Nevada Adventures Begin – May 2022

It is time for us to begin the journey north to Montana. Clifford and I spent the winter in northwest Arizona, staying longer than intended as we waited for snow and cold to leave northern Nevada. Well, the Ruby Mountains are still cold and very snowy, so a change of plans is in order. We will still go to Nevada, but stay to the east side, traveling north to Idaho on US Highway 93.

Time to Say Goodbye to Black Rock Road, Arizona

May 10th we say good-bye to Black Rock Road and pull out, traveling through a landscape of red and black lava west of St. George, Utah, before winding through juniper covered hills, crossing over the Bull Valley Mountain Range, and across a large  valley to Enterprise, Utah. Once past this farming valley, as we take a westerly direction, the landscape with its dead trees does not impress me. Our first stop in Nevada after crossing another smaller mountain range is the small mining town of Pioche.

Pioche, Nevada

Thanks to Clifford doing a little research, we find an RV park on the edge of town allowing a week stay by donation. There are no restrooms, but there is water and garbage cans, a big plus after months of boondocking. The RV park has about ten spaces and we are pleased to find a spot available. We get settled in without unhitching since we won’t be here long.

City RV Park on the Edge of Pioche

The next day, as I am interested in seeing the restored area of town with its museum and old buildings, I head toward the heart of town. While I learn a lot about the town, it is a cold windy day and everything is uphill from the RV park. The walk was stressful on my heart and I realize I must take better care. The following day is a day of rest and indoor projects. A couple days later when the temperature and wind moderate, Clifford and I go to the museum together. It is still a long uphill hike, but more enjoyable than my previous visit to the museum.

Nevada Club in Pioche, Nevada
Before the Days of Cell Phones
Pioche Museum Display
Pioche Museum display

The old Lincoln County Courthouse is now also a museum and we pay a visit there, learning that Pioche was a violent nearly lawless town in the 1870’s when silver mining was the rage. There is a Boothill Cemetery we’d like to see, but since we didn’t unhitch, it will have to wait, as it is too far to walk.

Life-like Manikins in the Historic Lincoln County Courthouse Courtroom

In the morning, I go for a walk and find my way down into the pit next to the RV park where I take photos of a few wildflowers at sunrise. It is one of those places that could be made into a lovely walking park, if anyone cared enough to do it. When I am a rich lady……..

Sunrise from the Pioche City RV Park
Catching Sunrise at Pioche
Wildflowers at Sunrise
Evening Primrose Greets the Day

Our friend David had told of us a place he camped east of Pioche, so after staying a week at the RV park, having taken advantage of cell service to get caught up on email, blogs, and texts to family and friends, we head to Eagle Valley about 15 miles to the hills east of Pioche to find a place to camp. As it turns out, we find a small free campground, Meadow Valley Campground, just outside of Spring Valley State Park. The spots are small, probably designed for tent campers. We are fortunate that no one else is camped here, as it gives us the opportunity to park in the only spot big enough to accommodate our RV. Since we don’t know how long we will be here, we don’t unhitch, but get set up to enjoy whatever time we have. The rugged hills look like a great place to go exploring and we are pleased to have such a scenic setting as our home for a week or two.

Scenic Setting at Meadow Valley Campground

May Flowers in the Virgin River Gorge – May 2022

Views from Black Rock Road

Spring has arrived at Black Rock Road in northwestern Arizona where Clifford and I are camped. The acres of creosote that surround us are now in full bloom, the tiny yellow blossoms like sunshine sprinkled across the landscape.

Surrounded by Blooming Creosote

Warmer days encourage us to spend more time outdoors, including a picnic at Cedar Pockets, the campground in the Virgin River Gorge, about 10 miles to the south of our campsite.

View of the Virgin River Gorge from Cedar Pockets

Clifford takes his kalimba so he can accompany himself as he sings while I hike down to the river. The trail is narrow and steep in spots, but it feels good to be outside and to the see the mesas from the river bottom vantage point.

Clifford Playing and Singing with Kalimba at Cedar Pockets
Views of Mesas from River Bottom
Virgin River

I am not the only one enjoying the river. A cow and her calves splash across the river. When the twins see me, they stop to stare like I’m an alien, which I am to them. Then in mirror reflection of one another, their heads turn to watch the direction that big mom is taking. So fun to see them, as I play a silly game, called Cow Game, with a couple family members, and today I win Cow Game!

Virgin River
Today I Win “Cow Game”

It is delightful to be near the river with views of the mesas all around, and the frosting on the cake is to find flowers – globe mallow and desert marigolds. Although Cedar Pockets is not so very far from Black Rock Road, it is a very different ecosystem.

Globe Mallow at Cedar Pockets
Globe Mallow at Cedar Pockets
Desert Marigold at Cedar Pockets
Desert Marigold at Cedar Pockets

While Black Rock Road vegetation is acres and acres of creosote, the gorge displays a greater variety of desert plants with Joshua trees and many types of cacti, including cholla and a blooming hedgehog cactus along the trail from the upper campground to the lower camping area where we are picnicking.

Hedgehog Cactus in Bloom Along the Trail
View of the Virgin River from the Trail

For weeks we have been talking about camping in northern Nevada on our way to Montana for the summer. We thought we would leave in April, but northern Nevada has been too cold and snowy, and now it is May and the place we thought we’d go — the Ruby Mountains — is still too cold and snowy. However, Montana is beckoning and it will soon be too warm here in Arizona anyway. So, we begin preparations to leave our winter home. Besides picking up our mail, we also take a day for errands with a picnic of sorts at the back of the laundromat, and Clifford brings the kalimba and sings. Who can resist a picnic and music? Not us, apparently. 🙂

Our friend David pulls out just a few days before our departure date. It’s been good having a friend as a neighbor for the winter. We wish him well and safe journeying. Very soon Clifford and I will also be saying good-bye to Black Rock Road. Although the Ruby Mountains and Ruby Valley are out of the question for us, still too cold and snowy there, we know other places are waiting to be explored.

Saying good-bye to Black Rock Road