I am still annoyingly behind with blogging. It is what it is, okay? I spent a lot of quality time in the Ruby Mountains (Northern Nevada) this spring and summer. This is one of my happy places, so I was real pumped I got to run around this place for a while. Our first few attempts of Ruby play time proved fruitless, because the road was either still snowed in or there was just a kinda gross amount of snow still on the ground- no good for camping. I'm glad we finally just went for it, even though the part of the road was still snowed off. An extra mile or two never hurt anyone.
We weren't able to backpack because of all the snow (and also I would not have survived the night- so we camped at a lower elevation), but it was still worth some long day hikes. This was a good idea because no one else wanted to hike in the snow and we pretty much had the place to ourselves. There was still a good 3 feet (at the very least) of snow packed in when we finally ventured out (early June). I rarely, if ever, hike in snow (reminder: cold + Johnny just doesn't work) so it was a new kinda of adventure. Some of the steep stuff was a little (lot) sketchy and there was a ton of snowmelt underneath the snow pack, which made stuff just a little terrifying at times.
The pikas were not out yet because all the pika habitat and rocky areas were still under serious snow. This was really upsetting for me initially, not going to lie. Especially since I had lugged the big old 500 mm lens around on 4 hikes at this point..It's okay though, cause I saw my pika friends later in the season. Also, no snowcocks! Bummer on that one, but not surprising. The Rubies are such a freaking gem. I hadn't been there with all the snow before and it's drastically different than without snow. The first few miles from the trailhead can be totally overrun and overused by local hoodlums during the season, so it was pretty cool to get to have it all to ourselves. And another plus is that I didn't freeze to death. Go me!