Kevin Standlee (kevin_standlee) wrote,
Kevin Standlee

On the Lonliest Road

US-6 is not a busy road, even after it joins US-50 in Delta UT (a metropolis by comparison to most of the places between Utah Lake and Ely), and the speed limits are high (except when it climbs over the numerous twisty passes necessary to traverse the Basin and Range Country), but it's a long way to Ely, and it took a long time to get there. In fact, it finally dawned on me that we weren't going to a hotel with a 24-hour desk, and before we got to Delta, at one of the places where there actually was cell phone service, we called ahead to make arrangements for our late arrival.

We traveled through some spectacular scenery, but besides being in a bit of a hurry, the camera was buried in the back of the van so we didn't take many pictures. We did make one stop for photos that I will post when I get a chance later, but suffice it to say that I was impressed by this desolate but beautiful area. But we couldn't dawdle too much, because we had a date with the Nevada Northern Railway Museum Bunkhouse.

Nevada Northern Railway
I was grateful that Ely keeps Pacific Time (unlike Wendover, which observes Mountain Time in deference to most of its custom coming from Utah), because it means it was an hour less late than I feared when we finally rolled up to the Nevada Northern Railroad in East Ely.

Nevada Northern Bunkhouse
I called the number I was given and shortly thereafter, one of the museum staff drove over from her home and checked us in to the Railroad Bunkhouse. This is the building originally built to house workers for the Nevada Northern Railway, and now remodeled for use both by interns working with the Nevada Northern Railway Museum and for a few dedicated enthusiasts like ourselves.

Nevada Northern Yard
As you can see, the bunkhouse is in the railroad yard itself. Besides four bedrooms (none of which actually have bunk beds anymore), there are two single-occupancy bathrooms and a common kitchen/living area with a refrigerator, hot water kettle, microwave oven, and coffee maker.

Nevada Northern Bunkhouse Room
The bedroom itself is plain and small, but has air conditioning and they provide towels. The other available-to-the-public bedroom has two single beds instead of one double.

Hotel Nevada
After checking us in (which includes us having to sign a waiver acknowledging that we're spending the next two nights in a building in an active railroad yard), and introducing us to the intern staying in one of the other rooms, the staff member from the museum wished us well and left us to our own devices. As it was now about eight hours since we'd left Salt Lake City, we needed dinner, and headed to downtown Ely and the Hotel Nevada, where we had dinner in their 24-hour restaurant. On the way back to the bunkhouse, we stopped at a grocery store and got some small supplies for our two-night stay.

When we got to the bunkhouse, we loaded our stuff into our room and settled in for our stay. We have tickets on the 9:30 AM steam train excursion from East Ely, after which we'll have the rest of the day to explore the museum/railroad. We're really looking forward to it, so I'd better finish this entry so we can get some sleep.
Tags: nevada, trains, travel, utah

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