Around the World... One Journey at a Time. Around the World... One Journey at a Time.

Across the U.S.: Day 3

by Kathy 13. June 2009 22:01

<< Day 2: Nevada Beach to the Hickison Petroglyphs | Day 4: Great Basin National Park to Salt Lake City >>


Hickison Petroglyphs to Great Basin National Park


I woke to the sound of rain drumming on the RV roof. The rain drops had decreased to a fine drizzle after breakfast.

Here is our campsite:

We had a great view of the distant valley:

Nestled among the trees were a bunch of tents from a university group that was exploring the area:

There was a juniper tree next to the RV, and the children spent a few moments collecting some seeds.

We made our way to the trailhead to view the petroglyphs (carvings made into the rocks).

The path was almost a mile long and passed by several rock croppings that had various carvings. Most of the path was lined with rocks.

The first group of petroglyphs we came to were the most extensive in the area. There were a lot of horseshoe-shaped carvings with a short line in the center, as well as several sets of parallel lines chipped into the stones.

The pamphlet guide stated that no one knows who did the carvings or when they were made.

Sebastian was full of joy this morning:

We continued up the path to the viewpoint overlooking Big Smoky Valley, named for its naturally occurring hydrocarbon haze.

Of course, the children wanted to climb to the very highest point (and so did we!):

And Genevieve had to climb to the highest rock on the highest point:

The trail to the rocky peak consisted of muddy clay that clung to our shoes in thick layers. Sebastian laughingly asked if anyone else felt like their shoes weighed a ton!

The view from the top:

We continued on our hike. The trail ahead:

We found another rock mound and had fun finding the petroglyph shapes.

Here is a close-up of one of the horseshoe carvings (to the left is an inverted “V” carving made by someone recently).

The desert has an abundance of life, contrary to what some people believe. The rain had invigorated the plants in the area.

Here is a beautiful clump of tall grass.

The children liked the feathery feel of the delicate grass seeds at the top:

Sebastian brushed the grass fronds against his cheek:

The final petroglyph site contained two animal forms—the only zoomorphic carvings found in the area. In the photo below, the lines slanting down are the animal legs. We had to use our imagination to spot the animals initially. Genevieve found them first and decided that it was a “mommy and her baby”.

The rain thickened during our hike, and we were a bit damp by the time we returned to the RV.

When we started our generator this morning, it emitted thick, continuous, white billows of smoke—this cannot be a good sign. Ben checked the oil and coolant, and everything seemed “fine.” We shall see.

The clouds were resting on the mountain tops:

Back on Highway 50, the our path stretched out ahead as far as we could see. The road was wonderfully smooth—the RV didn’t rattle a bit while it climbed one mountain range after another and then crossed the wide valleys in between.

There was a calm beauty in the green sagebrush fields that stretched out on either side of the road, with mountain ranges in the distance.

A small bird zigged when it should have zagged and hit our windshield with a loud THUMP—what a scare! The windshield had no damage, but I don’t think that I can say the same for the poor bird.

I had never seen the desert looking so lush and green—one of the benefits of the continual showers.

The dark clouds followed us all day on our journey east—we seem to have brought them with us from California.

This small ranch looked well maintained:

The rocky hills that we traversed had a slanted pattern:

We passed this small community of homes, but there was no corresponding dot on our map to give it a name:

As we approached the town of Eureka, we could see the huge, flat-topped mounds that evidenced a nearby mine:

The small town of Eureka promotes itself as “The friendliest town on the loneliest road in America.”

We didn’t stop, but I snapped some photos as we slowly rolled through.

The local café:

Eureka’s “opera house” is on the right, next to the hotel:

Home sweet home:

Here are some of the few houses we spotted beyond the town of Eureka:

We passed some bands of thick rock that ran diagonally from the ground up to the top of the hill.

Near the town of Ely, the landscape reflected more mining activities:

We entered the small town of Ely at lunch time.

