Category Archives: Nevada

We are in Kansas Dorothy!

September 3, 2007

We are in Kansas Dorothy! And boy is it flat.

OK, here are the subject lines if I had written an e-mail every day.

Friday: I am so stupid, stupid, stupid

Saturday: This is absolutely mind blowing

Sunday: I just want to get home

Monday: This is a small world/what does it mean

Let me explain. On Friday I continued to drive on the loneliest highway in the US, hwy 50, to Utah.

Highway 50 looking east towards the Snake Range, Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest

Highway 50 looking east towards the Snake Range, Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest

East of Ely the mountain ranges changed. They used to run mostly parallel to the highway, but now they ran perpendicular to the highway. Once I drove thru one, a valley opened up and the next range was just a few miles away. Amazing, you just can’t get bored with stuff like that.

Once again I was hunting down a ghost town. What a disappointment. Luckily, it was not as creepy as the last one. I would not call this place a town. All that was left were some mining shafts and the usual rotten car. All that after driving up a mountain for a few miles on a dirt road at 10-15 mph.

Ghost Town - old mining hoist

Ghost Town – old mining hoist

I did make it into Utah. I can’t remember exactly how the mountains changed, but they did. Might have been the color or the shape, it seems so long ago. I think the mountains moved further away. There is really not much going on along this highway, towns are tiny and it comes as a surprise when they are bigger, like Delta. All of a sudden there were trees alongside the road, hadn’t seen those in a couple of days. The trees changed into a little green oasis and morphed into cultivated fields.

Fishlake National Forest north of Holden.

Fishlake National Forest north of Holden.

At the beginning of the day I had thought I make it to the KOA in Green River, near Moab and Arches National Park.  Later in the day I had settled for Richfield, about 100 miles west of Green River. Highway 50 merges with interstate 70 soon after Delta all the way to Grand Junction, Colorado. I asked a lady at a gas station in Delta when the sun sets; at around 8:30 – 9 PM. It was only 7 PM and according to the guy at the KOA in Green River it would only take two hours from where I was to Green River. If I get to Green River that evening, I could photograph the arches in good morning light. If I stay in Richfield, I would get to the arches by noon and the light would be very harsh. What do I have to lose, it’s only interstate driving. Nothing ever happens on the interstate, it’s boring. At most I would be driving for ½ in the dark, not bad. Well, this is where the “I am stupid” comes in.  Not too long after I got on I-70 I realized that this was not your usual stretch of interstate. By 8 PM! It was dark and all I could see were silhouettes of some mighty big mountains. Turnouts were marked as “Devil’s Canyon”, “Ghost Rock”. I couldn’t turn around, there were only few exits and I was too far along. I made a mistake! I could kick myself. I made it to the campsite by 9 PM. Setting up tent in the dark is a piece of cake, especially with a headlight.

San Rafael Reef, off exit 149 of I-70

San Rafael Reef, off exit 149 of I-70

Saturday morning I was debating for some time if I should drive back and see what I had missed. I stopped by the visitor center and decided to drive back 50 miles and than drive on to see the arches. I set a new record; it took me four hours to drive the 50 miles going back west! That’s how much there was to see and I didn’t miss a turnout to take pictures. Going back east took only one hour. This area is absolutely mind blowing, amazing, unbelievable, fascinating, did I mention mind blowing? Only Mother Nature can create something this beautiful. The mountains were white with red, yellow, green, round or rugged, some looked wind blown in one direction, just unbelievable. Never mind the canyons. Great area for hiking and rock climbing. I am sooooooo glad I went back.

I-70 east bound thru the San Rafael Reef.

I-70 east bound thru the San Rafael Reef.

