LittleCar's BlackRock Adventure:

Scotty's BlackRock  (September 1992)

In 1992 I took a year off from Brown University in order to find myself.  In the end I failed pretty readily at that venture but I was able to participate in Scotty's BlackRock trip for the first time.  (I am still in the process of finding myself even at this time.  Maybe this is adult life.)  Dad and I had always wanted to go on this holly grail of LandRover excursions but my attendance in school had been a terrific excuse to avoid the trips.  Throwing all caution to the wind, Dad and I began packing.  This would be the year and it was high time that we started doing it and not just talking about it, whatever the it was.

LittleCar Gearing Up


To understand the bravery of this venture,  you must understand that though we own a few LandRovers none of them ever seems to run that well.  They run, just not that well.  It's not that we're bad mechanics as much as we haven't seen fit to dump too much money into any one car in particular.  We're not frame-up people, we're just cheap.  LittleCar was in '92 and still is our best Rover.  No one seems to have any knowledge of its former history and Dad, the man we bought it from, and I are still not sure if the mileage was 76,000 or 176,000.  It gets driven frequently, but just not that far in our small rural town.  The longest venture that it had ever made in our ownership was the hour and a half drive to Scotty's.  Who knows what can happen when things really heat up inside the guts of a Rover.  San Francisco to Nevada is a long drive-- and an even longer one in a LandRover.

LittleCar takes about 1/3 again more time to go long distances than a regular vehicle.  It doesn't like to go more than 50 mph; it can, it just complains bitterly and is much happier going slower.  (The gearing of a LandRover does not make sense until your consider pre-M Britain.)  All and all, the drive was surprising uneventful and the earplugs worked quite well.  Once at Bruno's we discovered the group had already departed and we were forced to locate the campsite alone at dusk.   This is a frightful and disorientating trip when an original generator and Hela aircraft landing lights are factored in.

First Camp


Only after waking up the next morning, LittleCar, Dad, and I were able to survey the rough group.  Scotty had come with Roger in his 109 2 Door since a monetary pothole had removed his beautiful military 109.   Scotty's son Andrew and his wife had come in their Series III '88 V8 conversion, one of the quietist and most powerful rovers I have ever driven.   Scotty's friend, the Seattle Anesthesiologist, had also arrived in a beautiful restored '67 109 5 Door with a Scotty 6 conversion.  A small but loyal group.

Up the hill LittleCar goes...


The first day we waited for the arrival of a woman in a RangeRover.  To kill time the group started exploring an old track near the campsite that led into the mountain range behind us.

The group breaking for lunch...


After lunch and a brief hike we headed back to the campsite.  Now apparently part of Nevada LandRovering includes guns so after returning from our excursion the ammo and firearms were busted out.  Dad is a '60's drop out and pacifist so guns were never part of my upbringing.  I am curious but nervous about them and dad is uninterested.  There was a new and exciting world of weapons to learn about and I did my best to study calibers, shoot up as many stationary cans as I could, and listen to explanations about Zen techniques in relation to pulling the trigger .  We then concluded the day with a calming firelight vigil to set our nerves to rest.

Roger & Scotty heading out for Bruno's


Morning on the desert is cold but we tried to warm up with some shared 1/2 cooked bread.  Some of the group had been out in the desert longer than the rest of us and looked it so we headed back into town to stock up on supplies.  It was at Bruno's that I discover that my set of Landrover keys could open at least one door of all four of the cars and start two.

The Gang stocking up on supplies at Bruno's


After losing about $1.85 at the nickel slots I called it a day and we filed up our jerry cans and headed out onto the Playa.

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