We traveled through the mountains in Central Utah taking the back roads when it made sense. We followed highway 50 across the last of Utah passing a dry lake bed, lots of mountain ranges and sagebrush covered valleys.
We passed numerous cattle and quite a few tiny towns. Some towns seem to be doing ok, but the majority seemed to be in decline. The boom & bust mining cycle was very evident in the number of abandoned homesteads and ghost towns.
We drove into the Great Basin National Park shortly after entering Nevada. For once, we got there in the afternoon, so we were able to find a great camping spot & set up and then still had time for a hike. We camped at the Baker Creek campground. We were the only people in the entire campground and we found a fabulous site at the back next to a creek.
We went on a loop trail that was described as 5 miles by one ranger and 4 miles by another. The second one said that there was only 600 ft in elevation during the hike. Both were wrong. We finally got back after more than 7 miles and more than 1200 foot of elevation. We were up at over 7000 ft, so I was puffing during the very long climb. We did get to see two wild turkeys and a trio of Mule deer. That was very cool. At the top of the trail, there were several patches of snow, but nothing too bad. We had a lot of fabulous views down the mountains. It was a hike worth doing. I would do it again, but probably taking the loop the other way around.
Sorry there aren’t any photos. I took my camera and haven’t had a chance to download them yet.
This morning (May 1), Jon & I went on 90 minute Grand Palace tour of the Lehman Caves. It was a really great tour. There were 19 of us in the usual demographic at this time of year during the week – almost entirely retirees along with the token young couple in love and us.
We’ve been taking Highway 50 through Nevada so far. Highway 50 is known as the Loneliest Road in the US. We have been going over mountains and across valleys most of today.
We’re staying at Spencer Hot Springs near Austin, NV tonight. We arrived in plenty of time for a walk and a soak and time to just hang out.
The weather is nice and cool this evening and the views from our campsite is pretty fantastic.
Off to Gerlach tomorrow to meet up with friends.