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We got off to a late start this morning, but that's OK, we have reservations for tonight and no sightseeing planned until tomorrow.

First we had to backtrack 5-miles north to return to Interstate 15 South. Traffic was light and the scenery was still covered with snow from the night before.

We still haven't experienced snow on top of THE POD this season, but it sure is happening more frequently all around us.

Interstate 15 South

There is still snow in the trees and it's nearly 11:00AM.

After just 25-miles of Insterstate driving it was time to stop heading south and begin our travels west. Today we're heading over to the state of Nevada where we will be spending the next few weeks. We have a National Park cave tour scheduled and then we'll we heading south to check out some of Nevada's more popular state parks.

But before we get to the Nevada state line we'll have to travel some 80-miles across Utah on US-50. The Nevada portion of US-50, which goes through the center of the state, was named "The Loneliest Road in America" by Life magazine in July 1986.

We won't be traveling that section this time around, but let me tell you, the Utah section is pretty barren too. There is really only one town you pass through and that's Delta, UT. We stopped there to fill up with gasoline and refill one 30lb. bottle of propane.

At the western edge of town there is a sign informing you that there are NO SERVICES for the next 83-miles. That means no food, no water and no gasoline. Which translates to NO HELP is on the way if you run into problems.

Nothing but telephone and power poles as far as you can see.

Somehow we are going to have to get across those mountains up ahead.

The road up ahead turns left into what I hope is a small canyon.

Nope! No canyon pass here to make it easy. We're going up and over!

When the speed limit dropped from 65 to 35MPH I knew we were headed up a steep pass.

But ROVER pulled like a champ and we made it up and over no problem.

Time to start the long descent. What goes up, must come down!

And down we went, just like a roller coaster ride!

Somewhere near the base of that mountain is the small town of Baker, NV.
Our destination for tonight.

Baker, NV (pop. 41) is at an elevation of 5,300 feet and is just 5-miles east of the main entrance to Great Basin National Park. The National Park Service even has an official Visitor Center here in town that we plan to check out in the morning.

Even with the measly population of just 41 people there is still a general store, several overnight accomodations, a couple of places to eat, a Post Office and one gas station.

I wasn't expecting much when I found a place to park ROVER and THE POD overnight for just $30, especially when it comes with electric, water and sewer hookups, bathrooms, showers and even laundry. Upon arrival I saw pretty much what I expected, but it'll do just fine for one or two nights.

It's not pretty, but it's home for a short while.

We're right next to the bathroom, showers and laundry. Pretty convenient huh?

I hope this isn't typical of gasoline prices in Nevada. I later found out it was!

WEDNESDAY - Our original plan was to spend just one night camped here behind the gas station, but that all changed this morning!

We have camping reservations beginning this evening for the National Park campground just 7-miles from here. The problem is we have electricity here and there we won't. To compound the problem the elevation here is 5300 feet and up there in the park campground it's 7300 feet and roughly 10°F colder at night. Last night it was 34°F in Baker, NV where we were camped.

We currently have our cave tour reserved for 9:00AM Friday morning, two days from now. That means we would be spending Wednesday, Thursday and most likely Friday nights without electricity and mid-20°F temperatures at night. Could we survive those conditions in THE POD? Absolutely! Would it be cozy and comfortable? Absolutely NOT?

Let me set the stage for you with a couple of facts. First, we are not leaving here without experiencing the Lehman Cave Tour up in the Great Basin National Park. Secondly, all cave tours between now and Friday morning are sold out! What to do about it!

Several options come to mind. First, just bite the bullet and deal with the situation we already have planned. Second, stay parked here in town, plugged in to the electric and drive up to do the cave tour on Friday morning. Third, take our chances and drive up to the Visitor Center this morning and make it known we would like to take an earlier cave tour than the Friday morning one we currently have tickets for and hope for the best. This third option is the one we chose!

As luck would have it we were in the right place at the right time. All sold out tours leave with a maximum of 20 guests. There were several of us in the Visitor Center this morning at 8:00AM asking about tour tickets. They just so happened to have extra personnel on staff this morning and when the count reached 10 they decided to add an unscheduled 9:30AM tour in between their 9:00AM and 10:00AM start times. We quickly purchased the first two tickets on the 9:30AM tour, I would later cancel my Friday tickets so someone else could enjoy that tour and I'd get my money back.

