Back Country Day trip from Reno

A couple of weeks ago Duke, Vicky and I spent a day checking out some of the backroads east of Reno. We had such a wet winter we wanted to see the water  in Stillwater National Wildlife Refuge, The Carson River and Lahontan Reservoir. We started out the day with a great breakfast at Cafe Adele’s in Carson City.  You can see the Google Map of our route here.

The major highlights of the trip were the birds and wildlife we saw. Unfortunately I didn’t get a picture of the pronghorn antelope. In a few places in the wild life refuge there were swarms of mosquitos. You can see a couple of them on the window glass in the big picture below.

It was a beautiful day and a fun drive that I think we will do again.

Camping and Nevada Back Road exploring – Taquima Cave and Dianas Punchbowl

Duke and I love exploring the back roads and outback of Nevada. We just got back from a one night exploring camping trip. We had planned to be out two nights but the weather didn’t cooperate. We still managed to see a lot in just two days. We were pretty much in the geographical center of Nevada. Here is a map of our route.

We stopped for a picnic lunch at the shoe tree on highway 50. Highway 50 is so empty that  people have created their own roadside attraction.

A little east of Austin we left the pavement and then just before we got to our campground we had a flat tire! Luckily we carry two spares otherwise it would have been foolhardy to continue on roads where we rarely see another car.

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The Taquima Caves campground is just a quarter mile walk from the camp ground. The cave has rock art created more than 1500 year ago.

We were the only ones in the campground.

Monday morning we drove down into the Monitor Valley and went looking for Dianas Punch Bowl. We followed our map and seemed to be in the right place but there were no signs. We decided to drive to the top of this hill to look around.

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At the top we saw this.

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And then this!

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Down about 30 feet is a hot spring inside a tufa hill.

From Dianas Punch Bowl we headed west back over the mountains to check out the campground near Kingston where we had planned to camp. But it was rainy and cold so we decided to head home. It was a fun trip and inspired me to do another Nevada Outback camping trip again soon.