Leaving Utah Behind
After overloading on so much National Parkitis, we were ready for a little relaxation. The Parks in Utah are really magnificent, but there really is a limit, and taking in so many beautiful vistas in one trip results in a touch of scenic wonder overdose.
The fact is that Memorial Day weekend, a major holiday celebrated in huge fashion around the Moab area, combined with a storm front moving into town, had us looking at the map again. We wanted to spend one more night in the desert outside of Moab, but were concerned about rain on the very sandy roads we were camping on. Checking the weather over and over again, the weather people assured us no more rain would be occurring until mid-day on Friday.
We believed them.
Suckers we were!!!
We awoke at 4:00 a.m. to the pitter patter of raindrops falling on little Ms. Keevan. We discussed staying, we discussed going. We both tossed and turned in bed. The saying goes, if it rains, and you are on back roads in the desert, be prepared to stay put put for day or so, until the rain soaks in and the roads are once again dry and drivable. We had already decided to move on, and really didn’t want to stay put in the muck for a few days. Back and forth went the discussion, until finally at 4:15, we got up, dressed, threw everything on the bed, pulled the top down, and beat like heck, slipping and sliding out, all the way to the highway.
We drove, trying to get ahead of the rain, which was more of a downpour than a shower, the entire width of the state to western Utah, where we happily camped on dry BLM land with another great view.
The next morning we made our way into eastern Nevada, where we found the most desirable of forest service campgrounds, with lots of “NO ATV’s” on sign posts. Ah bless these parks gods from heaven. Just my type of people. We spent a couple of days at Ward Mountain Campground unwinding, relaxing, reading, and taking a lovely hike through the junipers and pinyon pine forests.
Through the Wastelands
Nevada. Now Central Nevada is it’s own character for sure. So much nothingness! And in between the nothingness, is missile testing sites, heaped up junkyards, and half filled pee bottles strewn along the highway. Mountain ranges separated by vast flatlands.
Sounds pretty destitute for sure, but in a way it was relaxing, so much nothingness, after so much everythingness of parks, rocks, beauty, tourists, visitor centers, and overpriced souvenirs.
But here’s the real story. When we went with the flow of the nothingness of Nevada, it all came to life!
First we came across a large band of Bighorn Sheep!! Not two or three mind you, but at least a hundred of them. So close to the road, we could tell the rams from the ewes. (By the horns, is how you tell.) They were so amazingly awesome!
Next, after alternately looking for wildlife and reading my magazine, I spot a lone Pronghorn Antelope!
And if that’s not enough, tooling down the highway, over yonder, we start spotting small herds of wild horses! Yes, those horses. The famous herds of wild horses of Nevada.
O.k. no more wonders of all wonders please!! We need to start looking for a place to sleep for the night, the shadows are getting long, and the sky is dimming. The last mountain range we pass over is the last bit of forest land for a long while, so we’re looking hard for a dirt road to turn off on. I spot one off to the side. Fred does a u-turn, and we turn in to check it out.
Driving slowly over the bumps and lava rocks we come around a bend, and shhh…”Fred, there’s a horse, right there!” And another, and another, and a young baby in the herd. A beautiful palomino. A Big Black. Wow.
This is where we’re camping.
Another wow. This is the view out our door tonight. Dreams of slumber overcome us.
Life is Good. There is beauty everywhere. We just have to allow it in.