Next stop: the Great Basin Nation Park. After a visit to the Ward Charcoal Ovens.
Back in the “Old Days”, gold and silver processing was driven by using not only wood, but charcoal as well. Lots of charcoal. So, they made large ovens specifically built to make charcoal. The process was a complicated procedure lasting several days. Vents had to be opened and closed at specific intervals (measure by the color of the smoke) to allow for complete combustion and to get the best quality of charcoal. Of course, back then, we just stripped away any tree that could be found, so it pretty much decimated the tree population.
The drive along Nevada 50 was uneventful except for a herd of bicycle riders. Route 50 had no shoulders or bike paths, it’s speed limit is 70, and it’s curvy. It is not a safe road to be riding a bike on to start with, but most of these guys were idiots wearing head phones, not listening for traffic. It creates some very dangerous situations. Having lived in Europe for six years, where the bicycle is a mainstay of transportation, we can say that we NEVER had any problems with bikes there. America’s roads were not designed for bicycle traffic and Nevada Route 50 is one that any bike rider in his or her right mind would not even attempt with out road support, much less handicapping themselves by wearing head phones! It’s terrifying to top a hill and find a bike rider who has no clue you are there, in the middle of the lane and oncoming traffic!
We arrived in Great Basin and decided to find some wi-fi so we could update the blog. None in Great Basin, but we were told and we saw sign for a restaurant called Electrolux (sp?). We drove down there to find the place closed until dinner (it was two o’clock). Arrgh.
So, we thought we’d do a cave tour. Having just come from Lava Beds, we were aware of the mold that has infested the colonies on the east coast and Europe. We had not come from anywhere Lava Beds had asked about, but when we got to GB, they wanted us to decontaminate even though we were coming from the opposite direction of the infestation! The description of what they wanted us to do was way too much for us.
Please, don’t misunderstand: we fully support the program to stop this problem that has destroyed many bat colonies in Europe: bats are essential to the survival of ALL species on the face of the planet – including humans. It’s a serious situation that most of us are not aware of, however, the thing that bugs us the most is the disparity between two parks. Logically, one would think there would be an organized effort nationwide amongst the parks, but, no. Every park’s policy is left up to whomever is in charge. We could understand having implementation best suited for a location, but there should be a unified overall policy to combat this serious threat to our environment.
This problem is only indicative of how small the world really is now with intercontinental flights and millions of people moving all over the world. It is going to happen some day: a disease of some sort will wipe out a population of species because of all this inter-connectivity. And that includes humans.