Meadow Valley – part 3

Globe Mallow at Meadow Valley Campground

Some days here at Meadow Valley BLM Campground are rather breezy to windy, just as it was in Arizona. I am trying to be more at peace with the wind, seeing it as mother nature’s “wild child,” talking to it as though to soothe a petulant youngster.

One chilly morning, 34 degrees, I walk down the road where I can catch the sunlight on the vegetation on the rock face. As I wait, the chilly wind nearly drives me back inside. Brrr….

Waiting for Sunrise
Cliff Basks in the Sunlight
Claret Cup Waiting for the Sun

However, the daytime temperatures have been in the 70’s, so no complaints there. I enjoy sitting out with yerba matte tea, having more time to read inspirational material since I don’t have internet to distract me with texting or checking email.

Sitting Out in the Sunshine

And then my laptop hard drive fails, so I can’t even work on projects like editing or writing blogs. This is not a happy event, but now I have even more time for reading and journaling. I contemplate the Buddhist Eight Noble Truths, as well as dwell on my own daily intentions of mindfulness, the  allowing of well-being, and surrounding myself with beauty. Well, this is certainly a place for that to be easy and joyful to accomplish. I also think about the Martha and Mary quandary I have faced for years. Here I have more opportunity to find a better balance between these two aspects of myself.

One of our projects is to make a mountain-man shirt for Clifford. I read (like reed, not red) the pattern and pin, he cuts and sews.

Working on the Mountain Man Shirt

The shirt turns out quite well and he wears it when he and I go for a longer hike up the drainage. We see a rock cairn in the wash at the beginning of the trail.

Rock Cairn in the Wash

The trail is rugged and wildflowers are abundant, including prickly pear blossoms seen for the first time in all of the walking about that I have done. Eventually we arrive at a spring where the landscape and dense vegetation force us to turn back. Great hike.

Clifford Heads up the Drainage
Dense Vegetation
Great Hike for an Old Lady
Intrepid Hikers Pause
Wildflowers Along the Trail
Canyon Walls
Prickly Pear Blossoms

.Besides the daily hikes, I look forward to sitting outside with reading material, my journal, and French press coffee, adjusting for sun or shade as need be. Lizards and birds, butterflies and ladybugs come to visit. Life is quite delightful and our allotted two weeks passes quickly. I am sorry to leave the rugged hills with their blooming shrubs and wildflowers, but we have Montana with family to look forward to.

Ladybug Visitor
A Visiting Butterfly
Saying Good-bye to the Rugged Landscape and Vegetation at Meadow Valley

Meadow Valley – Part 2 – May 2022

Stansbury Cliffrose at Meadow Valley Campground

Clifford and I are camped at Meadow Valley Campground east of Pioche, Nevada. We are have only been here a few days, but we really like this scenic setting. In the early mornings, as the rising sun lights up the hillsides, evening primroses are abundant, adding to the delightfulness of my morning walkabout.

Formations Silhouetted at Sunrise
Evening Primrose at Dawn

Every day I hike somewhere, sometimes through the campsites beyond us before winding through the tent sites on the other side of the wash and then further up the drainage where it deepens into an arroyo. Walking the path to the far side of the wash, I discover a pocket of claret cup, also known as king cup cacti.

Claret Cup Cacti

Every day there are more wildflowers; such fun for me!

Fleabane
Indian Paint Brush and Stansbury”s Cliffrose
Mormon Tea in Blossom

A project Clifford takes on is turning dirty water to much cleaner usable water via filtering through various types and layers of fabric. It looks messy, but it is surprising how well it works, as he started out with dirty water and came out with clear water.

Clifford’s Water Filter System
Mud Water to Clear Water

One of our first days here, we walk up the highway to the border of the Spring Valley State Park.

State Highway 322 to Spring Valley Nevada State Park
Clifford Waits for Me in the Shade
Warm Day for a Walk

It is a very scenic walk and a patch of red catches my attention. I am excited to find Indian Paintbrush not far off the highway,

Castilleja (Indian Paintbrush) Near the Spring Valley State Park Boundary
A Healthy Clump of Indian Paintbrush by Sagebrush

If we weren’t still hitched up, we would have driven there to further explore the state park. As it is, it is a good long walk for us and I am glad it is downhill getting back to camp.

Relaxing in the Shade

Back at camp, we enjoy sitting in the shade of junipers, relaxing after our outing.

Claret Cup

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

Meadow Valley – Part 1 – May 2022

After leaving Pioche, Nevada, in mid May, Clifford and I arrive at Meadow Valley Campground about 15 miles to the east. It is tricky getting Cougar (our RV) in place and set up because the campground is small, but we are pleased with the final results. As we are setting up, large black insects buzz back and forth like miniature drones spying on us. I am uncomfortable with them as they buzz so close, but after awhile I see that they are not aggressive and easily ignored. Now I am curious as to what they are, as I’ve never seen such creatures before. (Later I find out they are carpenter bees, the solid black variety.)

Meadow Valley Campground Access
Cougar Setup in Meadow Valley CG
Carpenter Bee on Lupine

What comes as a surprise to us is having no cell service at all, not even Clifford’s hotspot, which has worked everywhere for us. This means no texting family and friends, no checking email, no Duolingo and I will lose my streak of almost a year. Luckily, Clifford figures a way to send a message via his ham radio so we can let family and friends know where we are, since they won’t be hearing from us through the regular channels.

Our first day here is a day of exploration. The campground is at the mouth of a very narrow and rugged drainage, the wash dry now.

Narrow Rugged Drainage
Narrow Rugged Drainage

In the morning as sunrise rays reach the canyon walls, the rocky hillside turns a brilliant gold in contrast to the grey of the unlit areas.

Sunrise Sunlight on Cliff

Our site has inviting nooks to set up tables and chairs in the morning sunshine, and later the shade of juniper trees and pinyon pines will be welcome. I spot wildflowers here and there. I am eager to start checking out this place.

Globemallow Spotted Near Campsite
Cow Daisy at the Campsite

Beyond inconvenience of no cell service, this is one of the most engaging places we have camped. The mountain as it slopes down to this narrow drainage is incredibly rugged. I discover a rock-lined path leading out from our campsite and across the wash to relatively flat ground where more rock-lined paths lead to tent sites at the base of the mountain. Each site is tucked into rocks and trees.

As I walk, I discover more and more wildflowers, rich reddish-orange claret cup cacti, penstemon, globemallow, and many others that I am not familiar with. There is lupine next to our site and a yellow flower that looks like a snapdragon, which I learn is toadflax, that the black carpenter bees flock to in the evening.

Claret Cup Cacti
Penstemon
Globe Mallow or Apricot Mallow
Lupine Near the Campsite
Toadflax

What an interesting and delightful day this has been for me.