Saturday, September 28, 2019

The New West - The Desert, Part 3

Well, of Moab, not perhaps a lot to say, other than to mention the plethora of ATV trailers, bike racks and rentals, Mexican food. Though, in fairness, its proximity to both Arches and an interesting petroglyph site right along a highway.

But not too far away, in the desert vastness which could be a rest stop anywhere around Four Corners: interesting history and terrain associated with the always fast-and-loose uranium mining history.

And thereafter, entering Nevada, back to those endless grasslands that occupy so much of the Western plains.

But then, a gem going into the very substantial mountains of Nevada, which are not the Rockies, nor the Sierras, but the geologic wrinkling containing, among other things, Great Basin National Park, at this point entering dramatically into its equinoctal blaze.

This was not the Alpine Lake I thought of beforehand, but is a dramatic exemplar over 11K in elevation.

Next day, a true Nevada experience, the town of Ely, once the domain of lawless miners, now the domain of modern extractors of copper, and yes, even now, silver. But not what you'd call a boomtown.

A visit to what our hostess called "a nicer restaurant" had an almost cinematic appeal, with what might be called a chemically-induced brightness in a male server with spiked hair, jarringly juxtaposed with the sort of soft fifties jazz you might find in a Mafia bar of that era. You might need to specially request a knife to spread the bread which accompanies your pasta.

But wait: there is another even more elemental decaying mining town in the state. But take Google Street View's word for it in a Main Street view of Austin, Nevada.

Beyond Austin, a parade of 7000-something summits to bypass on the way to Carson City and its development frenzy, South Lake Tahoe, and the California border - and the end of our desert odyssey.

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