Just east of the town of Ely lies the Schell Creek Range, which is mostly encompassed by the Humboldt- Toiyabe National Forest. We spent an afternoon driving Success Loop, a dirt road that winds its way up through the mountains until reaching Success Summit and then descends into Duck Creek Valley on the other side. This road provided easy access to amazing mountain views, as well as much- appreciated cooler weather.
On the way up toward the summit, we passed large fields of bright yellow flowers, which really brightened the otherwise dark green and gray landscape.
After leaving the valley, we gained elevation quickly through several sharp switchbacks up the mountain until we finally arrived at Success Summit (elevation 9,000 feet). The gorgeous views urged us to park the car and get out and explore. There was a network of dirt ATV trails covering the summit area that were perfect for meandering on foot.
My pictures really don’t do the area justice. The rugged mountains in the distance surrounding the more rounded and green mountains near Success Summit created a stunning landscape. It was not possible to look upon this special place and not have my thoughts directed toward the One who created it. Not only did God give us the breath of life, but he also created such a beautiful world for us to live in.
Psalm 8: 3- 9
3 When I consider your heavens,
the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
which you have set in place,
4 what is mankind that you are mindful of them,
human beings that you care for them?
5 You have made them a little lower than the angels
and crowned them with glory and honor.
6 You made them rulers over the works of your hands;
you put everything under their feet:
7 all flocks and herds,
and the animals of the wild,
8 the birds in the sky,
and the fish in the sea,
all that swim the paths of the seas.
9 Lord, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!
Our drive home was a little more eventful than we would have liked. As we descended the mountain we drove through a pretty aspen forest before entering back into the sagebrush desert. We had seen no other people the entire afternoon until out of nowhere a car recklessly zoomed by us. The car was going too fast and lost control on the gravel road. It got fairly close to whacking into our own car before sliding off the road into the sagebrush (and almost flipping over in the process). The car was stuck and pretty banged up, but thankfully nobody got hurt. There was no cell service so we drove until we came across a forest ranger who used his radio to call for help.
This was a good reminder that caution and common sense are essential while recreating outdoors. The fun ends pretty quickly when you are stranded or injured. Let’s all try to be safe out there this summer, if not for your own sake, then for the sake of the other people out there with you.