Rolling Nevada Hills

Hightailing Out Of The Basin

If you happened to be one of the lucky few that caught last week’s “Line of the Week” on downhill mountain biking you probably know that I stirred up the pot a little bit. I shot some sick pics, told an almost unbelievable story, and clearly ticked off a few people in the mountain biking community. The piece was published and emotions flew threw the sunny, blue, Tahoe skies. The hate mail poured on thick like the maple syrup of Vermont in my inbox and I began to fear for my photographic life. I didn’t know where to turn, it seemed as if my friends with mountain bikes had turned their backs on me. I was sad, depressed, and most of all scared. What would you do if a Tahoe bike gang wanted you dead?

My brother had just landed in Reno and on a whim I decided it would be best to leave town. I didn’t want to jeopardize him, he is too important to me. Where would one go when life is out of control? How about a place with legalized gambling, prostitution, guns, strict weed laws, and open space? How about…. Nevada!

Like Billy the Kid we packed up everything important. The things we couldn’t live without like camping chairs, Casa Noble tequila, steaks and beer. I gathered all the canned food I had leftover from Y2K. We mounted up the motorized horse (the truck) and headed down the open road towards my hideout deep in the Nevada desert. It was the only place I knew that the bike gang would never look. The journey began in a hot dreary haze. The desert passed by my open windows, my rearview was clear of danger, the tunes bumped us across the landscape. We would soon be free. We headed north and found our piece of solitude amongst the lush green hills, the groves of aspen, the kaleidoscopic blanket of wildflowers. The country was ours for the taking. There was nobody home, heck there weren’t even bikes so no one would know who we were.


We blazed a fire, grilled up a gigantic tri-tip and sipped the chilled Reposado. It was so quiet. With week after week of photographing people dropping cliffs, walking tight ropes, and skiing lines it seemed like the perfect time for some backpacking. It’s summer. We all need those couple days chilling with Mother Nature. The moon lit up the night’s sky while the wildflowers electrified the landscape. Though it is summer in the Basin it seemed like springtime in the desert. Creeks were flowing. Flies, moths, butterflies and bees buzzed around in a frenzy of pollination. It was an insect orgy.


We climbed a nearby 11,000 foot peak. There were no trails, we had no map. Inside the summit logbook I saw six other names over the last year, one of them was a dog. The summit held a perfect temperature. There was a slight breeze and the views were endless. I had forgotten about my Tahoe woes. There was no way they could find me here. No one goes there. This was my hideout. Hopefully they will forget about me. I would love to say more about the location but I’ll be damned if I want a posse of Nevada bow hunters on my trail. May the desert winds sweep away my tracks and leave no trace.

The Peak

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The Line of the Week is a weekly photo piece by Ryan Salm featuring some of Tahoe’s finest athletes doing whatever we deem rad. We will be using the term “Line” loosely to describe anything resembling chutes, big airs, pointers or any general madness. All images are the property and copyright of Ryan Salm Photography. All images are only to be used in conjunction with the Line of the Week. Any other usage must be cleared in writing by Ryan Salm.

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