December 2010 Vacation / Reno / Fallon / Tahoe – Part 6 of 6

December 26-28th ~400 miles Driven; ~5 miles walked


Fallon – Caves and Petroglyphs at Grimes Point / Top Gun
We went to Fallon, a small watering hole town on the edge of the no where, to visit Kat’s mother. The town had a Safeway, some Pony Express statues, some farms, and a few other random stores but otherwise I didn’t see anything other than Top Gun maintaining the towns existence.

Rather than sit around and visit we decided to have a walk and visit and drove out the caves and such a few miles out of Fallon at Grimes point. The trails themselves aren’t very long.. but it is interested to check out none the less with some neat structures and nice views. If you happen to go there on the right days of the month there is also guided tours. We were not there on one of the appointed Saturday’s to actually get the tour of “Hidden Cave“, a cave with a small probably 4×4 entrance blocked off by a large steel door except when Archeology or tours are occurring.

We did walk around and check out the other caves / nooks in the rock face. Only a few of the caves across provided complete shelter where one could have protection from the hot and wet elements. The ceilings were largely soot stained from campfires and there were supposedly some evidence of writing on the walls but we didn’t see it other than a little vandalism; though there was very little of that I am glad to say.  Another neat thing you can see when at the caves is that they used to be basically on the shores of an inland sea and around them are petrified coral and other features normally associated with the ocean.

Looking up through a hole in a caves ceiling.

Looking out for one of the larger caves. It was really quite pretty.

I am not much of an HDR person, but I flashed the foreground and then did a 3 shot HDR Image handheld from about the same spot as the shot above.

Grimes Point Petroglyphs.

I also had an IR camera on me and like Tombstones works really well on bringing out petroglyphs but think this one shows up fairly well in color and I wasn’t out to document them at the time. One of the amusing notes about while we were walking around in the low-60s degree weather is Kat’s mom was walking around in a parka that I would even have to question wearing unless I was standing around in sub-zero weather.. but not for walking around in. We of course were wearing summer clothes as the temperatures were great for us coming from Anchorage in December.

Despite the movie fame and the local school.. we didn’t notice a ‘ton’ of things named “Top Gun” this and “Top Gun” that. We didn’t see any jets flying while we are out hiking. I kind of find it amusing that the Navy trains there pilots over the desert.

Top Gun from Grimes Point: (Sorry I only had a 24-105 on a full frame on me at the time).

Lake Tahoe

On our final day of our trip we went and visited Kat’s brother in Lake Tahoe and drove around the lake. It is very pretty but quite touristy. I had been there once before in October and recall it being nice but there wasn’t snow on the ground. The weather and the amount of snow seemed to be about like Anchorage but the temperatures were very mild and of course Tahoe wasn’t frozen.

Kat went to High School in the area and her brother was the last of her family living there, but was living in her Grandma’s almost cabin like house in South Tahoe. He was talking about how this summer he was going to hike the circumference of Tahoe along a ridge line trail and was preparing for it.

I don’t remember what this place is called off the top of my head.. but is seemed to be very popular with several pull offs and even a year round boat tour through it from another point in the lake. The little island pictured even has a little stone house on it.

Just looking up at a peak from the same vantage point as the image above.



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