Monday, March 30 (continued)
This is the first night at Ward Mountain Campground for me and the crew. I make preparations for temperatures dropping into the twenties.
I fold a quilt to fit the floor space and put that down. I bring in the doggie bed from the Perfect Tow Vehicle and place it also on the floor. These items, along with the scatter rugs, cover the vinyl flooring completely. There, that should help hold the heat.
Around 5 o’clock I close up the Best Little Trailer.
I open the bathroom window about three inches and also the ceiling vent around two inches. I turn on the Wave 3 catalytic heater and set it on high. When the interior of our home is almost too warm to bear, I turn the heat down to low and keep it that way until a half-hour before I’m ready to go to sleep. Then I turn it up to high again for a last blast of heat before turning it off for the night.
Bridget, Reggie and I sleep comfortably under a comforter and quilt. I don’t think the overnight temperature dropped below 25 degrees.
Tuesday, March 31
Today we go to Cave Lake State Park! The crew and I board the PTV and roll down the mountain. At Ely we head southeast on Desert Basin Highway and enter the wide and windy Steptoe Valley.
We enter Steptoe Valley Wildlife Management Area.
I pull off the highway to take this photo of Comins Lake. A few people are on the beach on the opposite shore.
This wind is strong. Maybe when we come back this way, it will have died down.
Bridget and Reggie look up at me from between the front seats.
I pat their heads.
“You don’t want to walk around in all this wind. I’ll let you out when we’re at the state park.”
Nevada is not the Nevada I thought it was.
I pull up to a self-pay station. The sign says the day use permit for one day is $7 and if you’re caught riding around inside the park without the day use permit, you pay an additional $10 so don’t even think about it.
The fee to camp in the park is $17 and that includes the entrance fee. Nevada residents get a $2 discount, for which I’m sure they are relieved and most grateful.
I fill out the payment envelope, insert seven bucks, and drop it in the payment cylinder.
I park the PTV and meet the woman with her dog.
“I’m from New Mexico,” she remarks. “I didn’t realize how much I love sunshine until I moved to Oregon.”
She expresses her concern over the lack of birds in the area. “I’m up at the campground and there are no birds! A few sparrows. I expect to wake up in the morning to the sound of birds. It’s quiet. No blue jays. And where are all the geese? They should be flying through here. This is their stopping place when going across the desert.”
We talk about cell towers and how they affect migratory birds.
Bridget and Reggie want to explore!
We say goodbye to the woman and her dog (I never learned their names) and head off to walk the day use area.
“Isn’t it pretty, Reggie?”
We walk down to the shoreline.
“That was fun, wasn’t it, guys!”
The sites are on a slope and close together. I’m happy with my decision to camp at Ward Mountain. We can see this lake in a short drive and then go home to a free camp!
I don’t want to make them excited again. I park so I can take this photo of Comins Lake from my seat in the PTV, and then we head for home.
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