Thursday – June 21 – We made the four plus hour drive from Pine Valley up Hwy 93 to Great Basin NP. This place has been on our bucket list for years. You really have to want to come here as it’s not on the way to any place else. After all the effort, we are disappointed. It wasn’t what we expected. It’s high desert and I guess we were looking for mountain terrain. But there are trees and the campsite is fine. It’s very private and there are wild rose bushes that provided lots of privacy (at least that’s what I am calling them). We took the scenic drive up the mountain. I am sure it offers plenty of scenery to those who able to hike long distances with significant elevation gains. For those of us that can not do that, it’s a bust. Regrettably, I know of no way to reliably ascertain such information in advance.
When we arrived we were tired, so we napped before filling out the campsite form. That got us a lecture from a gun toting ranger who checked my driver’s license for wants and warrants. Nice welcome.
Friday – June 22 – We enjoyed the tour of Lehman Cave. It was unlike any cave we have toured.
How some mountain roads seem to us
Saturday – June 23 – Breaking our tradition, we decided to move camp on Saturday figuring no crowds, no worries. We planned to stay near Ely, but the campground was closed. After a quick visit to the Northern Nevada RR Museum, we continued west on US50 to check out two other places to overnight. One was on a reservoir and would have been fine, but we found it was full after a trip down a very dusty road made all the worse by the high wind. We wound up in a private CG in Eureka.
Not a lot to see on The Loneliest Road but we did see Chuck & Beverly that were on the Baja trip with us in February 2008. It’s a small world.
I had planned to spend two or more weeks crossing US50. It’s not at all like I thought it would be. Plus The Loneliest Road is not all that lonely. It’s been absolutely the worst few travel days we have had since we retired. In addition, the engine is starved for fuel or air. No power. We will get it checked out when we get to Fallon. Meanwhile we limp along running in third gear getting 5mpg.
Sunday – June 24 – Nevada is looking better today. As we got closer to Austin, the terrain marginally greened up. We found the FS Bob Scott CG to be to our liking. Trees! Our site must have been a host site once as we have water and sewer. Weather is prefect. The well water here is the best tasting water we have had in a long time.
Austin is also an old mining town. I don’t know how people that live there now make a living.
The engine was normal for the first 45 minutes, then ran in 3rd gear to maintain 57mph.
Monday – June 25 – Another Lazy Day surfing and reading. A low of 41.
Tuesday – June 26 – We finished crossing Nevada on US50. We will not need to do it again. The funny thing about is that every Nevada resident we have talked to about it had never heard of US50.
[Great Basin to Ely 67 miles, Ely to Eureka 78 miles, Eureka to Austin 70 miles, Austin to Silver Springs 111 miles. Four hops, five days]
No problems with the engine today. It cured itself again.
We landed at Lake Lahontan SP, west of Fallon. It’s a large lake with beaches all around it that you can camp on. Some of the beaches will support RV’s, some not. We scouted one and nearly got the Jeep stuck. Finally saw a ranger and flagged him down and found they have a developed beach, number 7, which translates to paved parking. We took it.
Our general plan for the area is to visit friends, see the sights in Virginia City, see the capital in Carson City, camp on the south end of Tahoe, and also near the entrance of the Rubicon Trail.
An LD couple, David & Mary, we met in Canyonlands in April took our picture. He is a professional photographer. Today he advised us: “I've entered the shot I did of you and Dorothy into a juried exhibit in Fort Collins in CO. If it gets chosen, you will be hanging in the gallery in September.” I think hanging may be the operative word. See his remarkable shot of the Golden Gate here.
Wednesday – June 27 – Headed into Carson City we passed a street sign for Pinenut Road. We both said there are no pines around here. The name of the next road was No Pinenut Road, followed by No Rainbow Road.
We arrived at John and Mary Jane Van Emmerik’s home in Carson City, NV. They had a sign out to welcome us and direct us where to park. That made us feel very welcome indeed. We met them in Rockport, TX in 2010 and enjoyed each other’s company, so here we are. They took us to a delicious Mexican restaurant and we will have to go back before we leave the area.
Thursday, June 28 - I have been having considerable pain in my leg, even began to worry if I had a blood clot. Mary Jane took me to the Carson City hospital. What a great experience. I filled out a form at the reception desk which was just my name, address and phone number. About 15 - 20 minutes later, they called me back and I gave the nurse my medical history and what my problem was. She took me back to the examining room and a RN came in and got further information. No one had asked for my insurance information! The nurse said they treat the patient first and then get insurance information - what a wonderful experience. The doctor came in, talked with me and finally said that there was nothing that he could do for me except give me enough pain pills to get me home. He said I really needed to get with my doctor and then he could recommend a doctor to help me, but he thought that I probably need several weeks of physical therapy. Of course, it’s all related to the polio I had when I was a baby. John & Mary Jane cooked us a delicious dinner. Of course, we talked all day.
