Up before the sun and grabbed a quick first breakfast, then drove to Sunrise Point where – surprise, surprise – peple gather to watch sunrise over the hoodoos. Spectacular morning.
Back to the room for second breakfast and pack up, then drove to the second of the non-plowed trailheads and an even shorter ski to the canyon rim. Spent a while working my way around to a high point for a different view – hard going in the uncompacted snow. Could have spent hours here but wanted to move on so reluctantly back to the car.
The plan was to do a big loop through southern Utah and Nevada eventually leading back to Tahoe and then on to the coast. Had considered visiting Mammoth Mountain for a look and a first ski, but even for me it just involved too much driving, so decided Toponah was far enough for today then head for Mono Lake en route to Tahoe tomorrow.
Spectacular day for driving, and classic Basin and Range country – ridgelines running North-South, many snow covered and broad desert valleys in between. Although it ended up being 600km, the driving is easy and fast in this part of the world. It’s not like driving along the Interstate where if you don’t like the look of one town, you can drive 30 minutes to the next. Toponah was the first taste of civilization (?) in 300 km, and managed to reach it with the last light of the day silhouetting the hills around the town. Had even picked up a bonus hour crossing into the Pacific time zone.
However managed to blow that pretty quickly. Drove up and down the main drag checking out accomodation options till found a cheap motel. By the time I’d checked in I returned to the car to find a rear tyre almost completely flat. After unloading everything pulled out the spare to discover it was one of these Micky Mouse half width affairs that can only be driven at 80 km/hr. I always say, if you’re going to have a flat in a foreign country:
1: Make sure you’re in the middle of nowhere – Check
2: Make sure the spare is either unusable or not as usable as it should be – check
3: Make sure it’s on a Saturday night so that there’s absolutely no chance of getting it fixed in less than 36 hours where you are – check.
Oh well at least it happened right at the end of the day and in (relative) civilization). Will deal with it all tomorrow.