Saturday, May 28, 2011

Damp and broken and carrening out of control.....

Best way to describe this morning........damp.

The rain didn't stop until about 2 am. I am pleased to report that the interior of the roof tent stayed 100% dry throughout the course of the deluge. However due to the cold temperatures there was quite a bit of condensation on the inside. I had to wait until 9:30 before the tent was dry enough to pack away. Good thing I really didn't have a schedule to keep. I get wherever I am going whenever I get there.

Up at dawn.....hiking around, making coffee and waiting until tings dry out.

Once the Jeep was packed up I continued my way on towards Immigrant Pass. This area is very scenic in my book:

On the drive out following Immigrant Pass, something I will be seeing a lot of during the next few days.

My next destination was Lucin Ghost Town. Not much remains of Lucin today. In fact the original town was located 10 miles to the north, but was moved because the railroad started using the Lucin cutoff in 1903. Like many of the now vacant towns along the transcontinental railroad, Lucin served as a water stop to keep the steam locomotives moving along the track. The population of the town was railroad employees, so when the switch to diesel-electric locomotives was made the town pretty much packed up and left. Eventually some retires moved back to their once childhood home. But by the 1990's the last of these folks had either moved on or passed on. In 1999 the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources took over management of the town due to its importance to migratory birds. Lucin is fed water via pipeline from the distant Pilot Mountains and the pond it creates is a rare source of water in a dry desert for migratory birds. In fact you can see the green cottonwood trees for many miles across the desert. According to the interpretive sign here there are over 118 species of songbirds that pass through the area. All that is left of the town today is a few root cellars, a concrete phone booth and the occasional broken glass bottle.

The aforementioned telephone booth (complete with graffiti depicting naked women and male genitalia)

Old icebox?

The oasis in the desert.

Nest stop was the nearby Lucin Sun Tunnels. (nearby is kinda relative at times in the desert)

The Sun Tunnels were created in 1976 by Nancy Holt, wife of Robert Smithson. (the mind behind the Spiral Jetty) The sculpture consists of 4 concrete tubes that are 18 feet long and 9 feet in diameter. The tubes align with the winter and summer solstices at sunrise and sunset. The tunnels are drilled with holes of varying sizes that correspond with constellations.

"It is a desolate area, but its totally assessable and it can be easily visited, making Sun Tunnels more accessible really than art in museums...A work like Sun Tunnels is always accessible...Eventually as many people will see Sun Tunnels as would see many works in a city- in a museum anyways"
-Nancy Holt

I visited at lunch time, so I boiled up some water and made some ramen noodles. It may be interesting to note that shrimp flavored noodles have a strikingly similar aroma to the pair of socks I got soaked in the brine of the lake walking the Spiral Jetty.....I have both if anyone wants to compare!

I had decided to camp somewhere in the Pilot Range but the drenching rainstorm and 30+ MPH winds I decided to chance my luck in Wendover. I was making great time pretending my Jeep was a prerunner on the washboard roads. The new rear suspension handles them great! I am sure with the addition of a new front leaf pack and some decent shocks it will be just about perfect for my purposes! All was going great until I was just about to pass into Tooele county.....

I let off the gas to round a corner, but I kept gaining speed! I depressed the clutch, pumped the brakes and came to a safe halt. Come to find out the throttle cable had broken and the spring was pulling the pedal towards the floor.
After some zip ties, ten minutes and a clean change of shorts later I was on the road again!

I made it into Wendover and headed Strait to the parts store. Got the part ordered up and it should be in tomorrow afternoon sometime. So I stocked up on zip ties and made the decision not to wander too far from town until it gets replaced. If you are a Corvette fan and you ever find yourself in Wendover check out the local parts store. The owner has a parrot and two really neat Corvettes. His 1966 is built to the hilt and is just looks amazing.....oh and the late model supercharged, custom painted and lowered one looks pretty neat too!

After ordering the cable I went to the car wash. The windows were so dirty navigating traffic was probably not the smartest thing to be doing. I took $10 and headed to the penny slots. In the past that offered almost two hours of fun......with my luck today the money only held out for about 15 minutes. Then I hit the buffet.....I ate a few plates of food and started to feel sick. Perhaps it was a combination of the smell of cigarette smoke and partly eating too much food that really didn't taste good.