Finally had a chance to scan some photos I took during my 6 day stay at GBNP. I planned on staying 10 days, but a badly corroded battery cable on my car, and and the unexpected medical problem besetting my wife (scarry, but as it turned out, not serious) cut my stay short. Ironically, it took me 10 days to get home due to a botched battery cable replacement by a Ford Dealer in Ely, but that's another tale for another day.
The trip from Miami to Southern Utah was uneventful, but the intense heat of the desert hastened the corrosion of the Focus' pos. battery cable. The car had NO POWER requiring my Foot-ON-The-Floor to climb the mountain passes into Nevada. The car would sputter if I tried to run the air, so I literally sweat the last 200 miles into Baker and on to the park.
First stop was the Upper Lehman Creek campground (elev. 7700 ft) which is nestled between 2 ridges to the east and west. The creek was as beautiful as its water was c-c-c-cold! Fed by newly melted snow after a particularly snowy winter, it had downed several trees in its path:
First hike was the 3.4 mi trek to Wheeler Peak Campground (elev. 10000 ft,) on day 2. Here's a pic looking back down the trail from Wheeler Peak CG the way I came:
Along the Lehman Creek Trail, about 1 mi. from the Wheeler Peak CG, there is a break in the almost perpetual tree cover. This pic of Wheeler Peak was taken in that meadow clearing. It was my first unobstructed view of the peak and it was literally breathtaking!:
The last time my car started w/o being jumped was when I took a chance by packing up my campsite at Upper Lehman Creek, crossing my fingers and headed up the Wheeler Peak Scenic Route, an 8-mile uphill 5-8% grade which takes you from 7500 ft to 10,000 ft. I did the entire route in 2nd gear and my prayers in OVERDRIVE!
Having survived the foolhardy trip up from Upper Lehman, I set up camp in Wheeler Peak Campground, which was nicer than the one I had left. Rather than being tucked in a valley, Wheeler CG sat atop a minor hill in the range and afforded spectacular views of surrounding area. First hike from Wheeler was to Stella Lake along a pleasant, tree-covered trail. The higher I got along the trail, the more snow I saw. Pardon my few pics of snow, but I hadn't seen the stuff in 30 years and was as giddy as a schoolboy as I encountered it:
Stella Lake was an idyllic place that I just couldn't get enough of. Set against the rugged slopes of Wheeler Peak, it's serenity and beauty is just indescribable. Had lunch here then pressed on to Theresa Lake.
Here's Theresa Lake. Again, a perfectly beautiful place:
Here's a pic of one of the MANY deer (elk? )that just wander by your campsite, regarding you for just a mement to make sure you mean them no harm, then just totally ignore you. I was cooking dinner my first night at Wheeler Peak CG when 6 deer ambled by. Unreal. I grabbed the camera and snapped this photo of the last one:
My last few daqys at Wheeler were to be spent bagging Bald Mountain, then Wheeler Peak. Here are some pics of my trek to the summit of Bald Mountain. FYI, Bald Mountain is just north of Wheeler Peak along the north-south oriented ridge that connects them. Here's the view up the slope of Bald Mtn from the 'saddle' between Bald and Wheeler:
Turn the camera around to the south and you've got a spectacular view of Wheeler Peak:
At the summit of Bald Mtn., there's a weather station that beams atmospheric data down to Baker. Here's view south past the station at the summit towards Wheeler:
Here's the obligatory, celebratory self portrait from the summit of Bald Mtn:
Finally, the view north from the summit of Bald Mtn:
ARFCOM FIRE MISSION: The last 2 photos are of the Summit Log found in a Kroger jelly jar tucked into a rock cairn on Bald's summit. Your job, should you decide to accept it, is to climb Bald Mtn, find the cairn, then the jar, and photograph my entry in the log and show them here! Ya up for it, Wolfpack? :
Rather than dwell on the disappointment of not getting a shot at Wheeler Peak on this visit, I'm instead, glad to be home (finally) with the wife and family. SHeila, my wife, is fine now and I was glad to return to her side when she needed support.
On the plus-side, I have a built-in reason to return to GBNP next year: Wheller still awaits!
Hope you all enjoyed the pics.
Yeah, I DO know what you mean, Wolfpack, however, It's only "up" half the time. The view from up there was awesome and well worth the scramble over seemingly endless, sloping tallus fields.
BTW, wanna hear how a battery cable for my 2000 Focus wound up costing me $1800.00?!?!?
Don.............those are great photos !!!!!!!! We'll send my son up after the jar(if WP don't want to go) for he is half mule and 17 and gone up Wheeler twice. Again thanks for the wonderful photos and glad you're home safe and did'nt kill anyone in ELy.
Make sure you shove a camera in his pocket before you push him up the mountain!
I cannot believe I was staying so close to where you live and didn't even know it. My trip diary (which I left in the car as it was being serviced) had your phone number in it. Oh well... I'll definitely be back next summer to climb Wheeler Peak. It might be cool to meet up there with some of the folks on this board. We'll see how things play out.
Have a good time at the park.
You've done Nevada justice.
I was Ely last month for 4 days..we were all around big basin....I really had no desire to go there...to me it was a waste of a day...I was into finding as many ghost towns as possible and theres a hell of a lot them around Ely LOL. Damn beautiful area, just so far out there. I did get a hell of alot of ghost town photos.....Ghost Towns
Going to some Indian rock art...hiroglyphs that are ove 10,000 years old...Im gonna take a ton of photos. the BLM is getting ready to block access to them...very few people know they exist :) or even there.....about half way to Virginia City, a canyon that every damn rock is covered in something...lizards....snakes....tons of stuff. You cant even find this place on a map. the BLM is getting ready to fence the area off a half a mile away from the canyon so its a long walk to get there if they even allow it.
Thanks. Loved it there so much that I'm going back next year .