Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Visited Wendover Airfield

Yesterday morning, Monday, we got up too early to leave as the day’s journey was only 120 miles. So we wasted time in the RV – Bill had connected the car the night before. Finding nothing else to do in the RV we decided to go into town to the Denny’s for breakfast and to try to find the murals incorporating the electrical boxes. No problem going into town. Not much traffic on Sunday mornings in Ely. Parked the RV/car in the street across from the hotel/Denny's and went in to eat.  I had discovered the murals were just around the corner. So into the RV and off we went – oops can’t turn on the street as it was one way the wrong way. So patient Bill pulled over and I got out and walked around the corner to take the pictures. Don’t tell him but, as you probably could see, they actually weren’t worth the trouble it took to find them.
So about 9:00 we got on the highway heading to Wendover. Talk about a loooooong boring drive. More boring than long – only 122 miles. The only interesting thing was the construction causing a one lane road for a very short distance. But had a 15-minute wait for the cars coming from the other direction. 
 And this was the construction – all 200 feet of it!

All this before the only town we would pass through. McGill was built by a mining company for its employees. The mine is close but the town struggles on. 
A hundred miles of sage and flat land bordered by mountains. It is the Great Basin after all. 
Finally, we crested a hill and could see the salt flats out in the distance. Hard to get a decent picture of them.
Staying at a KOA in town. It is amazing what they charge. $45 for pull through full hook ups. WiFi only available in the office. And not very level. When I called to make reservations she made it sound like she had trouble finding “the last spot” available. Well the park is only about ¼ full if that. The weather has turned it's furnace up – over 100 here and never cooled down at night. So glad we had electricity for the AC.
Later we went out to Wendover Airfield. Very interesting. Click here for more information on it. When it was being used to capacity there were over 20,000 people on the base. And was one of the most secret bases in the US. The article is very interesting - had no idea before of how  big the base was. 

A big old cargo plane was parked by the museum. We went in it. 
Just some pictures from the stripped inside. The cargo area
Pilots area
Looking back at the tail and the loading ramp.
Five of the original hangers are still standing at the base. One of them is where the Enola Gay was kept during the training exercises before it left for the island it took off from. 
The museum is in restored Service Club. No fee to tour it but donations accepted. 
We watched a movie about the base and it's history. A couple of snapshots from the movie. 
 The hangers and supporting buildings and the living areas.
 The dining restored dining area in the Service Club
 Another picture showing the size of the base. Living quarters in the middle part. We drove around that area later.
 Information about a stained glass window.
The window. 
 A lot of information about the Enola Gay.

Replica of "Little Boy" bomb.

 Looking out the second story window at the hangers
 Do read the article about the base. Amazing what went on here.
Photos of photos from the 40's.
The casino business has really grown and they are much fancier. 

So many of the buildings are in a state of disrepair.
Looks like this guy is being used. Lots of army personnel walking around this area.
Row after row after row of living quarters. All behind fences. 
What a shame. Could be used for so many things. 

If you are interested there is a whole bunch of information about it on line. We continued on exploring the area but will leave that for tomorrow. Stopped and had Burger King for lunch - but here they didn't  have the Impossible Whopper so Bill had to have a chicken sandwich. Spent the rest of the day relaxing. Getting good at that. 

Monday, July 29, 2019

More from Ely, NV

I am writing this from West Wendover, NV  right at the state line with Utah. More about today's trip tomorrow.
Continuing with the murals in Ely. These three I can't find any information on. But thought they were kind of neat. They are starting to fade a little though, could use some TLC.

No information on this one either. Guess he is looking for the pot of gold. Not many found it. Mostly around Ely the mining was/is for copper. 
A couple of neat older buildings. Driving down the main street is like stepping back in time. 
Upper floor of a building - thought it was cute. Especially the "Far Out"
I really want to thank Bill he is so patient driving me around up and down streets looking for the interesting bits of town to photograph. 
This big mural tells the story of a Northern European immigrant family surviving in the old gold mining town of Cherry Creek. They made their living by taking in laundry and running a hot springs resort. Artist Wei Luan depicts the Italian miners enjoying their baths while their clothes are being cleaned. It is a big mural so I took a couple of pictures of it. [See our car in the windows of the home.]

Closer look at the bathers. 
Shoshone Woman Gathering Pinenuts. Created by artist Joe Pachak in 2002 with community Native American helpers. The Shoshones were hunter/gatherers in the Great Basin and the pinenuts were a diet staple. She taps the cones in the trees with the stick, then gathers the nuts. She has a baby on her back. 
Communications Then and Beyond. Artists father and son Don and Jared Gray created this montage of the importance of communications to the citizens who left their families in faraway lands to come to work and live in the Great Basin. Notice the sketches of Alexander Graham Bell and the explosion of technology that has ensued. [The black dots in sky is a flock of birds that flew by as I was taking this. ]
Ely began as a Pony Express and stage stop. The trail of the Pony Express comes right through White Pine County. The telegraph lines were also crossing Nevada. 
Has any one else noticed that every small town on main highways usually has a motel named "El Rancho"?
United by Our Children Mural. Created in 2001 by Paul Ygartua The mural tells the story of how the children were the reason that this area became a community. When the different ethnic groups came into the community they stayed in neighborhoods with other people sharing the same language and ethnicity. When the children attended school and played sports they  broke through the barriers of separation. The faces are local children. 
Saw these along the road. Used? Not used? No idea. 
Just liked this one as we passed it. Finally managed to get a picture of it in focus. 
This sculpture and the signage around it honors the early highways. Guess we should have got out and read the signs. 
Had to hunt for these. I remembered them from years ago when they were much bigger and more colorful. The artist has incorporated the existing fuse boxes and pipes into the murals - the headlight on the train. 
The boxes as buildings. This one has been partly painted over. 
And so folks as you ever wanted to know about Ely's murals. I got the information from the "Historic Ely, Nevada Mural Walking Tour" put out by the White PineCounty Tourism and Recreation Board. 
No murals in Wendover.