The change of season has graced us with the lovely colors of autumn in Reno. Fall seems to be a shorter season here in the high desert. The barrenness of Nevada has a few places in which there are trees where you can witness the beauty of autumn: Idlewild Park is one of those places. It is a forty-nine acre park near Reno’s downtown and on the Truckee river but not only does this place have children’s areas, ponds, and a rose garden but it also has giant cottonwood trees, which happen to be my favorite part. The park during the fall is a sight to behold. The light coming through the trees show off the reds, burgundies, oranges, yellows and browns as they go dormant. We notice the roses already in their dormant state walking through the rose garden but there are few buds and blooms that have drooped from the first frost of the season. This garden now growing two-hundred kinds of roses used to be a petting zoo and before that, in the 1920’s, was a municipal zoo to house antelope, bears, pheasants, monkeys, and bison. Those weren’t the only changes! Wa-Pai-Shone or The Whispering Giant by Peter Wolf Toth is a carved statue, and was dedicated in 1986 to the three main tribes here in the area: Washoe, Paiute, and Shashone. It is carved from Douglas Fir and is seventeen feet high. There also is a Sensory Garden with five sections focused on each of the senses created by Keep Truckee Meadows Beautiful (KTMB) and the Idlewild Train that runs four days a week. Idlewild has an interesting history and you can find more at the link here.
There were people standing in small groups all over the park and at first, I thought there might be a festival going on but my roommate says, “No, it’s probably Pokemon Go.” She was totally right, my roommate and I got to Idlewild when there was a Community day for Pokémon Go, a game where you can “Catch’em all.” While the others were playing, I made a new dog friend, naturally. Her owner was a nice lady who engaged in small talk (the weather, what her dog’s name is, what’s happening here, etc.) while she played. The sweet old dog’s name was Tarryn who also happened to be a three-legged dog. She loved the attention that we gave her. We kept strolling down the path while seeing more dogs and their owner’s with their heads in their phones. I breathed in the sweet chilly air that smelled of drying leaves and the fishiness of the river but enjoyed the walk, nonetheless. We saw the old man and his guitar playing through his songs as we kept walking along the path. He still sits next to the path with his story written on cardboard which we read through. He doesn’t look up from his music. We make a stop at The Hub to talk through our hopes and dreams as we sip our coffee and tea.
She and I make our way back to my car taking in the fresh air. We take a longer route around the children’s area where mothers and fathers are laughing with their kids.