East of Green River, the mountains got smaller, more like big sand piles with little bushes.   I turned south to go to the Arches National Park. Without much notice, the earth turned red and the mountains and rocks were deep red. The sunlight was perfect afternoon light when I got to the park. I had little more than 3 hours until sunset. I picked up a map and brochure at the visitor center. The brochure indicated which areas would be best photographed in the morning or afternoon, very helpful. Unfortunately, some of the arches could only be reached on foot. Two hour round trip hike, considered strenuous. It was 95F/35C and I was not up to the challenge. So I did the car thing, stopped where possible and walked in some cases. I

Horseshoe Bend, detail, in the San Rafael Swell north of I-70 west of exit 131.

Horseshoe Bend, detail, in the San Rafael Swell north of I-70 west of exit 131.

would like to come back to this place and spend more time exploring. Some of the rocks looked perfectly round, others looked like skinny walls. Do you remember making sand castles at the beach out of very wet sand? Letting the sand drip through your fingers. Some of the rocks looked like that. If you didn’t make those sand castles, cow manure drops in a similar fashion. All of the rocks, pinnacles and mountains were really, really red. I had only enough time to see one of the arches and a place called Windows. Rocks with giant holes. Unfortunately, there were again those people around. Luckily, not anywhere as bad as in Yellowstone.

Eagle Canyon - San Rafael Swell, I-70 exit 116.

Eagle Canyon – San Rafael Swell, I-70 exit 116.

Spent the night at the KOA in Moab. What a lousy night it was, couldn’t fall asleep and than woke up at 3 AM with the wind howling. The tent held up well, but when you are laying there and the wind is pressing against the walls of the tent you feel a little vulnerable. It was otherwise a beautiful night, the noon shone brightly, the stars were out in full force and it was warm, even at 3 AM.

Well, the next morning I was dead tired, coffee helped only moderately. I decided against seeing anymore of the sites in the area, would have been a waste on me. I headed for the Colorado border. After seeing so much amazing landscape, Colorado just couldn’t hold a candle to it or is it a light?

Arches National Park - Park Avenue

Arches National Park – Park Avenue

The mountains had moved closer to the road, no more wide open spaces. It is almost a blur to me, I was too tired and all I wanted was to get to a campsite and even more so, I want to get home! I remember a line of trees on top of a mountain ridge, looked kind of neat. The western part of Colorado was not anywhere as green and lush as I thought it would be. Still looked a little rugged. I had to drive over two major passes, one was around 7,000’ high and the other, Monarch Pass, measured over 11,000’. Coming down the first pass I looked down onto the Blue Mesa Reservoir, sunlight hitting the surrounding mountains, wow. No pullover possibility, no photo. The skies were gray and it rained from time to time. The drive along the Arkansas River was quite beautiful.

Arches National Park - Garden of Eden

Arches National Park – Garden of Eden

That night I was asleep at 9:30 PM. Unfortunately, I woke up with a nasty headache. I had no interest in seeing much of anything. I was in Cañon City, known for its Supermax prison…

After an amazingly good breakfast, veggie omelet with fresh! veggies I drove towards the Kansas border. I will be taking highway 50 all the way east.

Monarch Pass, Continental Divide

Monarch Pass, Continental Divide

The landscape started to flatten out, no more mountains and that even before I got to Kansas.

The old St. Cloud Hotel, Main Street

The old St. Cloud Hotel – Cañon City

Highway 50 sign

Highway 50 sign – Kansas

This is a really small world. In Rocky Ford, Colorado I managed to get stuck in a ditch, nothing serious, but I knew I wouldn’t get out of it by myself. I walked to a farm stand around the corner and they pulled me out. We got talking and it turns out that a friend of the owner’s daughter went to New

Old Coca Cola bottling building.

Old Coca Cola bottling building – Rocky Ford

York this summer to take ballet classes at the Joffrey Ballet School. She more than likely participated in the performance which I photographed. What are the odds?

Ingalls feed yard

Feed yard

Now I am in Dodge City, staying at the Holiday Motel. No camp grounds around. Not much happening in Kansas. Lots of feed yards around, not a pretty site and very smelly. This place is flat as a pancake.

