Duke and I just got back from a two night camping trip in Nevada’s newest State Park, the Walker River State Recreation Area. The park just opened this summer. It is made up of four units along the east fork of the Walker River. The units are not contiguous. The first night we camped in the Pitchfork unit in the Riverbend Campground. The campground is less than two hours south of Reno. It has nice bathrooms with flush toilets and showers. I loved the setting, especially with the fall colors.
We had yummy Guiness stew for dinner. Once it got really dark we enjoyed the amazing number of stars and the view of the Milky Way that you can only see when you are away from city lights.
The park includes a 5.6 mile stretch of the Walker river that is open for floating or kayaking. I think it would be fun to rent a kayak and make the trip some time.
During the days we had beautiful fall weather. The only problem was that the nights were cold. The first night it got down to 27 degrees!
The next morning we packed up and moved about 45 miles down dirt roads to the Bighorn Campground in the Nine Mile Ranch unit of the park. It is a rustic campground with brand new pit toilets. Each camp site is well separated and right along the river. We were the only ones camping there and overnight it got very cold – down to 18 degrees! Other than the cold it was a wonderful place to camp.
We had good sleeping bags and lots of blankets but it was hard to get up in the morning. Even the water in our five gallon container was frozen! The temperature warmed up pretty fast once the sun came up.
When we warmed up we packed up and headed home. Along the way we stopped for lunch at Rosie’s Place a great Mexican restaurant in Wellington.
Friday morning we set out early to see a bit of Iceland before catching our 3:00 flight to San Francisco. We stopped at the Gullfoss Warterfall. The weather was windy and cold and the walkways were a bit icy. It is a pretty amazing waterfall.
Next we stopped at Geysir. Our tourist map calls it the best known geyser in the world because it leant it’s name to the English language to describe a periodically spouting hot spring.
The Keriō volcanic crater was our next stop.
We still had a bit of time so we stopped for a coffee in Reykjavik.
Our flight was uneventful. We were through immigration in San Francisco in about ten minutes and then caught BART to Walnut Creek where we had a special welcome!
Yesterday I attended and thoroughly enjoyed a New England Historical Genealogical Society all day conference in Oakland. One of the speakers was a genealogy rockstar Robert Charles Anderson.
This morning we caught. Amtrak home to Reno. It was a great trip. We plans to do our next big trip in the Spring. We are still deciding exactly where to go.
Our flight to Iceland was at five this evening so we had the morning to do a wee bit more exploring in Dublin.
We checked out the Dublin City Museum in the basement of City Hall.
Then we walked through the grounds of Dublin Castle and stopped in at the Revenue Museum.
Finally we visited the Chester Beatty Library. It is a jaw dropping collection of manuscripts and rare books. As an example We saw the earliest known versions of the Apostles letters from the second century.
Our flight to Iceland was about two hours. We will only be here twenty hours or so. We rented a car and drove two hours east. Along the way we picked up some snacks at a grocery store and are spending the night in the little town of Fluor.
This morning we left Belfast and Northern Ireland and drove to Dublin where we turned in our rental car and walked to our hotel.
At 5:30 we went to the sung evensong service at St Patrick’s Cathedral. They have an excellent boys and men’s choir.
We ate dinner in a pub and listened to live music while we ate.
We spent the day today relaxing and exploring Belfast. Tonight is our last night in Northern Ireland. Tomorrow we head to Dublin.
I’ve found Northern Ireland fascinating especially because of the British connection and the somewhat conflicting Irish connection. I suspect my Protestant Irish ancestors would have identified as British Irish. I never understood the significance of Union Jacks and William of Orange before this visit gave me a bit of insight.
For the first time in a while breakfast was not included in the rate at our hotel. So along the way today we stopped for coffee and a pastries.
We also checked out an excellent exhibit at Belfast City Hall.
I had fun checking out a couple of bookstores.
And for a change for dinner we had bruschetta, pizza and wine.
Our first stop this morning was the Bushmills Distillery where we learned all about the making of Irish Whiskey and had a wee taste!
Next we went just down the road to the Giant’s Causeway. It is a stone formation that reminds me of Devil’s Postpile in California.
Tonight we are in Belfast.