We woke up in Lakeview, Oregon, with the whole country spreading out in front of us. The question was, which way to go? One option was to go south into California, then cross back over to the California coast. The would let us see many of the places we love, like Monterrey, Carmel, Santa Clara, etc. But, that was part of the problem – we’ve been to those places, and the places south of there, a number of times. This trip is about experiencing the new. So, we headed south into northern California, then cut east toward Nevada.
Our first stop of the day was in the Modoc National Wildlife Preserve, just south of Alturas, California. Modoc is a 7,000 acre preserve designed for migratory birds. It was a lovely spot, with geese, ducks, hawks, and egrets. Here is a shot I grabbed of some small ducks swimming in front of a flock of geese:
We kept our eyes peeled for museums or historical markers, but we came up pretty empty, except for this one, along California Highway 193:
There is an actual trail that leads off into the hills and eventually mountains. If that was the easy route, I can’t imagine the hard route.
In the end, we traveled 500 miles, which is the farthest we’ve gone on this trip by more than 100 miles. This is what happens when the scenery is essentially unchanged for a few hundred miles – we can focus on moving, instead of gawking.
By the end of the day, we reached Tonopah, Nevada. It’s a small town that most people have never heard of, I realize, but we came here for one reason: to stay at the world famous (?) Clown Motel. You might think I am kidding, but here is evidence:
Depending on how you feel about clowns, this is either a lark, or a descent into an inner circle of hell. Oh, and there’s an ostensibly haunted graveyard right next door. Dawn and I are on the “lark” side of the equation, as you might have guessed. when we check out in the morning, I will take a shot or two of the interior of the office, which has 500+ clowns in it.
In pop culture discussions today, Dawn decided that Boz Scaggs sounds a lot like Cleveland from Family Guy, and I countered a few miles later with the observation that Alan Wilson of Canned Heat sounded a lot like Kermit the Frog when he sang. It was a slow music day for us, too. 🙂
Tomorrow, we are going to hit a mining museum, and hope to check out a bottle house and a former gold rush town. In a few days, Arches National Park in Utah is in our sights. Cheers!