Management of Subterranean Ecosystems in Extreme Environments
Bedrock trebuchet on Highway 50
Random Fun Stuff
Ringtones, ghost stories & wide open spaces!

We'll be honest - this page has nothing to do with cave or karst management. Not a single thing. And except for one tiny ghost story way down at the bottom of the page, it really has nothing to do with caving either.

Yet, when you come to visit us in Ely, it's important to understand that Nevada's expansive Great Basin isn't just a geographic location - it's also a psychology.

The travel details on this site will get you here. But the material on this page will get you in the right frame of mind to really enjoy the wide open spaces and rugged landscape of White Pine County and Nevada's Pony Express Territory.

We look forward to welcoming you to the Great Basin!

Steam Train Ringtones!

Nevada Northern Railyard

Because, seriously, who wouldn't want the vintage wail of a century-old steam locomotive for a mobile ringtone? right?... Right?

These were recorded at the historic railyard in Ely, Nevada on one of our productions team's site visits. You can't get more real than this. The only thing missing is the smell of the industrial-era boiler fire. To experience that, you'll just have to come visit us in person.

All aboard!

There are 4 files here in two different formats. One works on Android & MS devices, the other on iPhones. Follow the directions for your phone to load these into your device. Click the "Play" button to listen to the file.

Steam Ringtone #1

Dowload for: Android iPhone

Steam Ringtone #2

Dowload for: Android iPhone

Steam Ringtone #3

Dowload for: Android iPhone

Steam Ringtone #4

Dowload for: Android iPhone

Be sure to join us at the 2025 NCKMS in Ely, Nevada. One of our social events includes a geology-themed ride on these historic trains up through the Robinson Nevada Mining District.

Road Trip Audio Books!

Ghost Stories

No matter where you travel in the American west's Great Basin, if your drive is more than 30 minutes, it's highly likely you'll find yourself out on a lone highway with nothing to do but look at some amazing scenery. That's nice during the day, but if you're travelling at night, the best option is to watch for hovering lights and UFOs. Alas, even that gets old after a while (unless you actually see one, of course). Hey, we don't judge.

Eventually, though, your radio station will turn to static and you'll be left with your thoughts and perhaps some old music you brought along for the ride. But never fear - we have you covered!

The material on this page may be freely downloaded, burned to a CD, or loaded into your mobile device. Some of this is pretty impressive, and some, well... it was free. So there.

And please don't stop to pick up hitchhiking extraterrestrials. That selfie just isn't worth it! None of us on the 2025 NCKMS production team are ever doing that... again.

Pony Express sign
Story of the Pony Express

The Story of the Pony Express offers an in depth account behind the need for a mail route to connect the eastern U.S. with the rapidly populating west coast following the gold rush of California, the springing up of lumber camps, and all incidental needs arising from the settling of the western frontier. Here we learn of the inception of the Pony Express, its formation, successes, failures, facts, statistics, combined with many anecdotes and names of the people who were an integral part of this incredible entity which lasted but less than two years, yet was instrumental in the successful settlement of two thirds of the land mass comprising the expanding country. (Introduction by Roger Melin)

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Additional Audio Books

Here are some other free audiobooks from LibriVox we think you might enjoy... Pro tip: The drive to Ely from either Salt Lake City or Las Vegas is about 4 1/2 hours.

Nevada Northern Railway

Nevada Northern Railway

Track for the Nevada Northern Railway was laid over a century ago, connecting one of the largest copper mines in North America to the Transcontinental routes to the north. Today, several of the original steam locomotives that were used over a century ago are still in operation. The Nevada Northern Railway is the best-preserved example of a standard-gauge short-line left in North America.

The 2025 NCKMS conference will include a geology-themed trip aboard this historic railway.

Symposium Merchandise

Troglodyte Playing Cards

We have no idea what these will look like yet, but we couldn't think of hosting NCKMS in Nevada without offering some themed-out playing cards. There's a good chance the card backs will feature a cave animal of the year, but we still have some time to figure it out.


JUNE 29, 2023
NCKMS Steering Committee Chooses Ely, Nevada as Host City for 2025 Symposium
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Advance registration for the 2025 symposium is expected to open in mid-2024. We will send an email to past attendees when that system comes online.

Feel free to join our mailing list if you would like to receive occasional updates on our plans.

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