After recently trading in my high mileage Jeep for a new model, I immediately started a late summer season camping tour, which included a loop through northern Nevada. The object was to avoid the California wildfire smoke zone, but what were once blues skies the night before soon turned into thick hazy gray soup the next day. Even though I was way out in the middle of the Great Basin Desert, the wildfire smoke was so thick in some places that the visibility was less than 100 yards. Daylight was running out as I headed south out of the blinding smoke zone and I knew that Walker Lake was just up ahead on Highway 95, which has always been a good spot for a camping overnighter.
The wildfire smoke was very thick upon arrival after sunset at Walker Lake and the smoke did not lighten up the next morning at sunrise. The feeling was like being trapped in some kind of a science fiction show episode, because the 20 Mile Beach dispersed camping area was so barren, desolate and lifeless. The thick smoke definitely added to the morbid effect and there was no hesitation when abandoning the campsite real early in the morning. The photos in this article certainly show just how bad the smoke can be even when over a hundred miles away from a wildfire!
Leave no trace!
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