82 days, Travels
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Desert and lakes

Now I’m in Oregon, the last night I spent on a serene campground at Goose Lake. At the moment, I’m sitting in my RV parked in the shadow of a tree in Lakeview and wait for the assistance to call back. The blackwater tank is leaking and this must be repaired. In Lakeview my mobile works, phone reception is very spotty here.

Sunset at Goose Lake

In case it will be too late for repair today I will spend another night at Goose Lake. Even on the campground there are deer and the funny California Quail. I even saved a little frog from drowning in the sink of the toilets. It’s quiet here, if you don’t mind the geese shouting, the frogs quaking, the crickets chriping and the cows mooing. The sunset yesterday was great and I was happy to have my binoculars with me to watch the birds.

California Quail

Sunrise

The day before yesterday I still was at Lake Tahoe and got up early to have some pictures of the rising sun. It was cold, only 40 F, so I was cold even with gloves and longed for a hot coffee at the café nearby.

Lake Tahoe at dawn

Lake Tahoe at sunrise

Nevadas deserts

Next destination was Squaw Valley in Nevada. From the lush green of Lake Tahoe I went down to Carson City. From there on the landscape is desert with wide valleys and rocks in many colours. I drove on a new highway that wasn’t shown in any map yet that ends near Clark on Highway 80. It was an outerworldly experience to come out of nothing but stones into an valley filled with huge white factory buildings all looking quite the same. Here is located the Tesla Gigafactory and many distribution centers.

From Fernley on I took the 447 and it got empty. Nixon is the last town and is situated near the turqoise Pyramid Lake.

Pyramid Lake

Then there is nothing for the next 60 miles, then you reach Gerlach. On the way I had oncoming traffic, all the cars were completely covered with white dust. They all came from Burning Man. The festival ended a week ago but a city for 70.000 people in the middle of the desert requires a certain amount of logistics. Black Rock Desert is a huge dried white basin. Fantastic location but the dust goes in every corner when it’s windy.

Past Gerlach I drove for another 35 miles through the desert. Mostly straight ahead. Then there are some curves and suddenly a stretch of green grass opened in front of me. Two turns later I reached the campground at Squaw Valley. It’s only a gate with access to an meadow at a small lake. Squaw Valley reservoir is filled by a small creek that purls alongside the meadow. What a great scenery! A soft wind was rustling through the grass and the crickets chirped. 

Darkness here is pitch black night. The stars and the milky way span all over the sky. At 11 pm the moon rises and the scenery gets somewhat spooky. I had such a quiet night, also because it gets cool at night even after a hot day.

Big sky in Nevada

Back to California

The next day I drove through the desert and crossed again the state line to California. In the upper east are the Alkali Lakes, three lakes in a row. I passed them all until I realized that the road I wanted to take was not paved and steep. So I decided to drive back 25 miles and take the Cedar Pass. I didn’t mind because the landscape was great and I watched some birds of prey.

At Alkali Lakes

On the summit of the pass, my iPhone made pling pling pling – messages coming in after one day without phone reception. Even without phone reception I can contact my family through the Garmin inreach Explorer which is also great to navigate. Sometimes it’s good to know where you are.

On the road I realized my blackwater tank is leaking again, so I called the assistance when I reached Lakeview because it’s the only town here and looked for a campground near Lakeview which is nice. Goose Lake met my standards and it is a really nice place to be.

Grasses in the evening light

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