March 11-13, 2016

Friday, March 11
Idaho state line to Elko, Nevada

    Into Jackpot, Nevada at 1:15 temp 56, stopping at the West Star Hotel and Casino for biscuits & gravy, a couple of eggs over easy, a couple of strips of bacon, and coffee. Back on the road at 1:55 past the Covered Wagon Motel and Four Jacks Casino, back into desert on either side, mountains up ahead, 10-15 houses out in the desert.
    Some mountains to the west, pretty good bit of snow on them, others to the east with quite a bit of snow, past an abandoned building for Mineral Hot Springs. Contact, elevation 5347. Past those mountains and there's more up ahead. Passing by a hill with snow-covered slopes. A long haul from Jackpot to Wells with practically nothing in there, desert, mountains, a handful of houses, some of them state buildings. My god, there's a bridge over the road! Why? It's at the H-D Summit, elevation 6280. I have no idea what that bridge is for. Snow on the slopes to my right, to my left, ahead of me, some high mountains way ahead of me are completely covered. Now I can see there's a pretty spectacular range of them marching south that are 90% covered with snow. Deer Migration Area Next 3 Miles. Another bridge. I bet that's a deer migration bridge.
    Wells City Limits at 2:59. Kind of sad, looks like the old hotels are being torn down, including the Wild West Inn. I decided to move on to Elko. On to I-80 at 3:15. Angel Lake Rest Area, the exit to Welcome and Starr Valley, to Deeth, Ruby Valley (not Rudy Vallee) (there's a cel tower there), to Elburz, to Devils Gate.
    Snow-covered mountains parallel I-80 to the south, to the north mostly desert (an old style windmill) with distant mountains. There seems to be patches of blue in the sky, not very big ones but they're there, gray sky. The snow-covered mountains to the south have become hills. A lot of little houses line I-80 to the north from Devils Gate to the next exit, Osino, mostly prefabs and trailers. Seems to be desert to the south. Nice big peak rising ahead of me, way above the peaks around it, seems perfectly triangular from this angle, the slopes at the same angle and the same distance. Elko at 1:55, temp 51. Into the Rodeway Inn at 4:09, 61 degrees, odometer 124675. Nice room--long desk, 3 small tables, sink with lots of counter space, good lighting, warm (usually I have to turn on the heat).
    Then I got a $200 cash advance from the bank and walked through one of the casinos (according to Google there are 10). In the evening I had a $14 rib eye dinner at Gold Coast West (in 1996, I ate at a Basque restaurant in Winnemucca).

The Ruby Mountains

Saturday, March 12
1980: "The restlessness stalks in its closet, ready to pounce. The Sixties are long over, my friends, and, not only am I older, but this is a different age."
Elko, Nevada

    Up at 7:30. Cereal, Danish, banana, orange juice, and coffee at the motel. A bit chilly at 8 o'clock, a sky full of fluffy cumulus and large patches of blue.
Walked around town a bit. There's a big wide "mall" that runs much of the length of the town parallel to Idaho Street (the main drag). Railroad Avenue is the northern side of it. On the southern street (Commercial Avenue?) are the movie theatre, a family restaurant, and Stockmen's Hotel and Casino. I walked through Stockmen's (large almost life-sized portraits of Doc Holliday and Buffalo Bill) on the other side of the mall from the one I walked through yesterday.
    I drove down to the Red Lion Casino at the eastern end of Elko and had a cup of coffee at their counter. Across the street from the casino is the Mudd Hutt.
    An old blacksmith shop, livery stable, and a couple of old wagons next to the Visitors Center on Idaho Street.
    I had a reuben at the Coffee Mug, blue sky with medium-sized fluffy cumulus clouds, more blue than cloud then walked past the Original Home of Garcia's Bits and Spurs.
    In the evening I went to see "Hail Caesar," an enjoyable movie that in two months I will probably have forgotten everything about, including the title.

Sunday, March 13
53 years ago, I first noticed Sherri Remez during South Pacific callbacks.
Elko to the Utah state line

