Sam Bauman: Skiing is done; now it’s time to hike the hills

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I wound up the ski season Saturday at Heavenly’s Boulder base. The usual gang of seniors was there celebrating the end of the snow. But the lift wasn’t running, so I struck out.

As we put away our ski boots, we can dig out our hiking boots or sneakers. There are plenty of easy hiking trails for seniors around the city, including the River Park at the end of Fifth Street at the Korean War Monument site. There’s plenty of parking there and some pioneer artifacts on display.

There are two loop trails here, north and south or just one loop trail. Together it’s about 2.5 miles, with modest elevations en route. It meanders along the Carson River, which should be rolling along nicely as the snowmelt continues. Don’t look for any overflow on the park’s flatlands this year.

There are benches along the river part of the trail and high-water marks from past flooding there. At times one can step down into the river bed and enjoy the river. There’s a short connector trail that leads to the Mexican Ditch, which is about a half-mile long. The hidden Meadows trailhead is at the end of the connector trail. This ditch used to supply water to a mine ore-refining site, long gone.

At River Park hikers can short-cut back to parking when senior legs tire. There’s Prison Hill for when the legs get toughened up later this spring and summer.

There’s lots more local hiking for seniors and others around Carson City. Washoe Lake State Park offers plenty of mostly flatland hiking off East Lake Boulevard, about 4 miles from Carson City. This is a underused park and it comes complete with picnic facilities large and small. Just before the entrance to the park on the opposite side of the road is parking for Dead Man’s Creek, a fine moderate trail for hikers seeking great view of Slide Mountain to the north. More on this trial later.

So skiing is over, but for seniors there’s lots to do up on those slopes.

Jazz at the Comma

The 18-piece Mile High Jazz Band brought out the seniors seeking big band music, Tuesday April 8. It was the 13th year the band has been playing at the funky Comma Coffee. Owner June Joplin in her swanky black dress joined Sheryl Adams and Cindee LeVal with vocals and Joplin celebrate with a birthday cake for one and all. Next band appearance is May 13, 7 p.m., outdoors probably. Many seniors at these concert.

Youthful gamboling

Seniors who want an injection of youth could well visit the playground of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Northern Nevada behind the club building on Russell Way. In nice weather perhaps a hundred boys and girls spill out on the big playground and do … well, just about anything kids like to do in the sun with a minimum of pokey adult overseers supervising. Action is everything from informal soccer to just chasing around or doing gymnastics on the green grass. Not that there are no adults watching; there are but they try to keep out of the way. Hours are informal, mid-afternoon basically, but there are benches for those who want to remember those good young days.

Sam Bauman writes about senior issues for the Nevada Appeal.


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