"Two roads diverged in a yellow wood... And sorry I could not travel both. I took the one less traveled by. And that has made all the difference." --Robert Frost

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Some Quiet Time and Some EXCITING News!!

Carson City, NV
Washoe Lake State Park

Out of the mountains and into the desert.  Always love the immediate transitions.  Well, high desert.  Carson City is about half an hour from Reno (going south) and Lake Tahoe (going east)  It was a short 45 minute drive from our mountain boondocking site.  We chose to come this way so we could use our NV State Park Pass once more which allows us to stay for free.
We have not been to this state park before and it is pretty nice.  Two small and quiet loops.  No electric but they do have a dump station and water throughout. 
The pavilions are nice to add some shade to the picnic tables.  Too bad they sit further back from the lake.  We do have a distant view from our site.  There are some trees although they don't provide much shade for the rig.  There are a couple that do though if you're lucky enough to get them.  The sage is tall. 
We are in site #35.  You can see the lake in the distance.  The lake is fairly large and shallow with a maximum depth of 12 feet.  We did see a couple boats though.  Seems a bit risky.  It's pretty windy during the day so we didn't get the kayaks out.
Instead we spent some time hiking.  Deadman's Creek Trail is a moderate hike just under 2 miles.  It does connect to some backcountry trails if you wanted to hike further back into the canyons.  Even with our morning start, it was already getting hot.

There are nice informational signs as you start and a couple of grave markers.  I don't know who is buried there or if anyone is, but you cross the spring fed Deadman's Creek right off the bat.

There are a couple of bridges as the path meanders across the creek a few times with a bench here and there.  For September, we were surprised there was any water at all.

Then you start to climb up to the top where you can see the gazebo.  It is also visible from the road below.
Since it was early, the winds hadn't kicked up yet and the reflections on the lake were beautiful.
Looking further back through the canyon before reaching the gazebo.
There are lots of pretty reddish pink rocks up here.

Hurley headed right for the little bit of shade there was.

Slide Mountain reflecting in Washoe Lake.
There were bright green, yellow and orange lichen on the rocks alongside the blues and grays.
While Steve was looking for a geocache Hurley found some more shade to wait in.
Found it!

Back down we head as Steve has a conference call to do!
A bench on a sloped hillside if you need a rest.  Hurley did.
But he chose this nearby boulder to rest at.
There were some rocky outcroppings at most of the high points.
Back down by the creek the end of this log looked like one of the wild mustangs.

A drive along the lake takes you past some large alfalfa farms.  The deer aren't dumb.  They know where to get a good meal, some shade and water.

Look at those bucks!  Still velvet on the antlers.  Soon enough they'll disappear back into those canyons.  I'm sure they enjoy teasing all the hunters!

There were several smaller herds laying in the fields.  They didn't even care when the farm equipment rolled by to cut.  They move over.  Just slightly and continue grazing.  I couldn't get a clear picture, but they looked so funny when they'd lay down in the taller, uncut alfalfa.  All you could see was hundreds of tiny heads popping up and down.
Further around we came to a giant gold miner sitting next to a chocolate shop.  Of course there was a geocache hidden there too.  We picked up a couple Chocolate Turtles and Salted Carmels.  Yumm.
Then it was back home for dinner and a fire.  That was how most of our week went.  Just relaxing.
Since this was our last weekend and we were pretty rested up by now, we decided to do some family visiting. On Saturday we drove up to Reno to have a BBQ with our son Brennan's girlfriends father.  Sebastian is a great guy and wonderful host.  Both the kids as well as our daughter came up too. All kinds of great grilled steak and side dishes!  We really had a fun time.  After the kids left we stayed another 4 hours talking and laughing.  And I didn't get one picture.

Then on Sunday we drove back to Placerville (a 2 hr drive each way) so we could see my Dad once more and celebrate his 81st birthday.  We won't be back until November so we wanted to see how he's been progressing this past month after his time in the hospital.
The problem with driving down Hwy 50 on Sunday is you get caught up in all the people coming back from Lake Tahoe.  Just as we came into Placerville there was a group of Mini-Coopers driving by.  Most of them were older ones with cute license plates.

Everyone made it but a couple of the grandkids that had to work or were out of the country.
We had a big BBQ then cake.  Courtney and Kaylee getting the birthday candles lit.
Whoa!  It looks like the whole cake is on fire!
Kris, Steve, Diane, Steve and Shane.
Shane, Josh and my Dad.
Phoebe and Hurley.
Another long drive back to Carson City and we made it in time to walk through one of the wildlife viewing areas next to the campground.  This area is known for Nevada's wild mustangs.

And there they are!  We were excited to see them!
And just after that we got the REALLY exciting news!  Ryan, our oldest, and Diana got engaged!!
They were down in the Maldives.  We are SO excited!!  After 31 years we finally will have a wedding!  Unfortunately for them they got caught in Hong Kong trying to leave early as there was a Typhoon (their equivalent of our hurricane) coming.  It was a couple of scary days but they found a safe place to ride it out and made it home safely.
Did I say we were excited?!  We fell asleep that night tired but with big smiles on our faces.

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

A Break in the Mountains - CA, Week 3

Kirkwood, CA
Scott's Lake NF

Our final week boondocking in the forest was pretty quiet. More relaxing during the week then preparing to move to Nevada where we can take advantage of more free camping at the State Park with our pass.
Watching the horses pass by our site.

On Saturday we took a drive up over Monitor Pass to get to the Walker River.  It's a pretty drive and we geocached along the way a little.
Before we dropped down to the river we hid a cache at a cow chute.  We see so many of these we've decided to put one in each state and maybe make it into a challenge cache.  So far we have one in AZ and CA.
Along 395 near Walker is a hotel called Meadow Cliff.  The cliffs rise up behind and the meadow is out front.  They added a nice RV Park beside it that is run by KOA.  Just down the road is a roadside memorial. On June 17, a Tanker experienced a major structural failure causing both wings to fall off just after it completed a retardant drop. The three members of the crew were killed.

We always stop at The Walker Burger for a green chili burger.  They are also known for their shakes.  Above is a picture of their very shaded and pretty outside eating area. Then we stopped at a couple of our favorite fishing spots.  We were surprised to find the water levels pretty good.  Strangely, no one was out fishing.

 We got back to camp as the sun was going down.  It was a nice day for a day trip.

On Sunday we were checking out areas nearby for other boondocking spots.  On the way we geocached some more and came upon the area that Snowshoe Thompson once had a homestead.  For some reason this spot is memorialized by 3 different foundations.
We checked out Indian Creek Reservoir.  The dirt road coming in from the north end is long and bumpy.  We wouldn't take our rig up it.  You could drive in from the south and it's paved most of the way.  The campground is nice but pricey for no hookups and at this time of the year the water level is very low and mossy around the edges.  Not sure how the fishing is. There is a small boondocking spot just outside the campground that has a dirt runway.  It doesn't seem like a place many small planes would land but there was a plane parked there and a couple of trailers camping under the trees.


As the water level dropped it left behind rainbow like colors in the dirt, grasses and weeds.

Hurley was very interested in the brave ground squirrels darting about that didn't seem to care much him though.
Fall will be coming soon to the mountains and some of the Aspen are turning color.

Continuing on, we came upon Curtz Lake.  There are some hiking trails and day use area here.  Of course we had to hide a cache here for our geocaching friend, Curt while we were here.

It was a nice weekend.  Next we move to Nevada before heading up into Idaho.