Category Archives: Reno

Reno’s Spider Bug

It Rises

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As you may recall, UndiscoveredWanderings spent a good chunk of summer 2016 in Reno, Nevada–part of our three-month inaugural road trip that took us across America, plus a couple excursions to Canada and Mexico. Our stay in Reno was short but memorable: we went drifting, found a swap meet for car people, visited a foreign country just outside Virginia City, and we even did a feature on the famous In-N-Out, which is something we’re sadly missing on the East Coast. What wonderful burgers that place has!

It was during our visit to In-N-Out that we noticed, around the corner, a creature hanging out on the roof of a neighboring building. 

And that’s when we met the spider car sculpture, adorning the top of Scudder’s Performance automotive shop. Technically in the neighboring city of Sparks, the Spider Bug, as it’s locally known, is already famous among locals and car buffs. Once built for another purpose by artist David Farmbrough, Mr. Scudder rescued the spider–which has an old VW Bug for a body–from the scrap heap and made it the unofficial mascot of his business. The Spider Bug has sat atop Scudder’s Performance for the last several years now, making it a welcome fixture in a city known for quirky things.

Scudder’s Performance

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Pyramid Lake, Nevada

An Oasis of Sorts

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Reno, Nevada is known for Lake Tahoe nearby, but Pyramid Lake deserves just as much attention, if not more. Located on the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe’s Reservation, the first thing you’ll notice as you approach it is how stunningly blue it is. The pyramid-shaped rock that gives the lake its name, though closed to the public, can easily be seen from most vantage points.

So how exactly did a giant lake wind up in the desert?

Pyramid lake is what’s left of the ancient Lake Lahontan, which covered much of what is today northern Nevada, as well as parts of California and Oregon, over 10,000 years ago. Unless you’re an enrolled member of the Paiute Tribe or have special permission, the proper way to access Pyramid Lake is to drive to the western side, which hosts the marina and RV park (see map point above), and check in at the Ranger Station adjacent to the marina. A permit for swimming for a day costs $10 (well worth it). Those who want to fish, boat and camp must procure additional permits, information about which can be found here.

From the marina, you can find a number of public beaches along the lake’s southwest side (maps provided at Ranger Station).

If you have time and would like to learn more about the Paiute people and their history, you can visit the Pyramid Lake Museum and Visitors Center in nearby Nixon, Nevada.

IMG_5803 (1)You can see the pyramid-shaped rock (focal point) that gives this lake its name.

Remember, Pyramid Lake has the undeveloped beauty that Lake Tahoe lacks–and that’s on purpose. The Paiute Tribe goes to great lengths to maintain this natural wonder. The Reservation is home to over 2,600 enrolled Tribal Members, so please treat this as their home and enjoy responsibly. The views while swimming are more than worth the trip to get there.

Special thanks to the Paiute Tribe for assisting with this article and allowing UW to visit.



Official Pyramid Lake websites

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Drifting for Everyone!

It Wouldn’t be a Car Show Without Driving Like a Maniac

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We got lucky. Not only did UW visit Hot August Nightsswap meet on a beautiful sunny day when semi-pros were drifting their cars, but also for an extra $10 and a signature on a waiver form (remember, this is dangerous. See our Terms of Use for more info), we got to do a ride along! No need to really describe it, just watch the videos below. You’ll notice how heavily modified these cars are since they only have one purpose. The car UW rode in was virtually stripped to the frame and rebuilt with a new engine and transmission. It’s an expensive hobby, but a great adrenaline rush. Check out the gallery at the bottom of this post, too. Enjoy.

View from the Front Seat: Drifting in a modified ’93 Mazda RX-7

Some Extra Drifting Clips

Hot August Nights official website

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A Swap Meet for Car Parts

The Things You Can Find Here

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Our second installment on Reno’s 2016 Hot August Nights focuses on a swap meet. Yes, you read that correctly. Turns out swap meets aren’t limited to just jewelry, curtains, and lawn ornaments. Car enthusiasts have long relied on these meets to build their custom rides on the cheap. And why not? There are plenty of old car parts to go around.

But this swap meet–one of the more popular attractions of Hot August Nights–is big enough to incorporate some other items of interest, like antique gas pumps (see gallery below), old car phones, and other oddities that could satisfy any collector. So, come shopping with us!

Hot August Nights official website

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Hot August Nights: Nice Cars

Car Shows Are Always a Treat

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Reno, Nevada is known for a lot of things. The “Biggest Little City in the World sits within a morning’s drive to the West Coast–but Lake Tahoe is a lot closer–and the sun’s out pretty much all year round. As the city reinvents itself for the 21st century, there is one staple to this city that will always be here…

Hot August Nights, an annual auto show, is famous for its display of classic cars and adrenaline junkies. For thirty years, it has been well attended by professional and amateur enthusiasts alike. Usually held around the first week of August each year, Hot August nights have numerous venues in Reno and Virginia City, and it has also expanded to include other points of interest, like racing, swap meets (for car parts), and, more recently, drifting.

Needless to say, it’s a big deal and worth a look not only if you’re in the area, but worth the trip if you’re really into cars!

Official Hot August Nights website

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