Feb 5, 2021
Saturday 5/08 I took a 60 mile dirt road excursion through Western Nevada, which culminated with a climb up and over Lucky Boy Pass near Hawthorne.

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Looking down from the pass.

I tried to find a rock art site that I had uncovered on an old map. I located one feint glyph (possibly a snake) and a rock circle, but that was it. I doubt this site was worth a mention on a map, and upon further review I think I was too far south and missed the real target.

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From there I continued on towards the eastern side of Mono Lake.

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All of my previous trips through this area had been in the Fall/Winter. I was surprised that the desert didn't look a whole lot different in the Spring. The only exception was this thorny shrub that was prolific around the lake and awash in pink blooms.

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I had originally planned an off-road bypass on the eastern side of the lake, but I was running late and was unsure of the quality of the roads. I decided to save this for another time and headed back to the 395. From previous trips I've learned that you need to be very strategic about where you gas up in this part of the world.


Just south of the lake I turned east and took the 120 towards Benton. This was an interesting drive with a lot of diversity. It also included a couple of miles that were the closest thing to a rollercoaster that I have ever experienced. There were about 20 "lose your stomach" dips in this straight section of road, and a couple of times I had to brake hard for fear of getting airborne!

Just as the sun was setting I rendezvoused with my son up in the tablelands north of Bishop. We camped out there with the plan of exploring some of the rock art sites that dot the rocky outcroppings in this area. We got an early start and ended up visiting six separate sites. They were certainly prolific...some boulders were just jammed full of glyphs. A few were identifiable (shields, footprints, animals) but most were abstract or geometrical. Unfortunately whatever they were trying to communicate has been lost to time.

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By late morning it was beginning to heat up. I had a few more sites on my list, but also needed to be back in Napa for Mothers Day dinner. I decided to pull the plug and save a few things for next time. The Sunday traffic in the Lake Tahoe region must have been horrible, as my phone app routed me up and over the Sonora Pass. It was a beautiful drive up the eastern flank of the Sierra and over the 9600' summit.

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Interesting looking camper topper on your truck there. What is it?
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