Summer offers theme trains, scavenger trips


The Comstock History Center Museum’s A Brushwork Roundup: Western Paintings and Drawings by Craig Sheppard will run through Sept. 12.

A native of southwestern Oklahoma and former bronco rider in Madison Square Garden, Sheppard was a prime mover in Northern Nevada’s cultural community in the years following World War II. He arrived at the University of Nevada in 1947 with the savvy of a seasoned cowboy and the experience necessary to teach most courses in the art department he had been charged with rebuilding.

Co-curators Jim McCormick and Fred Reid have designed an exhibition that focuses on Sheppard’s abiding fascination with horses. The exhibit will resonate with those who venture beyond urban limits and encounter still existent ranches, cowboys, and wild horses on Nevada’s rangeland

The museum is located at 20 N. E Street in Virginia City, two blocks downhill from the Bucket of Blood Saloon. Admission is free and the museum is open on Thursdays and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.


The Virginia & Truckee Railroad will be steaming through summer with additional theme trains: Toast of the Canyon and “Run to the Roundhouse Nellie” murder mystery and barbecue.

The Toast of the Canyon tours, a date night with a backdrop of Northern Nevada scenery, runs the last Saturday of each month. Passengers travel 45-minutes south of the Carson City Depot into the Carson River Canyon. The Saturday afternoon train continues south of the Carson City Depot into a quiet area that features spectacular high desert scenery paired with appetizers and a glass of wine.

How about a barbecue to go with high stakes Wild West melodrama? There’s three chances to ride “Run to the Roundhouse Nellie” Saturday murder mystery trains — Aug 1, 22, and Sept. 12. Hearty western barbecue chicken and tri-tip dinner with side dishes, drinks and dessert at the depot. Then climb aboard the V&T for nonstop theater melodrama featuring a good-hearted rancher, a damsel in distress, and a villainous swindler with an epic conclusion that ends where else ... on the railroad tracks, of course.

Regularly scheduled trains depart Carson City for Virginia City Saturdays and Sundays at 10 a.m. Friday steam trains run through Aug. 28, departing Carson City at 10 a.m. Round trip steam train tickets are $52 for adults, $32 for children ages 3 to 16 (toddlers and infants are free) and $48 for seniors 65 and older. Tickets are available online at or 877-724-5007.


“Never Say Goodbye” written by Fernley author Mary Jean Kelso is the third in the Lynne Garrett series set in many Northern Nevada’s historic sites.

“Goodbye is Forever” and “No Time for Goodbye” preceded the latest release.

The latest edition takes the readers from the Reno and Carson City area to locations around Winnemucca and Elko where the character also explores Midas and Tuscarora.

During July Kelso’s writing is featured at There is a drawing for a free copy of “Never Say Goodbye” through the comments section at the end of the article.

Kelso, who writes for children, tweens, young adults and adults, is published in many formats including e-books, hardbacks, paperbacks, audio and braille editions. Her topics are as diverse as her market. She, primarily, writes fiction but has written and published, along with her daughter, Wendy Whiteman, a genealogy book on her ancestors including her second great-grandfather who was killed defending the Alamo.

The Lynne Garrett novels are available from the publisher ( online, in stores and through her website Kelso also attends author signings throughout Northern Nevada as well as at the Alamo Gift Shop in San Antonio, Texas, in March.


Let the exploring begin! Nevada Magazine’s inaugural Silver State Scavenger Hunt begins today, giving adventurers a chance to discover some of the most exciting destinations in Nevada.

Nevada Magazine has split the state into two zones — Northern and Southern — and chose 14 notable places in each. Participants simply pick a zone, visit 10 of the 14 locations in that zone, snap a photo of themselves holding the MAY/JUNE 2015 issue of Nevada Magazine at each location, and email all 10 photos to The MAY/JUNE 2015 issue of Nevada Magazine contains the official list of destinations that must be visited.

By submitting all 10 photos, participants will be entered to win one of two Land Rover Wheels Events. The adventure puts a lucky winner from each zone in the driver’s seat of a Land Rover vehicle with the chance to navigate some of Nevada’s backcountry. Trained technicians will be on hand to assist drivers and breakfast and lunch will be catered.

