Northeast Nevada — cowboys, rodents, reservoirs

Thursday, April 16 (continued) — Cowboys!

1-P1040231The crew and I motor northward on the Elko-Hamilton Stage Road. This is a two-lane, paved road running parallel to the eastern side of the Ruby Mountains in northeastern Nevada.

We come upon a cattle round-up in progress!

I park the Perfect Tow Vehicle on the shoulder.

1-P1040236It’s entertaining watching the men use their horses to gather up strays and maneuver the herd.  These photos give an idea of the vastness of this valley.  The mountains in the background of the next photo are several miles and about 900 billion sage bushes away from the round-up.

1-P1040235Mountains, sage, cattle, horses, cowboys, open range . . . .

This is Nevada!

1-P1040232I start up the PTV and we continue on our way to a new camp. 

Such a fun ride this morning.  It’s nice to have an early start with a short distance to the next camp.  No pressure, just drifting along . . . .

The wild horses and cattle have excited the crew.

And then we come upon this big fella’ which throws Reggie into a conniption of jumping at the window, barking in his less-than-intimidating voice.

1-P1040240 - CopyThe bull, being a bull, is not impressed.

Okay, moving right along . . .

“We’ll be at our new camp soon, guys.  Just a little further.”

We’re headed for Jiggs-Zunino Reservoir and Campground.

I’m aware from my research that there isn’t any water in the reservoir. 

That’s okay.  I’m interested in a convenient overnight camp where I can check the blog, give Bridget and Reggie some exercise, and relax for the rest of the day.

“Here it is!”

Bridget and Reggie bark and jump around excitedly.  

I drive into the campground (BLM/$2 regular/$1 with senior discount) and pass a travel trailer that looks like it’s here for more than overnight.  Hmm . . . a camp host perhaps? 

No one is home and the campground is empty.

I find a place to park, open the side door, and Bridget and Reggie jump out.  I walk them around looking for a good site and then I take this next photo.

1-P1040241 - CopyThe picture gives the impression of a lovely campground.

Green grass, snow-capped mountains in the distance . . . .

What it doesn’t show is a messed-up landscape with dusty, dirt “roads” going every which way around the campsites and the dry lake bed.

Apparently this campground was allowed to be an OHV playground.

Signs are now in place that tell people to stay on designated roads and also that prohibit access to areas where people should know not to drive without being told.   Oh well, better late than never.  Anyway . . .  The place is torn up for the indefinite future.

And then there are the ground squirrels!

Hundreds of them, scurrying here and there, popping up out of the ground, casting dirty looks, being rodents.  I’ve got nothing against ground squirrels.  A few are fine.  However, hordes of rodents running around, helter-skelter, is really, very creepy.

1-P1040271“Let’s get out of here.  We’ll try the state park.”

Only about 20 miles further and I’m writing a check for $14 for a night at the state park.

1-P1040272I deposit the check at the self-pay station and drive toward the park’s campground.  I’m glad we’re here.  Oh, and there are showers!  Yay!

I’m about to turn into the campground when I see that dreaded sign hanging from a gate across the campground road . . .



I search for a place to turn around.  Then I drive back to the park office and find out that a pipe is broken.  I’m advised to drive to the other side of the reservoir where there is another campground (with no shower house).

Oh geez, that’s more gas and the needle is already near “empty.”

The photo below shows some of the homes scattered on the low hills around the reservoir.  There’s an atmosphere of suburbia which I try to ignore.  I also try to forget about that hot shower.

1-P1040270-001One has a choice of two small camping areas, one of which is called “Jet Ski Beach.”  Nope, not for us!

Here’s the site I choose.

It has a shelter and a picnic table and steps leading down to the reservoir.

1-P1040256 - CopyThere’s something about being near water that makes everything good again!

More about our camp at South Fork State Recreation Area in the next post.




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