Having the RV allows us to eat healthy, as we can prepare nutritious lunches from items in our refrigerator. We parked in front of an old government building.

A statue of a large Native American woman with her baby in a papoose stood majestically out front. The sculptor, Joe Pachak, had given the artwork a title in his Native American language, which translated to read “Living well because of Mother”.

Not too far after leaving Austin, we passed a highway sign that I had never seen before. It read, “Report Highway Shooting”, with a phone number.  And it was riddled with bullet holes.

Blue sky finally appeared . . . behind us. Up ahead, the sky was quite ominous looking—we couldn’t even see the mountains behind the dense rain.

To the side, we could see storm clouds with streaks of dark grey rainfall underneath them.

In the distance was Wheeler Peak, over 13,000 feet high:

When we first looked at the squiggly road in the distance, Ben and I both thought that we were in for an “interesting” climb with the RV—but we were game! Then we realized that our road actually curved to the left on the valley floor. 

Right before the Utah border, we turned south. There were peaks of blue sky above.

In the tiny town of Baker, someone was converting a train car into a home, and there were some creative metal sculptures in the front yard.

We stayed tonight at the Great Basin National Park. Near the entrance, we were greeted by these beautiful deer:

The campsites were nestled in groves of trees, with a rushing creek behind them. We finally found a spot large enough to accommodate us:

Genevieve and Sebastian immediately ventured off to the creek to make some observations and drawings:

Sebastian practiced his handstands:

The children enjoyed hiking along the creek and making “discoveries”. They returned to the RV all excited about showing me what they had found. We had to hike a little way.

Here was their great discovery--they thought that this portion of the creek looked like a “staircase”.

The rain sprinkled on and off, and the air was damp.

We tried the generator again tonight—more thick white clouds of smoke. We may be seeking the services of an expert mechanic soon.

We all played the board game “Clue” tonight, which was a lot of fun. Genevieve and Sebastian set up the game for us:

Right before bed, I read the children a book about Rosa Parks.

Before our trip, I had purchased an array of books related to places that we would be visiting. We intend to visit the Rosa Parks museum in Montgomery, Alabama. The children have really enjoyed hearing the stories, and Ben and I have learned quite a bit too.

<< Day 2: Nevada Beach to the Hickison Petroglyphs | Day 4: Great Basin National Park to Salt Lake City >>

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Comments (4) -

6/15/2009 6:41:18 PM #

Lisa @ smacksy

That "staircase" is gorgeous.
It's really fun to take this trip with you guys...

Lisa @ smacksy United States | Reply

6/15/2009 9:12:23 PM #


Thanks Lisa, I'm glad that you are enjoying our posts.  It's fun for me to go back and look at what we've done, even though only a few days have past since we did it.

Ben United States | Reply

6/15/2009 8:54:02 PM #


What a fantastic exposure to America! G&S will be forever grateful!

Keep on truckin'!

Tedd United States | Reply

6/15/2009 9:16:10 PM #


Yeah, I think that they are going to remember this for a long time, and hopefully, not as the summer that their crazy parents hi-jacked them for two months of "family time" in an RV...

Ben United States | Reply

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Map of Our Journeys

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Our travel map

Places We’ve Been, w/Quick Links

   Bumthang Valley
   Gom Kora
   Paro Valley
   Punakha Dzong
   Sangdrup Jongkhar
   Wangdi Phrodrang

   Janko Marca
   La Paz
   Laguna Colorada
   Laguna Verde
   Salar de Coipasa
   Salar de Uyuni
   San Pablo
   Santa Rosa
   Sud Lipez
   World’s Most Dangerous Road

   Banff National Park
   Battle Hill Nat'l Hist. Site
   Boya Lake Prov. Park, BC
   Burns Lake Bike Park
   Canyon Sainte-Anne
   Dawson Creek
   Eastern Townships
   Fort Nelson
   Jasper National Park
   Kluane Lake, YK
   'Ksan Historical Village
   Lake Louise
   Liard Hot Springs
   Niagara Falls
   Quebec City
   Thousand Islands
   Vancouver Island
   Watson Lake

