by Daniel Montero
It's my birthday month! I turned 44 earlier this month and, while I'm not generally a giant birthday celebrator, there is something about 44 that has really inspired me and it has been a whirlwind month. So much has happened that I want to write about more, but I'm still in media res and so haven't had the time to really focus on one thing above the other! Here are some highlights of the month so far.
This wasn't technically in February, but directly before I had to go to the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering for work I took a day and made it to the top of Purgatory Peak in the Selenites. It awesome but quite a challenge, especially navigating the icy rocks and thick brush at the top with Larry.
The National Cowboy Poetry Gathering
I had to go to this for work, where I watched over a booth selling Basque books and emceed a presentation in which I read from Joan Errea and shared the stage with other Center authors. It was quite an adventure being in Elko for this event and I treasured every moment of it. I also, of course, brought my Surly bike, Reggie, to ride around Elko--No way I was going to a Cowboy Poetry Gathering without my steed!
Through Central Nevada from Elko
On my way back from Elko I decided to avoid the freeway and back road across a little part of central Nevada. So I turned south through the Crescent Valley and to Highway 50 near Austin.
Riding to Black Rock Point
My mom had asked if we could come up and help with some major work, during the next week, so on my actual birthday week I decided I'd try to ride my bike to the ranch to help them out. I drove to Gerlach, packed up with Larry riding in my BoB trailer, and set out, but soon changed my plan (which was pretty malleable anyway) and instead of heading toward Soldier Meadows I turned out toward the Black Rock Point. Despite spending so much time in and around the Black Rock, I'd never been out there and it seemed like a perfect birthday celebration. And it was, such a beautiful ride, then night in the shadow of the Black Rock Point. The next day lollygagged around the springs and riding back to Gerlach, where I then drove to the ranch. Then, of course, I had a flat tire in the Subaru on Jungo Road driving to my family's place, haha, but that was nothing to mar this adventure, which I will definitely write/post more about.
Then it was the ranch, where we helped out with one of the hardest days in a year that is full of hard days, running cows through the chute. Not a lot to say about this one, but we made it through with smiles and not too much in the way of mishaps, so all good!
Closing Gates and a Night Under the Stars
The next day, we worked again, this time taking 4-wheelers up and closing the gates so that the cattle won't drift up into the high country too early. It is sort of our annual job, and we pretty much zipped through it, and then afterward we went out into the desert and spent a wonderful night under the stars before making it home to our warm bed.
Hiking the Cliffs
Looking toward Pine Forest from the southeast face, one of the most striking features is The Cliffs, a landscape of granite cliffs and spires, and on the next weekend, visiting my family again, we snuck off for a hike among them. It is an awe-inspiring face, and it was Renee's first time climbing all the way through them and to the very top. The wind was cold and the day bit into our clothes, but we found a sunny glade out of the wind for our lunch and had a great day!
This is my name for a place that is very special to me, in the Black Rock Range. I have wandered this rock garden many times before, but am always able to make it a new hike. It blew icy, dry snow into our faces all day, and Renee, still fighting a cold, stayes home for this one. I think Larry wouldn't have minded staying home either, he looked like an icicle for a good part of the hike, but it was still a great time.
And beyond! The month is still not over and the explorations are sure to keep coming! With Renee feeling better this week and with some days off maybe we’ll head somewhere south and warm(er) ... it’s definitely chilly in Reno this morning!
The Quilici Ranch Rd section of the Tahoe-Pyramid Bikeway is one of our favorite places to go when we want a fairly flat, shaded place to hike or ride our bikes. It has great views of the Truckee River and even though the trail’s fairly close to I-80 and the train tracks it still feels like you’re out in the wild. You will likely have a train pass by every once and awhile, which we think adds to the fun!
For the most part we had a great 2017. Lots of Kayaking, hiking, riding, friends, family and more! We hope you had a great year and enjoy this video of our year. It's roughly 11 minutes long and even though it's mostly silent, the videos have some noise or us talking in it.
by Daniel Montero
Once upon the time there was a meadow, a great meadow with a river flowing through it. Our culture arrived and straightened the river into a main channel and built agriculture and later a city, my city, Reno. Along the river channel, the Truckee River, there is a concrete path, the River Path, and it is a place that is near and dear to my heart. It has always been a little escape, a dive into the wilderness—both literal and figurative—but since the completion of the McCarran path it has become an artery for me, a main route upon which I launch myself into my outer life, my profession, my leisure, my health, and my mind. I ride along it to work and I think about the day and I come to realizations about things that I would never have considered otherwise. I ride home late singing and dancing. It is no utopia, and every day I ride it I also see evidence of human pain, of the detritus of our culture. I ride through immigrants desperate for work, mentally challenged, people living on the river in many circumstances, the pains of addiction, my own worries and doubts of myself. I listen to music sometimes and want to block it all out, but it is in there, and then I turn a corner and catch a new view of Mount Rose in the distance, or a trick of light, a goose taking flight or gliding into the water, the play of the sun on the pinto hills of Hidden Valley, the “Truckee’s silvery rills,” and I return to my life, my continual desire to appreciate and wonder about our world.
Of the recent flowering of Reno that is happening, one of my favorites is that the Truckee River is finally getting the appreciation that it deserves for being one of the most unique little parts of the planet that it is. There are many pieces of it, from One Truckee River to the Nature of Art (and which I have written on here and here as well in other posts and the like) on the McCarran Ranch Preserve to the white water park in downtown Reno and the Tahoe-Pyramid bikeway that will one day seek to unite them all. I am proud to see it and to be a tiny part of it.
So today I went through my phone and found some of my favorite snaps from this year on the Truckee. Check back because I might add to them as I find and take more.
Written by Renee Aldrich
In August 2015, Dan and I headed out on a 10-day journey. The plan was to spend the 10 days biking around eastern Nevada. But as life and journey would have it we spent five 5 days biking and 5 days car camping due to an injury that would flare up while pedaling. It was a gorgeous, fun and challenging 10 days. We stopped at recreation areas, wilderness areas, state wildlife management areas, state parks and national parks.
The photos below are in separate galleries when you click on one picture in a gallery it will show the full sized photo. You can than click through all the photos of that gallery in their full size. The photos you see in the boxes below are thumbnails and some of the photos are cut off.
We hope you enjoy!
Day 1: Reno to Ward Mountain Rec. Area
We drove from Reno to Ely, packed up in Ely then biked a short distance from Ely to Ward Mountain Recreation Area. The campground at Ward Mountain is gorgeous, well kept, and when we were there pretty darn empty. We highly recommend it!
Day 2: Ward Mountain to Wayne E. Kirch WMA
This day was a long and rough one. It was a 70-mile day, but we weren't too worried about it because it was mostly downhill. However, we ended up having a huge headwind that annihilated any downhill advantage we had. It took us way longer to get to Kirch than expected, but we made it. We didn't quite make the spot we intended on camping at, but close enough for a short ride into the main campground in the morning.
Camp kitchen with the original RaD Crew! Coco, Dusty, Dan and me (Renee) taking the pic! This was somewhere in Arizona during our 2009 month long bike tour. We visited Flagstaff and the Grand Canyon and road on part of the Arizona Trail. It was a fantastic trip!
We miss these loves so much, but we take them with us on all our journeys.
This blog is dedicated to stories and ideas from our explorations. We hope you enjoy!
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