Nevada Magazine has also created a special line of Silver State Scavenger Hunt apparel to accompany explorers on their Nevada journeys. Visit to check out the gear that fits your adventure best.

Participants can share their adventures on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram by using #nvmaghunt to document their travels.

The scavenger hunt officially closes July 31 at 5 p.m. Visit for complete rules.


Join the Western Nevada Musical Theatre Company in auditions for the Broadway blockbuster, Mary Poppins. Tryouts for the November production are slated for early August.

Those interested are advised to contact Stephanie Arrigotti, director and producer, at to learn the date, time, location and complete information for auditions.

Mary Poppins performances are scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Nov. 6-7, 13-14 and 20-21 and 2 p.m. on Nov. 8, 15 and 21-22.


A National Geographic Museum exhibition, Monster Fish: In Search of the Last River Giants, features the work of the University of Nevada, Reno’s research professor and host of the television show Monster Fish, Zeb Hogan. It opens March 26 at National Geographic’s Washington D.C. headquarters and runs through Oct. 12.

For more information about Zeb visit and for more information on the exhibition visit

“This fascinating exhibition is a trip around the world with one of Nat Geo’s favorite explorers in search of bizarre and extraordinary species of freshwater fish,” said National Geographic’s vice president of Exhibitions, Kathryn Keane. “Zeb Hogan shows us that despite their size, these fish are an increasingly fragile link in some of the most important freshwater ecosystems on Earth.”

Hogan is a National Geographic Fellow and faculty member of the University’s biology department in the College of Science. He travels the globe finding, studying and protecting the world’s largest freshwater fish - megafish like six-foot trout in Mongolia, rare spear-tooth freshwater sharks, huge wolf fish and electric eels or 14-foot-long stingrays in Thailand.

He chronicles his travels on the Nat Geo WILD television show Monster Fish.

Nearly 20 of the fish he studies and profiles on the show will be featured in the 6,000-square-foot interactive exhibition.

The museum exhibition, which will travel over the next five years to other museums around the United States, aims to educate visitors through the use of photos, videos, animations, interactives, sculpture, and text.


Fleischmann Planetarium at the University of Nevada, Reno hosts several breathtaking immersive theater experiences this spring through June 30.

Fulldome planetarium shows are open to all ages. For show details, admission, program and membership information, call the Fleischmann Planetarium at 775-784-4812 or visit

Admission for all shows: $7 teens and adults/$5 children 12 and under and seniors 60 and over and free for Planetarium members. Museum admission is free for all.

Call the Fleischmann Planetarium at 775-784-4812 for details or visit

WE CHOOSE SPACE! is for audiences of all ages who dream of space and wonder about human spaceflight after the Space Shuttle! Join Astronauts Scott Parazynski, Tom Jones and Gene Cernan and veteran space reporter Walter Cronkite as your tour guides on an adventure to the International Space Station and to the past and future moon.

Showtimes for WE CHOOSE SPACE! and SpaceNow: Daily: 1, 3 and 5 p.m., plus 7 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays

Ultimate Universe will take you on a grand celestial tour from the outer reaches of space through wondrous galaxies to the majesty of our own galaxy. This fulldome show uses the latest 3-D animation technology to reveal the awesome power of the universe and its most provocative secrets. We’ll also see what’s up in the springtime sky in SkyTonight.

Showtimes for Ultimate Universe and SkyTonight: Daily: 2 and 6 p.m..

Black Holes is back again by popular demand! (Our visitors love this show!)

Few mysteries in the universe have the power and awe of the black hole. Only now are we on the verge of understanding their true nature. This new immersive digital theater program incorporates some of the most intense 3-D visual effects ever created on the subject.

Showtimes for Black Holes: Daily: 4 p.m.

Family Show: Larry: Cat in Space (recommended for young children, but fun for all ages!), is a playful cartoon presentation tracing the adventures of a VERY inquisitive cat who takes a stowaway trip to the Moon.

