At the end of April 2018, I packed my life into my 2012 MINI Cooper S Clubman and set out from the Sierra foothills town of Sonora, CA for Fallon, Nevada: the first waypoint for my attempt at being a vagabond. I would eventually end up in Vancouver, BC before (somewhat reluctantly) coming back into the States and back to Northern California to spend the winter.
As luck would have it, my work allows me to operate remotely. “Digital nomad” as it is oft referred. So, no matter the state (or providence), I can still log my 40 hours.
For the trip? Why not?!?! For creating this blog (especially after the fact)? Between having a whole lot of time to myself while out on the road, being convinced something like this would be nice to have for posterity sake, and the fact that I’ll be starting a whole new road trip soon (WOOT!), this seemed a reasonable outlet to store some brain data. This will primarily be a blog. I’m not doing this on instagram for a reason.
I spent the year (up until Thanksgiving) staying in 12 different cities for as little as 2 days to as much as 3 months (yup, that was Vancouver). While I dare not try and recap the entire experience here and now, I will proffer some of my thoughts about where all I did visit.
About an hour East of Reno is Fallon. I hear there is a large military base there. And while that may have some appeal to others, it does nothing for me. How Fallon attracts me is actually its proximity — to Eastgate, NV.
You see, there’s nearly nothing in Eastgate, NV, and that is exactly the reason why I love it. Based on a number of light pollution (or dark sky) maps, Eastgate gets you about the best conditions for stargazing if you live in Northern California. It’s an hour further East from Fallon off of lightly travelled SH-50, where then you veer onto SH-2 which takes you around “Bald Mountain”. Find a turnout (there aren’t many) and not only are you an hour from the small town of Fallon (population 8400), but you’re more than an hour from any other equivalent population and the small mountains that surround you seclude you that much further from even a hint of light bleeding from the horizon. SH-2 is hardly traversed (especially in the middle of the night) as anyone going through the area would likely keep to SH-50, so you’re alone. Just you and the sky …and maybe a couple free-roaming cows.
When you get back to your hotel in Fallon for the night, stop in at Jerry’s Diner for some comfort food.
St. George, UT:
In Southwest Utah, St. George is pretty major. The heart of the town is set into the red rock hillsides and it doesn’t take much effort to get up to a vantage point and gaze South over most of the town and the valley expanse and immediately know why people settled there in the first place.
Nowadays, there’s a fair amount of urban sprawl; Mormon influence [try and find a restaurant bar with alcohol on display; I dare you], though this I hear is ‘letting up’ slowly; shopping centers; and outdoorsy types venturing to this space for all its grandeur. Because of the local geography, its growth feels awkward and forced in odd directions.
I was here only for a couple days, so, you know, “grain of salt” my hot take on the town and all that. On that note, if in the area, I do recommend getting out to Hurricane, UT on SH-9 just NE of St. George: it’s quaint and attractive in that way.
‘Querque and I got off to a bad start. But that will have to wait for the next post…