Apr 27, 2015

Visiting Old Neveda

John and I often visit family in Las Vegas and, even though in the beginning we were drawn to the gaming part of Vegas, now we seldom even see a slot machine or other gambling devices. Many people do not realize that the major gambling area is located in two distinct areas: The Strip and the Downtown/Freemont Street area. We seldom stay in either area.  The casinos offer great deals for accommodations because they make it up with gambling and diners.  Many of the casino hotels add charge a resort fee which does not make it such a great deal.  

We usually rent a car at the airport. Remember it pays to be a member of the car company’s customer loyalty price.  We are Fast Break with Budget so we get a good deal plus do not have to stand in line to pick up the car.  Most of the car rentals are located in one off-site location with a shuttle bus connection.  It is about a 20-minute drive which is important to remember when returning the car to catch a flight.  However, there is a new section of the airport which has eased some of the congestion and walking distances.   

I have always wanted to visit Old Nevada, a replica of an 1880’s mining town. The property was the homeland of the Paiute Indians and in 1843 became a stopover for wagon trains traveling the Spanish Trail. It is about a 30-minute drive from the city. It seems they are closed when we are free to go.  True to form the website said they were closed on Monday, the day we were free to go but we headed out anyways because I wanted to have lunch at Bonnie Springs which has great food and reminds me of the Old West.
When we arrived there was a tour bus in front of Old Nevada so it was open but not all the activities were available.  Even so, it was great.  The walk through what an old town in the West must have been like was fun.  There was a quaint church.  Someone had put a dollar in an animatronic cowboy who was singing “Don’t Fence Me In” giving ambiance to my walkabout.  I noticed a crowd at the top of the street near the Opera House and made my way in time to see a trial and hanging.
 Members of the audience became the judges and witnesses.  Needless, to say the verdict was guilty and the poor soul was hanged.  It was done with a lot of humor.  The sheriff was wearing long red underwear and was not the brightest of souls.  There is a Bonnie Springs Ranch Petting Zoo that is now accessed from the Old Nevada site which I understand is open every day and is a non-profit venture.  When everything is operational there is a small railroad, a shoot-out on Main Street, and a variety of shops and other activities. There is also a motel and horse riding available.  Good family fun. Tours are available from Las Vegas.

We headed to the restaurant and decided to get something light before the drive back.  They advertise the “best burgers, chicken, and ribs in the West” along with an “authentic bison burger.” Thinking that the burgers would be too much we decided on the on-site baked Bread Pudding.  Oh, my, it was huge and the best we have ever had.