Winnemucca, Nevada PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 11 April 2004 00:00
Last night we stayed in a free RV parking lot at a casino in a tiny place called Tonopah, a dying mining town north of the Nellis Air Force Range. Rick had a bad headache and was tired so we stopped there because the next town was well over an hour away and he needed to give his head a rest. We went to bed very early, hence this morning we were on the road by 7:00 AM. The drive was perfect, blue skies and scenic winding roads through the mountains, some with snow covering their peaks. Because we try to drive no more than five hours a day, Winnemucca fit in with that criteria so here we are.
Winnemucca is a town just 165 miles from Reno and about 80 miles from the Oregon state line. It is the only town in Nevada named after a Native American, Northern Paiute Indian Chief Old Winnemucca. When he was young, white prospectors came into the area and saw him with only one moccasin on and the other foot bare. In the Paiute dialect, muc-ha means moccasin and the white men referred to him as wan-na-muc-ha, meaning one moccasin. This name, part English and part Paiute pleased him so much that Winnemucca adopted it as his new name. Pretty interesting history!
The town's industry is a combination of ranching, mining and farming and it has a rich history. There is The First National Bank, reputedly held up by Butch Cassidy and his gang on September 9, 1900 and the museum houses a skull of a prehistoric mammoth among other interesting things. As well as being the gold mining center of the US, it is a large hunting and fishing paradise, has opal mines nearby, mineral deposits everywhere for the rockhounds, mountain biking and hiking trails galore and a full calendar of events to keep visitors busy from March till November. Oh and of course, there are mandatory casinos and a few legal brothels, something for everyone! Wink