Great Basin National Park, Baker Nevada
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Great Basin National Park is another one of those gems in the middle nowhere that makes traveling the American West so much fun. It actually contains a glacier that is 300 feet by 400 feet. But don't wait to visit as the park service projects the glacier will be gone within 20 years because of climate change.
Laurie and I were here in 2011 and wanted to share it with Greg and Donna. Laurie had gotten a nice windmill photo in 2011 and wanted to get another. The windmill had lost most of its blades but she got a nice shot framed by barbed wire (above photo).
Baker is a small town at the foot of an isolated mountain range in a big slice of Nevada. We paid the bartender for our sites in Whispering Elms Motel/RV/Tent park and got settled. Baker has one of the darkest night time skies in the USA and we could easily see the Milky Way before turning in for the night. The next morning I noticed the manager's accommodations.
We checked out Osceola, a ghost town. There were some neat sights including a one hole outhouse (I always get photos of outhouses) and a miners cemetery near Grub Gulch. I had to stop and appreciate the moment when I noticed the contrast of the modern power generating windmills in the valley with the 1800's cemetery. Wouldn't it be neat to stand in that cemetery looking out over the valley and flip back and forth in time between the 1800's and now? Time marches on.
Next was the drive up the mountain on Wheeler Peak Scenic Drive to about 10,000 feet in elevation. I think Greg and Donna really liked this place. This is another one of my top 10 favorite places in America. We spent some quality time here getting photos and just sitting and listening to the snow fed stream and the gentle blowing wind. I want to mentally replay that in my mind when I am having a bad day at work.
In November 2014, an 1873 Winchester rifle was found in the park leaning against a tree. The gun was probably placed there in the late 1800's or early 1900's. Who left it there? Why? Why did the owner not return for it? This gun has weathered more than a century of hot summers and snowy winters.
I had read about this gun and wanted to see it. It is in the Lehman Caves visitor center.
After some photos with one of several local pieces of art and a fuel stop at a true self service station, we headed east for Moab, Utah.
You may be interested in the next article, Saturday Nights and Utah Teenagers.
The previous article is Nevada is Not Just About Gambling.
© Bobby Daniel