To celebrate Kate’s retirement and explore warmer, drier areas near us for camping in “Buttercup” (the new name for our Class A Winnebago) we planned a trip to Nevada, starting at Lahontan Lake State Park.
Both Lahontan Lake and Pyramid Lake are the remains of an ancient Pleistocene Lake Lahontan that covered much of northern Nevada approximately 15,000 years ago. A product of the melting ice age.
The Lahontan CG was empty except for one lonely truck way on the other side of the grounds. Flush toilets and showers were closed off for the season, but there were some vault toilets around. Unfortunately all they had in this campground (developed CG at beach #7) was a porta-potty that was in dire need of emptying and no toilet paper. RV dump was available and free. Site was $15/nite. We were able to refill our water tanks. Lots of sandy shore to walk along and the dogs just loved the freedom. Warning signs not to eat the fish due to mercury. I flew my drone here and with the water so still, there was a mirror image of the clouds and the sky which made the land mass appear to be floating in the sky, like in the movie Avatar. See the video below.
The next place we went was Pyramid Lake, on the Paiute Reservation. Cost was 13.50/nite with my 10% senior discount. We camped at Warrior Point which is at the end of the road. It then turns into dirt road and non-indians are not allowed back there. There was a vault toilet but nothing else, no water, picnic benches or pads. We were alone at night and heard the coyotes howling near us. The stars in the sky were amazing. But other than fishing, not much to do since there are no hiking trails and just north of our campsite along the shore there was a sign forbidding entry. So we only stayed one night.
The last place we went was Washoe Lake State Park near Carson City. A great campground where we could back in so that our front picture window was facing the east side of Mt. Rose near north Lake Tahoe. Lots of interesting hikes around sand dunes and thru the mesquite. Looks to be a great birding area. We saw magpie and egret and ducks. I also ran my drone here between rain. We basically hunkered down here till the snow over Donner Pass had passed thru and the roads were clear. This was a really nice campground with flush toilets, free shower, water and free RV dump all for $15/nite. Nice big level pads. We will definitely come back here. Gorgeous orange/yellow colors across the high desert made for nice photos.
Since we had several days at Washoe of overcast clouds, we woke up one morning with dim lights, a warning that the batteries were way low. The generator would not even turn over until I started the RV, then we were able to charge them. Winter time always requires a lot more power than the summer with long sunny days.
Here are two separate short drone videos for each of Lahontan and Washoe lakes followed by some photos. (If you click the YouTube in bottom right corner, it will open up on YouTube and be a much bigger screen.)
Coyote way in the distance, Charlie spotted him way before us.
One of my favorite things is an empty campground, and this was the situation at Loon Lake this time. Mid week, September… perfect for camping. Weather was delightful and even got a little rain on the last morning. Kate went with me and Ben and Charlie this time. Not much swimming because the water was about 10 degrees cooler than August. And the bees/wasps were less annoying this time. Charlie and Ben both rode in the kayaks. Fishing was much improved, caught a couple, one decent sized. Charlie was a handful as all puppies are but he loved it and he is so cute to watch his excitement and enthusiasm. What a character. Ben over did himself as always and was kind of limping near the end of the three days. I think his feet were sore or possibly some sore muscles. He is back to normal now. In the video below, the two items that Charlie was caught eating were a dead, petrified fish and horse poop. Nice, huh.
This was Charlie’s first camping experience with Ben and me. He had a wonderful time. He had a blast picking up anything and everything in his mouth. Tons of new things to sniff and hold. He loved chewing on sticks especially. My neighbor friend, Mike, joined me for two nights with his tent trailer and his dog Jack. So Charlie had another little guy to play with. I did a little droning and managed to catch some jet skiers which I have wanted to do, however, they seemed to dodge my drone and it was difficult to follow them. Not great video. Fishing was greatly improved with the water temperature now down to 65 (had been 70) which made the fish more lively and more active. I only caught three, but better than earlier this year. Small ones. Charlie rode in the kayak with me while Ben swam alongside. He was able to wear Biggs’ PFD and seemed to really like it. Nights were cold so we all snuggled together in bed. Daytime still had lots of bees but my campsite, #34, was not bad at all. Hopefully the bee situation will start winding down now. Its been an amazingly bad year for yellow jackets/bees. The aspen trees are just beginning to turn with lots of brush plants turning orange and yellows. Fall is on its way.
Ben and I made our third trip to Loon Lake, last week. Had a great time swimming, kayaking, hiking and droning. The fishing was terrible. The best part was getting Ben to actually ride in the kayak with me. I was able to put the drone on “point of interest” so it circled around us and therefore I was able to film Ben in the boat. The problem was I launched in too shallow water with lots of rocks so maneuvering was pretty challenging. I got to try out my new point and shoot, Lumix SZ40 and I’m quite pleased. RAW files and 30x zoom, plus manual focus and a viewfinder. Not to mention an exposure adjustment wheel on the lens. Lots of bees again, but slightly better than last time, plus there were six wasp traps around my site. I had the whole camp area to myself until Thursday when a large party came in, taking up two sites right next to me, blasting C&W music as soon as they arrived, at top volume. ugh.