Teri Vance: Celebrate Nevada’s birthday by traveling state | NevadaAppeal.com

Teri Vance: Celebrate Nevada’s birthday by traveling state

Teri Vance
Jason Gardner competes in the newspaper toss during the End of Bike Week Party on Friday evening in McFadden Plaza.
Randy Gaa

I love a Nevada adventure. I think most of us do. Sometimes, though, it can seem like there’s nothing left to see or do. But that’s never the case.

Travel Nevada recently released five experiences in five areas of the state, to “embrace Nevada’s quirky nature and celebrate the state’s 154th birthday.”

In honor of Nevada’s birthday month, I’m going to summarize a few of the adventures that may be of interest. To see the complete list, go to travelnevada.com.

For the northern part of the state, they recommend Lovelock Cave, which yielded a wealth of artifacts when it was excavated in the early 20th century. Today, the cave is empty but open to visitors taking the Lovelock Cave Back Country Byway off Interstate 80.

“Managed by the federal Bureau of Land Management, the Lovelock Cave area has interpretive signs explaining the area’s ancient geology and human history,” the website explains.

They advise taking an overnight stay at the Old Pioneer Garden Country Inn in Unionville, a ghost town where Mark Twain once prospected. To be honest, I’ve been interested in checking this out myself.

Earlier this year during the public speaking class I teach for Western Nevada College, one of the students gave a speech on the trip she and her sister took here.

She described it as a little bit spooky because of its remoteness, which, of course, just piqued my interest.

Where most people like to vacation to places where there are lots of things to see and do and people to interact with, my mom and sisters and I like to plan our girls trips to the middle of nowhere. We charge our batteries in utter seclusion.

Within an hour’s drive, you can take a trip to Stillwater National Wildlife Refuge in Fallon, where thousands of shorebirds make a stop on their migratory route in the fall. While there, visit the Oats Park Arts Center, built in 1914, that serves as a performance art hub.

Continue on Highway 50 to see the restored Eureka Opera House, which dates back to 1880. Visitors can catch a concert or theater performance there still.

Even farther on down the road, Ely’s Renaissance Village celebrates the town’s history with an outdoor art gallery, featuring murals and sculptures. Get in the Halloween spirit. Take the Haunted Ghost Train of Old Ely for a 90-minute, authentic steam-engine ride with demons, ghosts, and goblins along the Nevada Northern Railway.

Travel Nevada tells us the “best of Nevada’s quirkiness” can be found at coffin shops, car forests and ghost towns in central Nevada.

“Just outside of Goldfield, discover the International Car Forest, a whimsical display of rusted, painted cars planted nose-down in Nevada soil; or see more desert art at the Goldwell Open Air Museum. Travelers looking for an overnight experience can stay in an old miner’s cabin at the Gold Point Ghost Town B&B.”

The cooler part of the year is also a good time to visit Death Valley National Park. I’ve not been there either, and would like to someday go.

Of course, this is just scratching Nevada’s snow-capped surface, not even mentioning all there is to see in this area, including Lake Tahoe.

It’s the perfect time of year — in the perfect state — for an adventure.

Teri Vance is a journalist, freelance writer and native Nevadan. Contact her with column ideas at terivance@rocketmail.com.