am check out, leave for Virginia City
Early start as we have a distance to travel. Weather has cleared making for beautiful vistas.

noon arrive and Trolley Tour Virginia City
We locate the center of town where the tour begins. Costumed re-enactors can be seen all over town. This comfortable vintage Trolley Tour of this historic town slowly makes it’s way through the 3 main streets as the driver/tour guide tells stories of the place. We pass by abandoned mines, old cemeteries in the distance, two significant churches, fabulous views looking 1 mile into the distance, school, Opera House, Court House, as well as shops, watering holes and eateries. Great quick overview of the town and its mining history.

1 pm Ponderosa Mine tour + explore Virginia City
Entering the Ponderosa Bar on C Street, past patrons dressed in Old West attire, the Mine entrance can be seen. A group waits to enter after current visitors come out. We put on hard hats, check the mine map and begin our journey into the underground. Our guide warns of low ceilings and slippery conditions, and leads the way through dimly lit, narrow tunnels. Every so often we pause as he points out building features of the mine, fills our heads with mining lore, and displays tools of the trade. When he shuts off the dim light and lights a candle, such as the one miners work by, it is very clear that mining was dangerous hard work.

2 pm behind the scenes visit historic V&T Railroad
This time of year V&T trains are closed for the season but work in the train yard continues. Off-season is used to prepare, restore, rebuild and repair for the running season. Back lot has a variety of trains stored – some currently being restored, other waiting their turn. Maintainence facility is crammed with tools and parts. There is an engine currently being rebuilt. Working from old plans the crew here can make every part needed to keep these old trains running. Kudos for their great work. We walk carefully through the snowfall to reach a once private set of cars, step up and climb inside. These private cars were the “private Jets” of the day for wealthy folks who travelled for pleasure. One car for observing, games, eating. Another for sleeping, cooking and personal care. There are curtains, fine inlay on the woodwork, plus other chic details including a big teddy bear to sleep with!

3 pm check-in Silver Queen Hotel
Great location – right in the middle of town and all the action. Bar downstairs, hotel on 2nd and 3rd floors. Vintage furniture and décor, small but cozy room.

3:30 pm more touring + catch Comstock Cowboys at Bucket of Blood Saloon
We stroll through town, looking at wooden buildings, peeking in shops, observing a miner and his donkey, soldiers, gunslingers – all re-enactors. Spot tongue-in-cheek sandwich board – “soup of the day, WHISKEY”- outside a local café. Stop at Bucket of Blood to hear reknowned Comstock Cowboys. Their music – blending new and old, tells of life, death, horses and cowboys – the way things were and the way things should be a – delivered from the heart. Videos of past show on u-tube for your pleasure. Record label: Azteck

6 pm dinner The Cider Factory
Nestled within Edith Palmer’s Country Inn, perfect for quiet meal, drinks and conversation away from C Street hustle and bustle. Cozy, elegant dining room (complete with fireplace and rustic charm). Our Chicken Marsala is a large portion, great to share. Lunch on the outdoor patio weather permits.

7:30 pm Bats in the Belfry Tour
Meet with others for Guided Ghost Tours of Virginia City, which is pregnant with potential as so much happened here. Many ghosts inhabit the town…we are told by our Ghost Guide. In the darkness, we walk the streets together, stopping where notorious events occurred – and ghosts hung out. EMF meters are given to 5 of our group. The meters light up (red) when a ghost is near AND willing to participate with us. The spirits have favorites so not all devices respond simultaneously. To verify spirits are nearby, our guide asks them to flash signal on the meters – 2 x, slow or fast flutter, etc. Indoors we investigate haunted stairwells, hallways, and a mirror which in photographs reveals a ghostly image reflected. Believe it or not, ’tis fun.

9 pm and finally we see Elvis in The Delta Saloon
Actually 2 Elvi! Married today – in the wedding chapel back of the Delta Saloon – a couple is now celebrating. We are invited to enjoy the entertainment – a great female singer and two Elvi. Under the Silver Queen’s portrait a performance venue is set up and people dance to the music. Both Elvi’ are good imitators, but the male is our favorite. Certainly a unique wedding celebration.

overnight Silver Queen Hotel
One of the oldest hotels in the city, the Silver Queen has authentic deep character. Third floor is a haunted area but we sleep well on the second floor. Boo!


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