Recovering nicely now from a bad cough, slight fever, and thusly being medicated heavily, I was seeking to lose weight. I had started yard work, and improved my abode to higher energy efficiency, spending a lot. With no partners to ever share, I put my money where it does some good. If someone does come forward to climb, hike, ski, or green travel, I will be ready, but we would have to share. My car is getting old, with major maintenance on the way, but soon, with solar, and electric technology, I will be zero emissions all the way through.
With no one to hike together, I sought to determine some destination. The Washoe County ranger had mentioned, “Hunter Falls.” I recall hiking that way once with the local hiking club, but couldn’t remember if I ever saw the falls.
This Sunday, it was windy in the morning. I figured to stay home, and work. It began to clear up, and record highs were being experienced, the day before, all over the area. I dressed warmly, as I live in a colder area. Motoring down the highway, I shortly came to the Interstate, and took the roads over to the trailhead. Admiring the homes about Caughlin Ranch, I had my dash cam running. I drove along the Parkway, wishing that I had the money to live in such a nice development. Backtracking to the roads that led to the trailhead, I shortly arrived at about 2:50 p.m.
It was a nice trailhead, with paved parking and restrooms, but they were closed for the winter. I used an outhouse, and then started on my hike. Many other people were about, and hikers were already returning. The dirt road leads to a stream crossing, and I hopped rocks rather than walk a plank. Noting several hikers following me, one appeared to have a hard time with the elevation gain. We shortly entered the Mt. Rose Wilderness, and I shot many pictures of the trail ahead.
The sky went blue, with clouds. The wind formed some waves at the higher atmosphere, and I liked this for photography. Liking the weather and scenery, I thought of the old hiking club. Those that truly loved hiking would even pay for this! It was like a national park! Trees, with cliffs and bumps high above began to appear.
Lots of hikers with dogs came by, many unleashed. They were all friendly enough, well behaved dogs, some apparent pedigree here. I stepped aside for many hikers, as it is a steep incline the trail runs along. I had to be careful, being clumsy due to my medications, and it will take some re-conditioning to get back into safer hiking. My vision is increasingly impaired, and I can’t focus as fast as on what I’m looking at. My reflexes aren’t as fast anymore.
The trail goes up, with many small dips. The other hikers started to disappear, and one lady chatted with me for awhile. As I took more pictures, she went ahead, and soon I began to get into the forests. There was damp dirt on the trail, and I started to wonder if I had bypassed the falls. Hikers returning assured me, and soon I was coming to a creek crossing. Logs bridged the torrent, and I had to decline a brave balance walk across, being that I am clumsier. Using my hands, I didn’t get wet feet, and in a few more yards, the falls appears.
There were a few hikers there, and I started with my camera work. It had taken me longer than I figured, about two hours to get here. I had on only one layer, with jeans, and it began to cool off in the trees and higher elevations. I did my photos and video, making use of my cameras and technology, and then took a rest with a drink of my water. I had my pee bottle, but didn’t need it.
Doing more pictures with video, the other hikers left, so I started down at 5:20 p.m. I took more photos as I hiked down, and it went faster. Some few hikers were still heading up. It gets dark at about 7:20 p.m., and one asked about how far it was. I replied that it took an hour to get back to there, and there would be no moon. In the pitch black without a flashlight, it could be death. The trail traverses over a steep incline, and a bad tumble might be fatal. I amazed myself by coming back in good time to the wilderness boundary with the city of Reno in sight. The trailhead parking lot and the casinos made for an interesting juxtaposition.
Taking the plank across the stream, the parking lot now was near empty, and I used the outhouse once again. I set my good camera to run video as I drove on out, with the nice homes, the town vista, and the incredible sky. Wishing for a good meal, a place that I drove to was closed. I went shopping, and then got more groceries, and got some won ton soup at a Chinese restaurant.
I had some anxiety about doing a good hike, being feeling like I was about to fall over, but I’m not dead yet. I safely completed the 5.2 miles round trip, with approximately 1,200 feet of gain, and perhaps 200 feet of dip total on the whole route. Capturing 326 images and movie clips, I spent nothing on the hike. Buying a lot of food, with 8.60 for the soup, I did deplete my cash, but with possible rain coming in for the week, I expect to stay about home.
It looks like frugality will dictate no road trip for the spring or summer, so I have to forgo the completion of my highway crossings over the Continental Divide. I had one big drive planned to do it all, with a return perhaps to Yellowstone National Park, and last year, to drive even to North and South Dakota, but as I had no big peak climbing plans, can leave this for some time in the future. I so enjoyed my 2013 road trip to the eight states, and also traveling and fine dining, but now there are only odd nooks and crannies, left to explore, and if no one wants to join me for any of them, even for free, how good must this all be?
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