Sunday, August 11, 2013

On the road, really!

We finally got stuff fixed up at home and started our summer vacation.  Whew!  It was a while getting here.  The plan is to drive over to Las Vegas, pick up US 93 and head north.  US 93 is also known as the Great Basin Highway.  In about 1,000 miles we should be near Glacier National Park.  Neither of us has ever been so we are looking forward to it.  Also we are hoping, if not really expecting, cooler temps.

We left Friday and after some discussion, ended up the day in Ely, NV.  Driving up 93 is very pleasant.  It is a two lane road but there is very little traffic.  The tone of the road changed every 50 miles (80km) or so.  Sometimes you have a slow vehicle lane, sometimes you have a center lane that switches from northbound to southbound; sometimes neither.  Sometimes you get a great shoulder; other times the shoulder is about a foot wide.  I sure wish they would put shoulders on that thing all the way!  You are driving up a valley between two mountain ranges.  The mountains are amazing; they change every mile.  Just before Ely you have a 7,800 foot pass (2,375m); not real high but you do go up 5,000 feet (1,500m) in the day.  We stayed in Valley View RV Park just north of Ely.  It is about 75% residential with only the first couple rows used for visitors.  It was ok at $25 a night water & electric only.

Saturday we went over to visit Great Basin Natl. Park.  It was a bit of backtracking but the closest town of Baker, NV is a wide spot in the road.  We thought that Ely would be a much better base of operations.  The park had a lot of interesting information about the "Great Basin".  It stretches from mid-Eastern Oregon; to the Rockies in the middle of Utah and south to Vegas and California.  The reason it is called a basin is because water from the area never reaches the ocean.  It either fills a local lake or fills the aquafer.   Well, that is the way it was before so many millions of people moved into the area; and so many farmers planted so many crops. 

We were too late to visit the major attraction, Lehman Caves.  The rangers take tours through the caves but only 20 people at a time so we wouldn't be able to go until rather late.  I don't like high narrow roads so we skipped most of the park viewpoints and came home.  On the way we passed one of the largest wind farms I've ever seen.  My wife thought there were at least 60 of the monster windmills planted in rows like so much corn.  Back in Ely, we tried to visit the Northern Nevada Railroad Museum but either there isn't anything there or it was locked up.  There were three or four volunteers around but they were too busy with themselves to help visitors.  Can't say I was impressed!  Their brochure claims that you can hire a locomotive to drive.  Either steam or oil; for an hour or a day.  Bring lots of money though if you are interested.

Today we got going again and ended up just outside Twin Falls, ID.  Another quiet day of driving without much traffic.  Each day we've driven we've passed signs saying 'No Services for XXX miles' where XXX is around 120 (> 190km).  Pretty lonesome country up here.  Here we are staying at the Twin Falls 93 RV Park.  Nice enough with some grass for each site, young trees, gravel roads and sites but $35 with a Good Sam discount.  Hell to find from the South too; it is hiding behind a storage facility and the directions are poor to say the best.

Onward tomorrow but even less distance than the last couple of days.  Thanks for checking in.  Hope you have a good one.

1 comment:

JoeinVegas said...

The middle of August is still summer. We traveled that road north a few times, really a bear when you get stuck behind a slow RV or trailer. (oh, sorry)