A SHORT INTERSTATE 80 ROAD TRIP June 11, 2005
Met with more cost and increased awareness of some malice about the community, I was still able to conduct myself on this short road trip to visit Reno, NV, and see what remains of the heavy snow pack in the Northern Sierra. Sleeping late, I awoke to motor off up Interstate 80 eastbound. Lots of traffic, even on a weekend. Wrongly figuring gas would be cheaper in Nevada (2.279 in Verdi), I refrained from filling up in Auburn, CA.
I made my usual photo stops, seeing good, mostly snow-free hiking at the lower elevations. It would be good, now, for a climb of Old Man Mountain and Signal Peak. Black Buttes seemed O.K. as well. I thought to check out the nearby Sierra Discovery Trail, but chose then to save that for some other time. Castle and Basin Peaks looked snowy, but probably soon to be quite hikable, for more beginner-types. Big puffy clouds made for good photography, and the air was clear.
Striking out with my second zero for the day at the environmentally friendly clothing store off West Fourth, with nothing I wanted, or available in my size or price range, I thought of what to do with this big city's venues for fun. I came shortly to the Wilbur D. May Arboretum, and snapped close-ups of the many fine examples of native wildflowers, and other pretty blooms. Other people were also enjoying the beautiful weather. I was warm in my long pants and T-shirt, but soon availed myself of an air-conditioned walk through the casinos.
The buffets are all up in price, now beyond me. I gambled away several quarters trying for a bright red roadster, winning nothing. The main casino no longer sends me offers of their great lodging deals, as I have not accorded myself an overnight trip, there, since 2003. But all, or most all, was about the same.
It was too late for a good, Reno, peak hike, so I headed home. The late afternoon light in the Truckee River Canyon was gorgeous, and I wished I could enjoy hiking in Nevada, more often.
Checking out the PCT North trailhead, I parked my car, and hiked over firm snow along the dirt roadway leading to Castle Pass. I snapped a few photos of the peak, hoping someday I could get a good buddy to join me, for my 13X, on this surprisingly challenging mountain. A solo hiker came along, reporting climbing to the hiker's peak (lower northern summit).
Motoring off westbound, I stopped for more photos at the vista point east of Nyack. Then taking the Colfax Exit, I came to the Stevens Trail parking. Having some daylight to gain some views down the North Fork, I'd get my exercise for this day. The trail is a bit overgrown, but not muddy. Most flowers were past their prime. A few hikers were coming up, and we exchanged good will comments. The side streams are running well. The small falls had plenty of water. I saw again that the trail is not for acrophobes. Sauntering down, I passed the mine, and saw the light on the main canyon was part shadow and part sun. I snapped a few photos as record, and turned back after a half hour's hike. Going back up the hill, I heard a noise below. It was a bear. Feeding on hikers' garbage? It quickly ran off, so I was unable to snap a telephoto picture.
I saw no ticks, but some bugs flew about me. Wary of the West Nile Virus, if anything stops me from summer hiking, that may be it. I brushed them away too fast to see, for sure, if they were mosquitoes. I had no repellant. A lone hiker passed me as I approached the trailhead, and I was back to my car by about 7:25 p.m.
I had hiked roughly 3 miles, with about 500' gain, total. I shot over 135 images, and spent about $25, with some $14 for gas. A thin layer added warmth for my quarter mile, Donner Summit, snow hike, and my low cut boots were fine for the hiking and driving. My light daypack made for carrying camera gear, with no water or other items needed.
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