I shuttled Joe from Alaska, and Mark from Reno to Harrison Pass for their Ruby Crest Trail hike. Experienced backpackers they planned a full week for the hike, with the intent of enjoying the flora and fauna on their way.
The Ruby Mountains are part of Nevada’s “basin and range” topography: mountain ranges separated by wide sagebrush basins. Mountain ranges which run mostly north/south are isolated from each other by mostly dry desert basins at lower elevation. Because of high elevation of the Ruby Crest Trail Joe and Mark will find smaller, short-season, alpine flowers, Bog Orchid, Blue Gentian, Elephant Head, Swamp Laurel, Mountain Heath all of whom seem out-of-place in a desert. Short, sturdy versions of Ceanothus, Trapper’s Tea, Aspen, and Pine survive at high elevations where they deal with tremendous winds and heavy snow. Mark and Joe won’t run into the thick forests they’d find in our neighbor to the north, Idaho.
The Ruby Mountains are a surprise precisely because they offer such a contrast in Nevada’s harsh environment. Hope they had a good hike. We noticed from our porch what looked like serious rain clouds low on the mountain a few days. Anxious to hear about their hike.
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