To start off the adventure, we took the Sunflower down a rutted 50 mile dirt road north of the desert to Soldier Meadows, a riparian area that is part of the emigrant California Trail. There's not much out there but mountains, a ranch and some beautiful hot springs. We met up with our Stargazers friends and camped on part of the ranch ($12 per night) and swam in the springs under the stars.
Our trailers took a beating from that 50 mile road and nearly everything on the shelves came flying off. Our galley were already full of dust, so on the way back to the Black Rock Desert we decided to take a "shortcut", skip the rutted road and fly across the Playa—an ancient lake bed where Burning Man takes place in August. At this time of year, it's empty and perfect for driving on.
Since the desert is public land, you can set up camp wherever you want. We chose a spot right by our favorite mountain (Old Razorback) and spent a quiet night in a very unique spot.