Editor’s note: Off the beaten path

Welcome to the November RN&R

Editor at large Frank Mullen and photo editor David Robert took an epic day trip to check out the grandiose canyon walls and wide-open wilderness areas of High Rock Canyon in the Black Rock Desert, a few hours north of Reno by vehicle. 

If you’re tempted to jump in your own vehicle to get a look, make sure it’s a high-clearance four-wheel drive with off-road tires and copious spares, piloted by someone with some major off-road know-how and stocked with emergency provisions—as much of this remote region has no cell service.  

Road conditions, rugged as heck, haven’t improved much since the mid 1800s, when gold-seekers traversed the region in wagons. In person and in photos, parts of it look impossibly steep and unpassable, but thousands of people did it. 

Don’t expect road conditions to improve anytime soon, though. If Dave Cooper and his colleagues at the Friends of Black Rock-High Rock have their way, they never will. Cooper says the area is meant to stay wild and pristine. 

Frank brought home a wealth of stories about High Rock Canyon’s geology, history and surprising hidden gems. Whether you’re of a mind to get prepared and take your own epic trip, or just do a little arm-chair traveling, Frank’s report, which starts on Page 16, covers both bases. 

Also in this issue, we have lots of advice on how to connect with the local art scene as the holidays approach. Jessica Santina found out what’s on local stages this fall and winter—both shows to get you in the holiday spirit, or, if you prefer, shows that can help you avoid the holiday spirit. Meanwhile, I caught up with artists and organizations selling holiday gifts that’ll make it easy to shop local for the holidays—even though “local style” means many things to many people.

Originally posted 2023-11-01 19:00:18.