I'm sure you're all scratching your heads trying to follow along. Let me sum it up this way: 1) We got in our cave tour this morning. 2) We cancelled our Friday tour tickets. 3) We signed up for a second nights camping behind the gas station. 4) We'll be leaving tomorrow morning for somewhere further south and lower elevation.

With a hour and a half wait for our cave tour to begin we checked out the Visitor Center, watched a 20-minute long film about the park, drove through the campground that we would no longer be camping in (just as well, it wasn't anything spectacular) and checked out the menu in the cafe next door where we'll have lunch after our cave tour ends.

Just a few of the snowcapped peaks located inside of Great Basin National Park
(as seen from the front of our campsite behind the gas station)

We spotted this guy foraging around just outside of the campground

The view of the Great Basin from the front steps of the Visitor Center.


This is the manmade entrance into the cave.
I'm not going to caption most of the rest of the photos, just enjoy!
This is called a pseudoscorpion, it's harmless to people.
Time for the long climb up to the manmade exit.
Once again outside in the fresh clear air.
It was 50°F in the cave, it's 43°F outside.

Now that the cave tour and lunch are completed let's get out and drive through some of the National Park.

As luck would have it the most popular scenic drive in the park, the 12-mile long Wheeler Peak Scenic Drive, closed for the season five days before we arrived. It is the only paved scenic drive in the park.

That left us with gravel road drives of the 4-mile long Baker Creek Road and the 12-mile long Snake Creek Road to check out.

The Baker Creek road also includes one of the parks other, less popular, campgrounds. It was on Baker Creek road where we spotted most of the wildlife today.

This trio acted like they'd never seen a pickup truck before, at least not one named ROVER.

These bunch of turkeys ran across the road right in front of ROVER.
They're just lucky we were doing the speed limit.

The second scenic drive we did was along the Snake Creek Road which travels 12¼-miles up into Snake Creek Canyon. There were also several roadside camping locations and a few group camping spots along the road.

The road begins at around 5300 feet in elevation and by the time you arrive at the turn around point at the end you've gained nearly 3000 more feet.

This road was all about the rock formations and we saw what is probably the last of the fall colors for this region.

I believe this may be the last of the fall colors for us this season.

This ridge wall looked like someone poured tar over the edge.

The rest of these look like some giants were playing a game of Jenga.

Near the end of the road at 8250 feet there was still plenty of snow on the roadway.

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Before we even exited the park Tricia snapped this wonderful photo of the mountains and their reflection in the dead calm waters of Great Salt Lake.

Today's drive took us about 140-miles south on Interstate 15, which had us passing through the heart of Salt Lake City and Provo, UT. While negotiating the 6-lanes of southbound traffic through Salt Lake City I was happy for the fact that we weren't headed northbound, because their 6-lanes of traffic were at a standstill.

Man how I don't miss big city driving! We usually try to detour around big cities, but here in Utah there just aren't that many highways to chose from.

In some places the mountains were covered in snow all the way to the valley floor.
Even the roofs of the homes were covered in snow.

Other places the snow stopped half way down the mountain and the roofs were clear of snow.

That black area in the middle of the photo, those are all solar panels.
That's lots and lots and lots of solar panels!

It wasn't long before we were turning off of I-15 and heading down a County Road that would take us the final 5-miles to Yuba State Park's Oasis Campground and our campsite for tonight.

Once we were all set up and had paid for our campsite we drove around to check out the park. Behind the Campground Office we found an informational sign that explained how the park got it's name. I hope when you look at the photo full size you'll be able to read what it says!

The view of Yuba Lake from our campsite.

Yuba Lake is 22-miles long and nearly all of it's shoreline is public property. Whether it's maintained by Yuba State Park or it's part of the Yuba Lake Recreation Area, which is administered by the Bureau of Land Management, it's here for the public's enjoyment.

Also here is an abundant amount of mule deer and they apparently like to frequent the nearly empty campground just like we do.

We've seen as many as a dozen at one time here in the campground.

Sunset over Yuba Lake and the mountains of the nearby Manti-La Sal National Forest.

TUESDAY - We can't decide whether we liked yesterday's sunset or this morning's sunrise better.

Let me here from everybody, "Are you a sunrise or sunset kind of person?"

Sunrise over Yuba Lake and the snow dusted mountains.

The outside temperature was 30°F this morning at sunrise.

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