Tuesday, August 30, 2016

August 12, 2016 - Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge to Klamath Falls, OR

Around 5:45 am Erwin woke Edith up before the 6:13 am sunrise. He thought she might want to go out and get sunrise pictures. Did she get out of the bed??? No, she did not! Too lazy and tired, she said.

It was 6:45 am when we got out of the bed.  It was beautiful outside with the sky so blue and the sun was shining brightly.

We got ourselves ready at 7:35 am to hit the road. We continued driving on NV 140. We decided we were going to visit Klamath Falls, OR today.

At the beginning the road was long and straight, then became a twisty road for a short while.  We started to see rocky cliffs. We spotted wild rabbits scurrying among sagebrushes and there were lots of small birds flying across the road.
We made it to OR State line at 8:15 am and pulled over to the shoulder for picture taking.   OR State sign was not as pretty as NV’s.
"How much longer will you be out taking pictures?"
For 4 miles the road was 8˚downgrade and very twisty. Erwin could go only 25 mph most of the way.

At the bottom after the twisty road the land was almost flat. Lots of sagebrushes.  There was an old barn and rundown buildings, but there was no way for us to get there to get pictures.
That was the only building we saw while we meandered for miles and miles
We finally saw a hawk that was sitting on a rock by the side of the road, but it took off as soon as we got too close to it.  There was only one cow grazing in the field.  It was very isolated here.

Again, there was another steep downgrade at 7˚ for 4 miles, going through Blizzard Gap at over 6,000 feet. The Lil’ Home handled the downgrade very well.
We arrived at the town of Adel and there are now more farmlands and ranches, not as isolated or barren as we saw some miles ago.  There was one lone deer grazing in the field. More trees appeared. 

There was a cattle drive on 140 (probably over 15 miles), evidence of poops on the road. We had to stop when we arrived where the ranchers herded cattle into the pasture.  The calf got separated from its family, walked across the road in front of us.  The ranchers had to come to get the calf across.

We entered Fremont National Forest and went past Crane Creek Ranch, a very large ranch.  There were lots of loose rocks along the shoulder where there are boulders.
Old barn at GPS N 42.26189˚ W120.34645˚
 near Old Smokey Exit
We decided that we were going to take a break and have a late breakfast in Lakeview, OR. US 395 is part of Oregon Outback Scenic Byway.  It begins at about 15 miles south of Lakeview and ends at LaPine.  Such a beautiful drive.  
Little House on wheels
Edith wanted to try Old Town Cafe & Bakery in Lakeview, OR.  As Edith was walking to the cafe a couple greeted her by saying ‘Good Morning”. Then the lady started talking to her, but Edith let the lady know that she is deaf.  The lady paused for a second, then pointed her finger at her lips and said “Can you lipread?”.  It was ironic because Edith replied by shaking her hand “no” (but but she understood what the lady was saying).  Anyway, the lady said “This joint is far better than the one around the corner”.  The corner place was closed, anyway.
Erwin enjoying his coffee!
Edith had Classic Mini with one egg, 2 bacon slices and has browns. Erwin chose Special of the Day: 1 piece French Toast, 2 bacon slices and one egg and coffee.  All was very good.

We debated if we should go back on 395 to see Old Perpetual, a man-made geyser at a hotel resort, which is about 4 miles away. This is the only geyser in the state of Oregon. The geyser will shoot a column of water every 90 seconds.  After discussing pros/cons we decided not to go there and to continue meandering on Oregon Route 140 to Klamath Falls, OR.

Construction near Bonanza, OR. We were flagged down and waited for more than 10 minutes before the pilot truck came to guide us out. They were working on improving roads. It was a long one, maybe like 2-3 miles.
We arrived Klamath Falls, OR at 12:45 pm, turned right on 39 from Oregon Route 140 to get on Crater Lake Parkway. Too many traffic lights along the route! We got diesel fill-up at Pilot Travel Centers on Crater Lake Parkway. We have driven 6,500 miles since we left Jacksonville, FL on March 4, 2016.

We got on 97 North to go to Kla-Mo-Ya Casino in Chiloquin, OR. The view of Upper Klamath Lake was beautiful. The lake is Oregon's largest freshwater lake (133 square miles). While driving along the lake we could see remains of snow on the mountain peaks on the other side.  We agreed that the drive along the lake was very pleasant.
We checked into RV Park at Kla-Mo-Ya Casino in Chiloquin, OR at 1:45 pm. There were few RVs already set up in the RV parking area.  There is no fee to park there, but there are no hookups. It is about 37 miles from here to Crater Lake, OR.
King of the horn!
Relaxing for rest of the evening
after a long drive from NV to here

Sunday, August 28, 2016

August 11, 2016 - Elko, NV to Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge NV

A very lovely morning with no clouds in the sky.  Just perfect for our westward trip after leaving Elko, NV.

We spent the morning getting the Lil’ Home ready for the trip: sweeping/mopping the floor, putting clean dishes away, dumping sewage, filling up fresh water tank, closing the slideouts.

Before leaving the campground we discussed on routes going West.  Initially, we wanted to go to Reno, NV, but it would be too many miles and we decided to visit it next year or so.  Reno will still be there, right?  

We had a nice time visiting Elko, even thought Erwin was not able to find the ranch he worked at when he was a teenager  There are a couple attractions we have not visited, so they will be on our list to visit next time we stop by Elko.

