Spring has returned. The Earth is like a child that knows poems. ~Rainer Maria Rilke

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The Smell of Sagebrush after the Rain

Can you guess where I've been?
I left with a friend on Friday morning, picked up our hostess in Pioneer and met up with the other car that would follow us over the Sierra Nevada Mountains to Dayton, Nevada. There were five of us. We were invited to a girl, gourd and wine weekend by a friend who owns a second home in the sagebrush country of northwestern Nevada.
This is the land of jackrabbits and wild horses. Do you see those bunnies with the long ears (below)? They were all over the place.
Dayton, Nevada is east of Carson City and was once called "Ponderer's Rest" when first settled. Gold was discovered in "gold creek" in 1849 and in 1861 the town was renamed Dayton after a local surveyor named John Day.
This is also where they filmed John Huston's movie THE MISFITS in 1961, with Marilyn Monroe and Clark Gable.
Wild horses still  range on the slopes of this long group of mountains called the Virginia Range, southeast of Dayton.
We drove over Carson Pass (highway 88) and down into Nevada, stopping for lunch in Minden. It was warm and muggy. There was a storm to the east of us and we could see rain falling.
After lunch we drove into Carson City to a wonderful fabric store.
I had no idea where I was going but I had, JILL, my friend's GPS device. JILL had a voice and she had attitude. With her power adapter that fit into my "never been used" cigarette lighter and a portable mount that let her sit comfortably on my dashboard while I was driving, she could find a rattlesnake under a rock. You just gave her the address, or area, and she laid it all out there on the screen.
 JILL (and I swear this is the name that she came with.) would tell you, in a sweet and clear voice, where you needed to turn and got us to our destinations in no time at all. When you choose a different route (which happened a few times) she would say, "Please make a u-turn."  If you didn't do what JILL said, she would say, "Recalculating" and give you a new way of getting there. If she couldn't find another way, there was a noticeable change in her voice. She seemed annoyed. Maybe it was just my imagination, but I was reminded of Hal in 2001: A Space Odyssey. It's kind of scary when you annoy a talking computer program... with a brain.
We had some good laughs at JILL'S expense. I almost expected her to tell us that she would never ride with us again because we didn't follow all of her directions. Actually, she did make a few mistakes of her own. She told us to go seven tenths of a mile further one time and we were at our destination already. Even a computerized and gifted program can have a bad day. I guess.
 I'm going to get one of these amazing machines though and then I will never get lost again. It knows where you are and where you want to be. If you're traveling in a strange land... this is HUGE.

So we arrived at our first destination, with JILL'S help.
  This was Fabric Chicks Creative Oasis. It's in Minden, NV. Here is their website. If you are anywhere close to this location and you love fabric, you have to see this place.
Stay focused on what you came in for because, if you don't, you will leave with half the store in a bag.
This store is filled with everything (...and I mean everything) for sewing, quilting, fiber art and all the accessories.
Even the bathroom was charming. Check out the pink bra at the top of the ladder and the roll of toilet paper on the bottom rung. What a great use of an old ladder.
We bought our fabric and headed for The Bead Store in Carson City. One of the reasons for the weekend was to add beading to our gourds. Our hostess was going to help those of us who hadn't done too much beading and this store was an oasis for all the beading supplies we would need. The folks who own this store were really helpful and very nice.
We pulled ourselves away from the wonderful stores and headed to our weekend home on the range. We drove back to Dayton, followed the Carson River east on highway 50 and ran right into the storm that we had seem in Minden.
This is a lovely golfing community that has beautiful homes and ,coming from California, prices that are unbelievable. Homes are very inexpensive and the economy has left housing available and affordable here. I was ready to move to northern Nevada.
The storm was in full swing when we arrived. We waited until the rain passed... which didn't take long. Then we unpacked our cars and settled into our lovely home away from home.
The fragrance of this area was wonderful after the rain. It smelled of sagebrush and high desert... nature's gift in this beautiful wild place. Man is encroaching and populations are growing fast here, but it's still a desert  and any step outside of the towns, in any direction, brings you into the wild.
It is still, in places, the last frontier. Roads end in the sagebrush and you can still see old dirt trails everywhere.

Later we went to dinner, came back and settled in for the night. I slept in here.....
A den off of the living room.
Very nice accommodations for the price of making desserts for the weekend.
The food was ready.
The plans were made.
We looked forward to a wonderful weekend.
 We talked for a while and then each of us went into a different room... and crashed.
 This street looks very normal from the front side, but tomorrow I will show you what is behind them. Stay tuned...

(Click on any photos to enlarge.)


  1. oh my those houses look like they are right out of the movie Poltergist

    glad you had fun

  2. Can't wait to see more.... I love mini girl's retreats!!!!!

  3. Did you say "girl, gourd and wine retreat", lady, sign me up. That sounds like fun and I will check back for your updates.

  4. Sounds like a good, healing weekend...shopping, wine and crafting. The storms there are amazing aren't they? I'm so intrigued to find out whats behind all of those Edward ScissorHand houses!

  5. Another great post. Beautiful photos. I love the one with the jack rabbits. Jill the gaget the way you told it was quite funny and unusal. Have a blessed evening. Madeline

  6. ok you have me intrigued for tomorrow...smiles...we dont have a gps but borrow my parents occassionally for long trips...it is a blessing in unfamiliar towns and cities...

  7. Charming BagladyJune 7, 2012 at 9:23 AM

    Yes, GPSs can be wonderfully helpful. But, when you say, ...“then I will never get lost again” you’d better knock wood fast, get out the lucky horseshoe and pray!!! We have had so many misadventures because we relied on our GPS, it isn’t funny. Once, we had GPS plot our route and it took us on a lovely ride through forests and small towns. 150 miles and almost 4 hours later, we arrived. When I checked the map later that evening I discovered that we had been routed via the most circuitous route possible when we had originally been only 80 miles from our destination. My personal worst adventure was when I drove, alone, to visit a friend in northern Georgia. Once I got to Tennessee, I followed the GPS. It kept giving me directions to turn where there where no turns, so I kept going. Or it would tell me to turn where the only turn was a road into some backwoods farmer’s driveway. I finally knew for sure that I was lost when I saw the sign that said, “WELCOME TO NORTH CAROLINA”! We still use the GPS, but go nowhere without a map. ~Dawn

  8. drove up Hwy 88 to Silver Lake this week with daughter and two dogs. Haven't been up that way for 22 years or so. My the road has changed! Anyway, thought about you while staying in Jackson. Pleasant area!

    Sorry about your beautiful goat. Enjoyed so much your pictures of the Nevada countryside in your next post. Have a safe trip back.


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