Great Basin National Park
This latest trip started and finished stressfully, however the quality inbetween was superb!!!Dealing with some serious work crisis and my Bosses boss caused me to makeamad dash from North Phoenix to pick up Ger in Tempe and make it to theairportin a 1/2 hour in order to make our Friday afternoon flight to Las Vegas.Fortunately the plane was late so we made it to the gate 5 minutes beforetakeoff. I was still on my cellular working when we were on the runway andpicked it back up at the LV airport upon arrival.We drove 4 1/2 hours to Baker Nv on Friday night and stayed at the BorderInnfor $29.00. The Border Inn is a nice little slice of life. I loved theplace!!On Saturday we hiked in Great Basin NP to a couple of alpine lakes and aglacier(actually an icefield) and to the Bristlecone pine forrest. Bristleconesarethe oldest living things on earth, reaching more than 6,000 years. TheWheelericefield is the only permanent icefield in the Great Basin region betweentheSierras and Wasatchmountains. This was a very nice hike.Great Basin NP is the least frequented park in the system and is truly aremarkablegem. It is over 300 miles from the closest major airport in LV or SaltLake.Baker is a state of mind when things were simpler, it is in a time warp. Ithasn't changed much since it was founded in the 1880s. It has unusualartworkall about.In the afternoon we visited Lehman caves, paleing in comparison to Carlsbadbut was still worth touring.The Mt. Moriah Wilderness is just North of Great Basin. We did not get upthere but I understand that this is one fine Wilderness to find yourselfallalone in large Aspen groves.We had a fun dinner at one of Baker's 2 cafes, retired early and then gotupat firstlight to start up 13,063 foot Mt. Wheeler. This was a fantastic hike,starting in meadows we saw many deer and quickly ascended above 3 alpinelakes. This is a 4.2 mile trail climbing from 10,000 to 13,000. It wasquiteeasy with the exception of the last mile that was quite steep. There wasstilla lot of snow on the mountain but we did not have to hike in much of it.Infact it snowed here three weeks ago. The sun was very intense on top. Theviews were panoramic covering some of the prettiest scenery that you willeverlay your eyes on. We started down at 9:15 which was fortunate asThunderheadsrolled in shortly after and chased us down the mountain in the rain.This was really a special hike for me. Tto complete Wheeler NM and WheelerNVon successive weekends and to be able to return to the Nevada high desertthatI love really made it worthwhile.The road back to LV turned out to be a lot more stressful than the hike.I turned the wheel over to Gerry in Caliente (hot) famous for its boysreformschool- to catch a little shuteye and within 10 minutes she managed toattractthe rador of the Nevada Highway patrol while she was passing another carthatwas also speeding. After retrieving a whopping $270 ticket -98 in a 70zone-Lobo took back the wheel. Next, instead of getting gas like I usually do Ideferred to the gas gage that read 1/2 and my wife's insistance that wehadplenty of gas. Just as we passed the sign that read no services for 93milesthe gas gage took a plunge much like my stock at work this week, andregistered at 1/8 of a tank. It was over a 100 out and we coasted into N LVonfumes with the out of gas alarm giving me its third and final warning.I found all this a little stressful. So life decided to really give me thebusiness by having me wait in line at the Flamingo Hilton for over an hourtoregister for our HotelThe tense, crowded, noisy LV hotel Casino was just what I needed - quite arefreshing change from the contrast of Baker Nevada and the serenity ofGreatBasin.We did walk to NYNY and have dinner. A lot of overweight middle aged folks-Just like us- Guys in Tank tops and mamas in hot pants. Nice!!!! The showmustgo on. Too bad we had to get up early the next morning so I could make itintowork on time at my LV site. We missed Siegried and Roy!!!!It rained so hard that night that flash floods flooded our building andbrought down much of our equipment. I really like my job!!!!On our flight home this evening AW lost some reservation files and since wewere "ticketless" we almost did not get on the flight. Being a Masterfrequentflyer is the only thing that saved us as they had cancelled 2 previousflights. AW blamed their computer problems on the thunderstorms-just sweptaway their reservation files-Amazing!!!Another adventure bites the dust.