Posts Tagged ‘hickison petroglyph’

I have to back up a little now.

The only reason we camped on the Colorado River the second time was because we were going to Reno, and the only reason we were going to Reno was because we wanted to rent a U-Haul trailer to haul my meager inheritance home. My books have been stored in my cousin’s warehouse for the past year.

But more on that later.

We saw lots of smoke on the drive from the Colorado River to our next campsite in Nevada. Lots of smoke.

There was this plume of smoke rising over Scipio, Utah. It was burning on the far side of I-15 which we had to take south to the Hwy 50 junction to Delta. Coming back north into Delta, we saw the same fire was burning on the Delta side of that small range of mountains.

South of Ely: this didn’t look good. I was trying to guess where this one was long before we could see Ely.

It was gaining momentum by the minute.

It was out in the sagebrush flats between Ely and McGill, and was barreling toward the Schell Creek Mountains. We were in Ely for about an hour, eating lunch and buying ice. The fire was on everyone’s mind as there are a number of homes out there. But it went uphill (as fires often do) and into the pinyon and junipers. That plume could be seen almost all the way to Eureka, 89 miles away.

We drove through Eureka and across the straight stretches of Hwy 50. I told Don about a late-night potty stop we made in May of last year in the deepest dark of a moonless night. I didn’t write about it because it was just that: a late-night potty stop and it was very, very dark. The campground is at a petroglyph site just out of Austin. Usually, we camp at Bob Scott CG, up on the mountain, but I was certain this other CG was worth our time.

I lived in Ely for four years and I’ve been along that stretch of Hwy 50 countless times, but I have never been to Hickison Petroglyphs – except for that stumble-in-the-dark stop with my brother, Chrystal and AJ. I figured as much as we love rocks, what the heck?

I did warn Don that the road is a little wash-board-y. But it is a short drive in and we still had plenty of daylight. Best of all, there was a short period of time when we had the campground to ourselves and Murphy could run around off- leash.

Most of the little garbage cans were full, but we were pulling in on a Monday night and we figured that the BLM had not had time to send out a crew to clean up the weekend trash. The outhouses (there were several!) weren’t anything to crow about, but they didn’t have that incredible aroma all the ones along the Colorado River had. And the campground was FREE.

Yep, you get trash pick-up and pit toilets and a clean campground, and it’s all paid for by your tax dollars, no additional fees. There’s a little trail (the brochures were missing from the kiosk) winding through the rocks where the ancient Native Americans carved their signatures and art work.  So you get something to do plus a clean camp plus pit toilets plus trash pick-up.

That’s important to know because when we signed the little guest book at the trailhead, we found this note inside the guest book box:

“Bathrooms are a mess + no TP even empty rolls Boo Hoo! Please do not disturb our packrats in the outhouses! They’re harmless.”  A Reno telephone number was written on the bottom of the note.


This Nevada girl is laughing at the stupidity of your note. Read my post: the pit toilets didn’t have that unpumped aroma. There’s trash pick-up. It’s FREE. And seriously? Your biggest beef was the pack-rats? Or the lack of TP? Go pee behind a tree.

Pack-rats are native animals. They’ve been a part of the camping experience for… Oh, hell, I remember pack-rats in the barn at Mahoney Ranger Station when I was two years old. They really are harmless (unless they’re caught in a leg-hold trap in the barn and you’re not supposed to be in the barn and you run and tell your dad that there’s a pack-rat in the trap and he comes and finds you in the barn and… you get your tail whooped). They steal shiny things. And most of their nests were in the rocks, anyway – it was only pack-rat poop in the bathrooms.

Get over it. And if you’re camping in Nevada, you should be packing your own toilet paper, anyway. And water.

Sometimes I am amazed at my lack of empathy.

We did walk the very easy path around the petroglyphs. Most of it is wheel-chair accessible (a pushed wheel chair, not a motorized one). Here and there, some modern Idiot thought he (or she) could improve upon the ancient art work and there were pitiful attempts to carve names into the rock by drunken local yahoos (or tourists), but the petroglyphs are deep and ancient.

I didn’t take my camera with me when we walked the little loop. I don’t know why. I don’t think I was expecting much. I took photos in the morning before we left and missed the good lighting. My bad.

We had a perfect view of the full moon.

The campground filled up overnight. A lot of people pull off the highway and seek refuge there, but not a lot of them hike out the trails. Too bad: they miss a little treasure in the Nevada wilderness.

We passed Bob Scott CG on our way into Austin: it looked pretty full (still) at 8:00AM.

We drove on into Reno and to my brother’s place without incident.

The bad news was that we didn’t look very closely at U-Haul’s website when we planned our trip. Well, I take that back: I can’t find it but my brother swears it is on the website.

U-Haul will not rent a trailer to anyone driving a Ford Explorer.

Apparently, about 12 years ago when Ford put faulty Firestone tires on their Ford Explorers, U-Haul was involved in some sort of dispute. 12 years later (and different tires, suspension design and so on), U-Haul will still not rent to anyone driving a Ford Explorer.

I can’t find it on the web page. I even typed in Ford Explorer. So – send me the link. I really want to see it. (Terry??)

So my inheritance was left in my cousin’s warehouse until such time as we can drive my KIA Sportage down to Reno to pull a trailer back up here because we were driving a 2006 Ford Explorer and U-Haul will not rent to us.


So we scattered Dad’s ashes and then we spent time with my cousins. And tomorrow, I’ll post a little about Harrah’s Auto Collection.

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