   Forbidden City
   Great Wall at Mutianyu
   Hong Kong
   Summer Palace
   Terracotta Warriors
   Tiananmen Square
   Yungang Caves

Costa Rica
   Arenal Volcano
   Finca Corsicana
   Hanging Bridges
   Manuel Antonio
   Poas Volcano
   Proyecto Asis
   Sky Trek Zip Lining
   Venado Caves


   Amazon Rainforest
   Chaquiñan Bicycle Trail
   La Mitad del Mundo
   Napo Wildlife Center
   Papallacta Hot Springs
   Proyecto DCR
   Yasuní National Park


   Baja California
   Frida Kahlo Museum
   Hierve el Agua
   Marietas Islands
   Mexico City
   Monte Alban
   Oaxaca City
   Puerto Angel
   Puerto Escondido
   Puerto Vallarta
   San Agustin
   San Martin Tilcajete
   Santa Fe de la Laguna
   Santa María el Tule
   Studio of Jacobo Angeles
   Teotitlán del Valle

   Dead Vlei
   Elondo Village
   Etosha Nat'l Park
   Hippo Pools Camp
   Hoba Meteorite
   Khowarib Camp
   Moose McGregor's Bakery
   Mowani Camp
   Ngepi Camp
   Nkasa Lupala
   n'Kwzi Camp
   River Dance Lodge
   Seisriem Camp
   Treesleeper Camp

   Cañón del Pato
   Cerro de Pasco
   La Oroya
   Machu Picchu
   Nuevo Jaén
   Tingo Maria
   Yungay Memorial


South Africa

   Rock of Gibraltar
   Santillana del Mar

United States National Parks
   Arches National Park, UT
   Badlands National Park, SD
   Bandelier National Monument, NM
   Bryce Canyon National Park, UT
   Cahokia Mounds (UNESCO site), IL
   Carlsbad Caverns National Park, NM
   Canyon de Chelly Nat'l Monument, AZ
   Cape Hatteras National Shoreline, NC
   Capitol Reef National Park, UT
   Civil Rights Memorial, AL
   Death Valley National Park, CA
   Denali National Park, AK
   Devil’s Tower National Monument, WY
   El Morro National Monument, NM
   Ford’s Theater in Washington, D.C.
   Glacier National Park, MT
   Grand Canyon National Park, AZ
   Grand Tetons National Park, WY
   Great Basin National Park, NV
   Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, HI
   Joshua Tree National Park, CA
   Kaloko-Honokohau Nat'l Hist. Park, HI
   Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks, NM
   King's Canyon National Park, CA
   Martin Luther King Jr. Nat'l Hist. Site, GA
   Mesa Verde National Park, CO
   Montezuma's Castle Nat'l Monument, AZ
   Monticello, VA
   Mount Rushmore National Memorial, SD
   Mt. Rainier National Park, WA
   Olympic National Park, WA
   Petrified Wood National Park, AZ
   Pinnacles National Monument, CA
   Pu'uhonua o Honaunau Nat'l Hist Pk, HI
   Pu'ukohola Heiau Nat'l Historic Site, HI
   San Antonio Missions Nat'l Hist. Park, TX
   Tuzigoot National Monument, AZ
   Walnut Canyon National Monument, AZ
   Washington Monument
   White Sands National Monument, NM
   Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, AK
   Wright Brothers National Memorial in NC
   Yellowstone National Park, WY
   Yosemite National Park, CA

