2016 Feb 22 – Day 43 – California and Beyond

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.

IMG_3711                                 Apparently my son has his own town.IMG_3712 IMG_3713We traveled beside the Sevier River and into a mountain pass with very nice scenery. It was so pretty we had to pull over and take a few photos.

IMG_3714 IMG_3716 IMG_3717 IMG_3719 IMG_3722 IMG_3726 IMG_3728Big Rock Candy Mountain is a resort area on a hiking and biking trail made from the old Candy Mountain Express Railway line that served the mines in the area. 

IMG_3732 IMG_3734 IMG_3735 IMG_3736 IMG_3739 IMG_3746 IMG_3744 IMG_3743                             This is Big Rock Candy MountainIMG_3747 IMG_3749 IMG_3752 IMG_3754After we took our photos we turned around and headed back the way we came to go north of Richfield and turn west toward the Nevada border.

IMG_3757We had to slow down while the wild turkeys crossed the road.IMG_3759 IMG_1563 IMG_1564 IMG_3761 IMG_3762 IMG_3764 IMG_3768I 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.

IMG_3772 IMG_3773IMG_3776 IMG_3782 IMG_3787 We only met about 6 or 7 oncoming cars during a 95 mile stretch.IMG_3793 IMG_3797Our 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.

IMG_3798 IMG_3800 This is Wheeler Peak at 13, 063′IMG_3806IMG_3801 IMG_3803 IMG_3804 IMG_3805 IMG_3807 IMG_3808 IMG_3809 IMG_3811 IMG_3813The other end of the Sacramento Pass took us down into Spring Valley where there was a large wind farm.  They had 5 rows of 12 turbines all spinning away in the wind.

IMG_3814 IMG_3815 This arch is completely covered in antlers.IMG_3816 IMG_3817 IMG_3821We 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.

IMG_3822 IMG_3823 IMG_3827 IMG_3828 IMG_3830 IMG_3831 IMG_3832 IMG_3833 IMG_3834 IMG_3836 IMG_3838 Then it was back down the nice straight gravel road and into Ely for dinner and a sleep.  (And now I have finally caught up on my blog day I have been behind since Death Valley.  Good night.)IMG_3839





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