Fields along highway 50

Fields along highway 50 – Kansas

Here are a few stats. miles driven: 10,000, nights in a motel: 11, nights with friends: 13, nights camped: 20, oil changes: getting ready for the third.

Sorry, that this is such a long e-mail. I just had to get it all down before I forget even more.

I’ll be home soon,

P.S. Leaving Lawrence Kansas in a minute, had to pay credit cards first, thanks to Starbucks & T-mobile.

Lake Tahoe to Ely

 August 30, 2007

What a day, rain, gray skies, creepiest place on earth, awesome sunlight, moonlight dinner. What else can anyone ask for? I could have done without the creepy place, more about that in a bit.

For now, I am going to skip my journey from Bellingham to San Francisco. It will follow, but I have to get today on paper before I forget all those different emotions I went through today.

I left Lake Tahoe mid morning heading east on highway 50, supposedly the loneliest highway in the US. The day started out gray, the light was flat

Highway 50 sign in General store

Highway 50 sign in General store

and it was just a question of time before it would rain. Carson City and the few towns to the east of it were sprinkled with casinos, we are in Nevada. Traffic was light and I didn’t have to scream at anyone J. Once I past Fallon the highway turned into a very lonely place, hardly any cars in either direction. And I thought hwy 26 in Oregon was empty. The mountains to the left and right of the highway were impressive. Some were more hills than mountains others had great peaks and the color changed constantly. Some were green covered with little bushes, others were rugged sandstone (?), red rock or even green rock. I don’t know if the green was the actual rock or if it came from the same plant that made the truck look like Kermit. I had cleaned the truck before I left Lake Tahoe and now it had this awful green grime all over it. The color of the sagebrush changed as well. Most if the time it looked dried out, gray green. In some places it was in full bloom with bright yellow blossoms, amazing contrasts. I would have taking pictures, but there was absolutely no light, just gray and flat. It was raining on and off, but the light could not break

Sand Mountain

Sand Mountain

through the clouds. I past through salt flats and wide open spaces only to be stopped by the distant mountains. Than there was this huge sand dune, called Sand Mountain. Looked completely out of place. I was a little frustrated that I could not get any good photos of this area. It was a beautiful place in the rain; I can’t even imagine what it must look like with a little sunlight.

I hadn’t past a town in a really long time, all the places on the map turned out to be tiny gatherings of trailers off the highway in the distance. The only larger place between Fallon and Ely, my destination, was Eureka. They even had an opera house. I am jumping ahead.

Eureka Opera House

Eureka Opera House

On the map I had seen a couple of ghost towns about 20 miles south of highway 50. I had never seen a real ghost town and thought it might be fun to check it out. I turned south on hwy 361, past the Middlegate Station, a weird salon & motel. This used to be the route for the Pony Express. There was nothing and nobody for miles, it was just me and the sagebrush. I misread a sign for the ghost town (Quartz Mountain), instead of turning left and continue for 5 miles, I went straight for another 5 miles. Couldn’t really see anything, according to the map it had to be off to the left. I did see a dirt road and some structure in the distance. I turned onto the dirt road and that’s when it started to get creepy. The road was bumpy and there was nothing but open space with sagebrush. The kind of place

Middlegate Station, highway 50 and route 361.

Middlegate Station, highway 50 and route 361.

where you expect someone to jump out from behind a bush with a rifle, like in the movies. So my mind is going a little overboard, I get this strange feeling and wished I wouldn’t be there. But I couldn’t turn around, not because the road was to narrow, but because I had to see what was at the end. I was pulled by an imaginary force. I did have a little reason to feel creepy. Early on there were the remains of an old car, couldn’t make out the model. As I went on I saw another one. This is the perfect place to lose something or someone. Nobody would ever find you for a million years. At the end of the road was an old mining shaft going straight into the ground, and some kind of wooden tower like structure. I had to get out of the truck to take pictures. Why am I doing this? There was not a sound to be heard, neither from humans nor from animals, just a little wind. There was a cross on the side of the road with “H & M” written on it and down the embankment was another old car, all rust, and it had bullet holes.

