Favorite Travel Quotes

"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts."
-- Mark Twain
Innocents Abroad

"Stop worrying about the potholes in the road and celebrate the journey." -- Fitzhugh Mullan

"A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving." -- Lao Tzu

Nevada Confuses Our GPS

Bert Gildart: Midway into what has become a ten-month-long trip we purchased a global positioning road unit called a Garmin. Specifically, it is the Pilot 330 and until we reached the state of Nevada, the device had piloted us flawlessly. For example, in New Orleans, we typed in the name of a parking lot located near Jackson Square, and our Garmin piloted us from our campground located about ten miles on the outskirts of New Orleans, and finally down Bourbon Street, and St. Charles Street to our final destination. The directions it provided through these narrow streets were perfect.

REMOTE NEVADA: Our Garmin then piloted us over a period of several weeks to Las Vegas but got us around this fair city. But then, we left Nevada’s city lights behind and entered a remote section of Nevada where we began traveling Highway 318. Here, She began telling us to take virtually every side road to which we came. When we didn’t follow her instructions, she spoke to us in a hurt voice.

Recalculating.

Recalculating.

Roads down which She wanted us to drive include the Stewart Ranch Road, the Mail Summit Road, the Seaman Wash Road. What was so bizarre is that all of these so called roads were dirt roads, roads that seemed to exist at the whims of the most recent rain storm. Curious we pulled over at several locations and could see in the distance that the roads were completely washed out, particularly around the cattle guards.

And so we ignored our tried and true lady, enduring more objections:

Recalculating, recalculating.

Proceed five miles and then take Stewart Ranch Road, right.

NEXT GAS: We’ve traveled Nevada before, in fact, and the state is one of my very favorites, essentially because it is so devoid of humanity. Here, you can drive for miles before you encounter someone else driving toward you. Roads here are straight; so straight in fact, that if you took a high powered rifle such as a 30-06, fired it down the center line, you could reasonable expect to find your bullet embedded in the yellow dividing line a mile or so further along.

Because Nevada is so sparsely populated, gas stations are few and far between, and often we came to signs advising us about its availability:

Next Gas 75 Miles

Next Gas 105 Miles

Perhaps because of its sparse population, Nevada seems to be a tidy state. As we traveled we found little evidence of litter. Nevertheless, the state does have a reputation of sordid individuality, something I’ve reported on previously in a story I once wrote about Highway 50, which most say is the nation’s “loneliest Highway.”In our travels north, we crossed this east west corridor near Ely and enjoyed lunch at the Nevada Hotel, famous for its list of celebrity guests that include Charlie Pride, Hank Williams, and Roy Rogers.

Entering the hotel, we were greeting with hundreds of slot machines, which we passed on our way to the restaurant where we found one of the most complete pictorial histories of boxing I’ve ever seen. The display started with such historic figures as Ezzard Charles, Gentleman Jim Corbet and Billy Con, and worked its way up through Cassius Clay, Joe Lewis and then through some of the middle weight legends to include Sugar Ray Robinson and Rocky Graziano.

Ely is also where Janie (and I emphasis that Janie accompanied me) and I interviewed Portia, a madam running one of the local brothels. Ely is also located near Great Basin National Park, and just two years ago I climbed Mount Wheeler, second highest in the state of Nevada.

John McPhee celebrated many of the state’s mountains in his classic book about basins and range, and along the way we had crossed passes higher than Logan Pass in Glacier National Park. Just outside of Ely we passed through the small town of Lund (cattle guards at both end) at an elevation of 5570’. Then we passed over Murray Summit at 7,316’. About an hour later we entered Ely.

SALMON RIVER CAMP: Leaving Ely, we drove north another hundred or so miles to Jackpot. Then, several hours later we entered Idaho, and encountered the confusing town of Twin Falls—and here’s where we should have started listening once again to our Garmin. But we didn’t and so we pulled up next to a policeman along the town’s four-lane and asked for directions. He grinned but said he couldn’t help us—and so we turned our Garmin back on, and this time we listened. Following her advice in part, we drove yet another hundred miles or so to a familiar campsite located along the Salmon River, just outside of Challlis, Idaho.

Over the years, we’ve stayed here often at Cottonwood, run by the BLM, and knew that the only other campers we’d be contending with might be a few fishermen. Steelhead were running, and many were wetting their lines.

But the long drive of the day had left us exhausted and tired, and so we started our Honda 2000 Generator (known for its quiet power) so we could watch a movie on our TV, which still requires 120. Throughout our entire trip we’ve watched but few movies, despite the stack we carry with us. We selected Fargo, and though we had seen it before, enjoyed once again, this award winning film.

We expect we will be home today. The weather here is clear but cold and surrounding us are patches of snow. I believe it will be a good day for traveling. If we do make it to Creston, MT, it will be the first time since October that we have been in a house.



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