Minden Press-Herald

Sep 30th

A Trip Down Paint Road

150224 281499512004355 2033202032 nEvery once in awhile a story turns into an idea that just will not come together. It's a super cool idea, but the information needed just cannot be found.

Sometimes the story is not knowing the story.

Such is the case with today's front page story on Methodist Camp Loop, aka Paint Road.

I'm not really sure what inspired me to look into this time-honored tradition that John Collins said should be a "tourist attraction," but I have spent much less time on much more detailed and controversial stories.

Nobody seems to know who, when or why high school kids started painting the road.

I talked to dozens of Minden High alumni and got dozens of conflicting reports on the origination of Paint Road. The best part - each person I spoke with was eager to suggest another possible "culprit" who "might" have information.

The majority of interviews suggest it started in the late 1960s or early 70s. Stories I've heard from that generation lead me to believe that maybe nobody really knows because of other happenings during parties out there that might affect the memory.

Paint Road is also pretty consistent from class to class whereas painted the water towers, packing the Park City and civic center parking lots or building bon fires at the "Y" have come and gone.

The artwork and location of it has also changed. It is sporadically along the road and extends down the blacktop boat launch. The murals and graffiti-type lettering have faded away to make for simple block and cursive handwriting. (Have art programs been cut from public schools?)

I never made a declaration of love (or any kind) on Paint Road. Had I not been so sheltered in high school, I would have been out there and could have covered a mile crossing out and replacing boyfriends' names.

I guess it doesn't matter how it began - the story is that it keeps going. And I think it's time I do my part to keep the tradition alive.

Kristi Martin is an award-winning journalist and reporter for the Press-Herald. She can be reached at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Connect with her on Facebook and follow her on twitter @writtennred.






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