The following is from: Purdue, Matt, Adventure Travel Guide to Nevada (Edison, NJ: Hunter, 1999):
" [In Nevada] much of the Great Basin is broken up into basins and ranges, the mountains running roughly north to south and looking like the march of the caterpillars on a topographic map. An east-to-west drive across the belly of Nevada is a rollercoaster ride: up a range, down a range, across a sagebrush-covered basisn, then up another range, down another range, and so on. "p7.
This helps me understand the cross-section drawing by the Hermit Lady of the elevations of all the passes on highway 50, which looked like labels on the ridges of a piece of cordoroy. Because of the current state of highway engineering, you don't really notice all the ups and downs as you drive along.
p. 8 [T]he majority of the basin and range is characterized by one plant: big sagebrush (Aremesia tridentata). This fragrant shrub has taken over since native grasses have been grazed out of existence by livestock. . . . other plants that thrive in sem-arid-conditions, such as rabbitbrush, greasewood, horsebrush and shadescale. . . .The squat Utah juniper . . . between 5,000 and 8,00 feet aboutseal level. Oftn found near the junipter is pinyon pine (or singleleaf pine), the only one of the 100-odd pines with singular needles. The pinyon pine's nuts were a staple of many Nevada Native Americans, and the fall ritual of collecting the pine nuts continues today among people of all races across the state. . . . . At elevations above 6,000 feet, quaking aspens. bristlecone pine (p. 10) cottonwoods [along the rivers], alder willow
Eureka is in a narrow canyon below Richmond Mountains.