Any one who knows me or has been following this will undoubtedly know that both road trips came about because of a desire to see the bands at the iconic Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury, tickets to which, like the Burning Man event are as elusive as quicksilver. So when it was clear our route would take us near a certain lake the other side of the mountains from Black Rock I was overtaken by my sense of irony & routed us past Pyramid Lake.
Running out of daylight & heading to Nixon we were totally unprepared for the splendour of the Lake. A tad concerned we didn’t have a campsite for the night we scoured the place for a suitable spot but ended up driving on through up the side of the Lake realising if we reached Sutcliffe our options were really limited as it wasn’t clear the road was suitable for rental vehicles beyond there & it would be miles to retrace our steps to the next potential town.
However we spied some people in campers near the shore line & they kindly told us where we could obtain the necessary pass at the Ranger Office come shop. Despite the randomness of it the advice was good and later we left with our overnight ticket & some beer. Driving back we spotted a suitable place and pulled in. By now it really was starting to get dark as we sipped beer & watched the sun sink behind the mountains. It was very peaceful but nothing prepared us for the moment when the sky went completely jet black the only light coming from the millions of twinkling stars. My thanks to the Native American upon whose Reservation the Lake is located for making it possible for us to stay there. It truly was one of the most fantastic places on earth that I have ever camped in. The Pyramid is a unusual rock formation in the Lake & as ‘consolation prizes’ go I felt we had really hit the jackpot. Later we set the alarm clock so that we could get up & watch the sun rise.
Sipping tea while sat in deck chairs was amazing & the advantage of rising so early was that we were on our way to Crater Lake before the crowds. Reaching the entrance there were no queues or parking problems & we were once more treated to some spectacular scenery that really the cameras just didn’t really do justice too. The water was so still & the reflections so clear. It put me in mind of the Taekwondo pattern Chon Ji which takes its name from the Heavenly Lake also famed for the clear reflection that is supposed to be representative of both heaven & earth. Walking around we took in the sweet fresh air & headed to the coast where we would pick up the 101 or Scenic Pacific Highway.
A colleague at work said ahh forget Glastonbury & go with her to The Burning Man Event. Totally gabbed by this wild idea but unsure if a wind up I sounded her out when we were next on shift together.
Turns out she wasn’t joking which triggered a set of actions in motion that resulted in the booking of a motorhome & flights. Ahgast at the prospect of shelling out $1600 upfront for tickets we decided to play the official ‘lottery system’ where they would be around $500. Given the event is in Nevada it seemed sort of appropriate to take a gamble but we sadly played & lost due impart to a shaky internet connection. So with Plan A dead in the water so to speak we needed an alternative. Armed with my faithful Google maps I scuttled back to the virtual drawing board & came up with Plan B.
Colleagues at work were watched & listened somewhat agog at the unfolding plans possibly a little sceptical that we would actually carry them out. We ran the gauntlet of jibes re Thema & Louise etc but we just smiled enigmatically & firmed up the details of our oddessy.
Given we had never been on vacation together it may have seemed to some a little mental to sign up for the best part of 3 weeks in a camper van but we were game to give it a go. Turns out we were really on the same page for road tripping & as we made our way airport we found much to chat and laugh about that set the tone for the whole journey.