Tuesday, January 15, 2008


We are coming to the end of our 5 day vacation at David Wally's Hot Springs and Resort. Wally's sits up against the jagged peaks that form the west side of the Carson Valley in Nevada. It's right down the road from Genoa, a town believed to be the first settlement in Nevada. The hot springs are the central feature of the resort. The steaming springs, which form the eastern perimeter of the resort, are piped into five tubs and a large pool to make for easy access. I've always been fond of the high desert on the east side of the Sierra Nevada and this place greatly pleases me.

Everywhere, I look there is a sight to behold. The mountains are covered with snow and they float in and out of fog and clouds each day. The starkness of the leafless trees against the granite and snow is like an artist's rendition. There is one bush that sports burnt red branches similar to a Manzanita but which are much more delicate. They add a touch of color to snow-blanketed pastures that stretch across the valley. Each morning, the fog freezes on trees and bushes creating a sparkling wonderland. Steam rising from the hot springs mingles with the fog to create strange visual distortions that are both eerie and eye-catching. The air is cold, not even rising above 24 degrees yesterday which caused the frost to stay on the trees all day. We were delighted to see a weeping willow hung with ice crystals. Birds galore frequent the wildlife refuge that is opposite the resort: geese, grebes, owls and hawks. Saturday afternoon when we were out for a walk, we watched a hawk swoop down to catch a snake in the swamp and then land in a a tree to eat it. When the sun sets behind the steep mountains, everything turns a bluish purple. And then the coyotes begin to yip and howl. Each night, a tiny crescent moon has risen in the star-filled sky.

We've soaked in the hotsprings, watched a bunch of films on dvd, read for hours, napped, eaten a lot of junk food, and taken walks fully covered in hats, gloves, scarves and heavy coats. Our room has a fireplace and deep bathtub with jucuzzi jets. The patio is perfect for watching the sky pink up through the fog each morning and for bird watching. There are lots of things to do nearby, but the only place I've managed to go was into town to watch a movie yesterday—The Bucket List (two thumbs up). Cindy went for a little jaunt to the casino this afternoon, but I opted to stay home and nap (and write a post for my blog). She must be winning or she'd be back by now J

Winter vacations are a new thing for this retired teacher. I like snuggling in for a nice long stretch like this, and the nippy walk to the hot springs has kept me from feeling like a complete slug. This is the life!


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