Day Six – All About Fun

Posting on Tuesday morning – from Granlibakken – about Monday, June 5th

Class: Playtime – box lunch – railroad museum – Virginia City – wild horses – snowy Sierras – Lake Tahoe – Thai dinner

This post is going to have a few words, and lots of pictures.

Tuesday was all about having fun! We started out with a class apply named “Playtime.” (Well, there was an earlier class at 7 AM, but I didn’t make it to that one.) Then we had the rest of the day free to explore, relax, hike, whatever.

I went to the Nevada State Railroad Museum in Carson City, and then to Virginia City, which is a famous old silver mining town, both in Nevada. I saw a lot of beautiful territory and views along the way.


The class after breakfast, taught by Calvin and Forrest, was a blast. Very unusual, and lots of fun. They did a series of games, mixers, and awareness exercises, roughly alternating between partner exercises and group activities.

Retreat Fun

Meanwhile, people are preparing their Aiki Follies skits, bidding on silent auction artwork, planning a planning a wildflower walk, sharing information on upcoming seminars, and generally having a good time.

Box Lunches

After class we could make ourselves a box lunch to take along on the day’s adventures. The kitchen staff set up a grand deli buffet, and we could choose exactly what we wanted.

I have been watching too much Bento Expo on NHK-TV, so I used thin slices of zucchini to separate the potato salad from my sandwich, and to block the vent holes so that the catsup didn’t drain out the side of the box. I stopped at I County Park on Old 395 to eat my lunch on the way to the railroad museum.

My Aiki Road Trip 2023

This post is part of a series: My Aiki Road Trip 2023. For about two weeks I’m sharing my adventures and photos on my way to the Aikido at Granlibakken retreat at Lake Tahoe, insights and fun during a week of great Aikido training with dear friends, and the trip back. I’m driving through the Mojave Desert, San Joaquin Valley, California’s Gold Country, and High Sierra, exploring the historic water situation — rivers, reservoirs, dams, flooding, and Tulare Lake, plus gold rush history, and amazing nature and scenery.

At the bottom of each post I include resources for further exploration about each day’s adventures – books, videos, maps, links, images, etc.. For the trip in general, here are more California History Resources for Road Trips.

I mostly posted these from my phone, with limited Internet access. There may be typos and glitches. I’ll come back to fix them later. You can email me at [email protected].

Railroad Museum

I had been to the railroad museum in Carson City once before, on the way to a previous year’s retreat. I enjoyed it, so I figured I would go again. It was much quieter this time, being a Monday. Oh they didn’t have any of the engines running, of course, or even out of the barn. Just a couple of volunteers around. But they are always fun to talk with, and I bought a very cool book with stereoscopic photos of historic trains and railway infrastructure.

They have a great old turntable for moving the engines and cars from the barn onto their little loop track. The switch from the turntable into the show area of the museum is complicated! It supports standard and narrow gauge. And I love the idea of a train loading dock. I mean, you never know when you might need another locomotive, right?

They don’t have an enormous collection, but they do have some nice things.

Virginia City, Nevada

Virginia City is a historic silver mining town. It is pretty well preserved, and has a local history museum, a small railroad museum of its own with train rides, plus saloons and cafés, and lots of shops. Everywhere you look on the hillside you can see mountains of yellow tailings from mining efforts.

Unfortunately, by the time I got there they had pretty well rolled up the streets, except for the bars, a couple of restaurants that mostly serve burgers and sandwiches, and a couple of stores. The fudge and chocolate shop was open, so I went in and bought a treat just because they bother to be open.

“I sit down this lovely morning to write a letter from a new state, emphatically, in every sense of the word. I am in a city [Virginia City] of twelve thousand to fourteen thousand inhabitants, where four short years ago the desert bushes grew unmolested, the desert mountains sent back no echoes of the sounds of human industry,”

Up and Down California in 1860-1864: The Journal of William H. Brewer

Wild Horses

I knew there were wild horses somewhere near Virginia City, but I had put it in the back of my mind until I saw a sign warning to watch for them. I did, and I saw some! I’m pretty sure this is the first time I have seen wild horses. Not the most amazing photos, but actual wild horses!

Scenery and Snow

And the scenery in Nevada was much different — lots of enormous views. And coming back up over the mountains to Lake Tahoe there was of course snow again. I’m sure the locals, who are sick of snow, would be perplexed at my stopping to take pictures of it, but we don’t get much of it in San Diego County.

What’s Next?

Today, Tuesday, will be a fairly normal day. Classes on the regular schedule, so potentially five hours of training.

It will be interesting to hear what everyone else did with their free day. I know there was an organized wildflower walk that some of the participants who live in the area were leading. I’m sure there will be some sharing of tails over meals today.

Further Exploration for Today’s Adventures

I am experiencing technical difficulties with writing this post today, so I will come back later, possibly after I get back home, to fill in some links about the things I saw today.

Also be sure to check out my post, California History Resources for Road Trips, where I share several excellent books/audiobooks, tours, videos, and websites.

About the Author — Linda Eskin

Linda Eskin began practicing Aikido in 2009, at age 46. From the beginning she was inspired to explore how Aikido is taught and learned. In addition to mentoring adults, and now teaching a weekly Focus on Fundamentals class for students of all ranks, she assisted in the children’s programs for over eight years.

Linda loves Aikido both from the technical perspective, and as a practice of awareness and embodiment. She is completing her forthcoming book, Aikido to Zanshin – 26 Essays on the Martial Art of Peace.

Linda’s passion is encouraging people to begin, and supporting new learners of all ages.

Linda trains with Dave Goldberg Sensei at Aikido of San Diego, in California, and holds the third black belt rank, sandan.

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