On to the boondocks! Tuesday, May 17th

What a nice morning’s drive on Hwys 50 east and 305 north -- to Mill Creek, a no-fee BLM campground about 24 miles south of Battle Mountain NV, elevation 5,480’. This is one of those places you’d never see, a fissure in the hilly, sage-covered high desert, unless you walked up to it! We liked it right away and picked a site at the far end a few feet away from the narrow, gushing creek. (Two other small campers were parked in the front.) I was happy to see ancient cottonwoods lining the creek teemed with birds. 

Look, Nannie, a new shoe tree on Hwy 50 to replace the one that dirty bird burned down.

Everywhere color!

I'm not sure what this is, but entire fields were carpeted in an eye-pleasing lavender color.

Happily parked for the night at Mill Creek.

One of the first things we saw was this four-foot-long sneaky snake ... actually a friend identified it as a harmless gopher snake.  She must have been right, 'cause it didn't harm me or Jimmy!

Spying a wooden bridge, Jimmy and I crossed to the other side and chugged our way to the top of a mesa. Jimmy matches the greenery in his green shirt. 

On our way toward the mesa, I posed on a hunk of granite, overlooking the dinky, but swift creek.

 It was ... Perfectly Quiet.

 Clumps of blooming wildflowers jazzed up the otherwise bland sage scenery.

Tergel down by the Cottonwoods.

After working our way back to Tergel, being curious, we hopped in Smartie to examine where the well-groomed gravel road goes beyond our c/g as it winds its way up the mountain. Following tumbling Mill Creek, we drove up, up, up, around and around, high into Aspen territory, and after 11 miles, we came upon a monstrous pit mine. That was the reason for the good road. All we could see was a mountain of tailings. Disgusted, but not surprised, we turned around. 

This view is one section of the huge ugly pile of tailings.

Returning to Mill Creek campground, near the entrance are these rock posts -- they looked very old and they didn't line up ... unsure the whys and wherefores.

She looks mighty snug down there, doesn't she?

Maybe tomorrow, we decided, we could ride our bikes down the mountain.  But first ... somehow, we’d have to get ‘em up there. (to be continued)  Pretty sunset this evening. Ah, sweet, sweet nighttime sleep.


  1. That pretty blue haze is probably camas. It grows in meadows that are wet like that and blooms this time of year. Couldn't tell for sure without seeing it up close. The wildflowers in the Nevada mountains are so wonderful. We saw such gorgeous color when we went to Great Basin. Mines tailings waste....sad stuff, and all over the west. The price we pay for the "stuff" that we want I guess. Maybe ALL cars could be fiberglass and not metal, but then what about the engines? It is a sad quandary to say the least.

    1. Nope, not camas, more like a genetian or a phlox. But entire fields covered in purple was beautiful.

  2. Oh boy, a new shoe tree! (curses on the idiot who destroyed the old one...) Such lovely spring colors in the mountains and high desert. Beautiful. Well, except for nasty pit mines.

  3. Sure fun to share your current trip with you! Love those wide open spaces, particularly with a grand wildflower display. Tomorrow night, the El Dorado chapter of the California Native Plant Society is having a talk (with handouts!) of local and Sierra trails that showcase native wildflowers. I hope to go, so maybe I'll find some new "halfway" trails for us to explore.

  4. You sure did find a wonderful boondocking area. Nice start to your road trip.

  5. Love your boondocking spot, it is exactly like somewhere that we would pick! :-)

    Some of that pretty purplish-blue flower was out as we were heading home last month. I would love to have seen a field full of it.



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