May 2005 Trip to Las Vegas and Ely, NV
Sally and I took a short trip to Las Vegas and Ely, NV.

We left for Las Vegas on Friday the 20th of May. We were going to meet Sally's daughter, Kelly and her family (the Roundys). Her husband is Loren and her three children, Alyssa, Ashlee and Max.

We took our tent trailer and got reservations in the KOA at Circus Circus.

Lost Wages, NV

Saturday was a blur. We met the Roundys in the morning for breakfast. We got ready and drove to the school where Alyssa was participating in a dance competition.  It was on the edge of Las Vegas - probably 12 miles from the Strip. After the dancing, the crew went swimming at the Excalibur pool (where the Roundys were staying) while I took pictures.  Later that evening after dinner, we went to the Midway at Circus Circus where Alyssa and Ashlee got to try their hand at many carnival games. They did pretty well, actually, both coming away with four stuffed animals each - won as prizes (of course, Mom helped a little bit).

Dad - Loren, sister - Ashlee, Mom - Kelly, and brother - Max all eagerly awaiting Alyssa's performance.
Here is Alyssa doing her dance routine with her group from Kaysville, UT.
(Alyssa is on the far left.)
Grandma Sadi loved every chance she got to take care of Max!
Kelly and Loren (in pool at the Excalibur)
Dad and his daughters
Ashlee in her new bathing suit (a gift from Grandma Sadi)
Here is our dancer, Alyssa, also in her new bathing suit

We met the Roundy family on Sunday morning and had one last breakfast with them.  They then left for Salt Lake City and we left for Ely, NV.

Cathedral Gorge State Park

On Route 93 heading north out of Las Vegas is Cathedral Gorge State Park. We stopped there just for a few minutes.

Of course this photo does not do it justice.

Ely, NV

We stayed at the KOA campground just south of town. My mother's uncles and their families made their homes in Ely after they came to the US from Italy. In the past, Ely was a center for copper mining. The Nevada Northern Railway was used to move the copper from the mines to the smelters in McGill. The mines closed in the early 1980's and the railroad along with it. More recently, the price of copper has increased to where the mine was reopened. Trucks, though, are now used to move the copper ore. Check these links for this part of the report:


Ely Cemetery

Lehman Caves

On Tuesday the 24th, we drove to Lehman Caves. These caves are in the Great Basin National Park.
That is Wheeler Peak in the background. It is 13,063 feet high and is the highest point in Nevada. The cave entrance is just behind this visitor center.
Scenic views from inside Lehman Caves

Overflowing Streams

Just the week before we were in Nevada, there was a spring blizzard. I don't know how much new snow fell on Wheeler Peak but in Ely, they had about six inches. When we were there, all that new snow was melting.

This is Mather Overlook (9100 feet). We drove to this point along the road to the top of Wheeler Peak. We could not go any further. The road was closed because of the snow.
Back at lower elevations, this is Baker Creek (overflowing with the newly melted snow!)

Fence Art

On the road between Baker, NV and Lehman Caves there is what I call "Fence Art". I don't know anything about it but I took photos of about a dozen examples of this art. Here are a few:

A "CD" Character

We returned that evening to our campground in Ely and readied for our return to San Diego the next day. For me, it was a short trip to Ely but the next one will be longer.  Next time:
1. Ride the Ghost Train (on the Nevada Northern Railway)
2. Visit John Mariani
3. Get a tour of the remaining railroad buildings including the roundhouse
4. Spend a lot of time going through the photos at the East Ely Railroad Depot Museum
5. Actually see more of the town itself.

Sally Mark


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