TransAmerica Trail – Day 22

Lone Tree BLM campground UT to Ely NV

We slept great in our desert campsite, it got down to the upper 30’s so we opted to head down the interstate a ways and find some coffee rather than making it this morning. After getting coffee and doughnuts we decided we’d had enough canyon excitement so we drove about 50 miles to get past most of the mountains.

We got off near where I-15 intersects and drove about 5 miles north to intersect the trail again. We filled up with gas because our maps said it was 92 miles to the next gas station. The trail was straight, flat, and very dusty accross the a huge basin area of Utah. The remoteness and nothingnesss gave me the most anxiety of the trip so far and made you feel small in comparison. In the whole 92 miles we never saw another human or sign of any vehicle in the distance and you could easily see to the horizon in every direction.

We passed what we thought was a huge salt flat at around 4700 feet elevation that went on to the horizon as far as we could see. Researching late we found out it was actually Lake Sevier, a remnant of the same lake that created the Great Salt Lake. It’s about 3 feet at it’s deepest point and up to 25 miles long. Extremely high salt content.

In the distance from here we could see a white mountain and soon seen signs saying Crystal Peak 30 some miles away. It got larger the closer we got and was really cool in it’s contrast to everything surrounding it. Crystal Peak it turns out looks that way because it’s the remnant of a volcano 33 million years ago, not the actual cone but it was created in the eruption. In the 1800’s they spoke of finding tiny diamonds everywhere.

We continued along the dusty roads and finally got back to civilization at Baker Nevada. If you call a town this size civilization.

Having had enough dirt and dust today we took US-50 west to Ely Nevada and got a room at Historic Hotel Nevada. Very interesting place, it was built in 1929 and probably looks much the same now as it did then. Over the years many famous people have stayed there, the most recent that I recognized was from the 1970’s so it’s been a while. Nice rooms though, except that their neon sign was immediately outside our window.