Nevada, You Were Surprisingly Interesting

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After leaving Lake Tahoe, I headed east down the Sierras on US-50, intending to drive across Nevada in one afternoon. I ended up spending three days there.

The stretch of US-50 through Nevada is called “The Loneliest Road in America” because there are only 5 towns along the route and almost nothing in between. Actually, it wasn’t very lonely at all, because there were plenty of other cars traveling in both directions. However, there were a few times where I could no see no cars either ahead of me or behind me. And you can usually see quite far on this road.

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The state tourism board (or whatever it’s called) has even come up with this little “passport” book that you can get stamped at all five towns and send in to get an “I Survived the Loneliest Road” certificate. I got my book stamped, so we’ll see when I get the certificate.

I saw more different kinds of “___ Crossing” signs during my transit across Nevada than I have ever seen: Bear (in Lake Tahoe), Deer, Horse, Cow, Antelope(?), Fire Truck, and Tractor.

One thing about this road is that if you’re at all unclear about what the term “Basin and Range” means, US-50 will straighten you right out.

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Sleeping on the San Andreas, Part Two

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In part one, I talked about the San Andreas Fault and how it worked to create the topography of the San Gabriel Mountains. In this part, I’m going to show you some of the signs of the fault’s activity in the Wrightwood area.

The day I arrived at the campground, I saw a bulletin that there would be a volunteer-led hike the next day exploring the San Andreas. Of course, I was thrilled!

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Sleeping on the San Andreas, Part One

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I’m about to share a huge part of my childhood with you. When I was a kid, my family spent most weekends every summer camping in the Angeles National Forest near Wrightwood, CA. We also went up there in the winter to play in the snow. That’s the nice thing about living the Los Angeles area: you can drive a couple hours, play in the snow, and drive home where there is no snow.

We went on a lot of ranger-led hikes (something they don’t seem to do anymore, which I think is a huge loss) so I always knew that whole area was resting right on top of the San Andreas fault. I was familiar with the terms “fault flour” and “slickensides”, even if I couldn’t tell you precisely what a fault was. I just knew it was going to be the source of The Big One, something that lives uneasily in the backs of the minds of everyone who lives in California. More