It was a 4 state day! Started in Utah, rolled through a slice of Arizona moonscape and followed the electrical power lines into Vegas. Onto desert boom and bust towns of Mercury, Rhyolite, and Beatty and the roadside lures in between like Area 51 Alien Travel Center and The Moonlight Bunny Ranch Brothel.
Down into the cauldron of Death Valley. Past turnoffs for Furnace Creek, Devil’s Hole, Stove Pipe Wells, and Dante’s View. This part of the journey was one of the most nerve-wracking: we didn’t get out of the van for fear that we would a. Melt or b. The van wouldn’t start again and we would become yet another attraction—Devil’s Revenge on Fudgies. The temperature was over 100 and the elevation climb went from sea level to 5000′ and back again. Air conditioning was not used so as to avoid over-heating the van. But we were prepared: before setting out we had the van oiled, lubricated and checked out by the St. George 15 Minute Lube Pros. Everyone survived.
Descending into Owens Valley, we visited Manzanar, the WW2 internment site for those of Japanese ancestry. Powerful museum and message.
We had extremes today: extreme temperatures, extreme altitude climbs and descents, extreme socio-political-human views — In Utah, the beer is watered down. In Nevada, casinos, brothels and Alien Centers solicit curious fudgies to “Take this exit now!” In a remote California desert, 10,000 American citizens were interned.
Tonight we rest, extremely content at Upper Grays Meadow campground in our beloved Sierras. We are getting close to home.