We left the campground at 10:25 am, stopped at Sinclair Gas Station to get diesel fill-up and to hook the Jeep while there.  

After driving through several residential streets we finally got on I-80 West at 11 am.  I-80 roads were in good condition and there were several wide pullouts, which are perfect for pulling over to take pictures of the scenery.
Yes, there is a light at the end of the tunnel
We drove through the town of Carlin, NV, but we did not exit to visit the town.  The ranch that Erwin worked at in 1963 is 25 miles north of the town.  Erwin remembered the town was small and was surprised to see how much it has grown.
We continued driving on I-80 until Exit #231to visit Battle Mountain, NV. 
 Roadside attraction - Muffler Man holding firecracker at 980 Broyles Ranch Road. He is about 14' tall. It was commissioned and shipped early this year.
The guy running the store offered to take
a picture of me with the Muffler Man
We had lunch at El Aguila Mexican Restaurant which is ranked #1 according to TripAdvisor.com.  It was crowded, but we managed to find a table.  We decided to order one dish to share.  We had Carne Asada, but Edith got one taco with flour tortilla because she was afraid there might not be enough for Erwin after sharing.  While eating we watched the Olympics on TV (rowing and freestyle swimming).
Watching the Olympics on TV
We visited Battle Mountain Cookhouse Museum.  There was a meeting in progress, but they told us to go ahead and look around.  Lots of memorabilia from old days. There was a story about devastating flood that occurred in Battle Mountain in 1962 causing lots of damages and the National Guard was called in for assistance.

1920 Doll
1947-1953 Desk Phone
We have a small can of that salve with us. We wondered
if this can still has salve inside?
 It was the "go to"medicine for all kinds of cuts and abrasions when Erwin was growing up on the farm  and yes it was for animals too!
Good old days! We remembered wearing
the key around our necks which is used
to tighten the wheels. 
Medical instruments used during 1870
for obstetrics and gynecology
Antique cameras
Buffalo Beaded Cradle Board
to carry a baby/child
Different kinds of barbed wires 
1935 Sunbeam Automatic Mixer
Old fashioned stove
We had something like that we were kids at school 
1919 Singer Sewing Treadle Style Machine that still works.
 It even has a manual.
In the back are patterns from early 1900's.
After our visit in Battle Mountain we went back to I-80 West for Winnemucca, NV (53 miles away). The right lane was closed for several miles, but none was working there.  Along the route there was a billboard that said that Butch Cassidy left Wimmemucca rich so can you.  It is rumored that Butch “stole” the money.
More road construction, this time left lane closed.  Again, there were no crew working here, but on the eastbound.   What’s up with that?!

We took Exit #178 to go to Winnemucca, NV. There is one attraction we wanted to visit.  Buckaroo Hall of Fame at Visitor’s Center.  We parked at the corner, walked a block to look for visitor’s center. Turned out the center is at the opposite side from where we parked.  The center was closed because of the funeral that was being held inside.  We strolled through the downtown before leaving.
Visitor Center
Mural along the side of the building
Visitor Center that was closed when we visited
Inside the visitor center (it was closed to
the public due to funeral gathering) where
there are lots of arrowheads and animals on display
We decided not to camp or boondock in Winnemucca, continued driving to Denio, NV (over 100 miles away).  Then we got on Highway 95 North.

Erwin missed the turn to Denio, had to make a U-turn from the pullout, then made a right turn to Route 140. The terrain was very barren and the mountains seemed so small in the distance.  There was a posted sign notifying that there is no gas available for 176 miles.

The terrain is very flat with lots of sagebrushes and the road looked very straight.  Could see mirages, dust devils.
At Denio Junction we made a left turn to continue driving on NV 140. No service for next 81 miles. We were the only ones on the road for miles and miles.

There was one lone windmill. We started to see the mountain range from NV 140 few miles west of Denio Junction near Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge area.  It was very vast and rugged area for antelopes, bighorn sheep, etc. 900 square miles of protected wildlife habitat.  We did not see wildlife while driving along the way.  Either there are not any wildlife left in the area or they wait til dusk to come out for grazing.

At 5:40 pm we decided to take a break for the night, boondocked inside Sheldon National Wildlife at N41.89974 W118.99059. The elevation was around 5,000 feet.
We had leftovers for supper that Edith made yesterday.  Quick & simple.  Then we played cribbage. It had been a long while since we last played this game. Edith won the game.

Very few cars went by. Edith checked Stellarium app to see where and what time the Milky Way will appear.  She got her camera and tripod ready for astrophotography.

It was around 8:30 pm when it started to get dark, but not dark enough to see the Milky Way. It was not until after 9:15 pm that Edith was able to see it.

The moon was more than half full and it was difficult to capture shots of the Milky Way.  The three planets under the moon were clearly visible. Could see the Big Dipper on the west side of the road.  Edith proceeded to take Milky Way pictures, but they were not as great as the ones she took a couple days ago.
Big Dipper if you can find it
Close-up shot of the moon through spotting scope
We used IPhone to snap this picture.  It was difficult finding
the right angle, but we managed the best we could get
Erwin went to bed around 11 pm while Edith was still outside taking pictures.  It was not as cold outside. Very few vehicles went by.  After editing pictures Edith hit the sack around 12:30 am.