After Great Basin we headed south to a Nevada State Park called Cathedral Gorge. This park was recommended to us by our friends Deb and Steve and we were also going to meet up with them there. It has been three years since we have seen Deb and Steve in person and since our last meeting we have all survived COVID and become grandparents!! We first met them back in 2014 at the RV Dreams rally and have been lucky enough to spend lots of time with them over the years.
As I said, Deb always finds the coolest places and I wasn’t disappointed when we pulled into the park. These state parks are all first come first serve (that’s changing in 2023) and since we came on a Saturday it wasn’t surprising that they were full. Thankfully though there was room in overflow and Lee and I picked a spot and stayed hitched up so we could have our choice of open spots in the morning.
The next morning we started walking the campground early and ended up grabbing a spot around 8:30am. These are VERY popular campgrounds and limited spots would work for our 40 footer. We grabbed a great spot though and were moved in and set up by around 10am. The campground was totally full a few hours later so we were really glad we chose the strategy we did.
One thing I should mention is they don’t mess around with paying here. There are several fines posted that say it is the campers responsibility to know the rules and we saw a couple who slipped into overflow without paying get hit with a $250 fine. They tried to play it off like they forgot in the morning and just pay the $20 overflow fee but the rangers were having none of it and wrote them the ticket. The husband was super pissed about it but it truly was clearly posted everywhere.
The campground itself has 50 amp electric and the cost per night is $20 + $10 for electric. We had heard about the Nevada annual parks pass so after unhitching we went up to the visitors center to ask about it. Turns out for $250 you can get unlimited camping in Nevada Parks for no additional charge, and for electric sites only have to pay $10 a night. You also get free entrance to all the parks (another $10 for out of state day use) so after doing the math and figuring out 14 days would better than break even we bought the pass.
The visitors center here is for all 6 parks that are in close proximity to this location and we picked up information for all of them. I wanted to check them all out (more of that in later posts) for future visits. Cell coverage is a little iffy here, although our spot has 3 bars, and I was glad to see they also have a satellite backup you can pay for. That is a very nice feature for those of us who work and although I haven’t had to use it yet it’s nice to know its available in a pinch.
After getting paid up we decided to head into the town of Caliente which is 15 miles away. The southeast part of Nevada is VERY remote and the small towns here are super small. Caliente is pretty nice though all things considering and we had a great lunch at a restaurant called the Side Track which I really loved.
I was pleased to see there was a medical clinic in Caliente (something I always keep an eye out for in remote areas) and this actually came up a few days later when I had an issue. Woke up with a lot of pain and went to the medical clinic. They squeezed me in, I got excellent care, and they were even able to do a CT Scan same day. Turns out I had kidney stones (my first time) and I couldn’t be more pleased by how easy the experience was. I have had some terrible medical experiences in far larger towns and this was first rate start to finish.
Anyway, we explored locally and then a couple days later Steve and Deb arrived. We coordinated with them and grabbed an open spot first thing in the morning so when they rolled in around 2pm they were all set. It was so great seeing them and seeing Hurley who has gotten older but is still a sweetie. Lee made them a chili dinner for arrival and the conversation picked up just as if no time had passed. There is something special about this lifestyle where you can see people after long stretches and the relationship is still there.
Steve is on vacation this week but I am working 5am – 2pm everyday so they explored in the daytime and then we met for a quick hike and dinner in the evenings. Deb is an excellent cook so I just fed her my raw materials and she worked her magic. I had a tri-tip of grass fed beed from Wyoming that was awesome and Steve had a pork loin another day and we threw together the sides. Eating with friends is really fun and Deb never makes a bad meal.
The hikes were really great too…Cathedral Gorge is really beautiful and Deb kept them reasonable since I had the kidney stones. Deb is famous for getting people to go on long hikes but she gave me a break this time!
It’s a beautiful park and the stars at night are spectacular. I actually think we are going to stay here for two weeks we like it so much but more on that later.
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