Forty five miles northeast of Winnemucca and eight miles from the Nevada ghost town of Midas, is a place Cory Brown calls, “Man land.” At 5,000 to 7,300 feet elevations, Jim Bowers is familiar with this desolate, high desert country as he hunted this area in his youth. He noted that his childhood memories are triggered by his sense of smell and that being back in the area awoke those memories.
“It’s one of the few places you can hear yourself think,” states Bowers. “It’s one of the few places on earth you can do what you want to do without being bothered by anyone. There’s never a moment in this area where we live where you can say that.”
Stanley middle schoolers Evan Brown and Grant Sivesind joined their fathers and two other Lafayette friends in October for a long weekend of Chukar hunting. Chukars are from the partridge family and these little birds are fast. And for the animal rights activists reading this column, the hunters only brought back one bird.
“The camp experience was extremely rustic,” reflects first-time hunter Jim Straw. “During the night you’d wake up to strong winds blowing, coyotes howling and owls.” He noted that the area was very remote with steep mountains and lava rock climbing.
“We were pretty much out in the middle of no where,” commented Grant Sivesind. “We saw mule deer and prong horn antelope.”
“This was a difficult hunt because there are no trails and the terrain is really steep. But I was with friends, my dog and guns. What’s not to like?” laughs Evan Brown.
There was nothing desolate or remote about the town of Passignano, Italy on Lake Trasimneo according to Leah Bullen. The resort town of 3,000 has a disco that held 5,000 people including Acalanes graduates Lauren and Rachel and sophomore Ryan. The Lafayette family flew into Rome and then traveled by train. “We did day trips around the region to Rome, Tuscany, Florence and Corneto. We went to Assisi, home of Saint Francis, San Francisco’s sister city. We visited Umbria, the center of the boot; north of Rome and south of Florence,” explains Bullen. Another town she liked was Perugia, a college town, two train stops over from their home base.
This was the kid’s first time to Italy. “You can’t go to Italy without going into Catholicism. Every little town is built around the church,” notes Bullen. “The food was terrific and the wine was a bargain!” During their three week stay they learned Italian cooking from their landlord. The stone building they stayed in was built in the year 1,000 and was nice and cool. “It was charming,” adds Bullen.
Next month I’ll be in Las Vegas learning about Ecotourism, luxury hotel trends and what’s hot in Peru during the Luxury Travel Expo at Mandalay Bay. I look forward to attending this conference as a sola traveler. I can dine by myself, attend a show I select and am only accountable to myself. I recently met Beth Whitman who has made a career out of traveling solo. Beth has ridden a motorcycle through Central America and is currently Couch Surfing her way through California promoting her book, “Wanderlust and Lipstick.”
If you are venturing out on your own, check out World Hum’s website which offers an e-mail roundtable with four accomplished female travelers discussing the ups and downs of hitting the road alone. I would love to hear from Lamorinda solo travelers. In fact, if you tell me about your solo travel you’ll be entered into a drawing for Whitman’s book.
Tags: Italy, Nevada, Travel, What a Trip