United States, Cities and Places
   The Alamo, TX
   Alaska Wildlife Conservation Cntr.
   Alpine Loop in CO
   Anchorage, AK
   Antares Junction, AZ
   Arctic Circle, AK
   Barrel Oak Winery in VA
   Biloxi, MS
   Bottle Tree Farm in CA
   Calico Ghost Town, CA
   Canfield Mountain Trail System, ID
   Cape St. Vincent, NY
   Carson City, NV
   Carter Caves State Park in KY
   Chappie-Shasta OHV Area, CA
   Child's Glacier, AK
   Circle B Chuckwagon Show in SD
   City Museum in MO
   Cody, WY
   Corn Palace in SD
   Crazy Horse Memorial in SD
   Custer State Park, SD
   Dalton Highway, AK
   Dinosaur Tracks in AZ
   Discovery Place in Charlotte, NC
   Dry Falls (Sun Lakes-Dry Falls), WA
   Fairbanks, AK
   Front Royal, VA
   Gallup, NM
   Goffs, CA
   Grand Canyon Caves, AZ
   Grand Canyon Skywalk, AZ
   Grave Digger Monster Truck in NC
   Great Salt Lake, UT
   Hackberry General Store in AZ
   Hannibal, MO
   Hatteras Island, NC
   Hawaii (Big Island)
   Hickison Petroglyphs, NV
   Holbrook, AZ
   Hole in the Rock, UT
   Homer, AK
   Honey Island Swamp Tour in LA
   Hoover Dam, NV
   Hyder, AK
   Jim Gray’s Petrified Wood Co. in AZ
   John’s Peak OHV Area, OR
   Kailua-Kona, HI
   Keepers of the Wild Nature Park in AZ
   Kennecott, AK
   Kennecott Copper Mine in UT
   Kingman, AZ
   Lake Havasu, AZ
   Lake Tahoe, NV
   Las Vegas, NV (winter 2010)
   Little Brown Church in IA
   London Bridge in AZ
   Loneliest Road in America, Hwy. 50, NV
   Los Angeles, CA
   Lost Colony Show on Roanoke Isl., NC
   Lowe’s Speedway in NC
   Mardi Gras World in LA
   Mark Twain Museum in MO
   Meteor Crater, AZ
   Million Dollar Highway, CO
   Minnesota Zoo
   Mitchell, SD
   Moab, UT
   Moab, UT (dirt biking)
   Montgomery, AL
   Montpelier, ID
   Navajo Nation, AZ
   Needles, CA
   Nevada Beach, NV
   Newberry Springs, CA
   New River Gorge, WV
   New Orleans, LA
   Niagara Falls 
   North Pole, AK
   Oatman, AZ
   Old Faithful Geyser in WY
   Omak Stampede, WA
   Painted Desert, AZ
   Park City, UT (summer)
   Plymouth, NC
   Portage Valley, AK
   Portland, OR
   Prospect OHV Trail System, OR
   Resaca, GA
   Riverside State Park, WA
   Rock City in TN
   Rosa Parks Library and Museum in AL
   Roswell, NM
   Russian River, AK
   Salt Lake City, UT
   San Antonio, TX
   San Diego, CA
   San Juan Islands, WA
   San Francisco, CA
   Santa Catalina Island, CA
   Seattle, WA
   Sedona, AZ
   Shoe Tree in CA
   Shoe Tree in NV
   Silverton, CO
   Sonora, TX
   St. Louis, MO
   St. Paul, MN
   Talkeetna, AK
   Telluride, CO
   Route 66
   Twin Knobs Recreation Area in KY
   Virginia Beach, VA
   Washington D.C.
   Wayne Fitzgerrell State Park in IL
   Williamsburg, VA
   Winom Frazier OHV Area, OR
   Winslow, AZ
   Zion National Park, UT

Planning Our Adventures

For us, each journey begins with the initial heart pangs to venture to a certain part of the world. Then the ideas start coming together . . . ahh, the possibilities . . . and the dream evolves gradually into an actual plan. But, oh, the joy of the dream!  Click here to learn more about how we plan and prepare for our journeys.

Where Are We Now?

Click here to discover where we are now, as well as our uncoming travel plans.

Words for the Heart

“. . . and then the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”

Anais Nin