Cross and wrecked car at Quartz Mountain Ghost town.

Cross and wrecked car at Quartz Mountain Ghost town.

Your mind can go off in all sorts of strange directions from here. I guess the car served as target practice, I hope. Now that I was all creeped out I had to get back to the main road, which was 3 miles away. Neither of the cars looked like recent models, one of them had door handles like cars had back in the 50s and 60s. I so wanted to call someone just to hear a friendly voice, but I had no cell reception for the next 60 miles and than only for a short time. I was glad when I

The Shoe Tree. A cottonwood tree covered in shoes.

The Shoe Tree. A cottonwood tree covered in shoes.

was back on hwy 50. Ely was still hours away. The next “big” town was Austin. At least it had a gas station and even a library. There were only very few gas station along this stretch of highway. I was glad I had a full tank when I left Tahoe. Once on the other side of the mountains from Austin the sun made an appearance and not one minute too soon. It was sunset time and the light was incredible. The mountains got an intense red color and the green of bushes was a

wonderful contrast. I pulled over several times to take pictures. If I had done this all day long I would have gotten stuck in the desert over night, no thanks. Now it was time to hurry up and get to the campsite. I have gotten used to setting up tent in the dark, but I still don’t like to drive at night. Especially not when I am in an area without anyone around. The sun starts to set at around 7 PM, by 7:45 PM it is totally dark. It had started to sprinkle again when I arrived in Ely. I contemplated staying in a motel/hotel. There were several along the main drag. Many of them were casino/hotels. I stopped at one and walked in, the cigarette smell was not pleasant. I forgot, there are still places where smoking is permitted. I walked out and decided to camp. The rain had stopped. I pulled into a gas station to fill up and also to wash some of that grime off the truck before I put up the tent.

Highway 50 looking east from Pancake Summit, White Pine Nuts Mountains in the background.

Highway 50 looking east from Pancake Summit, White Pine Nuts Mountains in the background.

I safely arrived at the KOA three miles down the road. When I finished setting up tent, the moon had come up over the trees. It was very bright, on the decline, but still almost full. It was so bright that I didn’t need a flash light during dinner. What an incredible day! When was the last time you had dinner by moonlight?

I hope I can go to sleep now and not that my mind plays any tricks on me.

Good night.

P.S. I had no nightmares. Only woke up at 5AM because some stupid person was leaving the campsite with the car radio turned up loud.

Have a good Labor Day weekend. To all New Yorkers, this is your last chance to check out Coney Island with Astroland before it all gets torn down.

On the road again – going home

August 30, 2007

What a difference a day or two make.  After two beautiful days of rest at Lake Tahoe with my friends Lynn and Doug, I am off going east on highway 50.  My battery is recharged, my eyes are rested and I am ready for the home stretch.  I got tons of sleep (slept until 10 AM the first night) and I am ready to roll.

Lake Tahoe

Lake Tahoe











Details to follow soon, got to get going before it is noon again.

Birds and coyotes

When one doors closes another one opens.

After almost three months in the same place I am finally back on the road. It was a bitter sweet good bye. I got a nice send off from my friends, including a very sweet care package from Sandy consisting of bananas, apples, some tuna and bread and most importantly my Milano Orange cookies. What would a road trip be without those? Henry and Tyann provided me with some yummy, yummy muffins. Thank you!!
The drive to the Mojave National Preserve took longer than anticipated, but somehow it didn’t surprise me, it always takes longer.
After having spent so much time hooked-up to water and electric it was time for some drying camping. My friend Brighid, a desert rat, told me about drying camping in the Mojave Preserve. It took me a little time to find the right spot, but I ended up with a beautiful spot in the middle of a whole bunch of Joshua trees; far, far away from pretty much anything. The desert here is very different from the one up in Nevada. The vegetation is richer, Joshua trees and yucca plants are the most visible ones. There were not many trees in the desert back in Overton, mainly sagebrush and creosote bushes. Also the soil is much softer and deeper covered by low growing plants.
When the sun started to set the mountains in the distance turned into a blue silhouette and the only sounds were the last songs from the birds and the hauling from the coyotes. I was treated to a beautiful sunset and I can’t wait to see the Milky Way later on. Waking up to the sun rising above the mountains should be spectacular as well; and all I have to do is turn my head on my pillow and look out the window.

