Home renovation shows are fascinating glimpses into the creativity and hard work it takes to transform the worst looking houses into architectural splendors. The vision that the designers need in order to see the character of a home beneath the bad renovations, poor decoration, or just sad neglect is an amazing talent.

These renovations remind me that sometimes we need to dig a little deeper and scrub a little harder to find the beauty in things. When looked at more closely, a brick wall may be hiding a stunning original fireplace just waiting to be carefully restored to its former beauty.

It may not always be easy to discover the true beauty within, but it’s always worth it. What’s the most beautiful thing you’ve uncovered recently?

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As long as you are walking in fear you’re never going to be truly free!

If you’re afraid of something, name it. Call it out. Take a really good look at it, even if it scares you.

Often if you just name and sit with your fear — if you really feel it — that will be enough to release it.

Other times you need to ask questions about that fear. Why are you really worried? Will worrying about something really change it? Ask that fear, “Why are you here?”

The trick is to stop avoiding it. Drag the monster out of the closet and look at it. Once you do, your fear will start to lose its power and disappear!




Reno Events Center
November 19, 2011

5:00 PM – 10:00 PM




FEATURING Warren Miller’s 62nd Epic Ski/Board Movie “…Like There’s No Tomorrow 

and Huge Snow Industry Trade Show with over 50 Vendors. Come meet the Pros! 

You’ve seen them in the magazines, now come meet them in person!  

Our net proceeds go to Support Bobo’s Kids Scholarship Programs

for the Reno Housing Authority and the Sky Tavern Jr. Ski Program.

Together, we make snow dreams come true, one turn at a time!

Contact Info

Contact: Ticketmaster
Phone: 1-800-745-3000

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Free Summer Activities/Fun in Reno

Within an hour’s drive of beautiful Lake Tahoe and other picturesque mountain ranges, the Reno/Sparks area has much to offer.  Outdoor activities such as golf, bike trails, numerous parks, water parks, outdoor markets and much more.  Shopping and gaming facilities are numerous.  Not all activities and attractions cost money.    Wingfield Park is located in downtown Reno near First and West Streets.  Here you can relax in the shade, picnic,  play and cool off in the river,  and watch the kayakers take on the Truckee River.    The Truckee River pathway for biking and walking passes  through th Park, and goes for miles in both directions.   During the summer months, free music concerts are performed at the Park.  Check times and dates at www.visitrenotahoe.com.

The Sparks Marina is a large man made lake with a two-mile walking trail and swimming beaches.  In August the WWA Wakeboard World Championships will be held at the Marina and will be free to watch.  The Marina area also features a large/new shopping mall, other smaller shops, and eating establishments.

Rancho San Rafael Regional Park is home to local wildlife and has many walking trails, open grass areas and a large kid’s playground, and is located close to the University of Nevada, Reno.

There are many walking and hiking trails ranging from short, easy kid friendly trails to strenuous climbs with the Sierra Nevada mountain range close by.  One hiking area is Galena Creek Park on Mt. Rose Highway.

There are many other free or low cost activities such as:

Rattlesnake Mountain Skate Park, enjoyed by  skateboarders and BMX riders, and rumored to be the largest skate park in the west.

Sierra Safari Zoo

Hot August Nights

Free to children with accompanying paying adults:

Nevada State Railroad Museum, in Carson City

National Automobile Museum, free to age 5 and younger

adapted from article by T. Andrew

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The Virginia & Truckee: Nevada’s Bonanza Railroad

Nevada’s most famous short line is the Virginia & Truckee Railroad which connected Reno with Carson City, Virginia City, and Minden. Operating for 80 years, the V&T was Nevada’s Bonanza Railroad as it hauled valuable Comstock ore to quartz reduction mills located at Silver City and along the Carson River. Today visitors to Virginia City enjoy a ride over nearly three miles of the original line amidst encouraging prospects that rails my soon once again reach the outskirts of Carson City. The name “Virginia & Truckee” is recognized the world over: V&T locomotives and cars have appeared in scores of feature-length motion pictures and the historic equipment is preserved and exhibited in museums in Nevada, California, and as far away as Strasburg, Pennsylvania. The V&T enjoys an international constituency.

