Sunday, June 27, 2021

"All it takes is a second and your whole life can get turned upside down. " --Jodi Picoult (one of my favorite authors)

Love this!

I fell asleep Sat. night on the couch while waiting to switch loads of laundry.  Pat stayed awake to finish the job.   At midnight I am abruptly awakened with a loud, frantic scream, "Ann, Ann, are you upside down?" 🙃

Pat is known for his night terrors.   They are very real and quite terrifying to the person at the time they are happening.  He has kept me from falling in a hole, had me check a cat (no, we've never owned one) on the ceiling (light on the smoke detector looked like an eye I think), even woke up years ago to find our wedding picture missing from the wall.  I still wonder about the meaning of that one. 🤔

The only time I've intervened was when he would try to "save" one of the kids.  I figured  we could end up paying for years of therapy for that.

Nothing you can do when one happens, so sometimes I just play along.  It can get pretty interesting.  Please don't judge me!  I have little entertainment in my life.  Also, you just can't turn down this kind of an invitation.

It was a pretty quick ending last night.  First I pictured myself hanging upside down from the ceiling, or more scary the whole RV upside down.  I like to try and figure out where he's coming from.  I thought maybe he's on his stomach and thinks the rest of the world is upside down?  I yelled back, "No, it's you, roll over and go to sleep."  The end. He usually wakes up shortly after with little to no memory of the night terror.

Saturday we began the morning with a nature trail walk at the Lehman Cave Visitor's center.  Then we hiked part of the Pole Canyon Trail.  My goal was to stay away from the 11,000' we were at yesterday and avoid some of the altitude sickness.  I felt success on our hike today!

Lehman Caves was discovered by Absalom Lehman in the 1880's, became a Monument in 1922, and was incorporated with Great Basin when it became a National Monument in 1986.

Overlooking the Lehman Cave Visitor's Center.

Neat display identifying the mountains and ranges out each direction.  Of course, trees blocked a couple of the views.  I'm always teasing that if some of these parks would just cut down some of those trees I could get better pictures!😀

A view of the ampitheater that will host tonight's star program.

The Rhodes Cabin was one of 9 cabins built in 1930 as part of a resort to go with Lehman Cave.  It has been restored.

The Pole Canyon trail was near 7,000', down a gravel road, and  away from some of the more popular trails.  It was beautiful.  Lower altitude meant warm temperatures though.  Highs today were in the low 90's. We set a time of one hour to walk in, then we'd have lunch, and walk back out. Probably walked a little over 2 miles total.  It was up hill the entire walk going in making for a fast return.

More butterflies here than we saw at the National Butterfly Center in Texas that's for sure!  I had fun with the butterflies and flowers.

Western Fence Lilly

Sego Lilly



The Quaker Aspen is common at Great Basin and is an important food source for beavers.  They reproduce by extending their roots to make clones.

Wood's Rose

Palmer's Penstemon

Hoary Comma

Morning Cloak

Weidemeyer's Admiral

Western Tiger Swallowtail

I think I mentioned Glacier was a Dark Skies Park.  We have been to several but finally got to really experience one.  Saturday night we went to a ranger dark sky program at Great Basin.  It didn't look promising, increasing clouds and a full moon.  The sun set, the clouds cleared, and the full moon held off.  So many stars and a great view of the milky way.  No phones or other white lights allowed.

The telescopes were huge.  They had a half hour talk and then the large group got to look through the telescopes. Pat said he couldn't see very well but I saw the Wild Duck Cluster and the Whirlpool Galaxy.  We didn't go through the line for the last viewing, too tired.  While we were waiting in line a Park Ranger pointed out various stars and constellations.

Largest telescopes I've ever used.  The one we were in line for got out of alignment.  It was computerized so it focused on a particular star which allowed it to reorient to the proper spot.

My new favorite snack.

Most National Park's have a Mather Overlook to honor Steven Mather, the first director of the National Park Service.  Here it is located on the Wheeler Peak scenic drive.  There are great views of Wheeler Peak and the area.

Wheeler Peak is the tallest mountain in the Snake range at 13,065'.  No, we won't be climbing it!

The 1 1/2 mile Bristlecone Pine Trail left me with no desire to tackle any more mountain trails.  We are camped at just over 5,000' and the end of this trail was over 10 000' with a climb of 600-1,000'.  It was uphill all of the way and there was NO air.  It took me over 2 hours to finally reach the Bristlecone Pines.  By the end I was going no more than 8 steps at a time, a headache, and sick.  Only good thing with it being so high up was the temperature was cool, enough so I needed a jacket. The Glacier Trail continued for another mile.  We, however, turned around, done for the day.  Unlike last time, all of the symptoms were fortunately gone by the time we got back to Baker. I decided mountains would not be on my list of places to live!  I suggested we find something at a little lower altitude for our next hike and work up.  

The first Bristlecone Pine we spotted.

Once we came to the Bristlecone Pine forest there was an interpretive trail.  These pines are the oldest living thing  with some being 5,000 years old.  Their longevity is due to their adaptability to their environment.  Instead of decaying they erode and are polished by the environment.  Dead ones may last thousands of years.  They are able to take a core sample to determine the trees age without having to cut down the tree.

Born in 100 B.C. Died in 1400 A.D.

Born 1300 B.C.  Died 1700 A.D.

People found trees to eat lunch at.  This was our spot.

Happy Trails  to you!
Where are the Piepers?  Baker, NV


  1. I didn't realize that that National Park had such high mountains. Trivia.. which state has the most named peaks?

  2. Yes, I was surprised. When we went through (twice) in May there were still a lot of snow capped peaks in Nevada (northern anyway).

    1. We saw snow capped peaks in Utah and in Nevada at Great Basin but yesterday and today haven't seen any.