Galley Wench Tales

Exploring the world through the people we meet
and the food they eat.

Rest stop commemorating the Pony Express in Nevada off Hwy 193.
Photo editing makes the mountains appear far more crisply than they did in real life.

 Another tweener day: simply arriving near Great Basin National Park, Nevada. Smoke moved into Twin Falls, Idaho, and hazed up our Nevada drive, too. Granite rock peaks fringed the long valleys we passed through but the mountains mere shadows, like some lazy artists rendition devoid of all but gray silhouettes.

Nevada Hotel no longer open for business. Off Hwy 193, between Wells and Eli Nevada.

Dilapidated motel across from Pony Express rest stop.

Not sure how this chair outside the former motel remained white.

After leaving the agricultural lands of Idaho, we passed through long valleys filled with sagebrush and tumbleweeds. with towns little more than a gas station and a slot machine. It is, after all, Nevada.

Next to the abandoned Pony Express motel.
I wish the story behind the graffiti on this tank in the middle of nowhere.

The town of McGrath, Nevada was several blocks more than a wide spot on the highway than most of what we passed through.

How long ago was McGill Nevada’s New Victory Club—new?

We didn’t really drive that many miles . . . but it seemed like a lot.

A local truck parked across from Step Toe Park, Eli, Nevada.

Eli was our last town before Great Basin Park, Baker Nevada. We reconnoitered there, and gave each other brief massages before I piled back into my Prius for the last leg of our daily trip, as Wayne chugged off on our 34′ beast with soft suspension.

We didn’t know that last stretch would be white-knuckle driving. Sacramento Pass rose 2,000 feet, then plunged, undulating with a sheer dropoff. I deliberately slowed down on long straight stretches to get the tailgater behind me to pass, but they refused. After several miles which felt like an eternity of objects-closer-than-they-appear filling my rearview mirror despite going 15 miles over the speed limit, I nearly skidded into a small soft shoulder to force my talilgater off my car’s derriere. They leaned on their horn as they passed. 

Assholes! I thought, dropping down to the speed limit as I descended through the final curves slowly unclenching my body.

RV Park across from Great Basin Park visitor’s center.

We stopped in at the Great Basin Park Visitor’s Center to ask about camp availability at the Lehman Camps. “All full,” the rangers told us. “Best camping for you at this stage is to turn back around and go back up Sacramento Pass to the summit for camping.”

Nooo, Wayne and I agreed.

Whispering Pines. All full.

At the ranger’s alternative suggestion, we tried Whispering Pines. 

Outbuildings at Whispering Pines. We would’ve happily settled in to be done for the day.

“Try Border Inn,” the Whispering Pines proprietor suggested and pointed out the shortcut to get there in 6 miles.

We paid our $28.38 ($25+ tax) to settle into our dusty parking spot at   Border Inn after 328 miles. Tomorrow we’ll leave the RV and head off for a scenic drive and hikes in Great Basin, then return to convoying the next day. 

Wayne checked out the other Southwestern parks we’re interested in stopping in next. “Their campgrounds are all full,” he said. We’ll figure something out. We always do.

“You know we still have over 2,300 miles left to go,” Wayne said. “That’s just to Jacksonville.”

“That means we’ll arrive after hurricane season,” I told him