On Monday Kyhl, Marian, and I attempted to climb Middle Sister, the high point of Lyon County and the highest point on the Nevada side of the Sweetwater Range. We started on the California side, driving across some beautiful desert meadows with spectacular views of the Sierra Crest. We passed Lobdell Lake, and I drove the Pathfinder across a creek deep enough that I got splashed through the driver's side window. Unfortunately, the road on our map that's supposed to follow Desert Creek turns into a track that would only be passable on a four-wheeler, so we had to park and try walking the rest of the way.
Desert Creek is a narrow trickle that starts at Lobdell Lake, descends through a wide valley, and flows out into the Nevada desert, where it is first diverted into a maze of irrigation ditches and eventuallly dries up. The lake is reportedly stocked with Arctic grayling, but we didn't see any -- although Kyhl and I did spot a ten-inch brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) that ducked into an undercut bank in the shadows of some cottonwood trees.
We never did make it to the summit, but we did have an enjoyable hike along the creek. After Kyhl and Marian headed upstream to do some fishing, I continued downstream, crossed the creek, and hiked over a small ridge toward Coyote Creek. By the time I turned around, I was probably within two miles of the summit, but I didn't have enough water to keep going. The desert summer is approaching. As it was, I was just about out of water by the time I got back to the car. It's that time of year to start carrying three or four quarts every time I go out. Every few miles I encounter some bleached bones that remind me why.