When you think of Nevada do you automatically think of Las Vegas? I know many people do and when I share that I am from Reno (it took me ten years to say it–I always told people that I was from Chicago) they say “Ohhhhh, the Casinos–must be just like Vegas, why would you want to live there?” That response couldn’t be farther from the truth. Reno sits 8 hours north of Las Vegas in the high desert and is straddled by the Sierra Nevada Mountains and the California border. It has elevation-4500-6,000 feet to be exact and is a short 20 minute drive to Lake Tahoe and some of the best hiking, biking, skiing and snowboarding in the world. Yes, casinos exist but most local people you talk to only go to them when there is a show to catch or an expensive dinner celebration is in order. For the rest of time, Reno is just like any other city of its size and boasts a fabulous climate (the secret is out) year round.
The part of Reno I call home was discovered by Basque and Italian immigrant farmers and many of the large ranches still exist today. Remnants of old farming days are found all around me and it is a great source of my photographic inspiration. However, it is still a short 10 minute drive to downtown Reno and eclectic mix of restaurants, shops, museums and the Truckee River. I love this combination of being a city dweller yet in the country at the same time. I can step into my backyard and see geese fly overhead and then a few minutes later hop in the car and take in a world class art exhibit at the Nevada Museum of Art.
Most of the friends that I have met that consider themselves “local” are 5th or 6th generation Nevadans. People that live here do not leave and they are some of most genuine people I know. Nevada is also one of the only states in the union that still celebrates the day it became a member of this great nation. Next Friday marks–Nevada Day–it is a day off school, there is a parade and many events to commemorate the day take place in Carson City, the capital.
I hope this little glimpse into the world of Reno was inspiring and opens your mind beyond Las Vegas. Have a great weekend everyone…