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  • Ely Correspondence – June 2017
  • Ely Correspondence – June 2017

    Ely’s Great Bathtub Race at Cave Lake

    Ely has a history of creating off the wall events, and one of the wackiest has to be the Great Bath Tub Race held each June at Cave Lake State Park.

    After one of the local motels remodeled their rooms a few years ago, a late night brainstorming session led to the wild idea of floating and racing bath tubs on the lake. A few planning sessions followed and the concept for a new event took off.

    People can borrow a bath tub or use their own, and build a craft to race. These can be motorized or non-motorized.  The idea is make the craft float from the shore out to a buoy in the lake and then back to shore. Races are held for each category, and this year kayak races will be added to the mix.

    The event takes place at Cave Lake State Park located in the high mountain desert just outside Ely, Nevada. The day is full of sunshine, water, fun, food, and all sorts of races, including the rubber ducky race. And the day ends with fireworks set off over the water. Did I mention the historic cannon that is fired off regularly during the day to announce starting times and activities? What fun!

    Lots of information, photos, and videos about the Great Bath Tub Race can be found here. This is your chance to participate in a great event or just come relax at the lake, do a little fishing or swimming, and enjoy the cool, clean, mountain air.

    The boats are on display in Ely the night before the race at 5:00 pm at the Ramada Copper Queen Casino.  This is your chance to inspect the boats (or display your own boat) and buy your rubber ducky and t-shirt to be ready for the festivities the next day at the lake.

    What a great way to kick off the summer.

    — Lorraine Clark

    The post Ely Correspondence – June 2017 appeared first on NevadaGram from the Nevada Travel Network - Telling Nevada's story 365, 24/7.




    More from Ely

    More from Around Nevada

    ELY IS THE GREAT CITY of Nevada's far east, closer to Salt Lake City than to Reno or Las Vegas. It is located where the southern end of the magnificent Steptoe Valley meets foothills of the Egan Range, at the conjunction of Highways 6, 50 and 93. Ely offers many excellent lodging, dining and recreation options in marvelous natural surroundings.

    Northern Nevada Railroad ElyIts greatest attraction to visitors is the Ghost Train, the restored Nevada Northern Railway that takes passengers from the old depot in East Ely (take 11th Street north from Highway 93/Avenue F/Aultman Street) on excursions west to Ruth and northeast to McGill from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Additional trains are scheduled during the winter months, the Polar Express has Santa aboard, and the Photo Shoot specials in February attract photographers from around the world.

    Railroad buffs now converge on Ely from all over the world. They light up with pleasure as the antique locomotives squeal and hiss up to the passenger depot. They exult at the conductor's "All Aboard!" They thrill at the thought of an Ely-McGill-Cherry Creek excursion train, and they faint away with joy at the prospect of going all the way to Cobre.

    No wonder: Magic happens as the antique steamers chuff solemnly away from the station. Wheels clickety-clacking, cars swaying, the world gliding slowly by, kids waving from their bikes, cows looking up in dim curiosity, sky spread big and bright overhead — it's a unique and delightful experience for its own sake, and even more for being the real thing — this is not a reconstruction or a restoration.

    Travel Nevada, Nevada Magazine
    The White Pine Public Museum at 2000 Aultman Street is the showplace for a mineral collection of considerable variety, and for unique items like the home-made cannon which once guarded the Court House in Hamilton. The museum is open seven days during June, July and August, and Monday through Friday the rest of the year. Admission is free.

    Ely was established in the 1870s as a stagecoach station and post office. Only after it was designated the White Pine County seat in 1887 with the collapse of Hamilton did the population climb to 200. After the turn of the century, immense copper deposits near Ely began to attract attention away from the failing gold mines, and by 1906 a boom had developed. The Nevada Northern Railway was completed in the fall of that year and in 1908, when the smelter at McGill went on the line, mineral production leapt from barely more than $2000 the year before to more than $2 million. The Kennecott Copper Company began acquiring Ely copper mining companies in 1915 and by 1958, swhen it suspended operations, these acquisitions resulted in control of the region's copper mines and dominated the local economy. A Polish company is mining the copper here now.

    The departure of Kennecott was a watershed event in White Pine County history, and for nearly 20 years nothing quite took up the economic slack. The economic downturn precluded widespread renovation, and the early 20th century small-town architecture that dominates its center give Ely a familiar look. Norman Rockwell would have liked it, and you will like it too.

    Ely RenaissanceMany of Ely's downtown buildings are distinguished by murals, most of them sponsored by the Ely Renaissance Society, a group formed after the closure of the big copper mine eliminated more than 400 local jobs. The murals were intended to help spruce up the 11-block central core of the city, and to create a new attraction that would help bring visitors. Depicting a variety of local subjects in a variety of styles, the murals and other outside art provide a pleasant and interesting stroll.

    Ely Outback
    Another great attraction is the magnificent surroundings. Great Basin National Park provides an obvious and rewarding destination, but there is no limit to the outdoor recreation here. Hunting, fishing, camping, hiking, exploring, cross-country skiing and anything else you enjoy doing outdoors is available in the countryside around Ely Chamber of Commerce information is available on Aultman Street.


    from The Complete Nevada Traveler, by David W. Toll





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