Silver Jack Motel
6/13/2003 5:38 PM
I can’t believe we are almost in Utah. Baker is just six miles from the border, so just a few minutes after we start tomorrow, we will be entering Rocky Mountain time and red rock country. Well not quite. The western part of Utah looks pretty much like eastern Nevada. We won’t be in red rock country for a few more days.
Day 14 Ely to Baker
Baker is where we should have taken the rest day. It sits at the main entrance to Big Basin National Park. The park itself is five miles and 2000 ft above town and after riding all morning and knowing that the next days ride might just be the most strenuous of the trip, we didn’t make it up to the park. An extra day to explore the park would have been great. The park itself isn’t really in the basin but high in the mountains. It is kind of an island in the desert that was created at the end of the last ice age as the climate changed and the glaciers receded and the huge inland sea that stretched from here to Idaho receded (what is left is the Great Salt Lake).
Baker is tiny but seems to be the home of the friendliest people in Nevada. We went over to TD’s to eat and watch the NBA finals and hung out with the locals, told stories, listened to stories, drank beers, ate great food and had an all around great time.
The owners of TD’s are corporate refugees who bought the place 15 years ago and have done wonders. It is easily the best food we had since California, and out in the middle of nowhere. It isn’t easy though. To stock up, and keep in fresh food they go to great lengths. Some things are delivered but they also make twice monthly provisioning trips to Salt Lake City. That is about 500 miles round trip.
We took a walk later through town at around 9PM. It was still around 80 degrees with birds chirping and the creek burbling and the full moon rising over the mountains in the east side of the very fertile valley.
We thought of moving there for a second. Nope, too small and too isolated for us.