― Edward Abbey, Desert Solitaire: A Season in the Wilderness
I think these signs should have a post-script - "those with bad backs and/or weak bladders should stick to the main road!".
Sunday...my day off. Four hours to explore the nooks and crannies of this part of the desert. I drove my trusty little Subaru across Hwy 50 ("The Loneliest Highway in American") onto a short paved road that quickly becomes rutted and washboard dirt road heading toward the North East. The little road, it turns out, follows the Carson River. Much of the land is posted. The river valley is green, shady and pleasant in stark contrast to the barren mountain range that stand on either side of the road.
This is open range land or so the signs proclaim but I did not see a single head of cattle or wild horse on said open land. Perhaps they took to heart the "Keep Out" signs.
This little trip took me to the remains of Fort Churchill and then onward to Lahontan Recreation area. A few photos of the the first part of the trip (Highway 50 to Rt 2b to Fort Churchill). It was reminder that if the balance is maintained...there is enough water for life in the desert.
Then just beyond these restful places is an area that contains larger fenced areas that appear to be used for cattle round-up. No people nor cattle found there on Sunday...
The desert is quick to reclaim what is not watered:
To be continued...