The Virginia & Truckee Railroad Company was organized in Nevada on March 5, 1868. The objective was to connect Comstock ore producing mines with quartz reduction mills and, on the return trip, to bring in needed lumber, mining timbers and cord wood for fuel. Surveyed by local surveyor Isaac E. James, the 21-mile standard gauge line was completed on January 29, 1870 between Carson and Virginia City. A 31-mile extension north from Carson City through Franktown, Washoe City, and Steamboat Springs connected the Comstock with transcontinental rail service at Reno in August of 1872.

Primarily controlled by William Ralston, Darius O. Mills and William Sharon on behalf of the Union Mill & Mining Company and the Bank of California, the Virginia & Truckee was efficiently managed by General Superintendent Henry M. Yerington and immediately became a paying success. The completion of the V&T permitted the further development of Comstock mines by allowing the economical reduction of lower grade ores through reduced freight rates to the mills and by increasing the essential supply of lumber, mining timbers, and cord wood for fuel. In addition, well-appointed passenger service to Carson and Virginia City was a by-product of the short line’s connection with transcontinental rails at Reno.

For nearly twenty years the V&T was a major political and economic factor in the growth and development of Western Nevada and Eastern California. During the late 1870s, V&T stockholders divided handsome dividends in excess of $100,000 monthly. Additional financial returns provided the capital for nearly 40 other V&T-affiliated concerns. The 300-mile Carson & Colorado Railroad was built from Mound House, Nevada, to Keeler, California, and was operated by principals of the V&T from 1880 to 1900. V&T dividends funded the establishment of Hawthorne, Nevada, the Hawthorne Water Works, lumbering operations at Lake Tahoe and Southern Nevada, the Columbus Wagon Road to Bodie, a large soda plant at Keeler, and dozens of mining ventures at Aurora, Bodie, Hawthorne, Candelaria, Belleville, Columbus, and Cerro Gordo.

Headquartered at Carson City, a massive complex of railroad shops were erected under the direction of Abraham Curry. The shops were proclaimed by the Central Pacific to be equal to or better than their great locomotive and car building facilities at Sacramento. From these shops poured nearly every conceivable type of essential machinery for communities throughout Nevada, Eastern California, and even Mexico. For decades the Virginia & Truckee was hailed as the wealthiest short line railroad in the world!

With revenues derived from the twentieth century Tonopah boom, a new Virginia & Truckee Railway Company was incorporated in Nevada on June 24, 1905 to purchase the predecessor company and to construct a 15-mile branch south from Carson City to Minden. This branch offered transportation facilities to a growing agricultural and grazing district and resulted in substantial new revenue to the railway until such time as a surface highway was constructed between Reno, Carson City, and Minden in the years 1921-1922. Known today as U.S. Highway 395, the concrete highway completely paralleled the V&T between Reno and Minden and ultimately was the cause of the railway’s red ink operations beginning in 1923. Prior to that time, the V&T was the only efficient means of transportation for freight and passengers between these communities.

During the period 1932-1937, Ogden L. Mills, one of the major stockholders, loaned the railway nearly $95,000 to balance operating deficits until the line was forced to enter voluntary Federal receivership on April 27, 1938. Solid corporate status was not established again until January 18, 1946, under the financial direction of former V&T Auditor Gordon A. Sampson. Starting in 1937, the railroad began selling capital assets to meet monthly working capital obligations. The disappearance of Comstock traffic and the caving of several wood-lined tunnels ushered in the closing of the Carson-Virginia City line in 1938. The rails were removed and sold in late 1941. The resulting $52,000 revenue was again applied as working capital on routine maintenance which had been deferred for over a decade. Additional working capital also came from selling old V&T locomotives and cars to Hollywood studios for use in motion pictures.

For the twenty year period from 1928-1947, the V&T had a net income deficit of $440,605.75 by U.S. Interstate Commerce Commission accounting practices. As early as 1932, officials of the V&T seriously considered total abandonment of the railway in the face of annually mounting loses.

After 80 years of continuous operation, the Virginia & Truckee finally succumbed to the increasing competition of highway truck traffic. The Bonanza short line’s last official revenue train operated on May 31, 1950 between Reno, Carson City, and Minden. Following the local sale of the railway’s structures and properties, the rails between Reno and Minden were finally removed and the famous V&T became but a legend.

By Stephen E. Drew

(Stephen Drew has been researching the V&T for more than four decades. For the past 30 years, he has been Chief Curator of the California State Railroad Museum in Old Sacramento.)

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