Baker Correspondence – February 2019

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Sheepherders’ Gathering a Success

Foks traveled from as far as 700 miles to make it to the 16th annual Sheepherders’ Gathering at the Border Inn. Friday night offered up fun stories about sheepherding (mis)adventures, music, and cowboy poetry by Waddie Mitchell. Saturday’s events included a film screening, more great cowboy poetry, and a delicious Basque family-style dinner that filled the Border Inn to capacity. The Front Porch Pickers performed their musical magic to a full house and included the audience with numerous sing-a-longs and foot stomping beats. More coverage is found in the Millard County Chronicle Progress.

Fire and Ice Festival

With its new format, the Fire and Ice Festival in Ely had something for everyone, indoors and out. The Ely Birkebeiner showcased not only cross country skiing, but also a snowshoe race and a fat-tire mountain bike race. Conditions turned out to be great, with just enough snow to make it all work.

Sunday at Cave Lake had snow sculpture competitors battling it out for the $1000 top prize. Engine 93, celebrating its 110th Anniversary, won. Sledding, ice skating, ice bowling, and ice fishing also took place at the frozen lake. Two nights of fireworks and a huge bonfire kept folks going into the evening.

Love Music is in the Air

The Border Inn is hosting a special Valentine’s dinner, where you can not only treat your palate to delicious food but also your ears to the fine music of the Front Porch Pickers. The local musical group  plays a variety of country and folk music on guitar, violin, mandolin, harpsichord, keyboard, and more. Their name derives from where they practice in the summers: on the front porch! They also perform at Kerouac’s and Great Basin Cafe in the summer.

Snow Sports

Ready to play in the snow? Bring your cross country skis, snow shoes (can also be borrowed from Lehman Caves Visitor Center), or sleds and head up into the higher country. Recommended places are Upper Lehman Campground, which is closed during the winter. If there’s enough snow, you can head up the Wheeler Peak Scenic Drive. A beautiful loop is over on Baker Creek. Drive to the gate and then head into Grey Cliffs Campground. From Loop C, take the trail up to Baker Creek Campground, then come back down the road. Alternatively, continue up to the trailhead if you have extra energy! If you want an even quieter place, Snake Creek is great. Drive as far as you can and then get out and enjoy the snow. Hopefully, February will see more snow storms, providing that very important moisture to the high desert.

— Gretchen Baker

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Don’t miss Gretchen’s marvelous outdoor adventure blog, Desert Survivor.

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