This year’s snowbird season seemed a long time coming, especially since summer didn’t really arrive in our neck of the woods until late August. Then there was the matter of the missing fall. We went directly from summer to full-bore winter with all that that encompasses in Alberta.
Despite the ice and snow we managed to get the rig loaded and spent our last night parked in the yard. We awoke in the morning to see our breath in the rig. Brrr! But spirits were high and by first light we were pulling out onto the road and turning the ponies south.
We met up with Mel & Ann at Warner — where the temperature was a balmy 17C. Yahoo! We travelled far & fast over the next few days: Great Falls, Dillon, Dubois, Pocatello, Twin Falls, Jackpot, Wells, Ely, Tonopah, Goldfield and finally Pahrump. The roads were clear and dry so we made good time.
We boondocked in the Rest Area at Dubois — the first time in our memory that it had actually been open. Doug & Jean told us about it years ago but it was never open when we passed, either spring or fall. The third night saw us in Ely, parked alongside a motel/cantina. Ely once had a lovely large Rest Area but it was closed a couple of years ago. We awoke the next morning to the sound of police sirens. We were parked in a rather vague part of town so my first thought was drug bust? Maybe domestic abuse?
Wrong on both counts. Somebody’s cows had gotten loose and were roaming about the highway. The cowboy cops were using their sirens to herd the cows back to pasture, right by Mel & Ann’s rig. An interesting start to the day.
We didn’t travel far that day — just a couple of hours down the road to another rest area along the highway between Ely and Tonopah. We had lunch then hiked up into the nearby hills. A great view of the desert from up there. Gerry found several little lizards and a horse skeleton.
The next day found us at the SKP park in Pahrump. Hardly anyone in boondocking, though as the week went on that changed. By the time we left yesterday it was almost a full house.
Mel & Ann and Gerry & I headed out to Death Valley early yesterday morning — about a 90 minute drive or so. It was a mighty windy journey with strong crosswinds. As we dropped down into the valley we could hardly see anything. Much of the view was hidden by fine blowing dust. And it continues today. Gerry & I are camped up in Texas Spring (no generators — ah, peace & quiet). As I sit writing this I can look down toward the main campground on the valley bottom. I can see the splash of green that marks Furnace Creek but the mountains across the valley floor are lost in a brown dusty haze.
We spoke with our nearest neighbours this morning — a couple of grey-haired motorcycle guys camped several sites away. They’d had to put rocks on the corners of their tents before they took off yesterday. They’d ridden out to Shoshone and back along the Badwater Road. As one guy put it, “Nothing like having your face and teeth sandblasted for six hours. And I coulda grown potatoes in my ears with all the dirt.” That said, they packed up their tents, loaded their bikes and hit the road for calmy climes.
I’m trying a different format with the pictures this time. The Gallery mode shows all the pics in one spot. Click on the photo to enlarge. (You can click more than once on some to get even larger views.)