Updated: May 23
It's still basically winter in Tahoe, but today was so beautiful we just had to take a Jeep ride somewhere. The past several days, we've been in the middle of a minor snowstorm that didn't end up bringing much snow to our house, but higher areas in the region actually got a decent amount. Either way, we'll take the moisture. But it was back to clear blue skies and lots of sunshine today. The air still feels cool, but if you dress in layers, it's perfect. It was 50 degrees when we were down in the valley and with the sunshine, it felt great.
We headed out to what I'll call rural Nevada; although, there are areas of Nevada that are substantially more rural. We turned onto Desert Creek Road, which quickly transforms into a bumpy and rocky dirt forest road. Maybe 2 miles in, we are stopped by a caravan of trucks and a travel trailer, all standing still in the middle of the road. My husband stops and gets out to ask them what's going on. With all the snow that's recently fallen and the wet/muddy conditions, I'm wondering if they came upon something impassable.
It turns out they are all traveling together and are scoping out an area in which to park and camp. One of the women in the group warns us that we will not likely be able to make it all the way to the end of this road due to some questionable ice obstacles, but she said we could definitely make it a little farther from that point.
So, we proceeded with some caution, keeping an eye out for an impassable obstacle that would cause us to turn around. Along the way, we stopped a few times so that I could take some wintry photos of the picturesque creek (and try hard not to fall in...).
We also crossed paths with a guy in a side-by-side, who had 3 whining and agitated beagles in the back of it. He told us that they were hot on the trail of a mountain lion. So, there's that.
You can actually hear the beagles whining in the background of this creek video:
Today's trek was all about snow, ice, mud, and creek crossings. In total, it involved 5 creek crossings and numerous good-sized puddle crossings. The Jeep navigated them all like a champ. Well, except for this one.
Not the most graceful entry point I've seen.
But the other crossings went pretty smoothly (but they don't always...).
At one of the creek crossings, both of us exited the Jeep and took a short walk along the water's edge to scope it out. My husband, leading the way, says to me, "This might get funny." Seconds later, the snow below his foot gave way and suddenly he was standing in the freezing cold creek water up past his ankle. Whoops. At least he knew it was coming? (Oh, how I wish I'd gotten this on video!)
After we reached a junction in the road, we took a sharp right and continued up a long, snow-covered switchback. We were careful to take this stretch slowly because on one side was a big drop-off and any kind of slipping or sliding could put us in a bind.
See what I mean about the snow-capped scenery??
Once we rounded the first corner of the switchback, we decided the snow was getting a little deeper than we'd like and it just wasn't worth it, so we ultimately turned around and headed back the way we came.
After a few miles and most of the creek crossings for the second time around, we stopped and had a snack. Of course. And took in the unique rock formations along the canyon.
Once we made it back onto pavement, we took another canyon road for a few miles, just to check it out. We ended up seeing some beautiful sections of the Walker River on our little impromptu detour.
Then, one last roadside stop before we headed back up the mountain to home. This old schoolhouse caught my eye and made me think of my grandma, who I know would have been enamored by it.