Published on 23-May-2012 by Ray Fried
The Great Basin is a huge watershed area in Western US where rain water does not run to the Atlantic or Pacific Oceans - but sinks into the earth. It is a huge area surrounded by mountains and highlands comprising of most of the state of Nevada, and parts of Utah, California, Idaho, and Oregon. For more information see Wikipedia
We entered the Great Basin region at Winnemucca Nevada after travelling in Oregon Oregon Coast.
Our hats are off to people like Lieutenant George M. Wheeler, John Muir and John W. Powell who explored much of this region in the late 1800's.
The historic 1880's town of Eureka Nevada is a well restored town with plenty of money. It is the county seat of a county of about 2000 people. We were told that the per-capita income of the county is greater than any other county in Nevada including Reno and Las Vegas. About 10% of the gold mined nowadays worldwide comes from this area.
As we pulled into town, we were blinded with a dazzling new huge fire station that we learned cost $4 Million (see photos below).
We met another couple, Gary and Nancy, touring this region from Iowa. They had been traveling for the previous 7 months and were towing a car behind their motorhome. As we learned of similar interests and their desire to visit The Great Basin Nat. Park the next few days, they offered to give us a ride to the top as motorhomes are not allowed in most of the park.
Below are some photos taken in Eureka. The first photo was taken inside of the opera house shown at the top of this column. To view them, just click on any thumbnail below as a starting point. Then you can either press "N" for the next photo or "P" for the previous picture. If you place your mouse near the upper left or right of each expanded picture, you can also navigate by clicking on Prev or Next. When finished, click on "CloseX".
The Great Basin National Park is located in the western part of Nevada. It is known for bristlecone pine (photo above), a glacier one can hike to, and the Lehman caves. The bristlecone (some living still after 3200 years) as well as a hike to the glacier caught our attention.
After touring the visitor center, verifying that we could not take our motorhome to the interesting parts of the park and learning there was no cell phone coverage to contact our new friends Nancy and Gary, we walked to the motorhome to think things over. Just then, through the back window, Nancy and Gary were pulling up behind us! Their offer to take us up to the top was restated so we made plans for the next day! We had beautiful weather and really enjoyed getting to know this couple. You will see their photos in some of the shots below.
We stopped at the John Wesley Powell Museum in green River Utah to learn about early explorers and surveyors. You can learn a little about John Powell by clicking John Powell.
The last photo in the below series is of a replica of one of his voyage.
The monument is located near Grand Junction Colorado. To us it seemed as a nice collection of features from Brice, Zion, and Canyonlands National Parks.
There is a stretch of I-70 between Rifle Colorado and Vail that is considered the most scenic interstate in the US. The photo at the top of this page was taken in this section. Not only is the natural mountains and rivers absolutely outstanding but the highway engineers did a first class job of retaining that beauty while putting in a very nice freeway, cantilevered roads, bike trails and foot paths. Someday it would be nice to bike down the bicycle path along the river for about 20 miles.
We hiked to Hanging Lake, a short 1.3 mile hike that culminates with a view of a crystal clear lake with numerous fish and a waterfall.