20120418

Into the West! 4/14 - 4/18


It rained in Delta UT on Saturday, off and on, all day. It hailed in Delta at least twice - look at poor ol' frozen Smartie below! No, we had no hail damage, but we had our heater turned on high, 'cause it was cold! We left the next morning, on Hwy 50.




Two-lane Hwy 50 is known as “The Loneliest Road in America,” at least in Nevada. Ditto for Utah! In the 100 miles from Delta UT to Great Basin Nat’l Pk in Nevada, we saw a handful of vehicles, and only one passed us. More cows crossed our path than vehicles! The drive is full of scenery to the willing eye, albeit some sections look mighty barren with only clumps of pale green sagebrush and blond grass visible, till they're joined by junipers in higher elevations. Narrow, craggy mountain ranges running north to south frame broad U-shaped valleys, and you can see forever from one side across to the other. The road stretches endlessly before you.

Honk! Honk! Follow the leader, or stupid is, as stupid does!




Snow-capped Wheeler Peak in Great Basin National Pk dominates the surroundings at 13,063’. It is an irresistible sight, its white crown dazzling in the sun. We're aiming to camp on its flanks @ 7,300’ in Lower Lehman C/G. We were only mildly surprised that no one else was in the 11-space C/G when we arrived as it’s early in the season and the snow level is only several hundred feet above us. No hookups are available – inc water (tho water is available at the VC). It is, however, a peaceful, very scenic C/G and the site we picked has a stream splashing down the mtn right behind us – talk about lulling a body to sleep! We’re in full sun so we can take advantage of natural heating when the sun comes up, and Tergel will achieve max charge to her solar panels. Good to be self-contained. We startled wild turkeys and mule deer as we drove in.



Enlarge the photo to see Tergel parked at the red arrow.
The aspens, etc., are just beginning to leaf out.

The road to Wheeler Peak was closed a mile up from our C/G... due to snow.

So we drove up to the turn around point and checked out the snow!


As soon as we parked Tergel, we signed up @ the Visitor Center for the 90-min tour of Lehman Caves. This isn’t our first cave, and it isn’t the biggest, nor the most pristine, but it is THE most decorated cavern we’ve seen. Fantastic colorful speleothems (cave formations) covered nearly every square inch. Lehman is best known for its curious shields, esp the amazing parachute shield decked with drapery, but my favorites were the strange helictites that form crazy tangles of eccentric forms like so many dried chow mein noodles. As Jimmy said, we’ve never seen a cavern with so much stuff! Too cool! Too bad we didn’t bring a camera….

We are looking forward to being here a couple or three days, maybe do some hiking. It surely is a pretty place!


2 comments:

  1. We have done some beautiful hikes there... but always later in the season!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Anonymous6:45 PM

    Keeping a sharp eye on the weather, aintcha? love the caves! love that mountain! love from NANNIE

    ReplyDelete

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