All This Just to See Some Ancient Graffiti?

Updated: May 23

Today's adventure started out with an unexpected event. As we were driving past the hundreds of cars parked at Tahoe Meadows this holiday weekend, and were approaching Mt. Rose summit, we saw a vehicle parked on the side of the highway near the closed road to the Mt. Rose Campground. It caught my husband's eye. The closer we got, we saw a team of guys trying to dig out a stuck white Subaru. To no one's surprise, my husband pulls over, waits for traffic to clear, turns around, and cautiously pulls into the closed road.


He gets out and approaches the group to assess the situation. One of the first things he notices is that the guy in the maroon shirt is wearing gloves with the Minnesota Gophers "M" logo. He finds out the guy is from Willmar, MN, but recently moved to Reno. Small world.



Second thing, it turns out the driver has been stuck for three days and had slept in his car the past two nights. And yesterday, another Jeep showed up to help pull the Subaru out, but was unsuccessful. My husband thinks between the snow conditions on the road combined with the manpower of the team, it won't take much to free the Subaru. So he gets out the straps and they get the Subaru connected to the Jeep, ready for a tug.



It didn't take much and the Subaru was free and we continued on our way to our intended adventure -- to the petroglyphs.


We started out on this road in the Jeep.



Nice view, huh?



Then it was time to air-down the tires. The road is too rocky to continue with hard tires so we use these devices to reduce them down to about 25 psi.




Then we were back on the road, slowly climbing and climbing. Another nice view.


It's a beautiful sunny day, with temperatures in the 50s. We make a pitstop and decide to remove the top panels from the Jeep for the rest of the drive.


We can't seem to escape the rocky road today. So bumpy. We came across probably half a dozen side-by-sides today and at one point, we were in an off-road traffic jam, waiting for several side-by-sides to pass from both directions. One of the drivers stopped as he was passing us and commented about how we were literally in the middle of nowhere yet we still found ourselves in a traffic jam. We all laughed.



In addition to all the rocky terrain, this is one of the water crossings we drove through today.


Then there was this one. A combination of bumpy rocks and water.


After several miles on the super bumpy, rocky road, we finally arrived at the petroglyphs.


What are petroglyphs? They're these:












While we were exploring the area of the petroglyphs, we heard an accipiter call overhead and I was lucky enough to get it on video:

So, if you ever wondered whether birds in the desert really sound like that, now you know.


We also saw some longhorn cattle and wild horses roaming.



It's always a treat to see some wildlife when we are out exploring. Unless someday it's a mountain lion. That might not be such a treat... at least not for us. Maybe for the mountain lion.


On our way out, I tried to take video of this water crossing while standing up in the Jeep, with my head outside the roof. You'll soon see how that wasn't the best idea I've had.

Whoops.




We still have the roof removed, so we kind of dared each other to make it all the way home without putting the roof back on. It was like 32 degrees at Mt. Rose and we had the heater cranked, but we did it. We made it all the way home with the top down.


In the end, it was about a 14-mile roundtrip off-road adventure with minimal stress, lots and lots of rocks, a bunch of mud, some fun water crossings, and interesting ancient graffiti.


And we even caught a pretty little sunset to close out the day.



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