June 21st, 2024

Your Travels: Try your luck in Nevada’s other gambling city

By Medicine Hat News on August 18, 2018.

Photo Courtesy Ernest Fode
The famous Reno Arch on Virginia Street as it looks today.

Ernest Fode

Reno Nevada was the first stop on my recent summer road trip through northern Nevada and California.

Reno, sometimes referred to as a poor man’s Las Vegas, is better known by its famous tourist slogan as being “the biggest little city in the world.”

This area was first settled in 1858 when a famous silver deposit known as the Comstock Lode was discovered nearby. In 1868 the Central Pacific Railway arrived and the settlement became the town of Reno.

Upon arriving in Reno, I checked in at the Circus Circus Hotel Casino, which is similar to the one in Vegas. The majority of the casinos here are situated in the downtown along Virginia and Sierra Streets.

Being a non-gambler in this gambling city, my interest was visiting the famous Reno Arch and the highly recommended Truckee River Walk at Wingfield Park.

During my walk along the Truckee River, I noticed people of all ages on innertubes, kayaks and floatation devices floating haphazardly over the swift-flowing shallow rapids down the river. The locals explained to me the city allows all citizens to float the three-mile long rapids through the downtown area with whatever means they choose. I noticed that the river has posted exit signs every 100 yards. Apparently this has been their favourite summer time tradition to cool off during the hot summer months.

Another day found me visiting Harrahs National Automobile Museum, one of Americas’s top 10 Auto Museums with a collection of more than 100 remarkable cars.

My second to last day was spent at a wildlife sanctuary called Animal Ark — http://www.AnimalArk.org — nestled in the hills north of Reno. Animal Ark provides permanent care in captivity to animals who cannot be returned to the wild.

My last day in Reno I decided to explore Lake Tahoe with its crystal blue waters, Ponderosa Pines, 72 miles of shoreline and the surrounding Sierra Nevada mountains.

Squaw Valley, the site of the 1960 Olympic Winter Games and the Aerial Tram ride was the highlight of this side-trip.

Stopping for lunch in Carson City (named after frontier scout Kit Carson) I found a brewpub eatery called The Union. Wanting something different than the usual burger, I ordered lamb poutine, crispy potato fries covered in braised lamb and a sweet tasting house brew aptly named Carson Blonde.

With its huge Vegas-style casino hotels, its top-rated entertainers and nearby Lake Tahoe offering scenic cruises, hiking, fishing and golfing, Reno has something for everyone.

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