Truckee River Must Reads

Truckee River Must Reads

River History, Stories
Trying to chip away at that New Year’s resolution to read more? Looking for something new to read? Interested in the Truckee River? Well, we’ve got the perfect book list for you. Here are 5 books to add to your “to read” list that touch on the Truckee River, both literally and figuratively. Happy reading! #1 Eager: The Surprising, Secret Life of Beavers and Why They Matter by Ben Goldfarb This is a great book to “cut your teeth” on and dive into the Truckee River topic. While the book doesn’t specifically talk about the Truckee River, it does look at beavers’ history and ecological influence throughout North America and dedicates an entire chapter to beavers in Elko County. These industrious rodents (the largest in North America) are our neighbors…
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Sparks Marina: A Glo-up Tale for the Ages

Sparks Marina: A Glo-up Tale for the Ages

River History, Truckee River Watershed
From rock quarry to Toxic Superfund site to ideal work-play-live bubble, the Sparks Marina has seen it all. Photo courtesy Flickr user Janusz Sobolewski Sparks Marina is such a delightful destination today, it's hard to believe it wasn't always so picturesque. Actually, forget picturesque; once upon a time, Sparks Marina was a 100-foot-deep quarry pit known as Helms Pit. (See a picture of the pit here.) From 1968 until 1987, Helms Pit provided rock for road and construction projects in the area. In the final functioning year, however, City of Sparks officials found petroleum products seeping through the southwest walls of the pit. It turned out there'd been a spill at the fuel-tank farm one mile away and its contamination had spread. Thus, the pit was dubbed a Toxic Superfund site (meaning the hazardous materials needed a long-term cleanup response) and a large cleanup was initiated. Finally,…
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All About Pyramid Lake

All About Pyramid Lake

River History, Truckee River Watershed
Northern Nevada is known for many things: the nice people; its proximity to Lake Tahoe; the small-town feel in a growing city. The Truckee River flowing through Reno and Sparks is often a pleasant surprise to visitors (and some residents!). Even more unknown than the river, however, is what lies at its end: Pyramid Lake. [caption id="attachment_3925" align="alignleft" width="500"] Photo courtesy Flickr user Ron Reiring. Pyramid Lake in 2008 looking southeast.[/caption] The Truckee River flows out of Lake Tahoe and, after 121 miles of mountains, Reno/Sparks, and the desert, enters Pyramid Lake at its southern end. Pyramid Lake sits entirely within the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe Reservation, and is one of the tribe's most valuable assets. Pyramid Lake was mapped and named by the same fellow who first mapped the Truckee…
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Flume, from Farad to Floriston

Flume, from Farad to Floriston

River History
There is a ton of history through the Truckee Canyon. Driving along I-80 in either direction, there are various old buildings and structures that may catch your eye. One of those eye-catching structures is the old Farad Hyrdoelectric Power Plant, built in 1899 by the Truckee River General Electric Company to help power silver mines in the area. The plant ran until 1997 (nearly 100 years) until a flood ended all operations. [caption id="attachment_3843" align="alignleft" width="800"] Farad Hydroelectric Power Plant as it is today (2018). Photo by Alex Hoeft[/caption] Originally, water from the Truckee River entered a flume upriver from Farad at Floriston. The diverted water flowed from Floriston to the plant and powered the turbines within the plant's powerhouse. The turbines generated electricity from there. Access to the power…
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