Saturday, April 16, 2011

Roads, back roads and another cave...

We have now traveled about 450 miles on route 50 west to east through Nevada and into Utah and saw another vehicle every 10 miles or so; I guess that's why it got it's name "the loneliest road in America".  The name came from a Time / Life article in the 1980's. 

No problem standing in the middle of the road to get this.  A truck went by about 20 minutes after this shot was taken

Not sure how many mountain ranges we went over with elevations up to about 7500 feet.  Cold but no snow.  Part way across one of the desert valleys where the road was built up a few feet above the edge, we saw for several miles where people had stopped and by using stones spelled their names along side the road.  We could have stopped again in the middle of the road to get some pictures but decided to just keep on going. 

On a day trip (still on 50) we ran across this entrance arch to some private property.  Someone took lots of time out in the desert finding deer and elk horns, and the sign on the property said "horns a plenty".

Glad we purchased a 4wd jeep so we could head out directly into the desert just for some fun.  Here we are in the middle of a jeep road having lunch.  We never did see another vehicle for miles.  So quiet except for the birds.  After lunch Dick went hiking in the rocks and Jackie took a nap.

We decided to take a dirt road back home, came over the crest of a hill and this is what 7 miles of bad road looks like.  At the crest of the hill it continued straight another 7 miles until we finally made a gradual turn.  It turned out that we had to travel on this road about 25 miles before hitting a solid highway again.  Glad we had lots of gas because the total trip this day was about 200 miles.

We could not go to Nevada without visiting it's only National Park, so off we went to Great Basin National Park only to find that the main road was still closed because of snow and ice.  But part of the Park is Lehman Caves, and of course we had to do the caves tour.

It was a great tour that lasted about 90 minutes and because of the season we had a small group touring with us.

Quoting from the literature: "Lehman Caves is remarkably well-decorated with cave formations, or as geologists call them, speleothems: Stalactites, Stalagmites, Helicitites, Flowstone, Draperies, the mysterious Shields, and more."

You have to click on these pictures to enlarge them to see some of the details.

A close up of some of the flow-stones.

Some of the areas only had a clearance of 4' but this room must have been 25' tall.

And out we went through a man-made exit from the cave.  We only wish we could have stayed down there a few more hours but the SD card on Dick's camera does have it's limitations and he only took 125 pictures!

So we are off still heading east so check back for more of our travels.  We are posting this while sitting in Delta, Utah.  The problem with that is we again are close to the train tracks and they run all night long and with lots of horns as they go through town.  (Dick wrote this in the middle of the night when he couldn't sleep, thus the comment on the trains.)

For those that don't know our plans, we are heading for Arches National Park, scheduled to arrive April 26 and act as volunteer campground hosts for May and June and then head back to Washington. 
To be continued...

1 comment:

Nita said...

Nice post and great pictures! Those cave pictures are fasinating. Can you believe I have never been in one. Not sure I want to either. But it is nice to see the pictures.