DAY 106 - SCARY NIGHTS
Day 106 - Tonopah, Nevada - 3646 km
I had this beautiful long gradual downhill into the valley. At the lowest point I left the pavement, cycled through the sand and about 300 meters further I set up camp. I don’t have to search for a good spot, anywhere suits. There are Sagebrush shrubs on rough sand with enough space in between to build a camp. Occasional a car drives by. I can see the lights coming over the hill about 10 km further. Then a few quiet minutes pass, watching the headlights slowly coming closer before the car passes by and I can follow the red tail lights towards the other hill for a length of time. It takes about 15 minutes for a car to cross the entire valley with a speed 100km/h. The whole time I can follow it and there is nothing that obstructs the view. Right in the middle of this unbelievable space is where I’m preparing my Kathmandu Curry, with my toes in the warm sand and the only sound I hear is the roaring flame of my stove.
Far in the distance the skies light up from lightning strikes at several places across the horizon. It’s somehow beautiful but a bit ominous. There’s no thunder, just the lightning. I try to capture it with long exposure shots while it comes closer. I realise I am the highest point on these wide plains which worries me a bit. This European boy is not used to this grand nature. In the Netherlands a thunderstorm is usually very short. Slowly the storm drifts towards me and I put some extra ropes on my tent to withstand the upcoming winds. Dark clouds drift over like a large space ship covering the stars and the light of the night. I hide myself in my tent when the wind is starting to throw sand in my eyes. Small particles are swept againts the tent fabric, trying to cut through. Surprisingly there’s almost no rain. Just the wind and the lightning; no thunder. I calm myself emptying a little flask of Jack Daniels and fall asleep holding on to the tent pole while the storm continues to sweep it away.