Beer at the Top of Mount Rose – 8th Annual Silver Peak Brewery Mount Rose Hike

On a different subject – If you read to the end of my last post you might win a prize.

Now to today’s post.

On the last few Sierra Canyon Hiking Group hikes we have been hearing all about how doing the beer hike to the top of Mount Rose is something you have to do if you are a hiker living in Reno. Well today was the day. Some of the people from Silver Peak Restaurant and Brewery carry kegs of beer to the top of Mount Rose and then sell glasses of beer to hikers who get to the top. All of the proceeds goto the Nevada Land Conservancy.

Rose Peak is a challenging hike. Round trip is 11.9 miles. Elevation gain is 1,976 feet. The top of the mountain is 10,776 feet. Today to make it even more challenging the weather was clear and cool and extremely windy.

Seven of us from the Sierra Canyon hiking group met at the Sierra Canyon Lodge at 7:30. We car pooled to Mount Rose and started hiking at 8:30. In the early part of the hike I was wearing a light weight shirt, pants and cap, but at the top I had on gloves, stocking cap, pants, shirt, light weight fleece, heavy weight fleece jacket and my rain jacket and I was very glad I had every one of them. The last couple of miles of the trail are above the tree line and are on the ridge of the mountain and the wind was blowing like I have never experienced it. I leaned 45 degrees into the wind. I thought I might be blown over. I couldn’t stand up. I literally crawled up parts of the trail. We agreed that the wind had to be blowing 70 miles per hour. The wind chill made it very cold. Three of our seven hikers decided that the wind was just too much and waited for us back down in the trees. But Walt, Linda, Duke and I made it. At the very top there was shelter and the beer tasted REALLY good especially with Duke’s famous oatmeal chocolate chip cookies.  The views were fantastic. We could see Mount Lassen, Reno, Truckee, Lake Tahoe and and lots more. Making it to the top was a thrill. I am so glad I did it.

Here are a few pictures. The rest can be seen here on Flickr.

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Hiking and exploring back roads around Reno

Last Sunday we visited the Donner Party Museum at Donner Memorial State Park right off of Interstate 80 west of Truckee.  During the winter of 1846-47 a group of emigrants (The Donner Party) was trapped by snow on Donner Pass. The museum tells the story of the group and what happened to them. We watched the film in the museum, walked the short nature walk which goes by the site of one of their cabins, and visited the memorial.

From Donner Pass we decided to take back roads home to Reno. Heading north on 89 from Interstate 80 We turned east on Hobart Mills Road and then left on Dog Valley Road which eventually comes to Stampede Reservoir. We drove over Stampede Dam and stopped to have a look. It is a earth fill dam on the Little Truckee River completed in 1970. From Stampede Dam we took Henness Pass Rd back into Nevada. Except for some of the roads around the reservoir all of the roads after we turned off 89 were fairly good dirt roads. Duke and I love to explore back roads. It was fun to add this to our list of adventures.

Last week we also did two hikes with the Sierra Canyon hiking group. Coincidentally the first hike was also to Stampede Reservoir. It was a short pleasant hike along Sage Hen Creek to the west end of the reservoir. The trail-head was on the east side of highway 89 north of where we turned off for our drive on Sunday. The walk along the creek to the lake was mainly shaded and flat. The water level in the lake seemed fairly low. We walked out to the edge of the water and then back into the trees where we had lunch before heading home. I think the whole hike was about 4 miles.

The Sierra Canyon hiking group does an easier hike on Mondays and a longer hike on Thursdays. Our hike last Thursday was probably about 8 miles long. It was the first hike that Duke and I have done on the south east side of Reno. The hike was on the east side of the Mount Rose Wilderness. We parked at the trail-head on Timberline Road off the Mount Rose Highway. Heading up we hiked along Thomas Creek over a ridge and then down Whites Creek. In addition to being a longer hike than Monday’s hike there were also a lot more ups and downs. Both Thomas and Whites Creeks had quite a bit of water in them and were very scenic.

I thoroughly enjoyed both hikes. I didn’t take any pictures on our Monday hike but here is one I took at our lunch stop on Whites Creek on Thursday.

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The Great Reno Baloon Races

My daughter came to visit this weekend and got to see our new house for the first time. She got here late Friday night but in spite of that we all got up at 4am Saturday morning! We wanted to go see the Reno Balloon Races. We had no idea if it would be worth getting up at such an ungodly hour but reading about it in the paper made it sound interesting. We left home at 4:30 and just followed the traffic. We parked on one of the side streets near Rancho San Rafael Park and then walked.  There were lots of people but it was easy to find a place to sit in the middle of a dark field. First we watched the Glow Show at 5am. It was quite a sight to see the balloons light up as they ignited the burners. Then at 5:30 we watched the dawn patrol. 5 balloons launching together and staying in formation in the night sky. It was incredibly beautiful. After the dawn patrol there was a break, so we had breakfast at the Kiwanis Club pancake breakfast. Around 6:30 they started inflating and launching over a hundred balloons. We got to stand right in the middle of it all. It was great fun. But next year I will dress more warmly, bring blankets to sit on, and a thermos of hot chocolate or coffee. I’m not sure I will be there for the glow show next year but the dawn patrol, the pancake breakfast and the simultaneous launch of over 100 balloons as the sun rose was absolutely worth getting up for.

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Lots to do

One of the advantages of living in a place that people go on vacation is that there are lots and lots of things to do. Maybe this is true anywhere you go. There were certainly lots of things to do when Duke and I were in Manchester, Iowa on vacation a month ago. In just a week we did Hooverfest, two ice cream socials, the Sweet Corn festival, First Friday at Five (live music, beer and food) and spent a day at the Amana Colonies.

Anyway, there is also lots to do in the Reno area. Yesterday we went to the Best in the West Nugget Rib Cook-Off in down town Sparks. The food was so good that I wished for a bigger stomach.

On Wednesday I met my good friend Linda for lunch in Truckee which is 45 minutes east of here. We hadn’t seen each other in almost three months. It was SO good to see her. In the Truckee chamber of Commerce building I picked up brochures about everything from horse back riding to hiking to wine tasting to the Sunset Idea house to rafting and bicycling. Linda and I had a great time browsing the shops but we did agree that moving and having too much stuff does put a damper on one’s desire to buy things!

Firehouse Pancake breakfast

Before leaving for the bay area today we stopped at the new firehouse pancake breakfast. The house we are renting is in the Del Webb’s Sierra Canyon at Somersett, It is  just down the road from the fire station. It was a lot of fun to watch the kids sitting in the fire truck and trying out the fire hose. I am really enjoying reading the Reno Realty Blog that included the story about the pancake breakfast.