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Temporarily escaping the oppressive heat of July and August

Don Quilici

Yipes, it’s too darn hot! For the record, I hate July and August! I hate this time of the year because the temperatures are uncomfortably hot for me. When it’s hot in the daytime and warm at night, I do not function well. I sweat, swelter, become irritable, moody and wilt from the heat.

I am a winter person who thrives on cold, frost, ice and snow, and who comes to life in cold weather. In my opinion, the only good thing about July and August is that the days are slowly, but surely, getting shorter as we head back toward winter. Hallelujah! It can’t come fast enough for me!

Even though it’s hot, be super glad you live here in God’s Country and not in other parts of the U.S.

It might get hot, here, but at least we do not have to fight an unholy combination of God Awful humidity and temperatures that do not change, that much, between day and night. Here are some examples of highs and lows for selected locations, as of yesterday: Austin (92 and 76), Charleston (96 & 78), Dallas (94 & 81), El Paso (100 & 77), Laughlin (108 & 88), New Orleans (91 & 79), Phoenix (103 & 89) and Tampa (95 & 81). You can bet the ranch, folks in those locations would love to trade places with us, in a New York minute.

But, even with our hot weather beating down on us, there are still fun things to do in the Great Outdoors at this time of the year.

The secret is to go high. Yep, go high. Go the nearby higher elevations to have fun when it’s hot. Within a 30-45 minute drive of Carson City, you can drive into the mountains and the temperatures can drop as much as 10-15 degrees. You sure as heck can’t do that in most other parts of the country.

So, here are some “Don Q” suggestions to temporarily escape the oppressive heat of July and August:

Day Drives to High Attitudes

1. Carson City to the top of Kit Carson Pass (8,573′) on Calif. S.R. 88 and return. (Great views of Red Lake and Hope Valley).

2. Carson City to Spooner Summit (7,200′) on U.S 50. Then S.R. 28 to Incline. Then S.R. 431 over Mt. Rose Summit (8,911′) to U.S. 395 and return.

3. Carson City to Markleeville, Calif. Then just past Markleeville, over Monitor Pass (8,314′) to U.S. 395 (south of Topaz Lake) and return.

4. Carson City to Markleeville. Then S.R. 4 to Ebbett’s Pass (8,739′) and to Bear Valley and return.

At these locations: Park your vehicle, take a leisurely hike in the countryside or just sit and enjoy the cooler weather.

Trout fishing

Here are some nearby, mid-summer trout fishing locations at high altitude in this area:

1. Driving:

Kinney Reservoir or Alpine Lake, both near Ebbett’s Pass.

Red, Caples or Silver Lakes, all near Kit Carson Pass.

2. Hiking:

Frog Lake (on the hiking path to Winnemucca Lake), which is near Kit Carson Pass.

Winnemucca Lake at the base of Round Top Mountain.

Round Top Lake (a steep hike past Winnemucca Lake). (That trail offers a nice view of Lake Tahoe).

Upper and Lower Kinney Lakes, which are about a half-mile hike past the dam at Kinney Reservoir.

Wildflower Displays

This is a early-to-mid July activity and two of the best locations are:

1. The short area between Kinney Reservoir and Ebbett’s Pass.

2. On the Winnemucca Lake Trail near Kit Carson Pass. (This is about a two-mile hike (at 9,000′) from the parking area at the pass.

Overnight Camping

You would be well advised to take a light jacket, if you go, because you are going to need it when it gets dark.

U.S.F.S. Silver Creek Campground (8,000′) near Ebbett’s Pass on Calif. S.R. 4.

U.S.F.S. Caples Lake campground (8,000′) at Caples Lake on Calif. S.R. 88.

U.S.F.S. Mt. Rose campground (8,900′) at Mt. Rose Summit 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. (This is the highest campground you can reach by vehicle in California).

Finally

If none of these suggestions suit your fancy, then do what I do when the temps get too hot and I can’t flee to the nearby mountains:

Close up your house, turn on the A/C, cool the temp down to 72 degrees and then kick back and totally relax with either a crossword puzzle book or a good movie on TV.

It sure beats sweating and sweltering in that terrible heat, outside.

Most importantly, keep the faith – Winter is on its way back! Yahoo!

• 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, “125 degrees on June 29, 1994 at Laughlin,” he could have been there on that day.

Note: The Nevada record low is a chilly -50 degrees on Jan. 8, 1937 at San Jacinto in Elko County.

• Don Quilici is the Outdoors editor for the Nevada Appeal