23rd – 24th Sept 2018
Whoah, what a cold night! We’d added a third blanket, they are a bit thin, but we’re still cold. Brrr, we forget we are about 8,000 feet above sea level here. The morning was cold but stunning. We were both feeling tired after yesterday, but Will almost threatened to not be driver unless we stayed another day here. No argument from me buddy, I don’t want to drive that thing on the “wrong” side of the road. So we relaxed. Had some breakfast, a few coffees, and when it was warmer, we got to work doing something constructive. Will’s bike, the old Yellow Dawg, had been complaining with a slow leak in the rear tyre, so I thought this was a great opportunity to have a refresher lesson on removing and repairing it. So we did that. It was great, except that we found that the actual tyre has worn through, on the inside, and the crack has been rubbing on the tube. The tyre is dead. It has done 13,000kms, so I think that is fair. This meant, that I had to put a whole new tyre on, and patch the old tube. Good experience for me. I did pretty well, even though the new tyre struggled to seat itself properly, and Will messed around with it until he was okay with it, for now. Will also tightened the chains, and gave them a good clean so we don’t get grease and oil on the inside of the van.
Definitely worth checking my work, but Yellow Dog was looking ready for a ride. Not today old mate.
The rest of the day we went for an explore of the river, and took some time to watch the crazy fast “Parkour” squirrels. These guys are small and super agile. Leaping from tree to ground, and racing to leap sideways onto the next tree, before scaling it in a second, then leaping to the next branch. Cute as hell, and supremely fast. Impossible to capture on the camera. It was a good day, and we were able to get ourselves and the beast more comfortably arranged. The sleeping bags came out, and things were stowed better. Aah, very nice.
We saw heaps of fly fishermen wandering about, so there must be something worth fishing for in here. All we saw were some sneaky deer.
Aspen Campground to Fallon 147 miles
Oh man, it was frickin freezing. The minimum temp, was at 7am, and it would have been close to zero. Let’s not forget we are bloody high up, and it is Autumn. Winter is not far off, so it isn’t unusual. But the sun was up, the squirrels were at it, so we got to it too. Packed up, feeling refreshed and heads in gear for this days driving. It was going to be a good day. We were heading north, around Mono Lake, which was beautiful, and totally unexpected. It is huge. This lake is a natural saline soda Lake, and has. Catchment area of about 2030 square kilometres. Very impressive.
The scenery and the quieter roads were really on it today. Big skies, good roads, and we were even up to playing some music.
Will was in the groove now, and handling the Beast like a pro. It was a stunning day, and we had a great drive through to Hawthorne. It is an Army Defence and mining town, and looks like it too. We stopped at the Safeway to properly stock up on groceries, as we have discovered, we can fit shit loads in.
Originally, we had planned a stop just after Hawthorne, if Will wasn’t going well, but as all was cruisie, we kept on going passed Walker Lake. Another very scenic lake, where the road wound around the cliffs, overlooking it.
Walker Lake looked beautiful, and the road around it was nice. The camp sites didn’t look that good, but we were moving on anyway.
We decided to carry on to Fallon, and stay there, as we needed to reassess our plan. Driving here was taking a lot more energy than expected, and we were not going to be able to do the huge amount of kilometres AND see stuff. So what can we see well, and how far can we drive? These are very important with our limited time. Fallon is an Airforce and farming town. Lots of references to Top Gun, and green fields as far as you could see. Which was a long way, it is pretty flat around here. We also get to drive on “America’s Loneliest Highway”, and part of the Pony Express Trail.
But for now, we find an RV Park, and get ourselves a “hookup”, where we can plug into power, water and dump the icky black water. We can use their pretty bloody good Wifi, and shower in their extra spacious hot showers. Pretty bloody good. Tomorrow, we’ll have a revised plan, and head off towards…..well, we’re not sure yet, we’ll see.