Under the WeatherWestward Ho, Days 40 & 41: Ely, NV, to Beaver, UT
After our journey down the so-called Loneliest Road in America on Wednesday, we decided to pause for a day of rest and recovery (and catch-up blogging) in Ely (pop. 4,288) yesterday. It was a good choice. We watched the snow showers from our hotel room, blogged, zipped out to find a local letterbox, blogged, tried unsuccessfully to find a pizza for lunch, blogged, fueled up the car, blogged, and shopped at the nearby grocery store and blogged. By that time, we were caught up on our blog and ready to move on this morning.
|More of US-50, east of Ely|
Visiting Great Basin National Park and planting our Nevada letterbox were the main items on our agenda for today, so we drove east on our old friend US-50 to Baker, NV, and the entrance to the park. Established in 1986, the park encompasses a desert mountain island, a limestone and marble cavern, an alpine glacier, and what we were most interested in, a grove of ancient bristlecone pines whose ages are measured, not in centuries, but millenia. In fact, a bristlecone pine found in the park was documented to be 4,950 years of age.
|Clearly, not a clear day|
|Ancient bristlecone pine (photo from Great Basin National Park web site)|
"We came all the way from Georgia, and we're not going to see a bristlecone pine?" we asked.
"Oh, sure," the ranger replied. "See that nice pine tree out there in the parking lot? That's a bristlecone that was planted when the park opened."
|A baby 26-year-old bristlecone pine|
As it turned out, fog and a wintry mix of snow and light rain continued to be the weather theme for the day, but the road conditions were excellent once we got into Utah. That Life magazine writer who thought US-50 through Nevada was the loneliest highway should have explored Utah State Highway 21 (SR-487 in Nevada).
|Utah's State Highway 21|
Tomorrow we'll continue making our way east, stopping for a couple of days in Moab, Utah, where we're hoping for better conditions for visiting the nearby national parks.
More Photos from Today
|Gateway to Horns-a-Plenty, an antler art business near Ely|
|Always a good sign when the snow plow coming toward you has blade up|
|"Cow Car" at a ranching exhibit, Baker, NV|
|A homestead we passed near Baker|
|The front is in front of us.|
|A mountain-eating cloud|
|Decor at the Beaver Comfort Inn (You don't find something this unique at your average Hampton Inn.)|