When we got to Baker, Nevada, the Great Basin Visitor Center wasn't scheduled to open for another 20 minutes. We figured we'd catch it on the way back from Lehman Caves. We were a bit surprised to find another visitor center just a few miles down the road. I think it's because Lehman Caves was a National Monument before it was incorporated into the newer National Park. My other theory is that the entire population of Baker (sign says 68 people) works at the park and someone's got a job with budget recommendations. They're making a wheelchair ramp at Lehman Caves Visitor Centers so the parking lot is a mess.
|Great Basin Visitor Center|
|Lehman Caves Visitor Center|
One of the displays is about an old rifle from 1873 that was found by park archaeologists in 2014, just leaning up against a tree. No one knows who left it, or when. Rusty and weathered, they call it "The Forgotten Winchester". When they found it, it apparently went viral on Facebook, but since I don't do Facebook, I didn't notice.
As we passed one of the campgrounds, we saw a whole bunch of wild turkeys strutting their stuff. I guess it impressed the other toms. Actually, it impressed me...
What I really came to see was the Caves. Not sure if that was what George was interested in because he always has to duck a lot in caves. (Oh, what a difference 12" makes!)
This is a really cool cave! There were only 9 people on our tour so we didn't have to deal with the crowds we'd been with in other caves.
After the cave tour, we stopped at the other visitor center where the focus is on the entire Great Basin, not just the park. I tease George all the time about not remembering anything from his Washington State History class in high school, but I took Nevada State History and had a little memory problem myself. I remembered that it encompassed most of the state but didn't know it was in other states too. I remembered rivers disappeared underground but I'd forgotten there was no outlet to the ocean or the Gulf of Mexico. I definitely didn't know Nevada is the most mountainous state in the country! (Yet another example of how educational an experience our trip is.)
On the way back home, we stopped at the Shoe Tree we'd noticed just outside Hinckley, Utah. There were a couple of girls trying really hard to try to get their shoes to catch on the tree. Not quite as easy as you'd expect.
(This tree and other quirky things can be found on http://www.roadsideamerica.com/ --an odd (and sometimes downright strange) website of tourist attractions.)