Great Basin for Christmas 

Notes and photos by Peter Matusov... mostly.

Russian version

Driving out from Los Angeles: business as usual on Sepulveda Pass on I-405.
State Route 14 to high desert is busy but much friendlier.
747s you need? Mojave Air and Space Port has them!
Red Rock Canyon State Park - yet another lost chance to visit.
State Route 14 - Aerospace Highway - inching towards Inyokern.
Chilly and gloomy morning at Bishop City Park.
That ice is so tempting...
Mount Tom at sunrise.
An hour and a half to Tonopah.
A whole lot longer till Cape Cod!
Silver Canyon - we'll miss you.
Cattle in the foothills of White Mountains - Chalfant Valley.
Ranch in Chalfant Valley.
Ranch in Chalfant Valley.
Ranch in Chalfant Valley.
Benton, California, is not famous for a rich shopping experience.
Only ten bullet holes in the Nevada welcoming sign? That's disappointing. Must be a lot more on the sign going West.
That's the road I want to be on.
Don't keep all that black asphalt for yourself, let me have some, too.
Heading into a dust storm on U.S.6.
Tonopah is nicely framed by the pockmarked hills.
The "Jewel of the Desert" - 1907 Mizpah Hotel.
A quick lunch stop on a dirt road off U.S.6 in Toiyabe National Forest; the clouds are crazy today.
Driving toward Egan Mountain Range.
Egan Range flanked by Ward Mountain and Ward Mountain North at the right and left sides of the photo, respectively.
A drive-by shot of Ely Railroad Station and Museum.
Cold but festive: Park City before Christmas
Parking for non-conformists:
Park City celebrates Chanukah!
... So shall we, at High West Distillery.
Higher and colder on our way to Evanston on I-80.
Descending towards Bear Lake on Utah SR 30
Calm and cool - Bear Lake
Now, that is a postcard material - in Rendezvous Beach State Park.
Pine Spring Ridge looks beautiful in soft late afternoon light.
Bear Lake looks serene.
It is getting late.
Half an hour in snow is not enough fun for Jules The Airedale.
It is not only Fish Haven in town bearing that name.
The Pine Spring Ridge glows in the evening.
What it says! We have another state to drive through before dinner.
A whole deer family lazily crossed the highway, while we and another motorist patiently waited.
France, already? And Montpelier only 10 miles from Paris?
Paris turned out less populous than we thought...
... But the Notre Dame was majestic nonetheless.
Bern, of all places, hides behind this mountain.
U.S.89 crosses the railroad in Montpelier...
... and continues up the winding mountain road towards Geneva.
We drove through Afton without taking a single sharp photo of the famous gate, so we have to make up for it by the gates in Jackson city park, also made of antlers. One giant flying inflatable antler is surreal.
The storm caught up with us overnight, and dumped some snow.
In the early morning before Christmas eve, hustle and bustle in Jackson's city center is down to nothing.
Helped with generous supply of rock salt, snow is melting on city streets mid-day...
... To be replenished in the evening.
Jackson Hole: firepit is sorely missing its snowboarders.
Snow is the time for the Airedales...
... and Land Rovers.
We can't leave the woods without building our very own snow woman. Her choices of vices do not necessarily represent ours, although overlap by quite a bit.
... which we make sure not to miss. Drinks were better than food in this place that shall remain unnamed.
The bar and restaurant at the right we love.
The one at the left - less so.
A postcard Christmas morning at Shooting Star ski resort.
The Christmas afternoon at Moose-Wilson Road is awesome, too.
We have to try the cross-country skis on Moose-Wilson Road - now three feet deep under snow.
What a view from Teton Pass!!!
This is exactly where "Life Throws You Curves!"
Bye, Wyoming. Hi again, Idaho!
... and beautiful Idaho is, indeed.
Jennie and Jules are getting bored and hungry.
If you haven't had wagyu burgers in D'Railed restaurant in Idaho Falls, you haven't lived.
In the land of stern people disliking alcohol and tobacco, this could be considered a sign.
Somewhere in Goshen, Utah, there is an old Land Rover dreaming of the long and winding road.
Silver is long gone in Eureka, Utah.
In 2016, the population of Lynndyl, Utah, reached its 1910 level of 113 inhabitants. On the other hand, Delta, straight ahead, is a sprawling metropolis.
The skies went full-on crazy around Great Basin.
U.S.50's nickname is "The Loneliest Highway in America." In our travels, U.S.6 in Nevada has been a strong contender for the title; but for now, they are one and the same.
Under threat of black ice, Lena is holding the traffic at 10 mph under the speed limit. Oh... there isn't anyone behind, or ahead, for fifty miles.
Kerouac dashed our hopes for a lunch - closed from 11 to 5. That is the only dining option in Baker, Nevada.
I challenge you to visit the Great Basin National Park. In winter.
... So you can have a tailgate coffee break in a snowed-in campground.
Back on the road, from U.S.6/50 to U.S.93.
It must be a windy place.
Pioche, Nevada. We bravely skip the gas station - we shouldn't, and you shouldn't, either. Google promises the next gas in 77 miles, Land Rover says we'll be three miles short.
Cathedral Gorge State Park.
These must be the closest hoodoos to Las Vegas!
Caliente, Nevada, is a real railroad town!
... but we're off into Nevada sunset.
Don't be tempted to drive 86 in 65, unless you have a 100-pound Airedale to back you up!
After a long, cold snow country, this Joshua-tree-studded valley looks almost like home.
But South of Las Vegas, things go Wyoming again. It is not Mojave Desert we know.

Photos taken by Lena:

We only part ways with snow in sunny and smoggy San Bernardino.   
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