OK, I missed the sunrise, but I was awake by the time the sun climbed over the mountains. It is just wonderful to see the desert come to life.
The night sky was filled with stars and some awful bright light to the north from Sin City (Las Vegas) some eighty miles north. You just can’t escape the big city. Still it was a beautiful night.

Finally and too much of a good thing

Bighorn Sheep - young and old

Good things happen when you least expect them to. Ever since I arrived here a couple of months ago, I have been asked if I had seen any bighorn sheep yet. No, despite having hiked in areas the sheep hang out; we had come across their droppings and bedding but never seen any sheep. I had not seen ANY wildlife, OK some lizards. It is winter and the turtles, snakes and other critters are hibernating. So you can imagine how happy I was when we finally

Bighorn Sheep

saw them. Right there next to the main road through the Valley of Fire. We were driving to our hiking spot when Ron spotted them on the mountain side, a herd of at least twenty bighorn sheep, including some newborns, yeah!!!
What a way to start the day. We ended up hiking for four hours through one of the most amazing and beautiful areas of the park. Every time you turned

Sandstone - NOT photoshoped!

around there was another surprise waiting. The sandstone formations kept changing colors and shapes; white, red, yellow, purple, pink, stripes, circles,

Pre-historic creature?

alcoves, windows, arches. These wonders of nature were formed 150 million!! years ago through uplifts, faults and erosion. The explanation seems too simplistic to explain the diverse landscape. I feel that any explanation takes away from the magic of this area. It would be like knowing how a magic trick works. It felt a little overwhelming walking amongst so much beauty.

Window in sandstone

White, red, purple...

It never ends

Rainbow colored sandstone formation

Desert marigold

Eroded sandstone

A valley of colors

Life is like grains of sand that come together to form a rock; one of those things that came to me while wandering around all these sandstones. Don’t ask me what I mean by that. I would like to leave that up to your interpretation.

My backyard

Overton is a small town. There are no fixed population numbers to be found anywhere, but during the winter months the population increases by a couple of hundred.

Downtown Overton

Snowbirds from the northern states, Idaho, Utah, Wyoming and even Canada, come down here to escape the deep freeze and all that snow in their states. The population for the Moapa Valley which encompasses an area of 44 square miles is approximately 8,000. Robbin’s Nest, my current

My ice-cream and sandwich place

home, is a community within the community; 150 mobile homes and a handful of RVs and trailers. If you stay long enough you get to know your neighbors.
Overton and neighboring Logandale melt into each other and they almost turned into bedroom communities for Las Vegas sixty five miles south.

Cattle in front of Mormon Mesa & Virgin Mountains

What once used to be farmland has turned into unfinished gated communities and large out of place homes on one acre lots. The development boom has come to a screeching halt with the bust of the housing market.

Old meets new "Cinderella Castle"

Robbin’s Nest is located at the south end of town, budding against the Overton Mesa. It is pretty cool to have your very own mesa in your backyard. I have walked out the backdoor and hiked / climbed over the foothills and slopes looking for a way to the top of the mesa. Not always easy and there has been that

Undeveloped housing lot

heart stopping moment once or twice (not to worry, I am always careful).

