I remember the first time I saw the Carson Valley in the state of Nevada, and my amazement at seeing lush green hay growing in the shade of the Sierra Nevada peaks, on the edge of the desert. That was at least 30 years ago, and on every visit since then, usually just driving through on the way to somewhere else, I have feasted my eyes and heart on those scenes of quietly grazing cattle, and sagebrush lining the roadways.
My friend “Rosemary” and her family have recently moved back to the West, and to visit them where they live a little south of the capital Carson City, I drove east through California and over the Luther Pass at 7740 ft. on Hwy 89 south of Lake Tahoe. The pass is named for Ira M. Luther who traversed the mountains by wagon train in 1854.
This map shows a much larger area north and east of where I visited, including the whole of Carson Sink as it extends into Nevada and California.
I arrived late at Rosemary’s place because I just had to stop and take pictures of the new-mown hay.
And on my layover day my friends took me on a hike up the slope west of the valley, toward Job’s Peak. The skies were black or grey, and we heard threatening thunder, but no rain fell.
In just over a mile we had reached the California border. I thought it was very exciting to be standing on that boundary line. Not that we could see the edge exactly…
This is what we saw looking down from the state line. We had ever-changing cloud shows that afternoon, which made for varying light conditions, too.
The lupines were finished and had already made thick pods from their flower spikes, but small flowers nestled into the granite gravel, and big bushes of wild roses grew close to the little creek we jumped over.
The air was so dry, my hair hung limply. Though the sun stayed mostly behind the clouds, it still managed to burn my face and lips. But I felt really good, standing on the side of the mountain with the breeze blowing my blouse.
It was a very happy few days, being together with my dear Nevada Family friends. We sat outdoors in the clean and dry, just-warm-enough air for hours catching up on all the concerns of our hearts and minds — well, as many of them as possible in this short visit. I’m looking forward to another trip over to that lovely Carson River Valley.