Woodsfords, CA, and more -- Oct 10/11/12, 2016

We like to scout around when we land at a new-to-us place or site.  Don't want to miss anything, you know?  I don't believe we've ever set foot in Alpine County in the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range (and on down its eastern slope) before, and it holds a lot of potential for visitors like us.  One of the brochures we were handed in the VC reports that Alpine County is a world of "uns" -- that is, untamed, uncommercialized, and nearly uninhabited.  It was officially founded at the height of the Civil War in 1864, and is now the smallest county by population in California.  And then there's this line:  "Crystal clear alpine lakes, endless mountain peaks and forests, stars that reach beyond the heavens, world class trout streams, two people per square mile ... and you."  Sounds like a place we could spend a ton o' time!

I packed coffee and lunch stuff for our brief stay, but figured we could find breakfast somewhere.  How convenient to find Woodfords Station on the Old Pony Express Road within walking distance from the Inn -- and where they served up delicious homemade blueberry scones!  We walked across the highway both mornings to take advantage of these treats.  While the original building (or buildings) burned to the ground, this latest version reminds me of how it may have looked if Kit Carson or John Fremont stopped in for a bite long, long ago.  I find the wording in the above dedication interesting:  Truth, Liberty, and Toleration.  Hmmm ....

I discovered a few wildflowers to admire.

Jimmy and I criss-crossed the lively West Fork of the Carson River any number of times since it follows Hwy 88 next to the Woodfords Inn.  I liked hearing it splash as it coursed along.  We decided there had to be some good trout fishing in the deeper holes.  We'd like to see for ourselves!  Maybe next year!!

A few miles further west (nearing Sorensen's) is a (closed for the season) Forest Service campground, mostly for smaller rigs or tents, but it's located right on the West Fork of the Carson River and would be a great place to park for a week.  Doubt that Tergel could fit, but we'll find a good fit somewhere else.  Wouldn't it be nice to stop here, listening to the river spill over the rocks?

I'm nosy.  When I saw these two red posts in the midst of natural yellows and greens in the campground, I hiked over to investigate. They're placer mining claim location notices!  Geez, who'd guess?  Probably improper (or illegal) to bring a gold pan with us whenever we return.  Ya think?

Carson Trail -- Crooked Trail.  Nope, we missed this one, but we want to see where it goes when we come back to these parts.  I know winter sports are big in the mountains, but that's not for us; we'll have to wait till winter is over.  See if you can read the words on the signpost.

Pesky critters!

* * * * *

I think this is a section of Caples Lake, still way up in Alpine County.

Between Woodfords Inn and Markleeville, we'd passed a sign that read:  Indian Creek Recreation Area, which piqued our interest.  So after checking out of the Woodfords Inn Wednesday morning, we drove the few extra miles to investigate.  We found a runway!  A mile-long runway, with tie-downs and a wind sock and nothing else.  "The Alpine County Airport is an unattended facility with no services or lighting. The airport is located in a mountainous region with occasional strong winds and turbulence." Otherwise, it appeared well maintained.  We walked it from one end to the other (it was another beauty of a day).  I walked near the pavement edge looking for badger holes, but I got skunked!

In the valley below the airport is Indian Creek Reservoir, with hiking trails and a campground, but I believe it, too, was closed for the season.  We drove past the reservoir, but didn't stop.  It was time to get on the road and head home.

And soaking up the wonderful autumn colors of Hope Valley as descended.

Whoever made Hwy 88 knew to make pull-offs because people are going to stop to take pictures.  They just are.  So did we.  Then we sat and watched the guy above throw the Frisbee to his dog over and over, and the pup caught it nearly every time!  The dog was watching the blue Frisbee (barely seen just above the larger of the two small pines above it).

Our route home took us down Hwy 88 (literally) to the Mormon Emigrant Trail, which stretches atop a ridgeline, with steep drop-offs on either side.  While there wasn't much autumn color to ooh and aah over, this road offered its own beauty as you see above.

Jimmy and I had hoped to make it up to the High Country one more time before winter's storms, and we're so happy we made it into Alpine County and Hope Valley.  We loved our very special hike with Laurie and Odel to Lake Winnemucca on Tuesday!  In these three days (Mon/Tues/Wed), I managed to put close to 46,000 steps on the ol' Fitbit, which equates to something like 19 miles.  Whoa, that's just plain crazy!  But, with such stellar weather and in such picture perfect surroundings, how could we resist being Out and About?

Now (Saturday evening) we're hunkered down listening to the wind howl and the rains fall hard ... our parched and dry NorCal is no longer either.  We've had a good soaking for two days, and so has the high country.  Well, we got to see it in its glory!


  1. I miss fall colors. How neat to put a quote from way back when on the trail marker, and I love the "bears" in the trees.

  2. Now that is a part of CA I would like to visit:)

  3. Another wonderful adventure!


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