• Day 19: Friday

    We got up and broke camp, leaving before most of the campers were even out of their tents. In Lee Vining we went to the same restaurant again, a place called Nicely’s. It’s about the only restaurant in the small town of Lee Vining other than a couple that look expensive. Nicely's was crowded. We had seen 18 National Forest Fire Fighters and around 8 BLM Fire Fighters the night before. This morning there were over a dozen people from the California Conservation Corps having breakfast. The restaurant was crowded but the food was good.

    We chose, or maybe it was Dave who chose, to head back over route 120 into Benton, a road Rick Ives described as being like a roller coaster. And it was! The road occasionally yanked our stomachs up and down as we went over a rise and into a dip. Following our last camp host's suggestion, we turned onto 264 on the other side of Border Peak and headed south through Fish Lake Valley to 266, which we had traveled on our first day. As we approached US95 we could see a stream of dust, rising into the air. Dave said it was a car speeding along a dirt road.

    As we got closer to US95 we saw that the dust storm was being caused by many cars, and when we got close enough we could see that they were off road vehicles with roll bars and helmeted drivers. It was a race. Now Dave has traveled US 95 a lot, and he’d never seen traffic like that. This was an area between Beatty and Goldfield, where even the jackrabbits carry extra water. As we turned on to the highway, there was a steady stream of traffic going north and Dave noted that they were support vehicles for the race drivers. We could see the streams of dust all over, way up on the hills, down on the flats, everywhere, and the dust was filling the valley and hiding the mountains.

    All this wouldn’t have been a problem except there was a military convoy going south at the same time, about four trucks and four Hum-vees, all going about 45 mph. Again, that wouldn’t have been a problem but because of the steady line of traffic going north, we couldn’t pass. We were frustrated, finding ourselves in a line of around fifty cars following those slow vehicles.

    When we reached Beatty, we stopped to use the rest room, get something to drink,and fill up with gas. Dave noticed two Nye County Sheriffs having coffee and asked them what the race was. They informed him it was the Annual Off-Road Race from Las Vegas To Reno – except they actually went from Beatty to Dayton. We believe the circuitous route, however, was at least 400 miles long.

    The heavy traffic going north ceased after Beatty, and the rest of the drive was uneventful.  We eagerly welcomed the soft landing in Dave’s driveway to end unforgettable Great Geezer Getaway 2!

    1 Comment

    • 1. Aug 21 2012 6:49PM by Jeremiah R

      It is so amazing what you all are doing. I was a boy scout when I was younger and I've always regretted not staying with it I love sleeping in the outdoors and camping just brings back so many fond memories. I can tell you guys had an awesome time and look forward to the next installment!

Great Geezer Getaway II

big adventure

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