Saturday, April 10, 2010

A Hike

When you drive north from Reno on your way to Susanville, there is a marked point in your vista when you see the red rocks. They are visible from three miles away and they mark the road that leads to Red Rock Valley, so named for the rocks.

As for driving by Red Rock Road, this is just about the what you're going to see of this unique anomaly. I mean, everyone who has driven this route, and that includes me before we moved out of town, saw the rocks, saw the sign. It meant that we had driven for close to an hour.
Yesterday my neighbor and I had planned to take a long walk, but instead we ended up exploring the other side of the red rocks. This area burned last July after a trailer chain sparked a devastating fire. I suppose all fires are devastating.
These century old trees will not come back ever, and eerily, there's a Volks-
wagon bus carcass. I see it as representing the wildlife and habitat lost.
And then there's this peculiar red cone thing that we can see from the road. What heck is that and why is red when the other stuff is white? The white stuff is "fluffy" and is powdery but we couldn't help wonder about the bits of seashell. Too bad the local School of Mines is so busy looking for gold. This is interesting stuff.
I'm trying to keep this brief and not bore you, but Sandy and I were just stunned by the whole hike. It was so steep that at times we had to scramble on all fours. At one point I lost my glasses and was stunned and happy to find them on our descent.




In any other context you'd think you were at a volcanic crater, right? There is no crater here, and none for many miles. I do so love the alive geologic west. It's a mystery. Another mystery. What is this, our first wildflower sighting. We think it's of the pea family - that's our guess.
















Yes, those are the Sierras.

9 comments:

~~Sittin.n.Spinnin said...

I'm not a geologist, but I took the class lol, its oxidized iron. Beautiful isn't it?

~~Sittin.n.Spinnin said...

Oh, and I might add that at one time all of Nevada was covered by salt water; the Carlin Trend actually runs along what used to be a continental shelf. And the powdery stuff is probably chalk, if you see it again, take a piece and try to write on a dark rock with it...

Theresa said...

And if you see green it's got copper in it. We have a lot of green rock, and opals! The seashells as has been mentioned was when there was a sea of salt water.
We may be at 70%+- water cover right now, but at one time it was darn close to 100%.
Surly there must be a few books written on the local geology, which reminds me, I should look for one locally here too! Lots of volcanic rock.

Jody said...

Really beautiful in a barren looking (not many trees) sort of way :)

evelynoldroyd said...

Amazing and interesting rock formations! I think the flower might be a variety of Penstemon.

charlotte said...

What an exciting landscape! Thanks for a very interresting post!

Leigh said...

Sharon, looks like a great hike and a perfect day for it. I've always loved rocks and thought geology a fascinating subject.

beadlizard said...

Wish I could have gone with you! Beautiful...

I have a Roadside Geology of Montana and just checked Amazon and there is a roadside history for Nevada but not an obvious title in the geology series -- might have your library friends check? Mine is wonderful for hikes like that.

Benita said...

Wow! The views and scenery there are stunning! Mostly I hike in the woods, but I think I'm missing out on the vistas you have there.