Day Two: Basin and Range, Smoke and Thunder

This is the first day of the trip proper, but we call it day two (“Day One” drive on July 31 was a prelude trip 33 days ago, from Big Sur to Roseville, to give us bragging rights to a true coast-to-coast drive.


Map2Day 2: Roseville, CA to Wells, NV
September 2, 2013
Route: I-80
451 mi, 17.8 mpg, 9 hrs.
724 mi route total
Stopover here: 1 day

Thunder and lightning started and ended this day, a rarity in Roseville, less so in the high desert of NE Nevada.  Monsoonal flow, they call it, and it was responsible for much of the weird weather all day.  Aberrant tropical moisture pelted the photo 1awning at home to wake us, and then chased us up the Sierras, left us alone for western Nevada, then pounded us for the rest of it.

The sky tried hard to be novel, and it kept us guessing all day.  This included the smoke from Yosemite fires.  Where the clouds left us alone today, the smoke was in their place, making Reno’s casinos hardly visible from I-80.  Maybe that’s a good 2

photo 4Gray ridges paralleled our route, and behind them were towering bright white cumuli. When our road seemed to tire of  the valleys between the ridges, it turned east to confront them.  And as it did, we put ourselves in a startling light show.

Arriving in Wells we wonder whether to forgo the pop-up.  If it is pouring rain, we might prefer a hotel.  But we scooted out from under a fierce storm, got ahead of it, and checked in with the RV-park’s cheerful agent Steve.  The storm was not far behind, and we set up just in time to have dinner inside while the sky flashed and protested its inability to soak 5photo 3


About Cal Stevens

Learning professional, a training manager, speaker, writer; two careers in helping others succeed. Travel writer for the common road trip.
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