Beauty of Nevada found at Great Basin | NevadaAppeal.com

Beauty of Nevada found at Great Basin

Karen Woodmansee
Appeal Staff Writer

The natural beauty of Nevada can sometimes be obscured these days behind subdivisions, billboards, giant casinos or new road construction.

My husband, Carl, and I decided to look for some of that beauty for this year’s honeymoon (we have a little honeymoon at each anniversary – Oct. 11 was the fourth).

We chose Great Basin National Park, a place we always heard was as beautiful as Yosemite.

The first day we went to Lehman Caves, which was a wonderful education in geology, water pressure, politics and stupid humans. The geology and water pressure created the caverns, with huge rooms full of stalactites (that come down from the ceiling) and stalagmites (that come up from the ground) coming together to form ornate columns.

There are other formations called shields, ribbons, draperies and bacon, with the names being based on appearance.

The politics came in when the talk on the tour turned to water, with our guide holding the strong position that if Las Vegas succeeded in taking water from the area via pipeline, the caves would suffer.

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The stupid humans were from the past. People who in the early part of the century were allowed to break off stalactites to take as souvenirs, and who wrote their initials all over the ceiling of one of the rooms. Still, stupidity was trumped by nature, as the vandalism only made visitors more aware of the beauty of the caves.

Carl and I also took a hike up the slopes of Wheeler Peak, choosing the Alpine Lakes trail rather than the longer and higher Wheeler Peak trail – a good choice considering that we ended up just barely beating a snowstorm off the mountain.

Had we taken the longer trail, we might have been trapped in bad weather, and you wouldn’t be reading this.

Another trek we took was along Lone Mountain Trail, going up to Lexington Arch, a limestone arch on BLM land south of the main part of the park. We took that because we had taken our two dogs along, and that was the only trail where dogs were permitted.

It was a great trip, with long quiet walks and no one on the trail but us. Exactly my kind of trip into the backcountry, which you never find at crowded Yosemite.

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Residents who give their time and money for the good of the community is one of the things that keeps a community going.

Chuck and Judy Peters, of Chuck’s Old West Grill in Dayton, in the old Odeon Hall, have made a great start on joining the community by contributing their time talent and funds.

Of the $1,000 raised from a Misfits melodrama at the hall that was donated to the Historical Society of Dayton Valley to renovate the Carson & Colorado Depot, Chuck’s provided $508.

The restaurant also put on a great cast party for the troupe.

Judy Peters said the restaurant will continue to put on benefits for worthy neighborhood causes, with one or two things already in the works.

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Speaking of giving to the community, Linda Adams, president of the Historical Society of Dayton Valley and of the grass-roots group that is pushing for public transit, completed surveys done in the past few months on the transit issue.

After taking her ironing board (just the right size for standing up and writing, she said) to Smith’s Market and Dayton Valley Days, she collected 592 surveys from Dayton residents on whether they would use public transit if it were available.

With the surveys in, 83 percent said they would, 3 percent said they would not, and 12 percent said they didn’t know.

• Contact reporter Karen Woodmansee at kwoodmansee@nevadaappeal.com or 881-7351.