Over the mountains to the Candy Dance and Nevada's oldest settlement: they call it Je-noah.
In September, temperatures are moderating from their summer extremes, and cottonwoods are turning lemon yellow. And in Genoa on the last weekend of the month, the annual Candy Dance brings not only candy and dancing but also a crafts fair.
From U.S. 395 four miles south of Carson City, head southwest on Jacks Valley Road (State 206). Just 3-1/2 miles on the left is Harvey's James Canyon Ranch. About 50 head of buffalo are raised here.
On the highway at the north edge of town is Mormon Station Historical State Monument and Park, where the arts and crafts fair will be held September 29 and 30.
In 1919, townsfolk made candy and held a dance to raise money for street lights. The tradition continues, and this year more than 130 booths will sell candy and crafts. Hours are 10 to 5 both days.
At the firehouse from 8 to 11 on Saturday night, you can enjoy a buffet supper ($10 a person, $5 for children), then stomp your feet to western music. For tickets, send a check along with a stamped, self-addressed envelope to Genoa Town Board, Box 14, Genoa 89411.
Mormon Station was Nevada's first permanent settlement. Rebuilt in 1947, the log trading post is a museum, open 9 to 5 daily May 15 through October 15. Inside, you'll see 12-foot-long wooden skis used by Snowshoe Thompson, a Norwegian immigrant, to deliver the mail 90 miles from Placerville, California.
Across the street is the state's oldest existing courthouse. This 1865 building was first the government seat, then a school; it's now the Genoa Courthouse Museum. Among the displays are stone dishes and willow baskets made by Washoe Indians. In the original jail at the rear, you'll see where a prisoner tried to cut his way out through the roof. Upstairs are quilts made by Carson Valley pioneer women; some date back to 1853. The museum is open daily 10 to 4:30, May 1 through October 31. Donations are appreciated.
The Pink House Restaurant, at the corner fo Genoa Lane and foothill Road, is next door to the original Pink House, first owned by John Reese, who established Mormon Station. In 1969 the guesthouse became a bar; in 1971 a restaurant was added. It's open nightly for dinner; call (702) 782-3939 for reservations.
Across the street is the Genoa Bar, Nevada's oldest. Surrounding the enormous curved bar, the walls are covered with memorabilia ranging from mining artifacts to four large engravings called The Stags. The adjacent building is now the Westbrook Corner, a souvenir and antique shop open 10 to 5 daily.
Jacks Valley Road becomes Foothill Road at the center of town; 1-1/2 miles south is Walley's Hot Springs, built in 1862 as a luxury spa and hotel and rebuilt in 1981; today you can relax in one of the six outdoor mineral spas ($7 per person per day; children under 12 not allowed). For hotel or dinner reservations, call (702) 782-8155.