Welcome to this week’s Reno News & Review.

Living where we do, here in the high desert, along the edge of a sizable mountain range, spring can feel like a colossal thaw. Some of us might feel like bears still shaking off hibernation, or glaciers ready to carve into the land. Either way, we want to get the blood flowing and the body moving. In other words, ’tis a season for travel.

The fellas and I loaded up the van and headed south last weekend. Our little singin’ group had a gig in Bishop, California, at the Mountain Rambler Brewery. It’s a cozy little spot with a Reno connection. The proprietor, Joe Lane, went to high school and college in Reno, and he’s got family here. He’s an old friend, and I was pleased he was willing to host our noisy rock band down there. The brewery serves up good grub and delicious beer—we especially liked the Bardini Berliner Weisse. And the folks were welcoming and tolerant of our music—a nice change of pace from the hippie jams that permeate the air in every California mountain town. Nice sense of community in Bishop with all the insanely fit people who live there—they take advantage of all the skiing, mountain biking, hiking and rock climbing that the area has to offer.

All that fun outdoor stuff can leave a body wanting a nice meal and a cold beer, and Joe was smart enough to recognize that the community needed a good brewery. Check it out next time you’re driving that way.

And geezus, what a drive. U.S. 395 is a familiar road for many Northern Nevadans, but the area from Carson Valley to Bishop is too beautiful to take for granted—the gorgeous, rushing West Walker River; the eerie, otherworldly Mono Lake; and some of the most picturesque peaks of the Sierra Nevada.

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