The Great Basin National Park, Nevada - #1
A number of years ago, Brad and I, on one of our mother-son road trips, by pure happenstance, stumble into Great Basin National Park. We were enchanted! Remembering that trip, the Great Basin became a destination for Ed and I. We arrive in the wind, rain and cold, expecting snow at any minute. We snuggle into Thistle's warmth.
Temperatures drop to the low 30's during the night but this morning, the threatening clouds of last evening have vanished and the sun is out, promising warmth.
The Great Basin National Park is serving double duty today by letting me relive my lovely trip here with Brad all those years ago, and by providing a feast of beauty and of food. After an alluring walk, Mr. Ed serves up a special Mother's Day omelet for breakfast.
|Mother's Day Delight, despite missing my dear Yessi and Brad|
We are fascinated with Great Basin National Park and turn to the "Complete National Parks of the United States" book we carry aboard. We discover this park is situated within a greater Great Basin of 200,000 square miles, covering most of Nevada, half of Utah and sections of Idaho, Wyoming, Oregon and California. It's actually made up of a number of small basins, where the rain is disbursed by absorption or evaporation. All the rivers in the basin flow directly into lakes, none reaching the sea. The lowest point in this high desert basin is 4,000 feet.
The park is well known for the Lehman Caves. In touring the caves we were awed by the stalactites, stalagmites, columns, draperies, flowstone, soda straws, and, a particularly rare cave occurrence shields, for which Lehman Caves is most famous. Our photographs were a bust, but close your eyes and imagine, if you can, being inside a large, intricately majestic sand castle.
What Ed and I crave is to hike up to the 10,000 - 11,000 feet elevations to see the bristlecone pines, but snow has closed the trails. The bristlecone pines, at these high elevations, live to be 2,000 to 3,000 years, or more old. I've always loved Bonsai, and here, at the Great Basin, Mother Nature displays her most beautiful examples.
|Thank you Terra Gallery for this photo.|
We see critters too. Deer, wild turkeys, jackrabbits and marmots, with Benton pulling at his leash, so wanting to engage in a chase. A couple of new birds have been marked in our "Guide to Sibley Birds", Clark's Nutcracker and Red-naped Sapsucker. We also hear, but can't spot, a Horned Lark. Park literature brags 238 species of birds have been spotted within the park and nearby vicinity.
It's been a Mother's Day delight at the Great Basin!
"The finest workers in stone are not copper or steel tools, but the gentle touches of air and water working at their leisure with a liberal allowance of time."
- Henry David Thoreau