Monday June 23
Day 2. We crawled out of the tent to discover that the Greenhorn Campground is on a beautiful idyllic lake. With all these boats pulled by large trucks and families camping in tents, that explained our success in securing a campsite with our moving van+trailer+animals. They are used to that sort of thing here. Hint to Hadley’s: look for campgrounds next to lakes. Paul was up at daybreak. He managed to take all 4 goats out of the truck on his own and took them for a long walk/graze. After enjoying breakfast by the lake and breaking camp, Paul, Monique and Sophie enjoyed a quick swim before we hit the road again.
We had sold our Chevy Volt the week before departure and had planned to replace it with a more practical vehicle for the Western Mass climate and hills. We had been looking for either a used Honda Element or a used Subaru outback. We planned that Paul would drive the moving van and tow the Element, and I would separately drive the Ford Ranger with goats in in the bed. We’d communicate via walkie talkies. In the weeks leading up to our departure there were many Elements or Outbacks coming on to Craigslist that we thought of buying but we held off buying until we sold the Volt. Strangely, after we sold the Volt Craigslist dried up and there was not a single Element or Outback to be found in the Bay area right up until departure day. So we changed plans. We’d tow the Ford Ranger behind the moving van with goats in the bed. That way we’d all be in the cab of the moving van together, Paul and I could alternate driving giving us breaks. Now that we are on the road, despite the fact that we were disappointed that we were not able to buy the used second vehicle, we now see this as a blessing. We have more than enough on our hands with this cumbersome heavy moving van, one of us navigating and checking maps, thinking about rest stops and nighttime accommodations, checking on the goats as well.
The moving van seemed to be doing better today. As we ascended up Emigrant Gap, Soda Spring and Donner Summit we were able to go 35 mph. What a spectacular way to depart from California. This is as beautiful as it gets. For me it was also pretty emotional. So many memories of awesome PCT backpacking and rock climbing trips from the past 16 years flooded through my memory as I watch the spectacular carved glacial domes and rugged peaks from my high seat in the cab. I love this backcountry so much.
On to Nevada, and well….there ain’t a whole lot of anything in Nevada. It was a long hot drive. The AC is not working in the cab of the van, The goats seem to be doing much better than us. We think the white camper shell combined with the nice cross breeze is more pleasant than our digs up front! We made it as far as Elko, about 100 miles from the Utah border. We can see the snow capped ranges ahead, tomorrow’s drive promises to be much more pleasant. There are no campgrounds of any sort in Elko, so we select the Super 8 as our accommodations for the night. They are pet friendly and all rooms are non smoking.
Day 2 mileage: 550
Remaining mileage: 2490