Day 43 – February 22 – Richfield, UT to Ely, NV
Today was primarily a destination day. I had considered going to Great Basin National Park, but it is quite a distance off the main road and quite a primitive area. They have the Lehman Caves there but they take very few people into them and have lots of restrictions. We decided to check it out when we have a bit more time and the weather is better for hiking and caving.
We left Richfield at 9:32 and headed south despite our northernly destination for the day. As I was perusing the maps last night I noticed that about 30 miles down the road there was a place called Big Rock Candy Mountain.
When I was little this was one of the favorite songs we played of my father’s 78 rpm records. I know Burl Ives recorded it but he didn’t sing the version we listened to. Since we had a blank day sightseeing- wise John agreed to drive down.
We had to slow down while the wild turkeys crossed the road. I thought it was crazy to have a 75 mph speed limit in eastern Arizona. Utah has 80. I guess it can be so high because there are very few corners, lots of long, long straights and light traffic. I still think it is crazy.
We only met about 6 or 7 oncoming cars during a 95 mile stretch. Our stop for the night is Ely, Nevada, about 65 miles from the state line. John spotted a recreation area sign and we pulled in to stretch our legs a bit after the long sit.
This arch is completely covered in antlers. We were only a few miles from Ely when I spotted a sign for the Ward Charcoal Ovens. They were located 7 miles down a gravel road and since it was still early (3:30ish) we decided to go see how they compared to the ones we saw in Death Valley. The gravel road was certainly better.