It seemed that we were finally leaving behind the cold, wintry weather of the Eastern Sierras as we continued our journey, but unfortunately not the rain. As we pulled into Washoe Lake State Park, with raindrops falling, at least the weather did not chill us to the bone, and we had two fair-sized cities within reach for restocking supplies, Carson City and Reno.
Something that did warm us even before heading to Washoe was receiving an email from a couple we had recently met, letting us know where they were headed, and saying “but you are probably many days behind us”. My reply, “just one day”, and before we knew it we were reconnecting with Life’s Little Adventures Jim and Gayle at the park. Seems we had both decided that Washoe was a quiet destination for avoiding the crowds over the Memorial Day weekend.
During our last visit Washoe Lake was a mere shadow of itself, but this time it had managed a complete vanishing act, bone-dry due to the drought conditions in the west. Its reliance on snowpack and its normal 12’ depth has rendered it dry several times since the ‘70’s. Someday I would love to see it as an actual body of water, with pelicans bobbing on the surface and herons feeding on the shoreline.
Even without a drop of lake water, we still feel this is a great little find. The Carson and Virginia Mountain Ranges surround the campground, making for dramatic photos of mountaintops crowned with billowy clouds. Taking a walk through the desert right outside your door will reward you with sand dunes to explore, jackrabbits to watch racing across the sage-dotted landscape, and quail scurrying through the brush. Your cozy site will be large, level, and well paved, each with its own cabana, table, and fire ring.
After three days of rain, with some short breaks for walks through the park, only to dash back to the warmth of our rigs when the rain fell again, the four of us finally awoke to a sunny day filled with birdsong. We quickly decided that a hike in the surrounding hills was in order to rid ourselves of the cabin fever that had cast its spell over us.
Nights were reserved for getting to know each other better and for our ongoing lessons in craft brews from two of the “beer sommeliers” we had originally met at Jojoba Hills.
I felt a bit heavy-hearted as we left Washoe Lake State Park, sad to be saying goodbye to a couple who we knew that we wanted to get to know better. Before we left we were already contemplating our next rendezvous, such is the beauty of this lifestyle. And Jim sent us off with a list of craft beers that awaited us at the wine store in Reno. 🙂