My backyard - Overton Mesa

Hiking around the desert with its washes, gullies and canyons is very different from a walk in the woods.
You always wonder what the first settlers and pioneers must have thought when they came through this part of the country. I feel a little bit like a pioneer when I am out there. Thinking I might be the first to have come this way

The spot where I climbed atop the mesa

until I stumble over a beer can most likely tossed away be an ATV (all terrain vehicle) rider. It is frustrating to see what gets dumped in the desert; cars, fridges, computer screens, tires, cans, box springs, you name it. Nevada has a peculiar law, you are not allowed to pick-up anything in the desert that is older than fifty year because that is considered an artifact. All those useless, rusted cans miners left behind are considered artifact, you go figure.
The geological diversity of this area is quite astonishing. White and red sandstone formations in the nearby Valley of Fire, mudstone hills along Lake Mead and else where, conglomerate rock, aka cement rock, in the washes and as part of the mesas, limestone in the Muddy Mountains, silt, volcanic rock and much more.

Conglomerate rock on top of a sandstone rock

Often appearing all in the same area or with little transition from one to the next – millions of years old, mind boggling.

Shooting a Winchester rifle

In the past weeks I have been to the shooting range out back by the mesa a few times. Not to worry, I have not joint the NRA, just some target shooting. I wouldn’t call it fun. I was scared every time I pulled the trigger of the Winchester riffle. First there is the kick-back and then the loud bang or is it the other way around?

Bull's eye! from 100 yards

Ear plugs only help a little with the noise. We were aiming at targets between fifty and four hundred yards in the distance. I am kind of proud that I did hit all of them. It
also gave me a whole new respect for anyone who has to use a gun in their line of work. Television makes it look so easy quickly pull and shoot. We used a scope and it takes a while to fix on the target and actually hit it. Being in a stressful situation with a moving target, good luck.

Firing a six shooter 1858 Army revolver

After shooting a six shooter 1858 Army revolver

The second time out shooting we used a 1858 six shooter Army revolver. That thing is loaded with black powder and 44mm lead balls, no scope, no support stand, just free standing. When you shot that thing you can’t see anything but lots of smoke. Hard to believe they used those revolvers in the Civil War. This is just one way to entertain yourself around here; bingo at the Senior Center or the movies are other possibilities.

Overton movie theater

When I arrived in Overton shortly before Christmas I had planned on staying two or three nights. It is now mid March and I am still here. Spring has sprung and the wanderlust is setting in again. Feeling the warm air through the open windows of the truck is wonderful. I have decided to leave by the end of the month. After some consideration I’ll be heading to Palm Springs to spend a couple of days at the Dinah Shore Women’s Event before heading east. It won’t leave me with too many extra days making it back to New York City, but so be it.

A year in review

The past twelve months have flown by faster than any other that I can remember. It is hard to believe, but it has been a year since I left New York City that cool rainy day in March. And now I am here in Nevada basking in the sun. I once again drove out onto the Mormon Mesa to find a tranquil spot to soak up the sun and to read. Unfortunately, I left my book at home (check out by my friend J.D. Fox. A legal thriller for a good cause). Fortunately, I brought pen and paper.
Overton is a very quiet place; however, up on the mesa it is even quieter. I am looking over this big flat covered by sage brush, creosote and other desert shrubs, no humans. The desert is starting to turn green with lots of new growth. I am surrounded by mountains, the Virgins, Muddy and Mormon Mountains are the large ranges.
Last February I was in the final stages of getting everything organized for this journey. I was going crazy. Overwhelmed by everything I felt I needed to know about the camper. Dealing with insurance companies was another big headache. One company for the truck and my apartment, another one for the camper. Who would insure what? The homeowner’s insurance or the camper policy? I got as many different answers to the same question as people I talked to. It was a nightmare. That on top of figuring out how many watts my inverter would need to run my computer on the camper’s DC power. Watts, volts, amps, AC or DC power, all very confusing. If you are drawing a blank here, then you know how I felt.
I drove a little over 25,000 miles in the past twelve months. I haven’t done much driving since I returned to Overton from my southern Nevada excursion in January. 25,000 miles of very different terrain. I don’t remember every road I took, but when I look at my maps and especially my photos (11,000+) I do remember little details, the smell of the Juniper trees up in the Dalamar Mountains or the smell of celery near Oxnard. There are not too many countries where you can drive that many miles and never really see the same thing twice.