    Up at 8 for cereal, Danish, banana, orange juice, and coffee at the motel. $13.05 for $1.999 85 octane at a Shell on Idaho Avenue then it was I-80 west around 8:45, getting off at Carlin and Nevada route 278 at 9:05, heading south.
The Vast Emptiness of Nevada
    Triangular peak way ahead, over some kind of river that paralleled the road for a while along with a railroad track. Emigrant Mine. To the west a bit of desert, a lonely house out there with a shed, mountains or hills rising above that, no snow; to the east a short bit of desert then some hills, sun trying to break through the clouds, the road more or less straight. Quite a bit of drop-off to my right, down into a valley where that river flows along with the railroad track, more or less desert between me and it and on the other side. A lot of mostly white cattle, some brown, some black, down into a valley, the road to Palisade, still in hilly country, the road curving a bit, probably a great blue heron overhead, the river has become a creek. A small animal, a chipmunk maybe, out in the road then scampered to the side of the road, another one. A streak of blue sky up ahead. A lot more cattle, mixed brown and black, scattered about across the desert to the west for some distance, a big snow-covered mountain way off on the horizon, really flat over there now, nothing on it but grass that goes on for some distance then slopes and finally distant mountains, a snowy snow-covered slope to the east, where most of the mountains have streaks of snow. Pine Valley at 9:24, 3 brown horses and a white one, more brown cows and a black one, lots of hay bales, a collection of houses to my left, lots of sheds. Very flat to the right, cattle at a distance, just black dots in the distance, barely discernible as cattle. Quite a bit of farm equipment scattered in a field, either abandoned or waiting for spring.
    And that big white mountain (really a range) rises in the distance, small mountains that rises to an uneven ridge with white on its slope then down to a smaller peak and then drops down to the desert. Hay Ranch. A small bird sitting on a fence post. 9:31, back into rolling desert with snowy mountains on either side, to the west a nice patch of snow, otherwise streaky snow on both sides of the road. Blue sky up ahead, overcast overhead. Finally stopped to take a photo of the mountain, nice out there on the desert, quiet, a breeze blowing, cool (47 degrees). Kinda nice. Garden Pass. Not much to it. But then I went down and down through rolling desert country, sunny, around a curve to face some mountains with totally snow-covered slopes. Coming into a flat green valley of some kind with those snow-covered mountains on the other side. The road to Saddle Brown, to my right some rocky cliffs with skree at their bases. A trailer house, a couple of shacks, several long buildings of some kind, 15-20 buildings on my left. A collection of buildings way off to my left.
    Junction with US-50 at 10:23, temp 46. Eureka! At 10:25, elevation 6485, into a valley between rows of hills, Louie's Lounge Gaming Cafe Hotel, J&S Saloon, Sundown Lodge, Saloon and Restaurant, Eureka Opera House with a second-story porch, coffee shop and general store no longer in business. Goodbye Eureka at 10:27.
    Windfall Canyon in hilly country with streaky snow on the slopes, coming down to the road. Pinto Summit, the road to Strawberry, the road going straight toward the mountains up ahead, desert on either side, low mountains to the south in the distance, low mountains a little closer to the north, sky pretty much blue with a low flat cloud ahead of me to the right, more flat clouds to the south, wispy clouds of smoke to the north. A couple of small white-breasted birds flew up in front of me. Pancake Summit elevation 6517, rolling desert country, a rocky promontory up ahead, mountain with a little bit of snow way off to the north. Going uphill on a curvy road in a canyon with hills on either side, to the south snow on the slopes but not on the north sun-facing slopes, rocky hills but not spectacular with one hoodoo at the beginning, Little Antelope Summit elevation 7438. A range of snow-covered mountains up ahead. I counted 14-15 peaks, dark-edged ridges going up to a peak, one after another.
    Into Ely at 11:34, temp 49, some nice big cliffs hovering over the road, elevation 6435, snow-covered slopes hanging over Ely as I come over the pass. The Jailhouse Casino and Motel, the Stardust Ranch with a red car in front of it, Wilson Bates Furniture Company, Happy Garden Chinese Restaurant, Annie's Restaurant Casino & Lodge, Club Rio, the Plaza Hotel, the Silver State Restaurant, El Rancho Motel, Desert Rest Motel, the Grand Central Motel, the Sunlight Ranch Market, the Rustic Inn Motel, Friendly Motel, White Pine Puppet Museum, Pony Express and Overland Stage, Great Basin Inn Motel. For such a large town, I never saw a super market and only one regular market, Food Town. Leaving Ely at 10:51, past the Prospector Casino Hotel and Restaurant, Historic Hotel of Nevada, White Pine County, the Fireside Inn, Ely Jet Center (airfield).
    The town of McGill at 12 noon, Cypress Hall, an abandoned building. Desert to the left and right with mountains beyond the desert, a little further off to the north than in the south, more snow to the south than to the right. 12:22, still out in the middle of the desert, mountains off in the distance on both sides, distant ones to the south covered with snow, snow on slopes to the north. Past the Stage Stop Bar and Cafe. Coming down over a rise into a wide flat valley, mountains way off to the north, barely visible to the south, a long strip of light color which turns out to be yellow grass as far as the eye can see with a very pale yellow whitish sand, light skree at the base of the mountains on the other side of the valley. White Horse Pass at 1:07. Rolling desert with no visible mountains, no snow anywhere in sight. Over another rise to another wide valley with another light stretch, sharp peaks on the other side. Great rock formation up ahead, a grayish brown shallow slope up to a peak that falls off gradually to the desert, a reddish purple mountain in the far distance, very light yellowish white sand on both sides of the road. A kind of rock sphinx, a low body that rises to a head, no features to it of course, no paws.
    Into West Wendover at 1:31 temp 59, Peppermill Casino, Wendover Nugget Hotel & Casino, Montego Bay Casino. $21 of $1.879 85 octane at a Shell in Wendover. I screwed up royally! US 50 took a turn at Ely and I took 93 all the way to Wendover and back to I-80.
    Onto I-80 east at 1:57 and immediately into Utah.