Monday, September 13, 2010
Day 1: Reno to Baker NV
Day 1: Reno to Baker NV
An intellectual is a man who doesn't know how to park a bike.
Spiro T. Agnew
Weather varies from high 50s early in morn to mid 80s with lots of wind in Baker. Never feels hot.
Pictures: Our Berliner exchangers and Jughead (by Hank Adams), sunrise in Reno, one of the few Reno utility boxes we saw painted, indication of a naval air base in the desert, pictographs near Fallon, sand dunes near Fallon, a place that Katie and I had softies at 6 years ago, a plant that seems to grow in bloom for miles and miles only right next to the loneliest highway, our accommodations in Baker and the place right next to us that we hope isn’t rented out, and public art just outside Great Basin NP.
For breakfast, we decide to walk to a local coffee place with high ratings. About 1.5 miles, we’re there around 6:45. We manage to beat the bagels by 45 minutes and the pastries by 1 hour 15 minutes. Is that possible? We have biscotti with our au laits, $8.
On the road to Great Basin NP, park number one on this trip, number three this year. It’s long, and it is not sad (pun from Alice in Wonderland). Parts of the drive are very beautiful, in the starkness and long vistas and clear air. We stop for lunch halfway between Fallon and Ely (the only distinguishing feature) in Eureka to eat at the Owl Café/Casino, only because the Jackson Hotel is closed, along with most of the rest of the town. DB has grilled chicken with chilies sandwich and I have tuna on toast (again), with ice tea and side salads, $21. Note: we took a vow before we left, no French fries! So far, in 1.5 days, we’ve held to our oath.
Arrive at Great Basin and Baker around 3:30, arrange out tour of the Lehman Caves for tomorrow and get a recommendation on which hikes to take (our choice, a combo of two of the most level…this park is at heavy altitude, we’ll be at 8k feet).
Check into our motel, the Silver Jack. The best in town, this does not exactly inspire confidence in any other place nearby. They put us in the wrong room, when we switch over (see picture) we’re tempted to go back to the first room. On other hand, the twin sisters that checked us in are soooooo surly we are afraid to have any more negotiations with them. Seriously!
Eat dinner at the motel, the sisters are warming up! Maybe has something to do with this being the end of the season. Also, wifi really only available in the dining room, so we are doing our e-mail and blogging at the dinner table. DB has chicken and veggies, I have pesto pasta with Italian sausage, and we share a pumpkin pie chocolate chip cookie ice cream sandwich (an undipped bear paw)…if this keeps up, we’ll have to take a no-dessert vow. Wine and beer: $75.
Now to make it up late enough to see the stars in this land of no big city (or little city, or even really little town) lights.