Standing on the shore of a lake that spans more than 112,000 acres in the middle of a deserted desert is a humbling experience. Blanket everything in snow and it quickly becomes material worthy of a Robert Frost poem. Despite seeing it with my own two eyes, it’s still hard to believe a place like this exists just forty five minutes outside of downtown Reno.
I could have easily spent the entire day silently soaking in the scenery. Had I let them, my thoughts would have happily floated away on the softly lapping waves (yes, freshwater lakes as ginormous as this one have waves and even tides). But with a baby on my back, a dog at my feet, and ice on the ground I decided to keep my thoughts on where to step instead.
To be honest, we didn’t do much hiking. No baby likes having their bottom exposed in sub 20 degree weather so we stuck close to the car. Given the sheer size of the lake it worked out well. We’d jump out for 30 minutes or so to walk around then hop back in the car to warm up and drive to the next spot. Each place we stopped there was something interesting to look at.
Like this funny rock formation…
Or the mountains off in the distance.
At one of the spots Alexi found his obligatory bench. We had a long debate as to whether or not a picnic table counts. Eventually we agreed that a picnic table counts as two benches just with an extra feature. I couldn’t resist snapping pics of him while he was taking pics of the picnic table. Here are the pics we picked.
Throughout the day the clouds came and went. One minute things would be heating up – the high of the day was a whopping 24 degrees – and the next it’d look like flurries were imminent. The weather couldn’t make up its mind but it made for some fascinating photographs.
I couldn’t help but feel at ease staring out across the water. There’s something about being immersed in nature that soothes the soul. Unlike other parts of life where you might not be sure where or how you fit in, outside in the backcountry your place in the order of things is pretty simple. There are animals that you eat, animals that eat you, and uncontrollable forces like the weather that affect all equally. Accepting your place in nature, your power and powerlessness, is a terrifyingly calming thing to do. Writing this down I guess my thoughts did drift away a bit on our outing after all.
To bring me back to the present Alexi insisted on a family photo. It took a couple tries for me to come to but we finally got one. (I know, I know, our New Year’s resolution is to bring the tripod more places and we forgot it at home. We’re working on it! All you other parents know how hard it is to remember every little thing to pack on family trips more than 24 hours in length.) Thankfully Alexi’s new camera with its fancy flip display makes it easy to take selfies.
Warrior’s Point was the end of the road for us. Quite literally – the pavement ended and turned to dirt. With the dropping temperatures and setting sun it was a no brainer to head back to the hotel. The ride back was a quiet one. Giota dozed off and Alexi and I were still too entranced by the whole experience to say much of anything. If you get the chance, I certainly recommend visiting Pyramid Lake for yourself to find your place where the pavement ends.