Friday, June 29 - The pain pill really worked, because I am feeling no pain. Don & I went into Carson City to tour the capitol and do some sight seeing. We went to Lowe’s and as we were leaving, Don saw the LED Light Store, so of course, we went there and bought LED lights to replace the fluorescent that we have in the kitchen. Then we went to grocery store to buy food so Don could make spaghetti for dinner. The spaghetti was a hit! Again we chatted with our hosts for a long time.
Saturday, June 30 - We went to Virginia City, NV. You remember Virginia City, it’s the town that the Cartwright's of Bonanza would go to. It’s also an old gold and silver mining town. At one time there were 40,000 people living there in the 1870’s. There was a Catholic school and four public schools, plus lots of churches. We toured the remaining Catholic church which was beautiful. We learned a lot about the church and town from a man working in the museum at the church. The Episcopal church closed in 2011. We walked the main street stopping in some of the saloons and shops. We had a good lunch in one of the saloons - thank you John and Mary Jane. Ever the big gambler, I lost $1 in the quarter slot machine. I very much enjoyed my hours spent there.
Virginia City during a rat rod show
Sunday, July 1 – We gave John & mj a break from us and drove 60 miles south on US395 to Topaz Lake. Anything around the Lake Tahoe area is crowded and expensive. Dry camping on the beach here is $18 a day.
Monday, July 2 – Had breakie at a casino on the lake. Steak & Eggs for $4.95. We moved to a site distant from the loud folks next to us.
After lunch the place starting filling up and we got Taco and Mama Seta next to us with a yapping dog. Dorothy spoke to them to no avail. They pulled the no response routine. I went to the park ranger to get the number of the sheriff. The ranger said he would handle it. But right then hot-headed Cochise drove up and said he saw the whole thing and that we were racists. Rather than battle and still listen to a yapping dog , we decided to move camp. So we crossed the Sierra Nevada via the Monitor Pass and came down to a place we have been before, Indian Creek CG. It is close to full, but very quiet and no entitled assholes in sight.
The engine had no power when we started it. So we went up the pass at 26mph. So that’s four days of limping, two days of no problems and then it rears it head again.
Tuesday, July 3 – Laundry and grocery shopping day. The main reason to go to Gardnerville was to go to a Basque restaurant. We’ve never eaten Basque food, so this was a first. The Basque stew was like Cajun rice with chicken. Our entrees were lamb chops (4 each), french fries, and salad. The lamp chops were good and we brought half of them home for another meal.
Wednesday, July 4 – Back to John and mj’s in Carson City. Seems cooler here. Best CG in Nevada. Carson City puts on a fine fireworks show. We had a picnic dinner in the HS parking lot before the fireworks started.
Thursday, July 5 – Took the Jeep in for service. Talked with the Ford Dealer about the loss of power in KoKo. They will try to diagnose it Friday.
Friday, July 6 – Ford found 8 updates concerning loss of power and re-flashed the computer. Fingers crossed this will solve the problem.
Don had a life-long dream fulfilled – he went gliding. He had a big smile on his face and saw Lake Tahoe from the air. Looking at the plane made me start to hyperventilate.
Saturday, July 7 – Our 9am appointment at the Jeep dealer turned out not to be an appointment at all. Rather a leave it all day deal. We wasted an hour driving there and back. Will get it done someplace else.
Small world continues - we had lunch with John and Heidi from Reno that were on our Baja trip. We missed seeing Terry & El as Terry has pneumonia.
Sunday, July 8 – Installed new LED strip lights in kitchen fixture. They put out plenty of light. Went to the gun range with mj & John and fired a lot pistols. Dorothy can hit someone at 25 feet. We had garlic shrimp for lunch.
Monday, July 9 – Took KoKo for a test drive for an hour or so, dumped, filled up with propane, stopped by the library. Power was fine. Fingers still crossed. Ate too much for dinner.
Tuesday, July 10 – The new TV arrived and I got it installed. After dinner we toured one of the local ranches. Lotta of nice girls out there.
Leaving Carson City Wednesday. Going to miss mj and John.
Headed toward San Francisco