Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Great Basin Day 2

We woke up early on the morning of Day 2 in Great Basin. That's because the kids don't sleep past sunup in the tent. We loaded into the car and went for a drive up Wheeler Peak so that we wouldn't wake up those late sleepers in the motorhome.

The drive was amazing. As we watched the signs tick up from elevation 7000 feet to elevation 10000 feet we passed some really cool sights. First we saw a mother deer and her two fawns crossing the road. The fawns were so tiny that there were still spots on their coats. We stopped and watched for several minutes and Natalie took some great pictures. A little farther up we saw two wild turkeys cross the road. The ranger told us later that turkeys are not native to the area, but were brought in about 15 years ago and they've been really thriving. As we neared the top of the mountain, we saw four trophy bucks running down a side hill. We only got a picture of the last one, but they all had huge racks with massive spreads. The boys were really excited, because we don't see bucks very often.

We see turkeys here in Utah, but these two crossed the road right in front of us. 
The baby deer were just adorable.

The bucks were amazing.

We got to the top of the mountain by quarter after 7 and started our hike to Lake Stella and Lake Teresa. The area was beautiful, and we saw several more deer along the way. Seth walked much of the way to the first lake, and of course, Mark and Dax did great. As we left the first lake it started to rain. It reached a steady drizzle as we continued around to the second lake and back to the car. Mom and Dad kept their attitudes sunny, though, which helped the boys enjoy the hike through the rain. After all, we haven't taken too many hikes in that kind of condition.

It is gorgeous at the top of Wheeler Peak Scenic Drive.

Dax found this chair! He always spots unique tree features.

Seth found one too.

Here is Dax again ... a chair in the tree this time.

These two are great hikers.

Lake Stella was perfect.

So of course we had to throw rocks.

Seth kept trying to catch raindrops on our hike, so mom joined in, too.

We stopped for this picture at Lake Teresa and then hurried down the trail. 

We dried off in the car and headed down to breakfast, which Laurie had made in the dutch ovens. We hung out in the motorhome for the rest of the morning while it drizzled a bit. Our long cave tour started at 2pm. Laurie stayed behind with Seth while the rest of us ventured to the cave. We really enjoyed our walk through the cave. Dad crawled through the faux-opening to prove he could, and our tour guide was full of information. He stretched the tour out extra long with stories and information. Our boys especially liked the lantern part, when Dax got to hold the old tin can lantern which held a candle. The boys weren't scared a bit, even though they seemed a bit cold.

Later that night we enjoyed hanging out around the campfire. We made s'mores, told stories, and looked at the stars again. The Milky Way was beautiful and Mark was excited because we let him stay up late with us, and it was his first time seeing the Milky Way.

Seth crashed on my cot for a little while.

Randy made it through!

This is the crew that went on the long tour (minus Glen who is taking the picture).

Dax was chosen to hold the lantern.

The cave was amazing!

The features inside are so cool.

Lehman Caves is famous because it has so many shields.

It was chilly in the cave!

Seth, Mark and Mom went on a little hike later.
Mark is always exploring.


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