River Walk, downtown San Antonio, Sunday, February 25, 2018

River Walk, downtown San Antonio, Sunday, February 25, 2018
River Walk, downtown San Antonio, Sunday, February 25, 2018

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Empty, wide open spaces -- Nov. 6, 2011

Fallon to Ely (E'lee), NV: Leisurely start today for our trip on US 50 -- "The Loneliest Highway in America" -- to Ely, NV. Weather in Fallon was mild and sunny. Views of the snow-dusted mountains were stunning along the beginning of our drive. Forecast was for snow and about 39 degrees in the mountains along the way. 

When we're driving, if we see something interesting, we take a detour to see it. First, we saw a sign for Sand Mountain Recreation Area and sure enough, on the left side of the highway were huge sand dunes. Since we were pretty close to Fallon, we decided we could come back another weekend to see those.

Farther down the highway, a roadside sign said "Earthquake Faults." We turned off and drove six miles on a good gravel road (for cars/trucks) to the area where a 7.3 earthquake struck in 1954, raising the mountains from 6' to 20'. The earthquake was felt as far away as Sacramento, CA to the west and Ely, NV to the east. An interpretive sign about 1/2 mile from Hwy 50 was very informative. 

The actual fault interpretive site wasn't as impressive as we thought it would be; although the view looking back out over the valley and mountains with an active, stormy sky and snow-topped mountains was worth the drive up the hill.

We continued along US Hwy 50, the Lincoln Highway and part of the Pony Express Route. Many long, straight, barren stretches of real estate with barely any vegetation were the standard views, accented by mountain passes with juniper trees, white pine and rocky outcrops. Historic signs cropped up with very little warning along the route...we stopped at some and will try to catch the rest on the return trip tomorrow. 

The old towns of Austin and Eureka, NV each had their own personalities. Austin was very small, built on the side of a hill. There was a stone "castle" up on one of the hills as we came into town. We do not know the significance of the castle.

Eureka is obviously a wealthier town with an exceptionally large Fire Department (huge brick building with six bays), a beautiful new library, city hall and administrative offices. Robinson Mining District has been open-pit-mining copper there since 1900. 

As we were leaving town, we saw a historic cabin, historic marker and about 12 deer. Bob read the historic maker while I jumped out of the car to get pics of the deer. It was so cool...the deer hopped over a 3' fence in the park as if it was not an obstacle. When they got spooked, they bounced away (boing, boing, boing) at a good clip, springing across the road in front of my car as I was driving away.

Weather ranged from sunny with stunning long-range views to hail or snowstorms with visibility at ground level. Ely has the most snow of anywhere we've been today, about 1", not too bad. It was 29 degrees when we rolled into town. The walkway at our hotel is getting icy. My car has a coating of ice along the bottom third, my antenna is ice-covered!

After we settled in, Bob went out and came back with Gewurtzraminer wine and potato chips for a snack. We're at 6,400' elevation so one glass of wine is affecting me more than usual.

For dinner we decided on the Happy Garden, the other Chinese restaurant which was open. The place we would have liked to eat other than the Chinese restaurant was the Jailhouse Cell Steakhouse where you eat in jail cells! However, it was closed for renovation.

After dinner, we carefully walked across the snow and ice-covered street to check out the Nevada Hotel & Gambling Hall which is on the National Register of Historic Places (and is Biker Friendly too, LOL). The inside has quite a bit of character with taxidermy animals, antler chandeliers, and a collection of guns from the Wild West. We're glad we stopped in to see it.

Now to get some sleep!

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