Day 7

breakfast La Quinta Inn go
Our breakfast choices – serve your self style – fresh fruit, juices, yogurt, waffles, toasts, eggs, meats, sweet rolls, coffee and tea we enjoy in a spacious and bright room featuring cozy lounge seating and a fireplace. Very nice!

 203 miles / 328 km

9 am long drive to Great Basin National Park go
We are out there now. Long stretches of nothing. Peacefulness settles in. As our driving elevation rises, the temperature falls and the skies are now grey and overcast. We drive to the eastern end of Highway 50 (dubbed “The Loneliest Road in America” by Life magazine) to the isolated grandeur of Great Basin National Park. Nevada’s largest park with its beautiful 13,000 foot high Mt. Wheeler and a massive rock formation known as Lexington Arch (6 stories high). No crowds and everywhere picture-worthy views. We take a moderate hike before heading to the Visitor’s Center to meet our Lehman Caves guide and receive “cave visitation” protocol and safety orientation.

tour Lehman Caves go (actually one underground cavern) and Visitor’s Center
This beautiful marble formed in pre-history when acidic surface water entered deep below, dissolving soluble rock at the horizontal water table. As water drained, it left hollow rooms, spherical ceiling domes and spoon shaped sculptured walls. Over millennia, seemingly insignificant trickles of dissolved limestone built a wide variety of speleothems – stalactites, stalagmites, columns, draperies, flowstone, soda straws, cave popcorn, delicate gravity defying helictites, needle-like anthodites and rare shields (roughly circular plates resembling clam shells). Lehman Caves is famous for its abundance of shields and one in particular called the Parachute. The .6 mile trek into this fantastic limestone and marble underground world is not to be missed!

11 am pick up box lunch at Border Inn go in Baker, NV
Aptly named, the Inn sits on the Utah/Nevada border – the only place to get services for another 89 miles. The peaceful grassy valley stretches out on both sides of the lonesome road. Until a few years ago large flocks of sheep grazed here tended by shepherds who are now in their 80’s and 90’s.

noon scenic drive through Cedar City, Utah to Brian Head Ski Resort go
This premier alpine destination is Utah’s highest-elevation resort, and famous for dry light Utah powder. A full service resort with runs for all ability levels, it is uniquely laid-back, affordable and uncrowded – a rare combination. Besides skiing and snowboarding, there are sleigh rides, spa treatments, snow tubing, snowmobiling, snowshoeing, and lounges for kids and adults. Lodging is available for every budget, and plenty of dining options. Is this one of the best kept skiing and snowboarding secrets around?

In The Grand Lodge’s après ski bar, The Lift, we refresh with adult beverages in a room whose thick beams reach up 20’. Very cozy with a fire crackling under the copper hooded fireplace, and large windows framing views of snowy slopes and snow-laden trees. We manage to fit in a restorative spa treatment before dinner.

7 pm dinner Leany’s Steakhouse, The Grand Lodge at Brian Head go
Casual, soft lighting, plush carpet, dark wood ceiling, and split rock walls create a relaxing setting.
 Upscale American comfort food with interesting menu and attentive service. Favored appetizer – Portobello fries with roasted garlic aioli. Elk chop, a red meat, is tender with an unexpected sweet taste. Good food, good wine, good company.

stay short drive to check in at Zion Lodge/Zion National Park/Springdale, UT go
Arriving in the dark under cloudy skies provides no clue as to what awaits at daybreak. Our room is large with desk and sitting area. Neat, tidy, simple – an upscale cabin in the woods – with wifi. Back door leads to porch with Adirondacks for viewing wild life and rock walls just feet away.

Day 7 photos
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