Mission San Juan, December 30, 2017

Mission San Juan, December 30, 2017
Mission San Juan, December 30, 2017

Monday, November 28, 2011

Hikes and history -- Nov. 26 & 27, 2011

Pyramid Lake & Soda Lake, NV: On the way to work on Saturday, Bob said, "If we're offered voluntary time off today, take it. I want to watch the Civil War game." 

Early in the morning we were offered voluntary time off so I said yes, we'd take it. Little did I know that at 8:30 a.m., we would be told our voluntary time off started as soon as we finished the carts we were working on. I had just finished my cart, so I went to the lunch room to wait for Bob. At 9:00 a.m., he came out. 

Because we had the whole day off, Bob said, "I'm kidnapping you." We took a 1/2 hour drive north of Fernley to Pyramid Lake. What a beautiful place. Because I didn't know we'd be going there, I didn't have the camera. The lake is very large with a big tufa island in the middle. Along the shore we saw a tufa formation called "Popcorn Rock." It looked a lot like dead white coral. We would have gone to the museum, but it is closed on Saturday and Sunday in winter.

In the spring, white pelicans come to mate, nest, and raise their young. We saw some coot today. If we are still in the Reno/Sparks area in spring, we will come back to see the pelicans.

After Pyramid Lake, we drove back roads and countryside in Fernley. Following signs, we tried to find Memorial Park, but lost the directional signs so gave up on that and headed back to the 5er for lunch. 

Bob watched the Civil War game and was happy Oregon won. 

Late in the afternoon we went to Soda Lake (where Bob had run a couple of days ago). We parked the car and proceeded to walk around the lake (four miles). The day was gorgeous with long views to mountains many miles away.
Soda Lake -- erosion on cliffs and tufa formations in water.

Soda Lake viewed from the rim.

Bob on Soda Lake rim road with mountains in distance.
Late afternoon shadows.

We hiked along the rim.

At lake level, rim on other side, mountains in distance peeking over rim.

Beautiful sunset!

About 1/3 of the way around the lake, my hip and knee started hurting. I thought I could walk it off. By about halfway around the lake, my hip and knee were really hurting. It felt like my knee was going to give out and I had sharp pains in the back of my knee. It was getting late so we kept walking. As we got down toward lake level, we started seeing jackrabbits running across the path on their way back to the desert from drinking at the lake. They were too fast and too scared to sit still for a photo op.

After we finished the walk, we went to Pizza Barn in Fallon for a tostado pizza and beer. Nice way to finish the day!

Sunday: Oh so nice to sleep in! We got up around 11:00 am. Bob ran in the early afternoon and we did laundry. About 3:00 p.m., Bob said he was kidnapping me again. This time, we went south from Fallon about 30 miles to Fort Churchill State Historic Park. Again, I did not have the camera. (Darn, I've got to remember the camera.)

We got to the park about 3:40 and the museum said "OPEN." We went in and read the history of the area. Just as we were finishing up in the museum, the ranger came in to close up. (The museum closed at 4:00 p.m.) Luckily, the park itself was open later so we were able to do a 0.6 mile historic interpretive trail through the fort ruins.

Basic history of the park: In 1860 the fear of Indian attacks on settlers caused a demand for immediate protection. Captain Joseph Stewart and his Carson River Expedition were ordered to establish a post on the Carson River. Starting July 20, 1860, tens of thousands of dollars were spent to construct Fort Churchill, the desert outpost that guarded the Pony Express run and other mail routes. Hundreds of soldiers were based here between expeditions against the Indians. 

The fort was named in honor of Sylvester Churchill, the Inspector General of the U.S. Army. It was built as a permanent installation in the form of a square. Adobe buildings were erected on stone foundations, facing a central parade ground. The Civil War made the fort an important supply depot for the Nevada Military District and as a base for troops patrolling the overland routes. The fort was abandoned in 1869.

There are other trails in the park we'd like to explore, so we plan to go back for further exploration when there is more daylight.

We are totally enjoying sightseeing on our days off. I had no clue there was so much to see around here. 

I would really like to do some Volkswalks (10K noncompetitive walks) in Reno, Sparks, Virginia City and Carson City. We'll see how my hip and knee feel. If they seem okay, we may do a volkswalk tomorrow. 

Temperatures during the day are forecast to be high 50s to low 60s through Wednesday...perfect for walking!

Tuesday will be our Reno day to take the 5er in to get the black water tank repaired. We also plan to do some other errands in Reno and may do a volkswalk if we have time.

Looking forward to our next adventure.


  1. I totally forgot about your blog and just caught up reading everything for the past hour :D Sounds like you are all having a great adventure. That Amazon stint sure is working the both of you!

    Great pics! I'm envious! Take care and keep warm...

  2. I've peered down into Pyramid lake during landing approach on the few times we have flown into Reno. You can clearly see the "pyramid" in the lake, it looks like an interesting place to explore. Maybe someday...


Please let me know what you think, your experiences, and constructive criticism to make this blog stronger.