After the day of looking at the lovely scenery of the Valley of fire, the next morning we set off for a little drive. Well… It can hardly be considered a little drive when it involves more than six hours of driving. But we love the road, so getting out and seeing some of Nevada was on the menu.
After fueling up the truck and missing a turn, nearly heading into Vegas, and finally getting back on track, we followed US 93 out because we wanted to see a couple of the other parks in the area. Having been utterly disappointed in Lake Mead, my expectations were pretty low at this point. US 93 is just rough to drive. The road itself is smooth. Quite frankly compared to the roads in and around Phoenix, the roads in Nevada seemed rail smooth. There is just not a lot to see. I suppose a person could like it if they enjoy looking at the bottom of a dead lake… But honestly it felt like there was nothing, dotted by random shrubbery.
We came upon a rest area. And unlike every rest area I have ever seen, this one was only a bunch of picnic tables. Generally we call those Picnic Areas here. Sooo we simply rolled through, because while I don’t mind watering a tree, I can do so without exposing the lower half of my body, and I was not the only one who would have needed to empty a bladder. So we kept going up a little further.
We came upon a National Wildlife Refuge with a name I wasn’t even going to try to pronounce. Pahranagat National Wildlife refuge has an upper and lower section to it’s lake. From the road I saw the outhouses, and figured it was likely to be the only ones along our trip(I was right, and my sweetheart’s bladder can thank me later).
Obviously, as I mentioned that it was a lake, there is well… water. But as we entered, we were informed that swimming in that water is a horrendously bad idea(as well as against the rules). Apparently there are some kind of bug that inhabits the water that will give you nice itchy red bumps. I opted NOT to test that. I have never been a fan of being itchy. Some local kids apparently didn’t get the memo from the host, and couldn’t read the signs that said “no swimming” and didn’t understand the sign that had the swimming person with the line through it. No biggie for me, I’m not the one who has to put the ointment on. The little woman thought this would be an excellent spot to camp. I wouldn’t mind but it would still seem weird not being able to get in the water.
After finding a potty booth, we went back to the 93 and continued the trudge north. It was nice having a little stop before we lost our minds. And then the road had a turn. and I needed to figure out where we were. I have to admit, GPS has spoiled me a bit. I can still read maps, and figure out where the heck I am, but it is nice to let a computer figure out where I’m supposed to turn. Being lost, and a bit hungry and thirsty we stopped in at an alien themed store. We tried a few different jerkys they had(the chile lime jerky was the only one worth it), and got a couple drinks. Next stop was Caliente Nevada. Oddly enough, I didn’t see any Mexican restaurants there.
With a quick drive through there, we turned south to head into the Kershaw Ryan state park. This park is apparently designed around giving kids a place to cool off, and a way for parents to be able to socialize and drink while their kids are in the little pool. We got out, and walked our dog. And the scenery was pretty. The landscaping was done quite well. The lawn perfectly manicured. My wonderful woman hated it. It was too man made for her. I kind of liked it, because it looked really nice. At least it wasn’t more barren wasteland.
We hopped back in the truck and headed baaack to the 93… again… and headed to the Beaver Dam state park. We passed some cows in fields, and turned down Beaver Dam road… Woohoo I did it without GPS. I was proud of myself. It was then that I realized that Nevada puts WAY more effort into their road maintenance than Arizona does. Seriously. How does Nevada have a DIRT road that is smoother than the PAVED roads in Phoenix? Seriously, if you’ve ever driven Cave Creek rd, it gets pretty rough. This dirt road felt like a paved road. Good thing too, because we were on that road for what seemed like forever.
Beaver Dam state park in Nevada was more rustic. Looking at the camp sites they were some really nice tent camping sites. Squeezing Betty in there might be a bit tough. Heaven forbid you try to stuff a larger trailer in there. Though some of the camp sites would be quite accommodating to trailers, it would take some planning to figure out which site you would like. Though, in my opinion, it would be worth it for the beauty of it.
We left the camping areas to explore further along the road. Again, the views were stunning. There were a few trails that looked interesting, and might have been a lot of fun to hike, but we were worried about the time getting away from us. By the time we got to the spots where it looked like the trailheads were, it was already getting into the late afternoon. Beaver Dam was also not on the little woman’s favorite list. She felt it was too rustic. I, on the other hand thought that was why I liked it so much.
So we headed back to our camp site and crossed the nothingness that was 93. The better half took a few pictures of the nothingness, but apparently forgot why she took pictures of nothing, and deleted them. We did however come back across the wildlife refuge and she took another picture of it as the Sun was setting.
Back at the camp site we settled in, had dinner, and tossed back a couple of Pina Coladas.
And here is the album of the second day.