Sunday, April 12
Note: The previous post gave a short preview of our move from Ely, Nevada, to the Ruby Mountains. In this post I’ll tell more about this memorable day.
Before the crew and I leave Ely, Nevada, preparations need to be made.
Those ten bucks amount to the cost of camping for 13 days on Ward Mountain or approximately 77 cents a day.
We could’ve stayed at Ward Mountain Campground until Monday.
However, a cold front is predicted for the region, bringing strong winds. Rather than wait until we reach the 14-day limit, I choose to leave a day earlier when the weather is sunny and calm. We have some wide open space to traverse and the calmer the weather, the better!
I’m excited to be on the road again!
Once we’re on the open road of the Great Basin Highway (Route 93) going north, Bridget stretches out on the bench seat and Reggie curls up in the doggie bed between the front seats. By the time we pass through the little town of McGill, 12 miles up the road, they’re asleep. I’m glad I walked them this morning before breaking camp . . . .
The two-lane highway slices through the sagebrush plain of Steptoe Valley.
Brown mountains on either side of us. On our east is the Schell Mountain Range and on our west, the Cherry Creek Range. As we cruise along, I contemplate the decision to go to Ruby Lake National Wildlife Refuge. It is a considerable detour from a northward path.
At first I thought, no, we won’t go there. We’re going north and the Ruby Mountains are out of our way. The more I thought about that, it occurred to me, hey, nothing is “out of our way.” We can go anywhere we want . . . north, south, east, west!
Once I changed my thinking and did some online research, the Ruby Mountains became an exciting destination!
At Lages Junction the PTV heads northwest. In the far distance I see snowy peaks of a mountain range and wonder what mountains they are. Dumb as it sounds, I don’t realize I’m looking at the Ruby Mountains.
By the time we turn westward on Route 229, it’s obvious we will be camping at the base of those magnificent mountains. As if to accentuate the thrill of this ride, a coyote bursts out of the scrub and dashes across the road in front of us.
I laugh as he disappears in the sagebrush.
We continue our drive toward the mountains.
“Oh my gosh, this is so gorgeous! I can’t believe it!”
At this point I’m bursting with excited anticipation. It’s here that I stop to take photos — the one of Reggie looking out the PTV window shown in the previous post, and this shot of the mountains reflected in the side windows.
This is different. I’ve never been in one spot looking at a mountain range like this. Not on this scale. This is a mountain range that extends far in both directions beyond the limits of the photo frame below.
I say again and again, “This is so beautiful!”
We’re on the historic Hastings Cut-Off. (The Donner party missed joining the Hastings party by one week and took an alternate route.)
This is cattle ranch country.
Houses are separated by miles.
“This is great! I love this! Oh my gosh! Isn’t that gorgeous!” and so on.
Reggie places his front paws on my seat and peers into my face.
“Oh, I’m fine, honey,” I reassure him, stroking his back. “I’m very happy. We’re going to a fantastic camp!”
Bridget has moved into the doggie bed with him. I stroke her back, too.
“You know, don’t you, Bridgie, how I act on the way to a great camp.”
I stop to snap another pretty-as-a-postcard scene.
I turn my head to the left to see their view.
They can look across the valley at their cattle and watch their money grow . . .
We pass hundreds of cattle and a few horses, too.
Up ahead, on our right, I see a small herd of deer.
They stand motionless, watching us approach. I bring the passenger window down, grab the camera, and, as they’re about to trot away, I reach over Reggie’s head with the camera and shoot this photo.
I let up my foot on the brake and the PTV stays with them a short distance. I point the camera at the fence and click in hopes of catching a jump.
Voila! Over she goes!
“What were those creatures, Reggie? Boy, you did a good job scaring them away from us!”
There isn’t one big lake, more a scattering of ponds and streams through marsh.
After traveling 30 miles on the dirt road at the base of the Ruby Mountains, we arrive at South Ruby Campground.
The self-pay station informs that the fee is $8 regular/$4 with senior discount pass. The website says the campground is closed until the end of April.
One can camp in Humboldt National Forest, of course. Boondocks can be found on forest roads leading into the Ruby Mountains. I’m not interested in those because they’re at higher elevation and too cold at this time of year. The campground is at 6,000 feet which is lower than Ward Mountain, our last camp, at 7,400 feet.
Four campers are in the campground.
They’re bunched together. Although very nice campsites are near them, I drive all the way to the turn-around at the end, hoping there’s a more private site, away from people and the inevitable noise of their generators.
I park before the turn-around to take photos of the Best Little Trailer and the best little crew.
One campsite is not level. Good, no one will camp there. The other site is wonderful!
The crew and I relax outside for the rest of the day.
More in the next post about the refuge, our drive through Harrison Pass to go online, and the storm that raced through Ruby Valley!
NOTE: I read all your comments written while I was without internet service. Looks like you had fun playing while the cat was away! Thank you for making everyone feel welcome and for answering questions that came up. I may not participate 100% in comments under this post, but I always read every word.
It was nice to read that the crew and I were missed. I enjoyed living without internet for a few days, but I’m glad to be back!
THANK YOU FOR SHOPPING AMAZON FROM MY BLOG!