Go to the nearby mountains to have fun when it is hot
By Don Quilici
Geez, I hate the two months of July and August! I hate this time of the year because the temperature is too uncomfortably hot for me.
Let me emphatically repeat that statement: I hate this time of the year.
When it is hot in the daytime and also warm at night, I do not function well.
I do not like to sweat and swelter.
I become irritable, moody and just wilt from the heat.
And, sad to say, the weather forecast is for even more hot weather this coming week with forecasts for temps to stay in the high 90’s and low 100’s. Yuk! According to Don Q, that is not good.
As I’ve said many, many times, I am a winter person who thrives on cold, frost, ice and snow. Bring it on! I come to life in the winter months. Yahoo for winter!
In my less-than-humble opinion, the only good thing about the months of July and August is that the days in those two miserable months are slowly, but surely, getting shorter and shorter as we head back toward winter. Hallelujah! It can’t come fast enough for me!
But, even though it’s uncomfortably hot, be thankful that you live here in God’s Country and not in many other parts of the United States.
It might get hot, here, during the daytime but at least, it cools off at night.
And, we do not have to fight an unholy combination of God Awful humidity and temperatures that do not change, very much, between day and night.
Here are some examples of high and low temperatures for selected cities, as of just last Monday:
Atlanta (90 & 73), Charleston (94 & 73), Dallas (95 & 73), El Paso (94 & 72), Houston (86 & 74), Kansas City (91 & 72), Little Rock (93 & 75), Memphis (91 & 76), Miami (94 & 81), Nashville (85 & 72), New Orleans (90 & 73), Norfolk (87 & 75), Omaha (87 & 73), Phoenix (110 & 87), St. Louis (94 & 74), Tampa (93 & 75), Washington D.C. (88 & 74) and Nevada’s Las Vegas (105 & 81) and Laughlin (112 & 86).
I would bet that the poor, suffering folks in those cities would dearly love to trade places with us, in a heart beat.
But, even with the seemingly unending, hot weather beating down on us, there are still a number of fun things to do in the Great Outdoors in this general area at this time of the year.
You just have to know what and where.
The secret is to go high. Go high.
Yep, go the nearby higher elevations to have fun when its hot.
In just a short period of time you can flee from the stifling heat of our valley floors to the relative coolness of our nearby mountains. Within a 30-45 minute drive, you can drive well into the mountains and the daytime temperatures will drop as much as 10-15 degrees.
With that in mind, here are some “Don Q’ suggestions for temporarily escaping the oppressive heat of July and August:
1. Hiking at high altitude.
Drive to any of our nearby mountain passes, such as Carson Pass (8,573′) on Calif. S.R. 88 or Ebbett’s Pass (88,739′) on Calif. S.R. 4 or Monitor Pass (8,314′) on Calif. S.R. 89 or Mt. Rose Summit (8,911) on Nev. S.R. 431. Then, park your vehicle and either take a leisurely hike or just sit and enjoy the view. The scenery at these locations is awesome.
2. Seeing and Photographing wildflower displays at high attitude.
This is usually just a month of July activity and two of the wildflower locations in this area are:
The short area between Kinney Reservoir and Ebbett’s Pass on Calif. S.R. 4.
This is a very narrow, winding and steep road, so be extremely careful when driving and parking.
On the Winnemucca Lake Trail near Kit Carson Pass on Calif. S.R. 88.
This is about a two-mile hike from the parking area at the pass. You’ll be hiking at an elevation of about 9,000′.
3. Car camping at high altitude.
You can camp overnight at high elevation campgrounds such as:
U.S.F.S. Silver Creek Campground (8,000′) near Ebbett’s Pass on Calif. S.R. 4.
U.S.F.S. campground (8,000′) at Caples Lake on Calif. S.R. 88.
U.S.F.S. campground at Mt. Rose Summit (8,900′) on Nev. S.R. 431.
U.S.F.S. Trumbull Campground (9,500′) at the end of the paved road to Virginia Lakes, just west of Conway Summit on U.S. 395, south of Bridgeport, Calif. Note: This is the highest campground that you can reach by vehicle in the State of California.
4. Trout fishing at high altitude.
There are a number of nearby, midsummer trout fishing locations at high altitude in this area:
Kinney Reservoir or Alpine Lake, both on Calif. S.R. 4.
Red, Caples or Silver Lakes, which are all located on Calif. S.R. 88.
Frog Lake, which is on the way to Winnemucca Lake near Kit Carson Pass.
Round Top Lake, which is a steep hike past Winnemucca Lake, but it offers awsome views of Lake Tahoe.
Lower Kinney Lake, which is about a half-mile, easy hike past Kinney Reservoir on Calif. S.R. 4.
5. A leisurely drive in the family vehicle at high altitude.
A. From Carson City to the top of Kit Carson Pass on Calif. S.R. 88 and return.
B. From Carson City to Spooner Summit on U.S 50, then S.R. 28 to Incline, S.R. 431 from Incline, over Mt. Rose Summit to U.S. 395 just south of Reno, then turn onto the Franktown Road in Washoe Valley and return.
C. From Carson City to just past Markleeville, Calif., then just past Markleeville to over Monitor Pass to U.S. 395, just south of Topaz Lake and return.
D. From Carson City over Ebbett’s Pass on Calif. S.R. 4 and then down to Bear Valley, Calif. and return.
And then finally,
If none of these suggestions strike your fancy, then you can always do what I do when the temperatures get too darn hot and I can’t flee to the nearby Sierra Nevada Mountains.
I close all of the doors and windows in the house, turn on the air conditioner, cool the inside temperature down to a delightful 67 degrees and then kick back and totally relax with either a good book or a good movie.
It sure beats sweating and sweltering in that terrible heat, outside.
• Bet Your Favorite Pigeon
Bet your favorite pigeon that he can’t tell you the record high temperature for the State of Nevada.
If he grins and says, “It was 125 degrees on June 29, 1994 at Laughlin,” he could have been one of the poor souls at Laughlin on that particular day.
Note: As a matter of local interest, on July 12, 2002, Carson City had a high of 108 degrees. That’s hot!