Lock down in San Francisco. I find nothing in the rules about not traveling and so I decide to head off into the high hills of Northern California and the lost deserts of Nevada. The goal is to soak in natural hot springs overlooking thousands of square miles of emptiness. Cowboy Onsen.
We drive through orchards, cattle farms and vast spaces. I cannot remember where I stayed the first night but I do remember it being very cold. As usual the camper’s furnace is not working but just in case I had bought a small internal propane heater.
The next day we bumble through fantastic remote country. We see eagles, real cowboys, countless deer and end up camping at the idyllic Blue Lake.
The next day I search for hot springs. I have little success. I have a book, but it is woefully out of date. The first 4 I found are now closed off with barbed wire. The 5th just did not look appealing.
I search around for somewhere to camp and find a great spot under a tree. The sky gets darker and soon it is snowing heavily. I am very snug in the camper but the problem with snow is it covers up the tracks of you coming in and on the way out, it is so easy to drive off the road into terrible trouble.
The radio announces very heavy snow and so I abandon cowboy onsen project and turn for home.
I stay just ahead of the snow and get on I 80 at Reno. Up into the mountains, past Donner Lake, Truckee and into California. I swoop down the west slopes of the Sierras knowing that in just a few hours I will be home. I sing like Yves Montand in the last scene of Le Salaire de la Peur. Actually he doesn’t sing but hums along to The Blue Danube. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Wages_of_Fear