Thursday, November 7, 2013

Book of Ely

The towns along US HWY 50 has such cool names.....Baker, Ely, Eureka, Austin, Fallon, Fernley....well, okay, Fernley sounds a little geeky, huh....but the rest....come on...they are cool names.  

We had only 64 miles to drive from Baker to Ely, NV Wednesday, so we just took at easy in the morning waiting for the temperature to rise up from 17 F degrees to the "guessed" 50 degrees by Noon.   We had our electric blanket blazing all night to offset the 17 F degrees exterior we had both the front and back electric heaters set at 60 and 50 degrees respectively.  The water bay heater was set at 60 and did a fine job at keeping the temp there above 50 degrees.

We did some micro fiber towels were getting grimmy so TLE washed them first so I could lay them out on the picnic table to dry in the sun, and extremely DRY air.  Then she set about to wash a few towels we use on occasion when it is raining to put on the stairs and entry flooring.  Sometime during that wash cycle the splendid Splendide had a would not go into spin cycle, and then we began to smell a smell that is never good......I think the belt that drives the drum has slipped, broken, or fallen I have a new project to tackle as soon as we reach "home" and have time to pull out the washer and open it up to see what is what.  

We pulled out of the Border Inn RV Park at exactly 11:17 am heading due west toward Ely, NV.  The scenery was even more spectacular than the day before.  TLE took several pictures along the way to illustrate in a somewhat feeble attempt how spectacular it was.

We had to climb two passes between Baker and Ely......the first topped out at just over 7,200' and the second closer to 7,700' always the DD performed flawlessly never exceeding 198 F degrees.   I have to say once again there is nothing sweeter sounding than a 2 stroke Detroit Diesel purring along at 2,100 rpm's (redline) just has such a silky smooth tone that reverberates off the guard rails, and mountains.  It never sounds like it is straining in the least as it pushes 50,000 pounds up a 7% grade for 7 miles.  It's as if "she" is saying....."come on, is that all you've got for me today?".

We reached Ely, NV around 12:45 pm and found a nice pull through spot at The Prospector Casino/Hotel/RV Park (thank you Dave for your recommendation!!) with full hookups for $15 per night!  As we finished checking in Adrianna handed me two tickets for 2 free Margaritas in their bar.....good after 3 pm.  That was perfect, because we were going for a walk around town, and specifically over to the Nevada Northern Railway Museum on 11th Street.  This is a "living" museum as almost all of their steam and diesel engines are in working condition, and, in fact, pull passenger cars several times a week in the summer on short local trips.  Unfortunately after Labor Day they only run their "Ghost Train" trips on the weekends, so we were out of luck in that regard, but the museum was open when we arrived at 1:45 pm.

There is a $5 per person charge for a guided walking tour, and since we were the only ones there on a Wednesday we got Engineer Bob all to ourselves for over an hour as we walked through living history.  They have at least 3 operating steam engines that I could count with another one under restoration.....the cost to restore one of these steam engines?  $1.2 million dollars.  Along with the steam engines they have a number of cabooses, passenger cars (all restored) that are still in service.  In essence the museum is the old Nevada Northern Railyard, which includes the old water tower, and coal elevator.  All of the engines, including the diesel powered ones, are kept in the enormous RIP buildings (Repair In Place), and out of the weather.  The old steamers require a lot of maintenance.  As we walked from engine to engine we would ask Engineer Bob (probably in his late 70's) questions about each, and he had answers to every single question we had.

 Fully restored box cars.....still in use today

 Old # 40 was built to pull passenger cars back in the early 1900's, and she still does......look at the size of the driver wheels....69"...built for speed.

 Loved this sign at the entrance to the "RIP" on it to enlarge the print.....I didn't tell Engineer Bob what I used to do for a living.

#93 was strickly a freight train

TLE took some great pictures with her iPhone.......

 Steam powered crane

 Enginerr Bob standing by a steam powered snow blower that is, by the way, operational!

The coal elevator (left) and water tower (right)....still in use today!

Afterwards we continued our walk around town looking for a couple of thrift shops, but both were closed this day.....well, we needed the walk anyway.  According to the program on TLE's smart phone we walked about 3.5 miles in all.  Saw this cool old Studebaker truck inside a storage yard as we walked back to the casino.

Eventually we returned to the casino and headed in for our free Margaritas.....of course the free ($1 size) Margaritas were quite small, so when we finished off the first two we paid for a full size Cadillac Margaritas.  We sat talking with Dale, the bartender, for about 40 minutes....a very interesting guy, who, by the by, is from........SIDNEY, MT!  Small world, huh?

I enjoyed the company of two beautiful women while I drank my Cadillac Margarita....only one of them really talked to me though.

We headed back to the coach around 4:20 just as the sun was setting.  Around 5:30 I turned on the BBQ so we could BBQ two filet mignons.....TLE added green beans, and baked potatoes, and a bottle of Pinot Noir.

After dinner we watched a couple of TV programs (LIVE), and then headed off to bed around 11.....another day lived well on the road.

Thanks for stopping by!

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