Virginia City / Bronco Canyon

The events began with part of the group making it into Virginia City Friday evening, meeting at the Sugarloaf Mountain Lodge, our home for the weekend. We were treated to a sunset visit by wild horses browsing on the weeds in front of the Lodge. Later that evening the group journeyed down the street to the Virginia Street Tap House for good conversation and a couple beers.

Saturday morning started early for the rest of the gang coming up from Sacramento, getting up before the break of dawn to make a breakfast at the Canvas Cafe at 8am. With things tight inside and the weather beautiful, breakfast was moved to the patio outside.

At 10:15am the group headed down the road to the Lagomasino Petroglyphs. Directions called for a right off of 341 to Lousetown road and about a 48-minute trip. We had our first U-turn shortly thereafter when Northstar road was closed. We made a quick re-route, worked our way around the closure and ran into a couple groups of Wild Mustangs just as we were headed away from civilization. The 48-minute trip turned into about 2 hours as what was supposed to be a road was actually nothing more than well-worn tire tracks with washed out crevice’s and a lot of rocks…. Fun wheeling

After a couple more U-turns, we arrived at the Petroglyphs about 12:30 pm. The petroglyphs were found on large boulders, some close and some further away from our parking spot. They were all amazing, with a goat just in the middle waiting for us to see it. While we toured the petroglyphs, another 4×4 club arrived. From this point on, it was a little sketchy as to where the trail head for Bronco Canyon started, so after asking a few questions and making new friends, Adrian and Jay, they decided to leave their group and guide us through the canyon.

We backed tracked a bit and found the trail about a mile back through a gap in a stacked-rock fence. It wasn’t much to look at, so not quite sure we would have ever found it without a little help. The trail itself is not too long, but they had had quite a bit of rain over the last few weeks and a lot of wash outs. Moving on, all was good until we found a mud hole with a huge bolder that had washed into the middle of the trail. After a quick con-fab, the decision was made to turn around. We headed back to Virginia City and Sugarloaf Mountain Lodge.
We landed at the Lodge about 4:45pm and found a couple more Jeeps sporting Cal-4 stickers in the parking lot. The Wine Country Rock Crawlers had made a run from Mustang and two of their members decided to stay over in Virginia City. We sat outside with our group and Dee and Lisa from WCRC and had a cold one, some chips and hummus and made plans for dinner. After dinner we hit the Bucket of Blood Saloon and then moved on to the Silver Queen Saloon. At the Silver Queen the Goats managed to crash a wedding, (really, we ate cake, danced with the wedding party and everything . . .).

We even buddied up with the local municipal court Judge that performed the ceremony and who was taking pictures of the party. He is an off-road enthusiast too and offered to show us some of his favorite haunts around Bodie when we’re there this fall. Before leaving, the Goats in, high style gave the bride and groomed a $50.00 bill. They wouldn’t take at first, until we told them we all signed it. They then agreed, with big smiles and a thank you and said they would hang it on the wall at their Rock and Gem shop, The Rock Chuck, in Schurz, NV. Last up was a stop at the Ponderosa Saloon for some Zydeco music and dancing. All in all, it was a great night, a ton of foolishness, dancing and laughter with great friends.

The next morning, we headed to the Roasting House for Breakfast and decided to take a scenic route back home. Ophir Grade and Jumbo Grade roads – both old Comstock Load-era toll roads – take you over the mountains behind Virginia City, through the Jumbo Mining District and out at Washoe Lake, South of Reno. Once again, we weren’t sure where we were headed, but went forward on a beautiful day with the snow-covered mountains all around. Staying on Jumbo Grade was a bit of challenge, but with a few wrong turns and few tight spaces, we made it over rocks and through water to end up at a nice parking lot looking over Washoe Lake to air back up. At that…. We all headed home.

  1 comment for “Virginia City / Bronco Canyon

  1. Smitty
    June 21, 2018 at 6:09 pm

    Great trip! Fun friends and good time! Great Post! Can’t wait for the next one!

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