So, where are we now? We left home on Sept 18 and traveled all the way to Sparks, NV, just about a hundred miles over the mountains. From there we went on to Ely. We’ve been through Ely several times but never spent much time there. Usually we go on to Great Basin National Park, but this time we decided to check out the Ely Northern Nevada Railway. It was the railway built to carry the gold, silver and copper ore during the peak of the mining in that part of Nevada.
How does a place like this find the people who know how to work on these monsters? Looking at them was all well and good, but we had to take a ride, so we bought our tickets for the 4:30 trip.
Since it was still early in the day, we drove out to the Ward Charcoal Ovens State Park. Every publicity photo of Ely has the ovens in it. They were built to make charcoal to use in processing the ore for the mines in the mountains nearby. It takes 35 cords of wood to fill each oven, and a week to burn it down to charcoal. At 5 acres of wood per oven, it didn’t take long to totally denude the surrounding mountains of the cedar and pinion forest.
The ovens were pretty impressive and still in good repair. They obviously are used by the cattle to get out of the rain, so watching where we put our feet was important!
We headed back to the train station to catch the steam train. It went out to the copper mine, now in operation again, and back to Ely. Cinders and ashes – you can always expect to be washing those out of your hair and clothes when a steam engine is pulling the train!
The next day we drove to Salina, Utah. We were planning to go on to Green River, but the wind was horrible and even trading off driving duty, we were both tired so we quit at Salina. The town’s claim to fame is Mom’s Café, which made an entry in the book, Eat Your Way Across The USA, so we had dinner there, and I have to say it may not be fancy, but it still lives up to its reputation, especially the pie!
So today, the 22nd, we were going to stop in Grand Junction, and after a full day of driving in the pouring rain, we got there to find there was not an spot in any RV park to be had. Seems there was a big wine festival over the weekend and no one wanted to leave today because of the bad weather. So now we’re in Montrose, 60 miles farther down the road. The good news is that tomorrow we only have about 30 miles to get to Ouray!