Baker Correspondence – April 2018

                                                                                                Indian Paintbrush


Spring is here, and Baker is awakening out of its winter slumber! A number of businesses are reopening for the season. The Great Basin Café at Lehman Caves Visitor Center in Great Basin National Park opens April 1 and will be open on weekends throughout the month, expanding to more days as seasonal staff come on.

Kerouac’s reopens

                                                                       Kate Claes and Jake Cerese, owners of Kerouac’s.

Kerouac’s restaurant and bar in downtown Baker reopens April 13. Owner Kate Claeys says they  are excited about the new season. “We have new options on our menu.” Owner Jake Cerese expands, “We will have a meatloaf and polenta dish along with calzones.” These will join pizza, burger, and salad options. Their first season in Baker in 2017 was quite a success, and they will be adding staff to provide even better service. Kate says, “We will be working even more with local growers,” to provide fresh produce for specials. Kerouac’s will be open for breakfast and dinner daily except on Tuesdays. The adjacent Stargazer Inn is open year-round.

Home and Garden Show

                                                                                                Working in the garden

The Border Inn holds its annual Home and Garden Show on Saturday, April 21 beginning at 11 a.m. This is an opportunity to buy soil, veggies, flowers, and more while asking questions of experienced garden experts. Vendor booths will also be present, including the local 4-H club selling baked goods and solar system beads. And you might want to time your visit to include lunch or dinner, as the Border Inn has impromptu tasty specials.

Hampton Creek Hike and Antelope Trap

A fun place to go for a spring is Hampton Creek in the North Snake Range. From the Gandy Road, you turn west on a two-track road (high clearance recommended) just after the mud-engulfed cabin called the Parker Place. This area burned in 2014, and not long after flash floods washed a massive amount of debris down from the mountains and miles into the valley. The road was covered with mud in places, and the mud flowed through the cabin. Later rains caused more flooding, but the road up to the entrance of Hampton Creek is in relatively good shape, but it is washed out soon after. But you can still hike along the canyon, admiring spring wildflowers and butterflies.

                                                    A part of the ancient Native American antelope trap walls at Hendry’s Creek

Not far away is the Hendry’s Creek Antelope Trap, one of over 100 features in the Great Basin made to help capture animals. The rock walls started wide and narrowed, which would have funneled pronghorn antelope towards the bottom. Prehistoric hunters would have been hiding behind the walls. It’s anticipated that the traps were built over 3,500 years ago! Read more on this fascinating website.

— Gretchen Baker

Visit Gretchen’s fascinating outdoor adventure blog, Desert Survivor.