Friday morning we pulled out of Wendover and headed south to Ely. After learning that Ely was Clyde’s old stomping grounds, he was nominated to lead this leg of the trip. Shortly out of Wendover the scenery brought a welcome change. What I normally would have considered boring desert scenery of sage and rabbit brush, now seemed so lush compared to the salt flats. The winding road and mountainous terrain also added some relief from the long straight road we traveled yesterday. We made our way down the Lincoln Highway and made a pit stop at Lages Junction to stretch our legs and also take another opportunity to work on Rich’s carburetor. It had been giving Rich problems since he arrived in Tooele, some kind of white plasticky material kept clogging the jets. Clyde was able to get the carb cleared out the best he could with the limited tools on hand and we got back on the road.
We stopped in the small town of McGill where we were welcomed by Daniel Braddock, our tour guide and soda jerk, who showed us around the McGill Drugstore Museum. Stepping into this drugstore was like taking a step back in time. It was in operation from about 1908 until it closed its doors in the early ’80’s leaving things untouched until 1995 when they turned it into a museum. Many of the products sitting on the shelves date back to the 50’s, some of the medications have long since been forgotten and some even down right dangerous. Further back into the store were prescriptions and medical records dating back to the early 1900’s. Daniel told us stories of the area and how school kids even rode a school train into Ely. He finished up our tour by serving us ice cream while we sat around the fountain bar.
From McGill we finished up the remaining 12 miles to Ely and visited the Nevada Northern Railway museum. We toured the engine house, blacksmith shop and foundry and got to see the railroads various locomotives and equipment. After the tour we boarded a three car consist being pulled by Baldwin 4-6-0 #40 and headed up the canyon. We learned about the various mining operations and different mines located along the route as we tumbled along at 15-20mph. The ride was enjoyable but a little short. The experience of riding the steam train and the chance to tour the facility was well worth it though as it was extremely rich in history.
As we left the railroad we passed by the freight depot where the Chevy club was having a party. We could not resist the opportunity to give a couple blasts of the good ole ahooga horn to let them know the Ford club was here too! From here most of the group headed to the hotel, Clyde and I along with Rich and his carload headed up to Clyde’s parents house so that they could hopefully clean out Rich’s carburetor and kick this problem for good. While Clyde worked diligently on the carb, the rest of us meandered through Ron Munson’s garage admiring his collection of cars. In the garage we were in he had about three Model T’s, three Dodge Brothers touring cars, two Model A’s as well as a pair of 50’s F-150 pickups and a couple of Lincolns. Clyde’s cleaning must have done the trick because as soon as Rich hit the highway he took off down the canyon and left us in the dust.
After grabbing a bite to eat we retired for the night. I must say that our accommodations were very fitting for our trip. We stayed in the Hotel Nevada, a historic hotel built in 1928 and opened in 1929 for service. The building showed its age and the plumbing also reminded you that it was not a modern facility but the experience was a good one. I could not help but to imagine what it might have been like back in the day, someone taking their “New Ford” out for a night on the town and a weekend stay in the new hotel. I was really hoping that we could get a shot of our cars in front of the hotel but time restraints as well as traffic on main street prevented that from happening.
to be continued….