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Wandrin 2006

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by Lloyd Treichel





Dateline: September 20, 2006 -- June Lake, CA

[To view photos full sized, click on the thumbnail photo]

Campground Report... From north of Stanley to south of Ketchum, there are many places to camp in the National Forest along Idaho SR-75. Several stops are free -- including those where I stayed. With lots of hiking nearby, these are attractive stops. Recently I was parked with the SKP Boondockers on FR-195, but with nearby wildfires clouding the skies and hiking trails blocked, I headed down the road.

Prairie Creek Road... about twenty miles north of Ketchum is a good place for free camping. When I arrived, there wasn't another rig along the entire two mile stretch. That changed as the Labor Day weekend campers began to arrive. Addiction to the internet requires me to have open access to the southern sky. This was one of the few spots along the road where that was possible. With lots of space in the trees and some very close to the creek, this would be a great stop on hot summer days. That was not a problem when I visited. The nights were cold; temperatures were in the mid 20s.

And for your enjoyment -- a pretty blue flower.



When friend Carolyn arrived at Prairie Creek, we explored and hiked the area for two more days before heading to Twin Falls where Carolyn lives when not traveling. Carolyn's Sophie enjoys the hikes, but includes a stream cool down whenever possible.


Arriving at Twin Falls, there was free street parking in front of Carolyn's house. For the next several days, Carolyn gave me a tour (including some hikes) of Twin Falls and the surrounding area. Before leaving Twin Falls, a visit to a Farmers Market provided menus for several days including vine ripened tomatoes and tree ripened peaches.

Great Basin National Park... This park is just off US Highway 50 on the Nevada-Utah border. It's reputation is that it is one of the National Parks that gets few visitors. Timing is everything. When I arrived at the Lower Lehman Campground with Wandrin Wagon in tow, there was only one site remaining. With its remote location, the night skies are filled with stars. More would be visible these nights except that smoke from the numerous forest fires cause a haze to hide some of the beauty that I know is there. Daytime views were also hazy hiding the distant mountain ranges.

Great Basin's Lehman Caves were discovered by Mr. Lehman in 1880 while he was searching for Nevada's silver and gold. Instead of finding the precious mineral, he found the cave and immediately it became a place to visit. For your dollar (a lot of money in those days) you were given a candle and for that dollar you could also remove a souvenir from the cave. Fortunately, there is much remaining that hasn't been destroyed and makes for an enjoyable tour. The Lehman Caves are famous for its number of shield formations. This photo captures two of the larger formations.

There are several trails throughout Great Basin including the trail to Wheeler Peak at 13,000 feet. Not a day for a destination hike, I enjoyed the journey to the 11,000 foot level and admired the view from there. It was just under a six mile round trip. At least I am getting some exercise.   


Loneliest Highway... Traveling across Nevada on Highway US-50 -- the loneliest highway -- this is a typical view in the distance. To pass time, I would frequently check the mileage to that distant point on the horizon -- about ten miles. This "roller coaster" drive would drop to about 4500 feet and then cross the next summit/pass at 6500 feet or higher. Along these remote stretches of road, it would not be a good time for a mechanical break down. That was a concern since I had determined Silver Slug was having transmission problems. Fortunately, all survived until I arrived at...

Carson City, Nevada...  where it was confirmed that the transmission would have to be repaired before moving on. So with a rental car, I explored the area.

Originally completed in 1871, Nevada's capitol is the least imposing state capitol that I have seen on my travels. It is a small building not situated on a hill and it is almost hidden by the trees which surround it. The inside is as modest with only two plain staircases leading to the second floor.


Lake Tahoe is a short distance away in the rental truck (Dodge Dakota). This is the view of Lake Tahoe that I enjoyed for almost a half hour. This photo is not enhanced; the water is blue. The lake's water is clear with visibility down to 50 feet.




Hey kid! Watch out!



Virginia City is where the Comstock Lode was found about 1859. In 1861, Nevada became a territory. In 1864 it became a state so the silver and gold could help finance the Civil War. With many fewer residents today, the trinket stores, T-shirt shops, bars and restaurants were doing a good business on this Sunday afternoon.

This Virginia City business provides a much needed community service.



Capitol Ford in Carson City did a speedy repair of Silver Slug and soon I was back on the road heading south. Once parked near the east entrance of Yosemite, the first explore was ...

Bodie State Park... This park has been on my list of places to explore for over ten years. Bodie started as mining town with gold discovery in 1859 to a population of 10,000 in 1879 and was deserted in the 1930s. The State of California took over in 1962 to maintain the remains of Bodie in "arrested decay". Many of the homes and buildings were left with their contents as they walked out the door. Over the years there have been thefts and vandals at work, but the remaining structures and contents stir the imagination of past lives in Bodie.
More photos of Bodie:

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