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I had a meeting in Ely, Nevada. It's a 2-hour ride from where I live. A 40-mile detour each way meant I could see Great Basin N.P. if the meeting let out early. It did, or at least it did for me. :D The park is essentially a mountain in the Snake Range that towers over everything in the drainage area known as the Great Basin. The peak is 13,063' above sea level with a 6,400' change in elevation from the base to the top. Here's a shot from the west.



There are very few people who live in this part of the world. Highway 50 (The Loneliest Road in America) earns its reputation here. The Lincoln Highway (The first coast-to-coast highway in the US.) ran through here with this section remaining unpaved well after the highway had been completed elsewhere. I saw maybe 6 cars and the same number of motorcycles on the way to the park. I passed a UPS 4X4 truck, which was jacked up and running some serious off-road rubber. The occasional outposts reflect their owners idiosyncrasies or in this case, business...Antler Art, Inc.



And a shot from the north...

 

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When I started the journey, it was nice and sunny. I had the vents open on my jacket sleeves, back, and torso. The Mormon Crickets were clogging sections of Highway 93, jumping to their deaths on the tires and front fascias of vehicles. Lots of V-shaped jack rabbit blood contrails on the roads. The turkey buzzards were feasting on bugs and guts. I spotted evidence of a Cadillac mishap, but no buzzards by this kill. When my grandpa had Caddys, if you got tagged by one your car dropped pieces on the road, not the other way round.



The mountain creates its own weather. It was raining when a I arrived at the park. I stopped at the lower visitor's center to dry off, swipe my N.P. card (Not required. It's the least visited park in the entire nation.), and buy a patch. The rain reminded me of the soft drizzles I experienced in Hawaii. No cloud bursts, just a nice consistent deluge.

Here's the old sign for the park. Just behind it is the road which leads to the bristlecone pines, the topmost campground, an alpine glacier, and spectacular views of Utah's desolation.



I stopped to take a few pics at the lower campground. A beautiful stream, pretty flowers, and a beat up road.



 

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Here's a shot of today's destination.



The road meanders and, on this corner, doubles back on itself. It was starting to hail and I had a drop splat the lens of my camera. The road hides just below the ridges for the most part. In other sections, the road emerges just long enough to permit a glimpse of upcoming scenery.





One turnout, labeled the Master Outlook, afforded a great vista. The weather was getting ugly. Snow clouds boiled over the ridge. I was thrilled to watch it happen.

 

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As was this little yeller feller who had no fear of me in my motorcycle livery.



Here's a shot of the basin bellow peaking through the juniper, pinion, and barberry. The list of tree types is impressive: fir, mahogany, white pine, bristlecone, and quakies.



Quakies were a favorite art medium for lonely Basque sheepherders in the area. Arboglyphs can be quite impressive - from the informational to the pornographic. Here's a link for you avid readers of esoterica. http://www.nvbooks.nevada.edu/books.asp?ID=2500

And another pic of the mountain...

 

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Can you spot the hidden motorcycle? (I know. It's not a trumpet, but there's a reason. My Speedy is waiting new sprockets and chain as the last two orders from Triumph America have been wrong. I'm almost ready to order aftermarket stuff. At least if I get it wrong, the mistake will be mine. 'Til then, the Blackbird will have to do.)



The top campground is just below the 10K' level. The road crests at 10K then drops into this hollow. There is a small lake south of the trailhead which leads to the bristlecone forest and the glacier. It's an easy hike. About this time, my camera started freaking out. So I didn't go on the hike. Instead, I pulled the battery and card and tried to reset the thing. These pics were the last I took because of technical difficulties.







When I arrived home, I whined to my wife "I hate my camera." She said "That's OK, you're getting a new Canon Elph for Father's Day."

I'm such a spoiled boy.
 

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great pictures despite the camera going haywire. you keep expanding my list of places to go riding. keep it up.

Sprintboy
 

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Excellent pics, beautiful country!
That's some serious altitude you have there, the highest mountain in England is Scafell Pike at 3206ft!
 

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Beautiful spot, Cat! That's a great camera you've got coming, too. I loved mine. Just make sure you tether it if you take moving shots. ;)

I see you've added a bra to the CBR. Did she get you into any trouble on this trip, the little troublemaker?
 

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I see you've added a bra to the CBR. Did she get you into any trouble on this trip, the little troublemaker?
Not a whit...this time. :D I didn't see any NHP or county mounties on the trip. I did get an admonishment from a friend a week or so ago, but he let me go...again. I think when I dropped some coin in the sheriff's department pockets - as part of a grant I'd written - it bought me a few "get out of jail free" passes. The problem is, I don't know how many remain. Guess I'll find out soon enough. :rolleyes:
 
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