September 24-25, 2014:
We both left Elko around 10 AM, but then split up with Twinkles making a food stop at Walmart while I made a stop at the California Trail Interpretive Center.
|View leaving the RV Park at Elko|
The Trail center was large with great exhibits inside and outside, with a lot of personal information about the trials the pioneers faced on the California Trail. There was so much there to see, I could have spent hours, but I didn't want Twinkles to get too far ahead of me. There were things in the exhibits that reminded me of the decision to go full time RV'ing.
|Seeing the Elephant is a little like going RV'ing full time|
|There is the Elephant|
|Getting rid of stuff, like full time RV'ing too|
|Learning how to deal with the natives|
|In the wide open facing the unknown|
|Things don't always go as planned|
|Going places you've never been|
So, it was back onto interstate 80 west for a few miles to the exit for route 278. Route 278 was another solitary state highway with hardly any traffic, no services for close to 90 miles, but with beautiful valley and mountain vistas. The valley had many large ranches that had huge hay fields which was different. The valley has water and is fairly green due to irrigation which enables hay to be grown. This is high desert country in the 5-6,000 foot elevations and the roadside was blanketed in bright yellow Rabbitbush and green sage which made my eyes happy.
We then arrived at the intersection with route 50 and a few miles away was the town of Eureka, Nevada. We had two small RV parks to look at, no reservations, although we tried, no one answered the phone. The first one said full on the sign and looked pretty rough. The second one, Silver Sky Lodge & RV Park, had openings, but no one at the office, but self service instructions on what to do. We settled in then drove downtown to explore.
Eureka is a old mining town that retains much of the old western charm with a great restored old Opera House. The Opera House is open to see and the interior is impressive, especially the hand painted old stage curtain. The Court House is equally beautiful and a guy on the street said we had to see it, even held the door for us ! We went up the staircase to the original court room right out of the early 1900's. There are many old interesting buildings downtown in various states of disrepair. The food market downtown was really unusual, have never shopped in a food market before with dozens of mounted animal heads on the walls all around. They say that in it's silver and gold mining heyday that Eureka had 100 saloons which is difficult to conceive, it's not that large. It was also so smoke filled from it's 16 smelters that they called it the "Pittsburgh of the west". We also noted that much of the downtown is for sale, you could conceivably buy this town.
|Eureka Court House|
|Food shopping in Eureka|
|Interior of food market|
|Eureka Opera House|
|Eureka Opera House|
|The Court Room|
|Bannister at the Court House|
|The Jackson House|
|The Opera House stage|
|Performers get to write stuff on the walls|
|In the balcony at the OPera House|
|Louies Lounge, where the fun was, now closed|
|Old Eureka Hotel - Cafe|
|We're got a way to go still|
|General Store for sale|
We went back downtown in the evening to the Owl Tavern for a couple of beers and had an interesting conversation with a guy originally from Montana who has worked for the past 20 some years in construction traveling around the west living in an RV. It was interesting to talk to a "real" work camper for a change. The campground we stayed at in Elko was filled with these types and they even had a small bar and gaming room that was nice as could be, it was like walking into "Cheers" where everybody knows your name. In Nevada it seems that many of these small campgrounds are filled with people working in the mines.
The sign coming into town says; "Welcome to Eureka, the friendliest town on the loneliest highway". Riding around the town, we couldn't help but notice a police car was pulling cars over constantly for speeding in the extended 25 MPH downtown speed trap area. We didn't think that was so friendly ?
|Welcome to Eureka|
In the morning prior to levying town I went for breakfast on the campground owners recommendation where they have real Mennonite cooking. It was really good and there were a few locals in there talking about hunting, with one of the guys waiting for the Donuts to be ready. He got his Donut, then a woman came in and bought all the rest of them, that's life in a small town.
Next stop Ely Nevada;
Twinkles and Slick