Trip Report #50 October 2005
The Mary Jane Sisters, Hawthorne Loop Trip, Arc Dome Wilderness|
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After a leisurely breakfast at Austin's International Hotel and browsing in The Main Street Shops the MaryJane Sisters said goodbye to Austin and headed out on the Hwy 50 trail.
We stopped in Eureka for gas and a visit to Eureka's oldest building, the Tannehill Brothers Log Cabin. It is located on the edge of town at Nevada Historical Marker 222. After a brief stop to explore in and around this historical home imagining what it would have been like living in this one-room house in 1864, and realizing how excessive we are in the 21st century, we continued on to Ely.
The Robinson Copper Mine had recently shut down, explaining the quietness of the town. A couple taking the load off their feet and having a refreshing beverage suggested we visit Cave Lake State Recreation Area on the outskirts of Ely and take Success Loop scenic drive. So, feeling re-energized and with a mission we said goodbye to our new friends at the New Ruth Club.
My friend Wade the sign painter also had a pleasant outing:
Up early on Sunday. I've been admiring a sign painter's work up in the Elko area for about 10 years. Although I've spoken with him on the phone several times, I had never met him.
We worked all day.
Monday morning found us heading east, and then over the Rubies via Secret Pass as the sun peeked up and down over the mountains. South into Ely for steak and eggs at the Hotel Nevada. It was fantastic. On South to Currant where we checked out a billboard we're redoing for Tonopah.
The Ore House Saloon in Ione was closed. We didn't have much luck bar hopping. Closely monitoring the map we found our way through Finger Rock Wash, and to Gabbs Valley. On the west side of the valley we headed over the hills and down Ryan Canyon, back into Hawthorne. Whew.
Another traveler wrote about a 5-day pack trip into the Arc Dome Wilderness a few months ago:
We found the source of the Reese River it comes out of the ground about 6 inches wide we met the 'Wild Horse Packer' who operates in the Toiyabes, and saw a lot of nice country. The only blemish was a a visit by a group of California motorcyclists who claimed to be lost (15 miles inside the Wilderness boundary), but we turned them around and pointed them west. Don't know where or how they got out, but they did a fair amount of damage to the river bed as they left.
We did talk to a hiker who said it had become a big problem. Neither the state nor the feds have the personnel to adequately cover the huge areas of Nevada wilderness and increasing pressure from out of state off roaders. In some cases they run right over the wilderness signs. You'd think Nevada has enough great roads to use without having to encroach on the few wilderness areas!
The packer was heading into his camp on the upper Reese as he had lost all of his tents in last winter's October storms and was restocking his high camp. Anyway, he came down the trail ON FOOT leading a string of 6 or 7 wild horses, none of which were tied to anything, just following along like a line of little ducklings. We stopped to exchange a few pleasantries and he mentioned that we might find one more of his horses further up the trail, but this one was hobbled as he had a tendency to run away.
Later the packer passed us on horseback, heading back to get his horse. I guess he probably found him standing where we did, stuck between the Big Smoky and the Reese River Valleys not knowing which way to go. Only in Nevada!
South Lake Tahoe
Not all of our travels involve the vastness and majesty of the Nevada interior. We recently visited Las Vegas with two teenagers and spent an enjoyable afternoon exploring the wonders of the Strip resorts. Their favorite experience: riding the Las Vegas Monorail.
We also noticed the Las Vegas Rule is still in effect on the evergrowing grid of streets of the city. This rule states: "The first driver to a red light gets to go through."
Overheard at The Owl Club in Eureka: "The only people who can truly damage or destroy America are Americans."