Mt. Rainier and Lenticular Clouds - Dec. 2008 copyright: JMM

January 27, 2008

Desert Storm

Only 1 more state to go before arriving in California, and we were now officially on west coast time. Nevada is very, very arid and desolate so there wasn't much to take pictures of. We saw several "dust devils", which are small dust tornadoes that don't do any damage, but just swirl the dust around in a funnel. But the thing that we found really amusing was that along the highway, there'd be these little casinos at all the truck stops. Not a house for miles and miles, but always a casino at a gas station. We had a fairly decent payout from one of the quarter slots, enough for us to do laundry when we got to SF. We stopped for the night at Wells, in Eastern Nevada, and we were treated to 2 storms that day. The first swept across from the southwest.

We stood in the hotel parking lot and watched the rain come towards us.

See the sunlight behind the squall?

After dinner though, a much larger storm moved in across the desert, behind our hotel which I believe was east/northeast. I set up my tripod on the second floor balcony and aimed my camera in the direction of the storm, and left the shutter open with the hopes of catching some good lightning shots. It was actually dark out when these next few were taken, but I left the shutter open for so long that the sky looks light blue, but it was really night time.

This is one of my prized photos. Do you have any idea how hard it is to take a good picture of lightning when you don't know where it's going to strike?????

The next day was clear and hot, and we continued on through Nevada till we reached the small town of Verdi, which is a few miles west of Reno. We stopped at the Boomtown Hotel and Casino for the night. Although we lived in a motel in South SF for a few days before moving into our apartment, this was our last night on the road. Those green mountains you see are the east slopes of the Sierra Nevadas.

This was a really cute casino, and in fact we went back there on Memorial Day weekend in 1994. Of course my reasons for wanting to stay at this particular casino were two-fold. One, there was a kid's show that aired in the Boston area when I was little, called "Boomtown" with Rex Trailer and Sgt. Billy. I loved that show. The other reason was that I am a huge fan of the Boomtown Rats.

Next: Bound for Glory


  1. Wow, those lightning pictures are fantastic!

  2. oh gosh, they are amazing!

  3. Man, I really love those lightning pics!

  4. beautiful lightening pix...and the eastern front of the sierras are 395 to ca 88 is a beautiful, albeit, treacherous drive!

  5. Incredible pictures Jojo!

  6. Its amazing how the desert always yields the most fascinating pictures during a storm!!!

    Stunning stuff, Jojo!

  7. Anonymous10:59 AM

    But were there any rats inth e Boomtown?:)

  8. You've got some wonderful photos of lightning on this post. I should have stolen them when I was searching the net for good lightning photos for my blog :)
    love from Austria,