Saturday, June 19, 2010

Saturday scenes and scenery:
A desert delay

Well...I had meant today's post to be a retrospective of some of the best scenery from our Wyoming, Colorado, Utah and Nevada road trip. I got some gorgeous shots.

But fate and the desert intervened. Instead of heading home, we're stuck in Fallon NV, waiting for a mechanic's verdict on the vehicular overheating that marooned us in our faithful Subaru out in the sands this afternoon. We'll get out eventually, more or less expensively, but for the time being, here's the story.

You see, it is not only Colorado that boasts a huge sand dune. Nevada has one too.

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It rises 600 feet above the Great Basin and boasts additional attractions.

Just a quarter-mile west of the turn-off to Sand Mountain is a dirt road leading to one of the best-preserved Pony Express stations in Nevada. If you are planning a journey along highway 50 take the short side trip and see this amazing mountain of sand.

We took the side trip and it was hot, interesting, and a little spooky.

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The old station where riders shifted to fresh horses has been reduced to a rather sad pile of volcanic rocks. We figured the area was probably hard on both men and horses. The Pony Express only lasted one and a half years, then being supplanted by the telegraph and the railroad.

Out there in the desert, only the lizards seem to be thriving.

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When we got back to the car and started up, we immediately observed that the temperature gauge was reading above the "H" (HOT). We poured in all the water we had and set the heater to full on -- but the gauge didn't go down. So we pulled over, flagged down folks with a working cell phone (curse your weak service AT&T) and waited for a tow from AAA.

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The scenery was lovely, but I sure didn't want to stay out there any longer than necessary. And, amazingly, we were there less than an hour before the rescue truck appeared.

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Now we're lodged in a motel in Fallon, looking at this view out our window and waiting for the verdict on the faithful 'Ru. This too shall pass and no human harm done.

UPDATE: Only minor vehicular harm done as well. Dave's Automotive of Fallon found a Subaru thermostat to replace the one that had seized up leading to boiling coolant. We were on our way by noon Saturday. Thanks Fallon; you were kind to marooned wanderers.

2 comments:

hleighh said...

Corraggio J and R! This looks like a true test of the "be here now" approach ... your stranded red car looks so forlorn! But I love the lizard photos. Every place is somebody's home.

So glad you were able to flag down a cellphone and the tow truck came quickly... looks like a hot dry place to be stranded, especially after donating all your remaining water to the engine...

peace, H and K

Ronni Bennett said...

Oh, no - not a "cool" place to be stranded out there in the desert. I have cursed ATT many times and places and conversely, blessed AAA every time I have need them.

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