TransAmerica Trail – Day 24

Battle Mountain NV to Virgin Hotsprings NF campsite OR

After a beautiful sunrise, we made bacon, egg, and cheese on toasted English muffins for breakfast. Down the highway toward Battle Mountain NV to gas up and hit the trail.

Every day brings new terrain but this wasn’t like any I’ve seen. Our turn-off took us onto a two track that was all powder, I don’t know if it was ash or something else but it was dust beyond anything we’d seen yet. According to the map we had 82 miles to get to another main road. A couple miles in we came to a wild fire area and saw the remains of a burned out van.

After that the trail became harder to see with the sagebrush over a foot tall in the center but we pressed on. We crossed through countless gates we had to open. At one point there was a large washout that we crossed, seemed huge but wasn’t that bad.

We finally got to a slightly better gravel road but that too went bad. We came to an abandoned house with large trees around it, some toppled over just on the other side of a deep ravine. It had washed out in this part that must have been passable before but now it wasn’t possible to cross it. There were broken boards across but I’m not chancing it, we forgot to get a photo. We drove parallel maybe two or three miles in each direction but there was no getting beyond it. We had to give up and turn around.

118 miles after getting gas in Battle Mountain we were back 10 miles away filling up again. Took time to also wash off all the caked on dust from the Jeep. It wasn’t even lunch time yet!

Headed north on a road that would eventually meet up with the trail again just before it crossed into Oregon. Stopped across the border and made lunch and did our first Oregon geocache. It was about 30 miles before the trail turned west onto another dirt road. The terrain was changing again, becoming more rugged.

We like to stop around 2-3 and setup camp but there was nothing here. We saw one camping area on the map but it must have been outdated because we couldn’t find it. Keep going on until finally we hit a paved road. Turned south toward the Nevada border again hoping to get gas at a small town and check a nearby campground. The tiny one pump station was out off gas so we turned west again toward the campground. A sign when we turned said no services next 80 miles. My gas gage says 190 to empty so we should have enough but we’ve not been letting it get that low.

The campground ended up being about 20 miles down the road but it was 5:30 by the time we got there. Really cool wildlife area campground with a hot springs swimming area and hot showers fed by the hot springs. Got cleaned up and made some dinner. It’s supposed to get down near 30 tonight so we aren’t sure if we should sleep up in the camper on if it would be warmer in the front seats. We can’t really run the engine because its still 74 miles to where we think we can get gas. No cell service so can’t really be sure. We have 150 miles until empty now. I wish we had space to carry a spare 5 gallon can.

Libby is a little spooked by a guy living nearby in has van that we talked to earlier, a little odd but seems harmless to me. There’s also a couple odd guys with rifles on ATVs camping in a tent.