Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Crush on Virginia City | Nevada Photographer Skye Snyder

Sugarloaf Mountain is center stage in the always present easterly view from Main Street.
Last week we were photographing and scouting out a nearby town called Virginia City, population 1200. I've been there countless times, mostly to take visiting friends to experience this old mining town turned tourist attraction. Usually, we grab one of the "World's Best Bloody Mary's" or an ice-cream from the ever-popular fudge shop and wait for your friends to see the sites. This time was our anniversary so we opted to a 'staycation' in Virginia City and what a difference a mindset makes.

This was one of our favorite getaways we have ever had together. We've traveled a lot around the west and rather unexpectedly this little overnighter topped the charts. Why was it so different than the other dozens of daytrips spent here? The biggest reason, we peeled back the tourist veneer and dove into the town's rich history and asked locals lots of questions. We felt befriended and welcomed by her people....some of which--were ghosts.

Here's a 15 second Instagram clip (playing with the new IG video feature) of some of the historic sites: the gorgeous Fourth Ward School, St. Mary's in the Mountains Church, the V and T Railroad, Bucket of Blood Saloon.

Meet Deke, also known as, Eugene Blair, the Wells Fargo shotgun messenger of the late 1800s. Deke sat with us at the Red Dog Saloon and shared with us the most fabulous stories of train robberies, acts of bravery, brothels, and local legends. 
Pearce -  one of the "legends"...He's the real deal.
We continued our historic walk to the Delta Saloon to learn about the famous Suicide Table. We got our token newspaper printed (our children believed we were important enough to make the headlines in the real VC newspaper :) Speaking of children, I do remember coming here as a child and getting one of the newspapers made. I'll have to raid my parents' closets to find that piece of memorabilia. Standing there getting it printed jetted me back to being a child in my wild wild west imagination. 

Ashort railroad trip through the Comstock to Gold Hill. 

Onto our hotel--the famously haunted Gold Hill Hotel. If you're into the paranormal, you may have seen this place and the Yellow Jacket Mine featured on Ghost Adventures. Unfortunately, I was supposed to photograph the hotel in the morning but slept too late...will be doing that next week and add some better photographs at a later date. This is the attached restaurant, Crown Point. The old portion you can see in this photo is the original hotel...those were our room's windows. Best room ever!

Let's talk about food. WOW! If you are visiting the area. Spend a day in VC, stay at the Gold Hill Hotel-preferrably rooms #4 of #5 (the rooms of the resident ghosts), and eat at the Crown Point Restaurant. 

An impressive wine list to match the daily specials of boar, chilean sea bass, antelope, and rabbit. We sat in the room adjacent to the bar, not in the actual dining room. We preferred the antique furnishings and wood beamed ceilings of this cozy room. Guests come up and down the stairs to and from their rooms while others mingle and enjoy the sun setting on the wildflower patio just outside the door. 
After dinner we got to enjoy the company of travelers, locals, and the fabulous service of the food and bar staff. Without a doubt, two thumbs up for the Crown Point Restaurant.

Still waiting to hear about the ghosts? Drawn to the cryptic creeks and slamming door from the instavideo above? 
"I've seen a ghost" face. 
The historic and haunted Yellow Jacket Mine
that shares the same lot as the Gold Hill Hotel.
Read all about it on this great blog.
We never saw a ghost. But we may have felt one as in .....shaking the bed. I'm not a skeptic, however I tend to look for explanations. Around 9:30am, I was awake in bed and thought I heard the neighbors in the room next door walking around. I also thought that room was empty with no guests. Shortly thereafter, the bed started to really move. Like someone was pushing it...shaking it. Not a violent shake but definitely moving it. This happened repeatedly over the next 5 minutes. I woke up Big Daddy.{poke poke} I whispered, "The bed is moving." We sat there in silence. Shake-Shake-Shake. I thought we were perhaps feeling "footsteps" from people in the hotel walking on the old floors which in turn was shaking our bed. The few footsteps were heard in the hotel did not coincide with the movement of the bed.  I asked BD to walk around the room to test my theory. You could feel his footsteps causing the bed/floor to jiggle, but not like what we were feeling before. Did we have an encounter? I don't know but the bed shook....repeatedly over an hour.
Been to Virginia City? We'd love to hear what your favorites sites are to visit in the comments below. Ever had a ghost encounter? Do tell. 

Selfie on the timer from the gorgeous patio of the Crown Point/Gold Hill Hotel

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