After leaving California we headed back across Nevada, again driving the "Loneliest Road in America" (Hwy. 50). Not only is it desolate but very hot in mid-June. One night we stayed at the Hickison Petroglyphs. When we arrived, the campground was alive with loud buzzing sounds until it cooled down. At dusk we took a walk and all was silent except for a clicking noise in the pinion pines. I finally stopped to try and find out what was making this noise. It was the cicadas. I did a little research and apparently it's the males that do the singing (buzzing) and the females flick their wings to make the clicking noise.
|Lehman Cave with it's amazing formations. This is the best cave I've ever been in.|
|A rock glacier nestled in 13,000 ft. Wheeler Peak. Wow - a glacier in Nevada?|
We traveled across the great basin, a desert of sagebrush to the Great Basin National Park on the Nevada/Utah border. The higher elevation of this park was comfortable. This park is a well-kept secret. We were pleasantly surprised with the variety of wonders it has to offer.
|So many birds! We couldn't sleep past 5:30 a.m. because of all the singing.|
|One of our favorite spottings - a Poor Will.|
|Beautiful wildflowers everywhere. This is the arrowroot blossom.|
|Bristlecone Pine Forests with pines up to 5,000 years old!|
We traveled from there into Colorado to Mesa Verde National Park for a couple days and toured some Puebloan cliff dwellings.
|Exiting the Cliff Palace|
From Mesa Verde on to Durango where I would set up base camp while Dick went on a 200 mile backpacking trip. CLICK HERE TO READ DICK'S BLOG ABOUT HIS ADVENTURE. Of course I do have some concerns about him hiking alone in the wilderness. Especially since I'd been hearing about the Colorado fires. One night at midnight there was a knock at my door. I didn't answer hoping whoever it was would move on to the next campsite. Then a second knock and "this is the sheriff". My first thought was he was here to tell me something happened to Dick. I still didn't answer and peeked out the curtain to see if he was in uniform and get a look at his vehicle. I asked what he wanted and he said that someone had reported several gunshots up near the campground and wondered if I'd heard them. It took me awhile to get back to sleep but thankful it wasn't bad news about Dick.
|I drove Dick to Cumbres Pass near Chama, NM to begin his 10-12 hike|
|The Campground hosts were so much fun. We would visit them everyday during "HAPPY HOUR".|
|We had an enjoyable evening with Amy and Dave Long, kids of friends from home.|