Among the experienced RVers who write regularly at rvlife.com, no one has done more traveling in an RV than Sharlene Minshall. She was a full-time RVer for 20 years and has driven her motorhome to remote outposts in Alaska, the beaches of Baja California and everywhere in between.
In recent years she made her home at an RV park in Arizona, but now has moved on to the cooler climate of Washington state. Each week, she posts a new entry in her blog, “The Silver Gypsy,” at rvlife.com, writing about past experiences and what is happening in her life today. Her recent posts have focused on her move up the Pacific Coast. As regular readers of her monthly “Silver, Single and Solo” column in this magazine know, her observations are always sharp and her writing is always entertaining. Here is one of her recent blog entries:
The Silver Gypsy: The Second Day of a New Adventure
By Sharlene Minshall
Leaving Tonopah, NV (87,896)—The first sign I saw as I left town this morning was “Next gas 93 miles.” Glad I took advantage of the $3.28 cash (or $3.35 credit) gas. You really have to pay attention crossing the desert. It doesn’t grow fuel stations or towns every mile down the road.
Out here in the middle of nowhere but on the only major road, I see lots of double- and triple-bottom semi trucks. If you are expecting UPS, I may have seen your triple-bottom truck parked 80 miles south of Hawthorne, NV. I passed through a number of sad little towns where you know the living is hard and the tiny roadside businesses are praying you will stop…but you cannot stop at them all. They no doubt started as mining communities.
I stopped in a town park in Hawthorne for breakfast at 10:45 a.m. I ate my cereal with a fork because I couldn’t find my spoons! And I thought I was organized. I chatted with a fellow taking pictures of a 1974 car with fancy wheels. He asked, “What is your favorite car?” That took me aback for a minute. I replied, “One that works.” That pretty much showed my expertise with antique cars.
Hawthorne’s interesting history includes logging, railroads, mining, and eventually the U. S. Army Ammunition Depot that is credited with its economic survival. The first time I drove through, I couldn’t figure out what the bunker-like buildings were. That is exactly what they were, bunkers, many, many bunkers crawling across the valley for the storage of ammunition.
Right around the corner from Hawthorne is Walker Lake. It is such a beautiful lake but as many lakes are, it is shrinking in size. The road is now a long ways above the lake, still a good place for camping though.
The road wound up into the mountains and “Chains required when lights flashing” signs grew on the roadside along with bouquets of spring flowers. Irritated, irrigated green-plowed fields appeared. Most of the time I had the road to myself on Alt-95 but then I reached I-80 where many-bottomed trucks grew in bouquets of bright shiny reds, yellows, greens and blues, all aimed at my tiny white car. Fortunately, I didn’t have to drive into Reno.
I turned north on CA 395 and began to see deer crossing signs. I have seldom seen deer crossing in these areas but great minds believe this is because the deer can’t read and they don’t have access to GPS (as far as we know). Pine trees and fenced ranches were the norm now.
Susanville, CA, had grown in size since I drove through it in earlier years with the RV. It was 4 p.m. and I was ready to stop at 323 miles. The River Inn was across the drive and convenient to the El Tepeyac Grille. Yummm! ZZZzzz. God Bless until next week.
(You will find new blog entries each week at rvlife.com. We offer a wide range of content, including stories on travel destinations, the RV lifestyle and RVing in general.)