Immediately after our Open Studio event in Benicia, five of our daGroup group (Sue W, Sue C, Joanne U, JoAnn M, and Micaela) traveled past Reno to Virginia City where we rented an AirBnB house for four days. We were in the highlands just outside Reno with a spectacular view of the snow caped Sierra mountains. We spent our days painting in Virginia City. It is a funky restored mining town famous for the Comstock lode of silver and gold. Remains of the mine tailings surround the town and the main street is lively with old saloons, hotels, gift shops and the unique stately 4th Ward School, all tied together with a covered wooden boardwalk that keeps you cool in the dessert heat. Once a thriving town of 25,000, it sponsored the Civil War with its riches mined from the surrounding hills – a true gem of the “wild west”. While painting my first day I was entertained by deer jogging down the street behind me, quail darting from bush to bush in front of me and a herd of wild mustangs galloping across the open field between me and the houses beyond. The Plein Air painting experience is so much more than just the painting.