Showtimes for Larry: Cat in Space: Saturdays, Sundays, holidays and WCSD break: 11 a.m.

Family Show: Attack of the Space Pirates, with amazing sound effects by George Lucas’ Skywalker Sound, features the Starship Intrepid as it travels through hyperspace in this fun and exciting adventure, where you and the crew will put real science into science fiction and solve numerous challenges along the way. For children in grades 4-6 but fun for all ages!

Showtimes for Attack of the Space Pirates: Saturdays, Sundays, holidays and WCSD break: 12 noon

Dark Side of the Moon, Pink Floyd’s legendary rock masterpiece, is presented in a stunning fulldome music and light show by Starlight Productions with amazing HD animation and mind-blowing surround sound! Please note: mature lyrics/themes.

Showtimes for Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon: Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m.

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The Nevada Northern Railway, a National Historic Landmark, is participating in Blue Star Museums, a collaboration among the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, the Department of Defense, and more than 2,000 museums across America to offer free admission to the nation’s active duty military personnel including National Guard and Reserve and their families through Labor Day 2015. Nevada Northern Railway officially launched the program Memorial Day weekend.

“Nevada Northern Railway appreciates all that military personnel do for our country and we are proud to participate in this collaboration as a Blue Star Museum,” said Mark Bassett, executive director Nevada Northern Railway. “We hope that active military and their immediate family will take advantage of free admission to the museum, yard and maintenance shops, as well as 15 percent off train rides through Labor Day.”

The program also provides families an opportunity to enjoy the nation’s cultural heritage and learn more about their new communities after a military move. The complete list of participating museums is available at

“Parents of young children tell us that they go together to museums to learn new things and have family time together,” said NEA chairman Jane Chu. “Blue Star Museums accomplishes both, by helping military families learn about the cultural resources in their communities, and offering a fun, high-quality experience that’s budget friendly as well as family friendly. We’re proud to help connect museums to military communities nationwide.”

“Blue Star Museums has grown into a nationally recognized program that service members and their families look forward to each year,” said Blue Star Families chief executive officer Kathy Roth-Douquet. “It helps bring our local military and civilian communities together, and offers families fun and enriching activities in their home towns.”

Wild West Limited: What’s a steam train excursion without cowboys? This special ride takes visitors to the heart of the Wild West, where horse-thieving robbers are known to make appearances. When: June 21, July 18, Aug. 8, Aug. 29.

Fourth of July Fireworks Express: Ely puts on a spectacular fireworks display. The only thing that can make it better is having an authentic steam engine take you to-and-from one of the most scenic vantage points available. Reservations strongly suggested. When: July 4.


The 2015 Nevada Visitors Guide, now available for free online and at area visitors’ centers, is designed with the road warrior in mind.

More than 29 million vehicles entered the state in fiscal year 2014, prompting the Nevada Division of Tourism to restructure the Visitors Guide to meet travelers’ needs.

“Personal auto is the top mode of transportation in Nevada, and this new guide is designed for those travelers,” Nevada Department of Tourism and Cultural Affairs Director Claudia Vecchio said. “We designed this to be user-ready, complete with hotel contact information and distance guides so travelers can stash it in their glove box and use it throughout their trip.”

Road trip itineraries along the Loneliest Road in America, the Extraterrestrial Highway, and the Las Vegas Strip are just a few of the routes mapped out in the new guide.

The state’s Scenic Byways and popular motorcycle routes also are included.

New this year are note pages interspersed throughout the book, making it easy to jot notes while planning a trip or on the road, as well as a savings card for discounted admission to state museums.

The Visitors Guide also includes sections on ghost towns, railroads and cultural sites — all big draws to the state’s rural areas. The 120-page guide includes a suggested road trip play list, photo opportunity recommendations, event listings, and information on what’s new in Nevada.

The Nevada Visitors Guide is available free of charge at area visitors’ centers or by ordering through

The Nevada Division of Tourism is part of the Nevada Department of Tourism and Cultural Affairs and is responsible for promoting and marketing Nevada as a travel destination to domestic and international travelers. For more, visit


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