Trip Report: CA/NV border remote


West slope, N. Ser. Nev.
Trip Report remote CA/NV It’s good to live rural, but enough is enough.
Jeanie and I have been holed up at our place during the Corona Virus Scare doing jobs around the spread like collecting, cutting, and splitting oak rounds from the winter’s downfall; changing the tractor’s rear pull snow blower out for the box scraper; and working on editing and cataloging my 2300 musical entries for Compline for free distribution. Unlike many, we are retired, with no job to lose so the Covid-19 virus scare has changed our lifestyle but little. After 38 days, even Shangri-La gets old, so we packed up the Northstar Laredo self contained truck camper and headed for a lonely stretch of the border between CA and NV in the center and hard to get to area near Mono Lake. Our plan was to take some 4WD roads we have never taken, because we can, and stay not more than 6 feet but more than 6 miles from anyone. Winter is just losing its grip on this area; the days are warmer and spring has started to blossom at the lower elevations. We spent several days moving from one remote camp spot to another. It was simply exhilarating to be out the house to taste places that we’ve never tasted. I looked up the current Toiyabe N.F. rules expecting everything to be shut down; but not so, antifreeze breath, campgrounds are closed but the N.F. is open with the caveat that the party must be less than 9 people, and not camp in the closed campgrounds. Just our cup of tea. We left on a Thursday fueling up with $2.25 per gallon diesel in Carson City NV (unlike the $4.00+ in CA) and headed southeast. We still use the No. CA and NV Gazetteer and F.S. paper maps as there is scant cell phone reception for Google Earth where we went. We settled on a newly graded (surprise, surprise, surprise) primitive road parallel to and one canyon to the east from the Walker River, one of the few in CA that flows north and found a delightful grassy camp site with nice views. See pic. It’s a certain species of Rye Grass that has blown in here over the millennia that doesn’t fit the surroundings. The daytime temperatures were in the 60’s, with nights in the 40’s. It was a dark green ocean of Pinion pines. One car drove by near supper time. That was the only noise we heard that wasn’t of our own making.
Next day we climbed up and over several high passes with glorious views of the Sierra Nevada and Nevada mountain ranges stopping at the top of one when Jeanie said we had cell service, eventually winding up in Bridgeport CA. We stopped at THE local everything store to get a couple things we forgot and were directed to the back door where taped to the door a sheet of paper had a hand written sign that said, “Rattle the door and someone will come and take your order. After ordering, have a seat around the picnic table.” On the table was a pump bottle of hand sanitizer. I got a $10 bill out and donned my face mask and green rubber gloves waiting to order. The proprietor came along and took my order. I asked if she had a good, natural jar of peanut butter with no salt and not homogenized. She reported that they had Skippy in smooth or crunchy. I ordered smooth. I asked for some sliced Pepper Jack cheese. She replied they had individually wrapped sliced American processed cheese. After a time she showed up and gingerly handed me a paper bag with our two items. $8.57 was the bill. Fine. When you are the only show in town, you’re happy they are here at all. We then headed for Nevada down a tributary to the Walker River seeing a lot of fishermen plying the stream, of course showing social distancing as they would do anyway. We wound our way up the Sweetwater Canyon area to Risue Road, a long, rough, and sinuous trail/road carved into the hillside to the Topaz Lake area. Then we started to see small tribes of toy haulers and other RV’s in groups; wagons circled, with attendant quads and side-by-sides buzzing around. After getting to the top of a mesa we found a two track cul-de-sac well off the main road. Each day after walking around a while exploring the area we would play Mexican Train on our roll up table in the afternoon and Five Crowns or Backgammon on the camper table in the evening. The final day we tried to find a certain forest road leading back west, but it was not to be found so we followed Desert Creek down to the flat. It started out in a benign fashion, dropping about 3K feet, but before the first two foot deep creek crossing I turned on the hubs and 4WD/low range as the trail quickly dropped to a class 4 jeeping slog with a lot of rocks, many deep creek crossings with the flora closing in. The willows finally got so bad during the crossings, as we lost elevation, that I had to get out my Leatherman multi tool from the center console and proceeded to saw off most of the offending branches through the window of the truck. Must protect those new Euroview camper windows from scratching. At times it was a rock crawl in lo/lo and I was very glad to have Tru Tracs in both pigs to climb the bank of the creek beds. After a very long dirt road we came out near Worthington NV. It was now Saturday late morning and there were scores of pickups towing trailer loads of quads to go up the trail we just came down. On the way home we stopped to shop at Trader Joe’s and Costco as we had not shopped specialty or big box for 8 weeks. Both were almost empty.....of shoppers. Shelves and inventory were full even of toilet paper and bottled water. We got everything on our list and more, as is usual. Some pix:


New member
Hi Jeff, haven't been here in awhile and low and behold here's a TCTR from you. I enjoyed reading about your journey into the upper elevations.

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