Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Every year the Pony Express Association does an annual reride along the oringal Pony Express route from St. Joseph, Missouri, to Sacremento, California. On even years the ride travels east while on odd years it travels west. The reride is a ten day reenactment of the delivery of mail along the historic 1,966 mile route. During the reride over 500 horses and riders travel about two to three miles a piece while wearing traditional clothing. This is alot less than the 75-100 miles the horses rode during the orginal Pony Express days. For many communities along the Pony Express route this is a big summer event with parades and festivities. Supporting events like this keep our history alive for future generations. (Information from www.nationalgeographic.com/news/2001/06/0613_tvpony.html)
On this particular day I am watching the exchanging of the mochilla at Mormon Station in Genoa, Nevada. Mormon Station was a stop between Friday Station at Lake Tahoe and Carson City, Nevada. The event started with riders carrying flags representing the eight states the Pony Express passed through followed by the rider carrying the mochilla.
Directions: Spooner Summit Trailhead is located approximately 30 minutes from Carson City, Nevada, on Highway 50. Highway 50 enters Lake Tahoe on the eastern side of the lake halfway between Incline Village and South Lake Tahoe.South Lake Tahoe is approximately 20 miles to the south. This is truly one of the splendid lakes in the United States.
Information on the hike: Spooner Lake Trailhead is one of the many access points for the Tahoe Rim Trail, a 165 mile backpacking trail which circles the lake. Marlette Lake and Spooner Lake are also popular destinations from this trailhead. Spooner Lake is the shortest destination at two miles. For my hike today I wanted to get a good view of Lake Tahoe from above to accomplish this I did not know how far I would have to hike. The trail started of in the pine trees moderately climbing toward Snow Lake Peak. Within the first three miles there were two or three overlook spots for Lake Tahoe or points east. After four miles the views of Lake Tahoe start to get very good. After five miles Nevada and I stopped at a rock outcrop where we ate some lunch and then hiked back to the car. Today I hiked over 10 miles on a moderately strenuos trail.
Below dead tree with sky
Virginia and Truckee Railroad passenger car number 9
On my second day in Carson City I visited the Nevada State Railroad museum. It is located on Carson Street in the downtown area. Because of budget cuts the museum is open Friday-Monday. To see the museum it costs $4 for a day pass. During the summer the museum offers special excursions for a special rate.
The museum has an impressive collection of rolling stock from the Virginia and Truckee Railroad which supplied many of the Comstock Lode towns with supplies. Included in the collection is three Baldwin Steam Engines which have been restored to former glory. Inside the building is history on the Comstock Lode mining railroads and the Transcontinental Railroad. Hollywood used many of the old locomotives and cars in old movies before the state bought them. This museum is worth a stop if you are in Carson City.
Baldwin Locomotive Number 23
Inside a Baldwin Steam Locomotive showing the valves
Top of Steam Engine
Front of Steam Engine at museum; Below engine which would have worked on Nevada's railroads
The three canons at the Mountain Man Encampment
The Rendezvous takes place every year in the State Capital of Caron City, Nevada. It is a celebration of Nevada's history. Over the course of three days a visitor can listen to live music, see booths with many different crafts and watch live reenactments. The reenactments take place at the Mountain Man Encampment, Native American Encampment and Civil War Encampment. At the Mountain Man Encampment demonstrations with muskets and canons occur throughout the day. In the Native American Encampment viewers watch traditional dances by Paiute Indians. Finally, three times during the day a mock Civil War battle between Union and Confederate troops takes place on the Big Field. The Rendezvous is fun for the whole family and best of all if you don't buy food or crafts it is free.
Soldiers participating in the Civil War Reenactment
Civil War Reenactment on the Big Field
Children performing for visitors
Location: Cave Lake State Park is located 15 miles southeast of Ely off of US. 93 in eastern Nevada. The park features a 32 acre reservoir at 7300 feet in the Schell Creek Range. Temperatures during the summer can be warm in 90s and during the winter cold with snow on the ground much of the time.
General Information: To use the facilities at the park a fee of $10 is assessed at the front; it is waived if an individual camps for the night (cost of $14). Activities during the summer include fishing, hiking and camping. There are two campgrounds: Elk Flat Campground and Lake View Campground. A Nevada license is needed to fish at the lake. During the winter snow mobiling, snow shoeing, and ice fishing are popular activities. Animals include brown trout and rainbow trout in the lake with elk, muledeer, bobcat and moutain lion in the surrounding range. Flora is sage brush, scrub pine and choke cherry.
Hiking: Visitors can hike four developed trails in ranging from easy to strenuous. The easiest trail is a three mile round trip along Steptoe Creek. The Cave Springs Trail is a five mile moderately- strenuous hike that takes you into the hills. The Cave Lake Trail is a strenuous 4.5 mile climb to an overlook of the lake. The Twisted Pines trail leaves the overlook trail and rejoins it after a couple miles. All the trails are easy to follow and worth whle. The Cave Lake Trail offers the best views of the area. (Information from www. parks.nv.gov/parks/cave-lake-state-park/)
Scenery in the Schell Creek Range looking north
Schell Creek Range off trail