Destination: Great Basin Desert, Nevada

Great Basin Desert, Nevada
Car problems aside, Nevada was stunning compared to the apocalyptically barren land I’d pictured (I may have set my bars low).

Great Basin Desert, Nevada

I could've used one of these. In the micro town of McGill, just above Ely, Nevada.

I could’ve used one of these. In the micro town of McGill, just above Ely, Nevada.

A streetside view of Ely, Nevada

A streetside view of Ely, Nevada

Leaving Ely, Nevada

Leaving Ely, Nevada to head further into the desert.

Great Basin Desert, Nevada Great Basin Desert, Nevada

Wild horse crossing in the Great Basin Desert along U.S Route 6.

Wild horse crossing in the Great Basin Desert along U.S Route 6.

Great Basin Desert, Nevada Great Basin Desert, Nevada Great Basin Desert, Nevada

Not bad, NV.

Like stretches of open land tend to do, Nevada’s Great Basin Desert, the country’s largest at 190,000 square miles, provided much time to think about life.

Here’s what I think at the moment: Many of us are trying not to forget childhood, but I’m out here grasping on to 24. I tell earlytwentysomethings that 24 will be their best year, because it was flawless for me and because once, during my teen years, I heard a radio DJ announce that women peak at 24. The notion stuck.

It was the age I began traveling in earnest, fell for a charming accent, graduated from university, had had two solid years to heal since Dad’s death, and packed my life into this same convertible I’m driving today to start over in San Diego. Because of all these things, 24 was when I began to first believe I could take on the world, and then actually took it on.

I am 28 now; a few years off and more battles won than lost. If I could stay so naively empowered as I was at 24 I would. Maybe the longing for the courage – the entitlement – of 24 is a smidge of why I left my stable life in San Diego to be here, on this empty road through the desert, with the idea that I can still do better.

What was your best year?


6 thoughts on “Destination: Great Basin Desert, Nevada

  1. I think my best year was when I was 15. I was so free and I was certain that I could do something meaningful. I had no fear but lots and lots of energy. But than again, these last couple of years were pretty great too and I am determined to make this one now the best so far, so really I don’t want to hurt the feelings of any other year by picking the 15. My life has ups and downs but all in all it is great. no complaints. Nevertheless I would love to regain the freedom and determination of my 15 year old self.

    • Steffiswanderlust, 15 was a great year too! I know what you mean about feeling like you had no fear and more energy. I definitely did crazy fearless things at that age that I would never do now, due to feeling more “immortal” at that time. I do think you could get some of that feeling back through practicing awareness of how you’re feeling/reacting to the world around you. I recall you told me you are traveling now/soon so that’s a great start!

      • The summer that I was 15 (many years ago) was a very enjoyable one for me. I think the most memorable thing was all the outdoor activities I was into like hiking, swimming, bike riding, soccer, etc. Such a care free time. The music on the radio that summer was also great.

      • Yes I am working on it 😉 I try to do something meaningful with my life and experience a lot of places / things. I however doubt that I’ll ever feel that fearless again… my fear of heights just seems to get worse every year… however I also think that now (as an adult) I can actually do much more and I just have to grab the oppertunities around me…

  2. Thanks for sharing these images. We took several auto trips through Nevada on various highways in the late 1980s and early 1990s. It seemed the colors of the landscape were at their best early on a summer morning with a low angle sun. There is a lot more to Nevada’s scenery than most people realize. The many state parks, although small, have some nice scenery.

    • Thanks for your thoughts larryzb, I would’ve loved to see this landscape in the morning now that you bring it up, as I drove mostly in the afternoon on this day. Hopefully someday I’ll get to cross back through and see even more of Nevada! Really loved it.

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