Bryce Amphitheater

I haven’t written anything in detail about what I did or where I was in October. Most of the time was spent in southern Utah. It is one of the most amazing places I have seen so far. The area is “littered” with National Parks: Canyonlands, Arches, Bryce and Zion in addition to magnificent landscapes in between. I hiked almost fifty! miles throughout October. It gave me a very different perspective from just driving through. None of the parks were crowed at that time of the year, especially on the trails that were more than one mile long.

Zion - so much beauty

Every time I left one park I asked myself how could the next place possibly get any better. Amazingly they always did. The geology in this part of the country is fascinating. Parts of Utah, Nevada, Arizona and Colorado were covered by water millions of years ago, that combined with volcanic eruptions has made for an incredible landscape.
What is my favorite place?


I have seen the beautiful beaches of Alabama, the pancake flats of Texas, the Pacific Ocean coastline, the mountains of northern California, the

Bryce - rainbow colors

rainforests and desert of Washington State, the spires and hoodoos of southern Utah and Arizona and much much more. It is very difficult to name one place. I did like Etna in northern California a lot.

Scott Valley

Scott River

Etna is situated in the Scott Valley and has a population of less than 800. Surrounded by mountains and golden fields. When I visited the fields were harvested and the colors were stunning. To me the town just had a very nice feel to it.


But if you ask me what will I remember the most, it will be the kindness of complete strangers; like Kate in Texas who runs a Bed & Breakfast. She prepared lunch for me despite the fact that she does not serve lunch and that she is not allowed to sell food to people who are not guests. We spent almost two hours talking and eating. I made a donation. Or Kinsey, a fellow traveler in Montana, one of only two solo women travelers I have encountered, who left fresh tomatoes and some potatoes at my door before she headed out. The campground manager who gave me scallop squash and cherry tomatoes because I couldn’t find any veggies at the small supermarket. The store keeper in Augusta, MT, who made me a cup of hot chocolate (with milk) on a cold and rainy day.
The RVers in Oregon who first watched me put my camper back on the truck and then invited me to dinner. My neighbors here at the campground who invite me over and always make sure that there is at least one non-meat dish for me.
The couple who invited me to Christmas dinner, Henry and Tyann, who have become friends and had me over for dinner several times since. They have made sure I don’t run out of my special dark rye bread which they bring back from Mesquite. They even have given me a ride to Whole Foods in Vegas so that I could stock-up on some good cheese. My hiking buddy Ron makes sure I have enough fresh coffee in the house. You have to know there is only one supermarket in Overton. Which is fine for all the basics, but they don’t carry things like good cheese or a wide variety of produce. Vegas is sixty plus miles away and Mesquite forty miles, ONE way.
Never mind all the friends and friends of friends who let me stay with them. Some I hadn’t seen in decades.
It is these and many more encounters that I will cherish the most.
Thank you all!!
As much as I was frantic and crazed before I left New York, I am now panicked that I have to be back in New York City by June. It is not so much that I will be back in the big city, I do love NYC, it is more that I have to sell my truck. As mentioned in a previous post, NYC rent plus truck payments on a minimal part-time job are just not feasible. I am still hoping for a miracle.
Maybe now you understand why I want to continue traveling. There are so many more people to meet and places to discover. I have only been to twenty three of the lower forty eight states and some I only quickly drove through.

self portrait at sunset

Things are not always what they appear to be

The following are random thoughts that came to me just before I went to sleep. I grabbed some paper and a pencil and jotted them down. When I looked at them in the morning it seemed like there was a disconnect between the two strings of thought. However, I have been mulling this over for a while and I think there is a connection. Tell me what you think.

