We’ve driven through this valley a few times and are always astounded by its simple beauty and emptiness. And we’re glad that — at least in our experience — the name seems to come more from haze near sunset than from fire.
Stopping now and then to stretch our legs gives us a chance to take a closer look at our surroundings, from the long views…
…to the close-ups…
…to smaller natural details all around us, like this lichen on this rock:
From those spaceship-like clouds to the stunning way the sun played across the peaks of the Toquima Range to the east, the views reminded us that every single mountain range, every river, every puddle in the street is unique.
In tiny Carvers, Nevada, we thought we’d found a good spot for a night of boondocking. The sky blazed overhead…
…but the odd behavior of a man at a white SUV nearby triggered our instinctive response to head on down the road.
We don’t usually drive at night, and in that desert we were reminded why:
We didn’t have much choice, and cruised on down to Tonopah, where we had a forgetful meal in a cigarette-smoky casino restaurant, and boondocked along the street where we didn’t sleep as well as we normally do.
Oh, well. We can’t expect a perfect experience every time, can we?