Tonight is the last sleep of Dory’s maiden voyage.
I feel mixed, ambivalent even. I am ready to be home, but if Richard had stayed the whole time, I’m guessing I could have been happy out here a lot longer. Don’t get me wrong, I’m very glad the kids came and kept me company. I don’t think I would have liked soloing as much. But Dory was really meant for two and it’s hard knowing Richard is all sad and lonely waiting for us to come home. So in that sense, I am content to call this a wrap and start looking for weekends as soon as possible where we can do short excursions.
Today’s drive was all about Nevada. There’s a beauty to this place, but the first word that comes to mind is “desolate”. Highway 80 runs through vast expanses of not much to see. You could call it awe inspiring in its consistency, but you can’t deny it’s a long day of driving if you go end to end.
We punctuated the drive with a stop at a very unusual place. I’d probably seen it many times but it comes at you fast on the highway, and before you know what you’re seeing, you’re past it. On the trip out, I mentioned it and my dear friend, Jim Gunn, figured out what it was that had caught my eye (even though I didn’t give a very good description). The place is called Thunder Mountain Monument and was built over many decades by Chief Thunder, Frank Van Zant, as a monument to the suffering of the Native American people. The art here is a statement and is formed using cement and “white man’s trash”, or discarded items found within 50 miles of the site. Others, particularly 60s hippies, helped with the creation of some of the sculpture, but the vision was singular and its purpose was to convey the sadness and despair of generations of native people. As such, it is a disturbing, yet beautiful, sight to see. I’m glad to have taken the short detour.
We then pretty much booked it to our site for the night. We’re in Nevada, so it’s obvious we would only be able to find campgrounds with accompanying casinos. This one is pretty nice. It’s the Gold Ranch RV Park (and Casino) very close to the California border. The thing that is nice about it is its proximity to nature. It is situated up against the foothills of the Sierras on one side and it’s like a taste of camping yet to come. Now, my ideal campsite would not necessarily include Highway 80 running along the edge, nor would I especially opt for any sort of casino, neither walking distance, nor shuttle service distance. But, along one side, I see the trees and telltale signs of California and notice even the clouds overhead (apart from not raining on me) have that wispy, coastal look. This is the nature I’m going to be hunting for weekend breaks. That is going to be Dory’s primary playground. That, and the coast. Of course.
I will do a final post tomorrow, plus, I’ll probably do some kind of post voyage wrap to include what worked, what didn’t, what we used most, and what’s for sale.
In the meantime, I shall enjoy sleeping in tomorrow and will look out the windows on the side that has trees. And when we get home, we’ll have to figure out where to park our baby until we can get her in the garage. That’ll be fodder for several blog posts I’m sure.
Total miles: 406.4, Engine time: 7 hours, 5 min, 15.8 mpg