The pictures I didn't get would just break your heart (oh well, broke mine, anyway!) The sweep of land from the foot of the mountains into Minden itself is largely pasture, very green pasture, veined with small, bright streams. That would be worth the drive to see, but the drive itself was more than worth the drive. I rode down with my aunt and uncle over Highway 88 (Carson Pass Highway). I have never in my life seen the likes of that.
Evidently, the government has decided to categorize roads like this: they are called National Scenic Byways. To say Carson Pass Highway is scenic is like saying that the ocean is a little bit damp. You can see a few photos here.
What you miss in the photos, of course, is the firsthand experience of a piney, granite wilderness that stretched off forever to the south, while to the north, mountain upon fainter blue-green mountain folded up, one on another, to the Canadian border (or so it seemed.) A million small and lovely things were woven continuously over the giant beauty of the mountains. Come around one corner, and you were startled by the red sparks of penstemons growing in a crack of the bank, come around another, and a pool of lupines was splashed across the hillside, or a wild rose bush was bursting into bloom, as fresh as dawn itself.
What I don't know is how my uncle managed to keep watching the road, but, thinking back on the high places, I am eternally grateful to him for doing so.