How many times have we made up our mind about a person or a situation before we bothered to find out anything more than meets the eye?
When I went to Page, Arizona to visit the Antelope Slot Canyon I only had a vague idea what to expect. I don’t do much research before I visit a place, I like to be surprised.

Entrance to the Lower Antelope Canyon

When I arrived at the entrance to the canyon, I thought our guide was pulling my leg. I didn’t see anything but brown sandstone stretched out in front of me. There was only a two foot wide crack the length of the sandstone, very unassuming. If it would not have been for the guide I might have walked away and missed out on one of the most extraordinary natural wonders.

Who would have thought - Lower Antelope slot Canyon

The desert around my neighborhood here in Nevada appears flat with mountains in the distance. Only when you get out of the car and walk into the desert will you discover the washes, hidden canyons and crevices in all their splendor.

Rainbow colors

A couple of posts back I told you about my last mountain climb. Looking at that mountain from afar it seemed impossible to climb (without robes) until you get closer finding little steps in the rock and taking one step at a time to the top. It can also go the other way, a climb that starts out as an easy walk down a wash ends abruptly at a steep drop off.

We all have been there when we were faced with a seemingly insurmountable task. Be it the garage we have been meaning to clean out for years or a complex set of architectural drawings. Where to start? One of the things I earned in woodworking, and then again was reminded of during my journey, is that you need to break things down to make them more digestible and less overwhelming. Focusing on just one small section of the garage at the time and not the whole thing makes the task less daunting.
A teacher of mine once said that consistency and continuity make accomplishing a task almost effortless; e.g. it is easier to take care of chores a little at a time every day instead of trying to get everything done all at once.
Coming to these insights is one thing, applying them is a whole other story.

If you would have asked my opinion about people who live in mobile home parks and in trailers a year ago I would have told you something very different than today. My opinions from a year ago have not completely changes, but they have expanded.
Humans and nature deserve a closer look. You can miss out on meeting great people or seeing beautiful places if you pass judgment without knowing the details.
Step closer and take a second look you might be surprised at what you find.

Humans are complex creatures and we don’t all fit into one mold.

Still in Nevada

In the beginning it was the cold weather further east that kept me from moving on. Then, I had to get things done, taxes, websites, before I moved on. But then I had and still have this apprehension of moving east, because with every step east I would move closer to New York and to the end of this journey. A journey I am not ready to end. There are still so many more states to visit and places to explore. Worst of all, I would have to sell my home. Rent and truck payments are just too much. It was originally planned that I’ll sell both camper and truck when I get back. Who knew that I would like this lifestyle so much?
If you know of anyone who would be interested in sponsoring me, please let me know. I have a camper that has plenty of room for advertising. I do get around.
Of course there are my photos which you can buy to help or my book “Landscapes Across America”. I am still waiting for the “magic” of the internet to kick in.
How could I forget, I have met some very nice people here and moving on also means saying good bye, never easy.

Check it out

How are we getting down from here

Finally, I put some great photos on the Photo tab, take a look.
I have also been working on a new website for the last couple of days. I hope to reveal it later this week. This will make it easy for everyone to view and hopefully, buy my photos.
When I am not slaving away behind my computer, I am enjoying my surrounding scenery. I have a hiking buddy here in Overton and we went on a nice hike last Friday. What was supposed to be a three hour hike turned into a six hour hike. We decided to climb up a mountain, nothing too serious, but once we reached the top we didn’t quite know how to get back down.

with hiking buddy Ron

The same way we got up you say. Well, the thing is that on our ascend we had to climb up a five foot vertical wall with a ravine not far and I did not want to go down that way. It is always easier to climb up than down. Fortunately, we found a way down without endangering our lives.

Big Horn Sheep skull

It was a great hike. It would have been a terrific hike if we had seen some Big Horn Sheep up in the mountains, but all we found were the remains of two sheep down in the desert.
Oh, by the way, shorts and t-shirt are back in the closet. We too are experiencing cooler weather.