It was a grand day for day two of the Minden Camino to Reno adventure. The group started off with a 5 mile hike from The Town of Genoa to Jacks Valley Elementary School and up the hill to enjoy the hospitality of one of the walkers. A shady patio with cushy lawn chairs, cold lemonade and some fresh banana bread made for a nice respite from the warming sun. The group then proceeded another mile to Fuji Park in Carson City and on to the Nevada State Museum. To the delight of the group, the engineers at the Nevada State Railroad Museum were gearing up for a test run on Steam Engine Number 25 and they invited us aboard for a quick talk on the history and workings of this historic engine. What fun! The route then continued on through some of the tribal lands of the Washoe Tribe of Nevada and we viewed a replica of a Washoe Indian bark house. The group then continued on to the historic silver domed Capitol of Nevada originally built between 1869 and 1871. After reaching the center of Carson City the thirsty travelers were seated and served cold beers at the Fox Brewpub. The group then dispersed – some knocking off a few extra miles heading north and some toured the Capitol Plaza enjoyed the memorials and statues depicting our lost heroes and early explorers. Day three will lead the group on to Davis Creek Park in Washoe Valley.
A cool morning set up for a gorgeous morning walk through Minden neighborhoods, skirting the Park Ranch as we entered the floodplain of the Carson Valley.
We enjoyed a welcome break at River Fork Ranch. Lori Leonard gave an excellent presentation about the 800-acre preserve owned and operated by The Nature Conservancy. We are so fortunate to have the commitment from various stakeholders to preserve, protect and restore this amazing habitat. Afterward we continued into Genoa, for a historic tour of historic Mormon Station, the site of Nevada’s 1st permanent, non-native settlement, built in 1851 as a trading post along the Carson Rte of the California Trail.
Onward to the older drinking parlor in NV, the legendary Genoa Bar for late afternoon refreshments.
What a delight to meet up with 11 new companions on a 65 mile trek from Minden to Reno, NV on our Pine Cone Camino to Reno adventure. We began the morning’s walk under a beautiful blue sky and an incredible view looking west to the snow-capped mountains that rise over Lake Tahoe. We walked through lovely neighborhoods, alongside cow pastures and down the edge of the East Carson River to the Nature Conservancy’s River Fork Ranch near Genoa, approximately 5 miles from our starting point. While there we lounged while eating lunch and enjoyed a talk about the numerous restoration projects in the immediate flood plain.
From there we continued another mile up the road to the delightful town of Genoa where we rested on the cool grass and appreciated a history talk about the Mormon Station State Historical Park. Then the Genoa Bar and Saloon (the oldest bar in Nevada) beckoned us to come rest our feet and savor a cold beer under the shade of the trees. From there most of the group continued on another three miles where vehicles were waiting to take everyone to a variety of accommodations.
In Spain, a scallop shell dangling from a backpack or hiking staff is a clue that the stranger waiting at the bus station is a pilgrim on the Camino de Santiago.
In northern Nevada this week, a pine cone bouncing at the back of a daypack will signal that the you’re in the company of a walker on the Pine Cone Camino!
Passports aren’t required to enter the Basque Country where we begin our Pine Cone Camino next week. At the JT Basque Restaurant in Gardnerville, Nevada we will enjoy the sights, sounds, and tastes of St. Jean Pied-de-Port, a lovely Basque village at the foot of the Pyrenees, before we embark on our camino. Over the next 5 days, we will re-trace historic trails, pound city streets, amble through pasturelands, climb a mountain, and revel in the delights of nature and of new-found friends. After sixty-five miles, we will cool our feet in the water of the Truckee River in downtown Reno, and celebrate the culmination of our camino.
We walk in the spirit of the Camino de Santiago, with eyes and hearts open to the discoveries of what lies in our path. We are a party of peregrinos, pretending that we are climbing the Pyrenees. We are a dozen dawdlers and dashers, travelling together but at our own pace. We walk for discovery, for challenge, for community, or in response to the tug of an inner calling.
Come along with us, by following our journey on this blog. Our adventure begins on May 10, 2021!