Skunked in 2 states, 4 counties and 6 lakes with wine

Debra and I had a business meeting in Ranch Cordova Friday so we loaded up the Rover for adventures. After a vigorous ass chewing by a major client we headed out Sunrise Ave (tail between our legs) out the back way to Jackson, home of Swingle Meats, The Carnivore’s Toy Store, Specializing in Marinated Meats, open in Jackson, CA since 1945.  We made a quick stop at Jackson Rancheria where we contributed to the Indian Children’s fund. I briefly contemplated hitting Bear River Reservoir

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Not a lot of snow up high this year. Wind was howling so I was reluctant to pay the $5 fee. A helpful employee there told me to go ahead and fish as he had just put the signs up for the season.

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We threw junk for an hour and then pushed onto  Caples where we found a bit of ice still in place and more wind. We found a little lee near the corner of the dam and Debra read in the car while I flailed the water.

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Skunk number two. Stopped to photo Kirkwood for Chilly B


and continued to Red Lake. I hooked and lost a small Lahontan on the Kastmaster but failed to land. No fun was casting into a full on gale sweeping down from Carson Pass. We ascended to the west fork of the Carson which was in great shape


Bookmarked that for later and went ahead to check in at Sorensons resort where we booked Creekside cabin.

Back on the road for an afternoon at Indian Creek Reservoir for yet another skunk.

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We had a nice dinner at the cafe at the resort and knocked back a  tasty Malbec for desert.


Up early Saturday for what was to be an awesome road trip. 88 to Markleeville and up Monitor pass.

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2 miles up we turned left on Loopeville road to 4 wheel back into the “Mining District”.

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We wheeled in some 10 miles into sage and Jeffrey pine. Nothing gets Debra more excited than the words “Let’s go explore some abandoned mines!” (Cue eye rolling).

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We came across some Basque camps with carvings and interesting waterworks.

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It started to get VERY steep and rocky so I turned us around about the time I realized that I had at least 6 forks in the road to remember how to get out. Fun climb back down the the pavement and back up and over Monitor. Beautiful scenery with the aspens just starting to bloom.

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Down to the east side and north on 395 where I was skunked yet again at Topaz.


There were some small black bugs emerging with swallows and rising trout but they wanted nothing to do with my stuff. We tried to find Basque food in Gardnerville but settled for mediocre mexican. 207 was closed into Tahoe so we continued north.  We rolled up and over into south shore to be greeted by a serious snow squall headed south from Truckee across the lake.


We played in the casinos until 6:30 PM while it snowed hard outside. Pizza and salad in south shore and we completed the loop  with the half hour drive back to Sorensons. Fresh snow everywhere made for some cool pix.

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Big fire, a bottle of Sangiovese and books (Deer Hunting With Jesus) were the order of the night as there is no internet or phone.

We packed up Sunday morning and headed back towards Markleeville but this time we stayed on 4.


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We fished the East fork in a couple of spots and Debra got some  cast practice.


The climb up Ebbetts Pass is never fails to blow me away. On the way back we hit Kinney (Half frozen),


Mosquito (3/4 frozen) and Alpine for more skunkage.

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Highlight of the return trip was a stop in Murphys for grub at Historic Murphys Hotel and wine tasting at Twisted Oak (I am a member of the Twisted Few) where we restocked our supply of  River of Skulls and Spaniard. I love me some Mourvedre.


3 thoughts on “Skunked in 2 states, 4 counties and 6 lakes with wine

  1. I’m packing my Yukon and hope I can find your tracks. Great trip and pics, Thankyou for the inspiration.

  2. Sorry for all the skunk but love the story and photos. The old mines are always cool and I didn’t roll my eyes. haha

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