Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Day 2: Donner Lake to Moab, UT

A crazy long day, insanely isolated drive.  I was utterly fascinated by the isolation for the first eight hours, staring down roads that led off of our already empty one and wondering why they were there, where they led, and why anyone was down them.  We saw a swarm of locusts, a military testing site, and valley after valley filled with emptiness.  (After the first eight hours of fascination, I wanted to see cars and people. The worry about finding the next gas station, of wondering what would happen if we broke down, was wearying after a while.  We were fine though... just overwhelmed by the sheer emptiness of it all.)

This is Stokes Castle near Austin, Nevada.  It was built in the late 1800s to model  a medieval villa outside of Rome.  It used to be three stories, with balconies, built and decorated with luxurious furnishings.  The man who built it lived in it with his family for two months one summer and it was never occupied again.  It overlooks a wide desert valley and is on the side of a hill near Austin, Nevada.  Austin used to be "the friendliest town on the loneliest highway in America" but they seem to have lost that designation to Eureka, which is further east.

No cars ahead, no cars behind.  All day...

We pulled over for a swarm of locusts, but most of them kept going and I didn't chase them through the desert, just got a shot of one straggler.  Seemed to fit the desert setting really well.  We also saw some deer, which surprised us.

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