The Sierra Nevada is a magnificent range of mountains for several reasons. For one, they stretch forever, creating an almost impenetrable barrier down the spine of California. Also impressive, is how the landscape flattens out, as soon as you leave the mountains.
When I returned to the Carson Valley, after my poorly planned detour to Lake Tahoe, I cut across the ranch and farmland on my way to US 395. Those mountains add extra beauty to an already attractive countryside. It also helped that some of the low-lying fields had flooded, producing a glassy reflection of the snow-capped peaks.
The towns of Minden and Gardnerville are neighbors, and both are worth at least a brief stop. I was hoping to make up time, and drove straight through Minden…
… but I found a reason to stop in Gardnerville’s historic downtown:
This large antique mall (occupying both buildings) made for a nice break.
Just a few miles south of Gardnerville, US 395 heads into the hills.