cross country pan american drive - North America, Central America, South AmericaTrans-Americas Journey Logo - cross country pan american drive - North America, Central America, South America

PHOTO GALLERY INDEX > Liar, Liar Desert on Fire

Black Rock Desert, NV   07/11-14/08 (Day 637-640)
Liar, Liar Desert on Fire

It’s an adventure just getting to the Black Rock Desert in Nevada. First, you pass through the surprisingly harming hamlet of Gerlach (don’t blink), then there’s Guru Road just out of town on your left. Jutting off the main paved road, this dirt spur has become, over the years, a kind of impromptu sculpture and philosophy garden.

The road is lined with boulders, stones and rock slabs chiseled with random bits of life advice and odes to beloved locals. Occasionally along the mile plus route there are larger pieces of more complex sculpture, like an abstract Elvis crafted from stacked rocks and adorned with a cape made by linking together hundreds of beer can bottoms.

This sign that greets you outside the lone store in Empire, a town just
shy of Nevada’s remote Black Rock Desert, says it all.

One of our favorite sections of Guru Road is an area devoted to the Iron Butt Association, a group of apparently insane long distance endurance motorcycle riders who do things like travel 11,000 miles in 11 days, or ride from Canada to Mexico (or vice versa) within 36 hours. Yeah, our kind of people!

Guru Road - Black Rock Desert
The dusty, artsy turn-off for Guru Road on our way to the
Black Rock Desert which you can see in the distance.

As we’re walking along the road we are tickled by a persistent playful wind that keeps making us feel like there’s someone behind us even though there’s no one in sight. The utterly dry but surprisingly refreshing wind keeps at us as we travel on to the Black Rock Desert itself which (are you sitting down?) isn’t black at all!

A close inspection reveals a sprinkling of small black pebbles on top of the powder-fine taupe-colored dust but the overall effect is a desert that looks (and feels) like the spongy, pale top of a par-baked biscuit.

No need to worry if your site is a pull-through or not here in the
Black Rock Desert where room to turn around is never an issue.

It’s gorgeous here, but there’s not a lot to do so after exploring the desert around us we get down to work. Eric just got a new computer from Dell (Eric has an XPS and Karen uses an ATG) which needs to be set up and Karen always has something she’s supposed to be writing (including this blog post), so right in the remote Black Rock Desert we end up with both computers humming away, thanks to our generator, in one of the most scenic offices we’ve ever worked in.

Black Rock Desert - Airstream
Forget cubicles! Hard at work on our hardcore Dell laptops in
our impromptu desert office.

Just when we think we’re totally alone out here, we hear the rumble and see the dust of a vehicle approaching in the distance—usually going at least 100 mph. Once we’re even buzzed by a low-flying plane (we think the pilot just wanted a closer look at our Airstream). Still, it’s hard to imagine this place packed with the 30,000+ folks who gather here every year over over Labor Day for the annual Burning Man Festival.

Black Rock Desert - Airsteram
Sunset turns us into long, happy shadows after another great
day of camping in the Black Rock Desert.



** This isn't a normal photo gallery with a slideshow because this post originally appeared on our Airstream blog. **

Contact Us: