Not surprisingly, we had the park nearly to ourselves on an autumn weekday afternoon. We wiped down one of the picnic tables and Lisa set out lunch.
Kuma Bear guards the most important part of the lunch: the smoked salmon that we ate on toasted Dave's Bread buns. (Lisa toasted the buns before we came to the park, as fires are not permitted in the park at this time due to high fire danger.)
Kuma got his reward for being a good bear.
This was the view from where we ate.
The weather was perfect. Neither too hot nor too cold, with only a slight breeze.
Just north of the picnic area are the ruins of the fort itself, with the Churchill Range behind it.
After a nice leisurely meal of salmon sandwiches, with a side of blue cheese and the baguette chips we bought from Cost Plus World Market, we cleaned up, put away the picnic things, and went for a walk along a portion of the park's 2.5 km Nature Trail.
The trail runs down alongside the Carson River.
There is not much water in the Carson at this time of year, but you can see how wide its banks are.
There were lots of quail along the trail, but they scattered much too quickly to photograph. Some of the rabbits, however, stayed still long enough for their close up.
We did not walk the entire trail, which runs down to Buckland Station on US-95A, partially because someone else was walking the other way and we decided to make way by returning the way we came. We then took a turn back up toward the fort, where another bunny eyed us warily but did not immediately leave as I lined up this shot.
About an hour before sunset, we headed out, with a detour to Buckland Station and a side trip to explore a back road that did not lead where we thought it would, but fortunately didn't lead to us getting stuck. (A later exploration on Google Maps shows that we did the right thing by turning back when we did. The minivan is not the right vehicle for exploring Nevada's back-country dirt roads.) As the light faded, we made for home back up US-95A/50A. We had one more wildlife encounter, but couldn't take pictures of it, as Lisa counted some 72 wild horses along the road between Silver Springs and Fernley.
Next year, we hope we can do someting a bit more ambitious than this, but we certainly got our $5 day use fee's worth at the park, and it got us out of the house, which is a good thing during these trying times. This is the third time we've been here, and I doubt it will be the last. I hope some people driving to Westercon 74 in Tonopah from the north will take the opportunity to stop here and look around.