Monday, November 9, 2009

Exploring the Trails of Yesteryear

My friend Trisha and I just returned from a road trip to the Reno area. Our first day was dedicated to haunting our favorite second hand stores, but days 2 and 3 we headed out with our cameras through some historic and beautiful places. This trip became a recon mission for future trips, when we could spend more time.
Though it was the first week of November the temperatures were above 70. We spent one day exploring Virginia City and Gold Hill. The sky was like a moving canvas, causing us to keep pulling over to take pictures. We explored the museum in Virginia City, strolled the wooden sidewalks and checked out a number of small shops.
We usually come home by heading up to Tahoe and coming down Hwys 89 and 88 to the Jackson area before heading back to the coast. This time we wanted to explore so we headed south on Hwy 395 from Carson City and picked up the old Pony Express Trail to Genoa, the oldest town in Nevada. The locals suggest taking Hwy 88 to Markleeville, so off we went, climbing out of the high desert to the evergreen mountains we'd seen from the Washoe Valley.
We asked the owner of the General Store in Markleeville to suggest a scenic route to work our way back home. He said if we didn't mind narrow twisting roads with no center line, the best adventure would be Hwy 4 over Ebbetts Pass. He wasn't mistaken.
It was an incredible drive through constantly changing vistas; along the Carson River, through woods, switchback climbs to over 8,000 feet, rock outcroppings so tall we had to shoot up, and alpine lakes. This small cabin on Mosquito Lake was fascinating. We wondered how long it had been there, how many generations of a family enjoyed this small island in paradise!
It was truly a grand adventure. We arrived home somehow exhausted and energized at the same time and are looking forward to spending additional time in the Sierras. There are so many wonderful places to visit that are virtually in our back yard.
Trisha took took the pictures of the old safe in Virginia City and the Sky Canvas near Gold Hill. I took the photo the cabin on Mosquito Lake.