Saturday, September 17, 2016

Crossing Nevada

We start out with two pictures taken on our Mattole Road drive on The Lost Coast proving we saw nothing interesting there.

However, if you are interested in knowing more about what goes on The Lost Coast, you may find this article of interest.

We saw all the buildings pictured in the article and there is very little else there.

Friday - Saturday - September 2 - 10
We mooched-docked with friends MJ and John in Carson City for nine days. Eating, chatting, drinking margarita’s, watching movies, shopping, solving world problems and waiting for Amazon to deliver a part for the water heater. Got new tires for the Jeep. We got both vehicles cleaned for the first time in awhile. [But found a dirt road our first day eastbound] We drove the unpaved trail to Virginia City, the same route the Virginia-Truckee tourist train takes. Saved $88 and were so glad we did not take the train.

Met Terry and El for breakfast and caught up with them. First time we have seen them since the 2008 Baja trip.

 Foofoo in riding gear on a trike
MJ & Dorothy
Add John in the mix - fantastic Mex food - over 100 tequila's and mescal's

Sunday - September 11
Eastbound on I80 toward SLC. It will take 9+ hours the way we drive to cross Nevada. Most of Nevada, like much of the west, is tan to brown rock covered with dead tan weeds. We stopped after 3+ hours in Winnemuca at a BLM CG in the hills above the town. Rather scenic, when compared to the valley below. The town was engulfed in a dust storm, so staying there was not an option. There was no blowing dust where we were. Quite a few cars passed our place headed to Water Canyon. I almost unhooked to go and see what the deal was. But, decided whatever was there it was too crowded. Dorothy saw the Sheriff go there after 10. So we guess it is a place to party.

Sunrise at Water Canyon

Look closely and you can just make out OJ waving from his cell in the prison near Lockhart, Nevada. 

Monday - September 12
Eastbound on I80 toward SLC. Stopped near Elko in the Ruby Mountains in Lamoille Canyon. It’s the first WOW I have heard from Dorothy in a few weeks. It reminds me of a mix of Zion, Sinks Canyon and places in the Sierra Nevada. I love steep granite canyon walls.

We arrived in time for off and on overcast skies. Rain is forecast for tomorrow. We will see if it hits the ground. I suspect it might since we at 7,500. The end of the canyon road is at 8,747 and provides access to a wilderness area. 

Rain or shine, we will hang here for a few days and then move a little east to Angel Lake.

The mountains got their name when the Army was seeking new routes west in 1854. On a noon halt, a soldier was panning for gold and found rubies, red garnets. This nearly broke up the expedition. Time and rations were short and the Indians were hostile. So the range was named Ruby Mountains and the expedition hurried west.

Some people come here to see this bird.

The Himalayan Snowcock is the pheasant family Phasianidae found across the Himalayan ranges and parts of the adjoining Pamir range of Asia and imported to the Ruby Mountains. Deal is you have to hike straight up to view them. And since hunting season has started they are not disposed to be viewed.

The tidiest beaver dam we have ever seen

Tuesday - September 13
It started raining about 8 last night and continued until first light this morning. Periods of sun, overcast and mist punctuated the day.

A couple in a Mercedes sedan came in after dark last night. The wind and rain trashed their tent and they moved inside the car, where they remained until late in the day. They left all their new camping gear scattered on the ground and went somewhere else.

Wednesday - September 14
The forecast for today, as of 9AM, was partly cloudy with 20% chance of rain. At noon, we are waiting for the partly part of the forecast. We already got the rain part. Had a low of 34 last night. The heater ran a lot. We read, watched movies, surfed when the cell gods sent a signal and we walked a little.

The Mercedes couple did not return. They abandoned all of their new camping gear. A nice folding table, but it’s too heavy and too big for us. Dorothy picked up an unopened roll of aluminum foil, some coffee filters, a pot and a battery powered candle from the pile of stuff left on the ground. The tent, air mattress, piles of cooking gear, etc. we left for others.

Thursday - September 15
Sunlight! It was 32 when we woke up, but the furnace was doing it’s thing. As soon as the sun came over the mountain, we drove to the trailhead for some photographs. At 8,787 we managed a few hundred yards up the trail before our breathing became labored, but we got a few memento pictures of this gorgeous canyon.  Our hiking days are numbered at any elevation. Above 5,000, forget it.
Some flashes of yellow as the Aspen's begin to turn

Traces of snow from last night

We got away by 11 and stopped near the mouth of the canyon for a good internet connection and lunch. Our destination was only 36 miles “as the crow flies”, but Glenda said it would take 2 hours and she was right since the road went around the mountains, not over them.

Angel Creek is on the east side of the Rubies. We were expecting more of what we left. And so we were disappointed. The campground we chose is half way up the mountain. Angel Lake is about 9,000 feet, too high for us and would be too cold. We planned to paddle the yaks on the lake, but we were disappointed to find it a trivially small body of water. And it would be a LONG carry for the yaks.  
The drive up to the lake reminds me of the drive to Great Basin NP. Narrow road, no guard rails, a fall would be fatal. You have views of the playa below. Exactly like Great Basin. I guess that’s why the park is just south of here. Same terrain. But, if you have been to the park, no need to do this.

Friday - September 16
We normally only pay for one night at a new campground. Angel Lake seemed OK when we got there, so I paid for two nights. Mistake. By nightfall, we decided this was not the place for us, so we left money in the table. A whole $7.50. 

Exiting Nevada - Just Over The Line Into Utah

There are slim pickings for places to stay between here and SLC and we did not want to drive all the way to SLC. We opted to park on the edge of Bonneville Salt Flats. It’s BLM land so it’s free, the view is not bad, and it has four bars. 

Sometimes you are disappointed, sometimes you are enchanted, other times surprised. We were enchanted by Lamoille Canyon, disappointed by Angel Creek, we were surprised at Bonneville.

We made it across Nevada. Only took us five days. We are just over the border into Utah at Bonneville.

We drove down Bonneville Speedway Road just to see what was there. Turned out they were doing speed runs for a battery powered car. They expect it exceed 400mph. We were not impressed. The cars were over a 1/2 mile away and they look like they are going maybe 100 at that distance. I prefer something supercharged and makes a lot of noise. 

Last night's Moon

Tonight's Moon

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