Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Great Basin National Park

What a lovely gem tucked into the middle of Nowhere, USA!

We took the scenic drive around Great Basin National Park, and toured Lehman Cave, a limestone cave that is part of the park system.

The scenic drive is dominated by Wheeler Peak, frigid and snow covered this time of year. We were able to drive to about 10,000 feet (the peak is over 13,000), but then were turned back when the road was no longer plowed and became impassible.

Wheeler Peak

Lehman Cave, discovered in the 1880s, was actually in remarkably good shape for the abuse it has seen. Formations were destroyed to provide a dancing area, during prohibition a still was hidden among the stalagmites, social lodges used it as a spooky initiation site, and a low-budget movie, "The Wizard of Mars," was filmed here because the producer thought the cave looked like his conception of the planet Mars.

Lehman's Formations

But a lot of very nice formations, some rare, remain.

This is a rare bulbous formation, and the way they form is still under study. One theory is that a bubble formed on a soda straw (the thin hollow formation that is the beginning of all stalactites) and the globe-like formation, itself hollow inside, grew on top of it.

Here are a lot of them, looking like a "gopher's view of a turnip patch:"

We are staying at an RV Park that is part of the Border Inn. The inn is aptly named -- it sits directly on top of the border between Nevada and Utah. The motel is on the Utah side; the RV Park and the Casino sit on the Nevada side.

Must make doing their taxes a living hell.

1 comment:

Sharon Del Rosario said...

I lived in Utah for almost 10 years and never made it to the GBNP, so thanks for the visit through your eyes.

The people who live on the Utah side must be envious of the ones who are on the other side! Is religion part of this picture? LOL!