Fort Churchill State Park is about 40 miles east of Reno, Nevada. It is a small park, with limited camping/picnic space. But it presents an interesting collection of old adobe buildings for photo opportunities. Some are better in Black and White, but I liked the color in these and it gives a better sense of what the old fort looks like. Might have made a different decision if the clouds weren’t there to break up the sky.
Fort Churchill is outside of Fernley, Nevada … about 40 miles east of Reno. It was a supply center for the other regional forts that were involved in suppression of the native tribes. It was not even necessary to provide a defensive perimeter around the fort. There was a pony express station and a telegraph office, but once the railway was available the fort was redundant and was closed in 1868. The image shows the fence around the cemetery. Soldiers graves were relocated to other government sites after the fort closed, but non-military graves remain.
On my recent visit (April 2021) there was a spring storm coming in over the Northern Sierras bringing strong winds regionally and snow at higher elevations. At Fort Churchill, it was quite windy (which thankfully kept down the black flies), but there were some amazing clouds to bring some variety to the endless blue skies.
Donner Pass is on Interstate 80 between Reno and Sacramento. The impressive rockwork is the old railroad grade, built by Chinese workers with construction finalized in 1868. From the look of the rock in the surroundings, they collected a lot of the rock they used from the wall locally.
This area is just a few miles from Reno … if you drive in the right direction. Driving in the ‘wrong’ direction will put you through miles of sprawl.
This is a Regal Horned Lizard that I was lucky enough to spot along the roadway when it moved. Otherwise, it is so wonderfully camouflaged to blend in with the surrounding surface, I probably would have missed it.