Our First Hike Together – January 18, 2014

21 Jan
Dalan and I on a sandbar in the Carson River

Dalan and I on a sandbar in the Carson River. Don’t forget to click on the images to enlarge them and see more detail

Yesterday was a landmark day for my great-nephew, Dalan, and me and we both seemed to realize it just about at the same moment.  It was the first time that we had taken a hike together, just the two of us.

We went to Riverview Park that sports some nice, easy trails along the Carson River.  As we all know, it is terribly dry here in Northern Nevada as well as in the Sierras.  Consequently, Riverview Park wasn’t real photogenic with snow, pretty trees and so on, but we had a good time making our own beauty.  This past week, the weathermen have been saying to get out and enjoy the unseasonably warm weather since we have no snow in the near forecast.  So we did.  It was cold in the shade

Contemplating the ice.

Contemplating the ice.

but in the sun, it got up to about 50+ degrees, which is very warm here this time of year.

Dalan and I walked toward the Carson River and discovered a lot of ice along the shores.  Of course, we had to test the thickness (very carefully).   The ice makes such a cool sound when it cracks.  I can imagine how loud and perhaps even scary it might sound on an icebreaker ship.  Anyway, we managed to break a large plate of ice apart and we sent it out into the main stream of the river.  We followed it so a way to see how soon it would melt or get hung up in on rocks or reeds.

Dalan is sitting on the log to test the ice thickness.  He broke off a piece shortly after this was taken

Dalan is sitting on the log to test the ice thickness. He broke off a piece shortly after this was taken

Pushing out the ice floe

Pushing out the ice floe

Watching it go out into the main stream

Watching it go out into the main stream

Dalan is a Boy Scout and is quite good at improvising with tools.  He is also quite careful and prepared.  Check out his backpack filled with water and snacks (he didn’t know that we were going to be in a Carson City Park)

Another aside here.  You might have noticed his bright orange and black cap.  This cap was given to Bob by Michael, one of our nephews in Holland.  Bob treasured it and kept it in pristine condition.  Dalan asked if he could have it to remember Uncle Bob.  Dalan also treasures it and wears it constantly.

Ok, continuing with the adventure.  As we followed our slab of ice, we noticed a sandbar/small island not far from the shore.  We found that we could walk on some pretty thick white ice to get to this sandbar.  Such

Throwing hunks of ice onto the icy area that looks like just plain water

Throwing hunks of ice onto the icy area that looks like just plain water

fun we had here!  The area between the sandbar and the shore was frozen over with fairly clear ice.  We didn’t know why there were different colors, but we didn’t try to walk on the clear ice.  Anyway, we broke off pieces of white ice and then threw it on the clear ice to watch it skids and break apart.

Such fun we had!  I felt like a kid again, throwing and breaking stuff and not having to worry about cleaning it up afterward.  We must have spent at least half an hour playing.  I got such a kick out of the different sounds the different type of ice made.  Some sounded like glass breaking.  As other pieces slid over the clear ice, it sounded like someone ice skating.

Thin ice that sounds like glass breaking

Thin ice that sounds like glass breaking

If you click on the images, you’ll get more detail when the picture enlarges.  Dalan is holding a thin piece of ice that shows the different strata of freezing, I think it’s not unlike tree rings.  The next image reveals the results of our frolicking with the ice.

Our tossed ice on the icy river.  You can see how dry the shore is

Our tossed ice on the icy river. You can see how dry the shore is

We walked around a bit on our little island/sandbar and discovered clam shells.  Dalan was amazed that clams would be in fresh water.  I was too, the first time I ever saw them in fresh water.  We found a pearl like

Our pearl

Our pearl

object and decided it had to be a pearl.  At least that’s what we told Megan, Dalan’s 9 year old sister.  You can see from the image that it really does look like a pearl, but it was probably amarble.

