On a whim one day, my husband and I decided to explore Willow Creek Road outside of Mill City in the Nevada desert. We exited Highway 400 and crossed Dun Glen Flat to the East Range foothills. Gradually we ascended the mountainside and observed evidence of a watershed: a tall willow tree, no doubt the road’s namesake, followed by a lovely concentration of junipers. Within a few moments we came upon this pond with a view of the Humboldt Range and snow-covered Star Peak.
I have seen Star Peak hundreds of times before. I have viewed it from the village of Imlay, Imlay Canyon, Imlay Summit, Rye Patch Reservoir, Antelope Plains, and the Humboldt River. I have gazed at it from Prince Royal Canyon Road as the sun set and the moon rose while my husband played his harmonica.
I have watched Star Peak vanish into a bank of clouds while I sipped coffee in a navy camp chair, nestled under a fuzzy blanket with a faux Navajo design.
On the road to Unionville, I once stared as Star Peak snatched a few black clouds which then unleashed on it a fury of white flurries.
Star Peak is a landmark: a stark protrusion; a regional north star.
And now it is a Shangri-La.