Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Where is it?

Another weekend, another weekend adventure down for our End of Summer Vacation Bonanza. I just came up with that name on the fly, pretty sweet.

Last weekend Shad, Jen, Danielle and I drove to Great Basin National Park. Now if you’re like 99% of the other people I’ve told this to, your next question is where is it? I will tell you my friend. Head south on I-15 until you see the signs for one of my favorite towns – Delta, UT. Head West until you reach Nevada. It’s that simple and surprisingly close.

On another happy note, this is the first time I’ve been on a vacation with Jen that something terrible didn’t happen on our way to our destination. Let’s review just for fun –

The Grand Canyon – we got lost driving to Kanab to spend the night. It was dark and there were signs saying we were in Arizona already. How can we be in Arizona without passing through Kanab? Danielle’s Iphone saved our lives, I fell in love with a phone that night…

Moab – This trip was full of unfortunate events – Hitting a deer in Rex, Jared being hit on by a 70 year old man, Jen kneeing Jared in the face. That vacay really sucked for Jared.

Zion Narrows – We ran out of gas 5 miles outside of Panguitch, UT and my hips decided to stop working about 3 miles into our 14 mile water hike.

Now for Great Basin, NV. For some reason you can’t reserve campsites in the park in advance so I reserved us a spot at the campground in Baker, NV. It was across the street from one of the parks visitor centers. Why the visitor center is not in the actual park, I do not know. Now I knew this campsite would be fun, it was advertised not only as a campsite but a Motel, RV Park, Showers and Bar. Sweet. I kind of wish I had taken pictures but the thought didn’t cross my mind when we were living it.

We arrived late Thursday night only to find we had reserved a campsite for three consecutive weekends. Pretty amazing considering I had called on Monday and managed to reserve a site for the weekend before that Monday, I’m just that good. We told them we wouldn’t be back the next weekend.

We set up camp and realized there was nothing to do and it was too early to go to bed. What did we do? We went and played pool in the bar, we know how to camp in style. It was the most depressing bar I have ever seen, not saying a lot I know. Danielle made me promise her if she ended up as a regular in a bar like that anywhere in the world, I would come get her and remind her to get a life.

Friday we got up and headed to the visitor center in the park for the Lehman cave tour. The cave was actually really cool, I had never been in a real cave before. I took lots of pictures. Our wonderful tour guide, Travis did a wonderful job taking us back in time to the year the cave was discovered. We did our best not to snicker at the fact he couldn’t say the works Monument, document or electricity. It was more like monament, docament and alectricity. They were used quite frequently throughout the tour considering we were in a national monament, where the scientist was docamenting lots of things and the year was 1800 something when there was no alectricity. Good times.

Another favorite cave experience was when another tour group member volunteered to take a picture of all four of us, while the entire rest of the tour group awkwardly stared at us in silence. Have you ever had an awkward pause with 20 people simultaneously? We have. Here’s the picture.

And some cave pictures.

After the tour it was time to do some hiking. We did a mountain lake hike and then headed to the glacier – it’s the only glacier in Nevada!

I found a friend.
Here's lake Stella. It was fun.
Great Basin is known for it's Bristle cone Pines. Here's one we passed on our way to the glacier.

Jen made a snow angel.

We all helped make a snowman.

Saturday we picked for the long hike we wanted to do in the park. The Wheeler peak hike gains about 3,000 feet of elevation in its short 4 mile distance. As we started out on the hike and two easy miles into it, we realized that with only two miles left to go to the peak, it was going to go straight up the side of the mountain. Here are pictures of us at the peak.

It was not easy and I don’t think at the end of the day any of us thought the hike was fun (maybe Shad, he wasn’t even winded). I don’t think I’ll do a summit hike again anytime soon.
After the hike we stopped at the other visitor center for Jen to get her magnet. Then it was off for a much needed shower and to one of the two restaurants in Baker, NV. We picked the one not attached to a motel. It actually turned out to be very delicious. I would highly recommend it next time you're in Baker.
After dinner we could barely move so what did we do, headed down the street to play on the school playground. It was quite fun.
Sunday morning we packed up and headed home. I was so excited to get home and see my puppy. He's so cute. We promised him next time we went camping he could come with us for sure.

1 comment:

  1. You have done so many hikes this summer. I am kind of jealous. While I don't plan any hikes on my own, I do like to participate in them. Nothing so far this summer. Maybe next year. We need to hang out again when you are done with all your vacations!