10.08.2015

131 miles, then turn right...

Breakfast was at a cute cafe in the old part of Ely this morning. Everywhere we looked, the town was decorated for Halloween.



At the end of this very wide street (why do late 1800s towns have such wide city streets?) is the old train station, now a railroad museum. They have a couple of steam engines for rides through the countryside, but we were too early for that.

The Nevada Northern Railway complex was established in 1905 to provide transportation for the booming copper mining industry in the area, and it's known for being the best-preserved, least alteredand most complete main yard complex remaining from the steam railroad era. Dave talked with one of the staff about their volunteer programs, and is tempted to sign up to become trained to be a railroad engineer.



It was a desolate and gorgeous drive west, over high rocky ridges and down into perfectly flat valleys, surprisingly beautiful. Over and over again, the same landscape features. Such a big place, so many times the GPS navigation told us to drive impossibly long distances before any turns were necessary.

There's very little irrigation here, but the tough yellow native grass is full of nutrients for livestock, and ranchers haul water to big stock tanks for cattle and whatever else needs it. We saw herds of wild horses, and traveled through open range filled with Black Angus cattle.


One of the oldest caches in Nevada is in one of these broad valleys, and also a portion of a long caching power trail called E.T. Before we finished, we'd found 150 of the 2000 caches that make up this trail; we'll come back another time to do the rest. This valley was full of springs. The road in required 4-wheel low to get through the muddy places, and the truck was splashed to the windows. We kept seeing brilliant green places, with standing water and green grass, and no irrigation in sight. The water must have been a welcome sight for the first settlers through here, and for the ranchers who run cattle here.

Tonight we're in the town of Tonopah, the closest place to a long powertrail of geocaches we'll do tomorrow, on our way north to Winnemucca. Fingers are crossed for a paved road this time, and a quick series of caches. I'd love to break my current record of 226 caches in one day.

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