Sunday, November 29, 2009

Hot hot springs and Cold ghost towns

((There was all this smart text that went with the previous post, but somehow it all got lost in the interwebs.    Just imagine how witty I was!!))

Since we left, we have pretty much been totally out of cellphone range, so you can imagine how remote we must be.  We've been driving all over central Nevada, which undoubtedly is among the few remaining wide open spaces of this country.  Fuckin' awesome!  When you look at the map and think, Man, what's out there where there's no towns? the answer is pretty much nothing.  Nothing, that is, except beautiful vistas, hardy plants and wildlife,  sketchy unnamed roads going who knows where and, occasionally, some little-known primitive hot springs.  These are the punctuations to our traveling sentences.

We've done this trip (or trips very similar) quite a few times, often revisiting old places and sometimes seeking out the new.  We always go this time of year because A. not many other people are unhinged enough to be exploring the high Nevada desert in the almost-winter and 2. while it might seem that 10-15 degree lows are really really cold (and, indeed, they are), those temps are mitigated by the 106 degree water that's steaming just seconds away from where you're camping.  Yeah, we spend a lot of that cold weather submerged up to our necks in hot water, then submerged up to our heads in lots of down sleeping bags.

Plus, there's a significant amount of alcohol involved.

Check it out:

Here's a horizon pool with quite the horizon; this tub is a new discovery for us.

And some neat bubbles (from the hose acting as an inlet; it's NOT boiling!)

The night before last we spent away from any hot water, and the cold weather (seriously, something like 12 degrees) is REALLY hard to take without the springs nearby.  I made some breakfast and then actually went running!  This was an awesome run along one of those unnamed roads -- I felt (and was!) miles and miles from anywhere.  It felt great to get out there (in my usual countdown to my next race -- the half on saturday -- I've been tapering for the past week and a half!), and it really is a cool feeling to be running someplace you've never been before.

Tom then picked me up at a pre-arranged time, and we headed off to explore some ghost towns.  This was VERY cool and deserves a post of its own, which I hopefully will get to at some point in the coming weeks.

Here's Tom in what I think used to be the courthouse in Hamilton, a silver-mining boom town abandoned sometime in the 1870's or 80's.  This whole area of Hamilton, Treasure City and Eberhardt is truly remarkable, and I *really* want to dedicate a post to it (perhaps an unlikely post for a running blog, but whatever) -- I've got some great photos.

Last night we came in from the cold and spent a night at nice hotel in Ely, NV.  Ooooh, showers and laundry and king-sized beds, omy!  And internet!

Ely is a tiny little town that almost amounts to a big city here in this unpopulated area.  Check out the main street, I swear this town looks straight out of the 50s.  Photo does not do it justice.

We went and had a meal at some random restaurant, which is a luxury after 4 days of cooking an a propane stove.  Our waitress had a big ol' 80s hairstyle, and Tom noticed that she had Sasoon jeans on -- when's the last time you even saw a pair of those??

Today, we are headed south and probably over towards Utah -- we are hoping to spend some time in Zion National Park.  It should be at least a little warmer over there.

Anyhow, our trip is going fine and really couldn't be any better.  I've got lots to report, but just a little time 'cause the open road is calling and we're headed out of here pretty damn quick.

Nevada is pretty barren, beautiful and quite cold this time of year.  It has been an interesting trip so far with flat tires, epic meals and the aforementioned alcohol.  Utah is on the horizon!


Stuart said...

Out of season travel is often so rewarding, love NV in the Winter!

funderson said...

Paradise! I hope you enjoy my home state...beautiful Zion...

Anonymous said...

Did you ever see the movie "The Hills Have Eyes"? No? Kay nevermind.

That looks really neat though. NV is only a stones throw from my side of Cali and can you believe, I've only been there once?