Minden, Nevada

We're back in civilization! Internet Land! I missed you guys, and I'm full of words. We're on our way home now. First stop is an RV park we've stayed many times just south of Carson City. Time to unpack those words, so let's just get right to it, shall we?

We were headed to Death Valley last time I wrote. It ended up being a very long day, and we arrived at the campground just before this pretty sunset.

We needed some medicinal margaritas after such a long drive. Sadie joined us through the screen door.

The next morning brought a pretty sunrise.

We always stay at the Sunset campground near the Furnace Creek visitor center. When the morning sun rises, it lights up the hills to the west.

Our first job of the day was to walk over to the visitor center to pick up a car pass. We have a senior pass and visit the national parks for free, but we still needed a tag for the window. There, at around 9:00 a.m., it was nice and warm. I wore shorts for only the second time this trip.

I noticed this sign on the exterior wall. Death Valley is one of the best places in the country for stargazing.

When we made our final turn into the park the evening before, we noticed a billboard advertising "fuel at Nevada prices." We knew we'd need diesel, and so we drove the extra 7 miles past the turn off. It was a good thing because diesel in Death Valley was the most expensive I've ever seen.

We fueled up on the Nevada side for half the price.

After picking up our pass, we went to a little market just down the road. We were on the hunt for AAA batteries and some prickly pear margarita mix we'd purchased a year ago. It was so tasty. Sadly, we didn't find the batteries or the margarita mix. The cashier told us she thought the margarita mix had been discontinued. No worries. We found some other things. Also, these suckers were at the front desk. Would you like yours with a scorpion or a worm? You could have both if you insist.

Since we couldn't get the margarita mix, we picked up this prickly pear syrup. We thought we might be able to make a margarita with this. We haven't tried it yet, but Mike did try some of this on his Sunday morning blueberry pancakes. He pronounced it "wrong" for pancakes.

But there's more than one way to get a prickly pear margarita. One can always pay a visit to the Inn at Death Valley. It can be seen on the hillside from where we were camped. 

They had lunch to go and plenty of outdoor dining. I got my prickly pear margarita there, and it was very tasty and refreshing.

We were still on the hunt for AAA batteries, and so we took our naps and then made the 25-mile drive to Stovepipe Wells where there is another small market. Along the way, we passed by the Mesquite Dunes. 

It was late afternoon by the time we returned to the campground, and the setting sun was lighting up the hillside to the east. I never get tired of the colors in the Death Valley landscape. 

Of course, I took pictures of every blooming thing. We saw these at the Inn when we had our lunch.

The only wildflowers we saw were the desert marigolds and some blooming creosote bushes. My pictures didn't turn out very well, and so I'm recycling some from a previous visit.

It was very warm our first day there, and frankly, every day we were there. Smitty was too hot, and spent most of his time as a kitty pancake.

I was able to get quite a bit done on my newest embroidery piece. I filled this section.

And then this section.

Now I'm well into the next portion. It's a fun one to stitch with lots of different stitches I don't use very often.

Leaving Death Valley, we headed north on US 395 where the view of the mountains is spectacular for the entire trip north.

I took picture after picture, but I'll only share a few here. There wasn't a lot of snow in the mountains for this time of year, which is never good for California.

We stopped in Bishop to get lunch at Erick Schat's Bakkery. I'd never heard of the place until Sue gifted me with some bread mix. 

You might remember I upcycled the little bag the bread mix came in to make a little mug rug for Sue.

We might be the last people on the planet to visit Erick Schat's Bakkery. We picked up a couple of to-go sandwiches. Mike had turkey, and I had veggie. They were delicious, but literally the size of two sandwiches. We each ate half, and so lunch for today is already made!

As we drove farther north, we crossed over some high peaks. There we found snow on the ground. The higher we went, the scarier it got. Snow was falling, although the roads were clear. Still, the temperature was below freezing for some 50 miles and the wet roads made us very nervous.

We passed by Mono Lake.

You might remember the tufa formations we saw when we visited the Trona Pinnacles last year. It's all the same stuff, and although we were hundreds of miles north, we found the same formations. Here, the landscape is still wet. The Trona Pinnacles were at one time in a lake that filled this whole valley.

Fortunately, the snow didn't cause us any difficulties beyond our white knuckles, and we ended up here in Minden, Nevada, for the night.

Today's journey will take us to Lakeview, Oregon, where we'll be staying at a new-to-us family-owned RV resort on a working cattle ranch. It sounds interesting. I don't know if I'll have internet access there, so I may not post tomorrow. If not, I know we'll have access at our last stop before home in Bend, Oregon, and so I'll be back then. 


Barbara said...

Kindness is like snow - It beautifies everything it covers. ~ Kahlil Gibran

Cathy Smith said...

Your morning sunrise photo of the mountains looks like a Maynard Dixon oil painting! I always find it amazing that there are people who can't see the beauty of the desert. Poor kitties! Fur pajamas and heat just don't mix.

Edith said...

Looks like fun! In case you are interested I saw an article in Apple News today about the best places to stop with your RV or trailer in the US. It was Travel & Leisure magazine. A couple were up by you (from where I am). Stay safe.

Quilting Babcia said...

I remember well Minden, back in the day there were places that served wonderful Basque dinners. Wonder if they still exist.

Sandra W said...

If we Canadians ever get out of Covid jail--I would love to visit Death Valley. It is spectacular.

Vroomans' Quilts said...

Lovely to see you pop in and hear things are going well. Gas prices here have jumped almost a dollar in a month. Glad our winter is moving on as the oil prices soaring - will have to double save for next year as I am sure we will face higher. You have done a lot on your new stitchery project and will maybe (?) have that one done before getting home.

MissPat said...

Nice to hear that you are back in civilization and will be home soon. I'm guessing you greet that with mixed emotions. Saw your comment on Sally's blog that you've heard you have some ice storm damage to your trees. Hope it's not too bad. Your photos of the sunrise/sunsets and the mountains all look like paintings. It is remarkable county and I wish I had gotten out there to see it up front and personal. Safe travels the rest of the way. Try not to worry about what awaits you at home.

piecefulwendy said...

Your photos of Death Valley are so gorgeous. Sounds like you've been having a wonderful trip. Those gas prices!! Prickly pear margaritas sound tasty, I'll bet you'll figure out a recipe using that syrup. Do the kitties get really hot in the RV as you travel - just curious, since I hadn't thought about that before.

Darlene of Creative Latitude said...

Clearly, I missed this post yesterday. Today is a better late than never sort of day. You guys are making great progress north and what beautiful scenery. The only time I've seen gas prices that high was our first trip to Canada/SE Alaska. I hope we never see them again! I've not yet had a prickly pear margarita, but have heard they are yummy. Good to know you enjoyed yours.

QuiltGranma said...

We have never been to that Bakkery either, so you are not the last... assuming we ever get there! I love traveling with you!

Kate said...

Such pretty sunrise and sunset pictures. Sorry you couldn't enjoy the snow during the drive, but yeah at that cold, black ice would be a big worry. Glad you made it safely to your destination.