As we walked on, we met some people watching an eagle in flight.  I didn’t see it, but Dalan did.  Soon many more eagles will be arriving in Carson Valley when the cows begin calving.  It sounds gross, but they and other raptors eat the afterbirth.  This is such a big deal that people will stop alongside the highway to watch the birds  and there are organized tours that take people through ranches to get closer (but not too close) to see nature in action.

Riverview Park is leash-free in certain areas and you can tell the dogs really enjoy it.  We met several friendly dogs and observed a man throwing a ball for his black lab.  The dog was loving running into that cold river and retrieving his ball.  I tried getting some cool pictures, but the dog never posed properly.  The following picture is of him returning to his master and being met by his much older brother.

Enjoying a day at the Carson River

Enjoying a day at the Carson River

Dalan and I wandered around a bit more and finally ended up back at the parking lot.   It is in an historical area called the “Old Wiggins Ranch.”  Two Italian brothers named Pierini leased land from Dr. John Sullivan

The Pierini Brothers oven

The Pierini Brothers oven

in 1919 and began ranching.  In the early 1920s.   An oven was constructed and was used to bake their bread, tortas, various meats and even a whole lamb on Easter.  A milk house was also constructed near the oven.  These two structures are still there and apparently all that remain of the ranch.

There is history all around this area and I love it!

It was a good day with Dalan and we are looking forward to more hikes and some that will be a lot more strenuous (but not enough to exhaust the aunt).

6 Responses to “Our First Hike Together – January 18, 2014”

  1. Richard D. Schmidt January 21, 2014 at 8:11 pm #

    Cora… Wow! What a nice (an ice) new entry of your Buzzardnotes blog, the first post of the New Year! It’s a delightful read. In addition to all the other educator “hats” you wear, you now have become a science teacher–to Dalan and the rest of us. Kudos to you, for this chapter of your ‘new’ life and home in the Carson Valley, and the ongoing bonding with your family members there. You are loved by all. — “Matt Rivers”

  2. Connie Raub January 22, 2014 at 2:40 am #

    What Fun for you and Dalan! He is so lucky to have such an adventurous Great-Aunt Cora! It looks like you did everything safely, but still had a good time. Look at all the “ice litter” you made! Are you aware that today, Jan. 21, is National New England Clam Chowder Day? I want a fresh water clam pearl! And all this time, I thought only oysters made pearls! See the informative facts that come from reading Buzzard Notes? Thanks for sharing your pictures and family bonding experiences! ~Connie

  3. howard&sherrill harrison January 22, 2014 at 6:56 pm #

    Everytime I get a Buzzard Notes gem from you I am even more convinced that your move was exactly the right thing for you. How old is Dalan?                       Love, Sherry


  4. howard&sherrill harrison January 22, 2014 at 6:58 pm #

    PS-  Did Bob ever have a pacemaker?  A good friend just had one put in this morning, and I wonder if you have any words of wisdom about them?>  Thanks.  Sherry


    • buzzardnotes February 6, 2014 at 6:57 pm #

      Sorry to have taken so long to reply to your note. I seldom check the Buzzard notes email. Anyway, Yes, Bob did have a pacemaker installed, but it never went off. So I don’t know how he would have reacted or what would have happened if it had. Then, when he had the transplant, they took it out and threw it away. $60,000 (parts & labor) in the trash. I asked why they didn’t keep it or send it to a 3rd world country and they told me that it was out of date. I thought to myself…a third world person might not care that it was out of date if it worked for him. I have know others who have had the pacemakers and sometimes they would get zapped to get their heart going or back in proper rhythm. They didn’t seem to mind the zapping even though it was a shock to the system. Amazing what technology can do. Hope you and Howard are ok. Hugs, Cora

  5. Glenda Gregory January 24, 2014 at 2:00 am #

    I loved reading about your and Dalan’s excellent adventure. I must say it’s a gift to be able to make such an interesting day out of whatever Mother Nature provides. The black labs were a bonus, not to mention that amazing “pearl”. I hope you and Dalan will enjoy more fun hikes and share them in your blog. I’m sure he feels very special with that great orange and black cap and will, indeed, treasure it. Love, Glenda

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