September 1, 2010

Dig-Dig #9: Two Campsites Far Apart

Like bookends of glass holding a collection of hot dusty encyclopedias... no, sorry. That's awful.

There were two great campsites, one at each end of a very long, hot day of driving.

Nevada's Cave Lake State Park was full, but you can camp up the river, just outside the park, for free and just pay a day-use fee for the facilities. These include showers and an emerald lake, full of mad trout, and just perfect for a swim.

View Dig! Dig! August 2010 in a larger map

The drive across Utah, up Nevada and into Idaho was long.

We were suddenly on the way home, with many, many miles to go, and the scenery, although vast and wonderful, was hard to fully appreciate. Cresting a rise or a pass in one of the ranges, the next valley lies ahead wide-open and stretched like a griddle.

(Click to embiggen.)

For a moment you see the whole thing from the best possible viewpoint; rust and yellow swirls curving away to milky-blue torn horizons, and then you have to spend an hour or more driving across it. And then you crest another ridge, and the next valley is there... Like spoiling an advent calendar by opening every glittering door on December 1st, it is hard to summon up genuine enthusiasm as the days tick slowly by until the 25th.

Snake, Schell Creek, Cherry Creek, East Humboldt, Goshute, Antelope, Toana, Pequor; Aya read the names of the mountain ranges out as they swung out of the haze ahead and then drifted behind us.

It might sound as though we didn't like it. That is not true at all.

The other campsite/glass book-end was Bruneau Dunes State Park in Idaho; home to a warm wind, cool lakes, an observatory pointed into the massive night sky, and, apparently, North America's tallest sand dune.

View Dig! Dig! August 2010 in a larger map

No, we didn't.

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