Saturday, September 20, 2014

Winnemucca, Nevada

September 18-19, 2014:

It was one of our longest, most beautiful and most remote travel days ever.  A few miles north of Lakeview, we turned onto route 140 east and for close to 200 miles there was nothing but high desert country, barbed wire, cows and wild life.  I know they call route 50 in Nevada the "loneliest road", but I can't image it being as remote as this road.  It was really beautiful though with a really stunning uphill climb to Dougherty summit, where I stopped for a photo next to a trail for a hang glider takeoff point.

Long straight uphill to the clouds
The road up Dougherty Summit

At top of the  Summit

Route 140 travels through the Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge, lots of BLM land and the Fort McDermitt Indian Reservation before intersecting route 195 south to Winnemucca.  Once on route 195 the valley was filled with haze that was obscuring the distant mountain ranges.  We eventually found out that this is smoke from the forest fire in Weed, California. 

We arrived at the Hi-Desert RV Park around 2:30 and set up in a full hookup campsite.  It is located in the town, just off interstate 80, lots of amenities, pool, store, cable TV and free WiFi and most importantly they accept the Passport America discount rate. After setting up, we took a quick tour of Winnemucca and ate dinner at Chihuahua's Grill and Cantina which was very good.  Winnemucca is the classic old Nevada Casino town with several Casino's, Hotels, cheap Motels, seedy looking bars and even a Brothal.

Hi-Desert RV entrance

Indian motif on street posts

Mural on downtown Casino

Wild West Saloon sign

Mineshaft Bar

Court House

Chamber of Commerce building

Cheers Bar back door

Sun Dance Casino

Huge log washed up on a Crescent City California
beach and was donated to Winnemucca for
this roadside marker

Interesting comment about early Winnemucca

License plate caught my attention, may attract
police also ?

Old Winnemucca Hotel is for sale

Winner's Casino

We were delighted on Friday to see the smoke mostly gone, could see the surrounding mountains and blue sky.  We went to the Winnemucca Museum which is another excellent museum loaded with great stuff.  The woman there explained a number of exhibits and was very knowledgable and courteous.  They had some very rare unusual cars on display which surprised me, I hadn't expected that.

A past sheriff of Winnemucca

Rare old cars in museum

"NO Skid" tire with it spelled in tread

1911 Brush Runabout car

Old carved wooden Indian figures
that once stood in front of a Casinos

Prehistoric bones in museum

Old wagon in yard

Old trucks in yard behind the museum

The town of Winnemucca was named for Chief Winnemucca of the Paiute tribe, also called "Winnemucca the younger" and "Bad Face".  He  distrusted white settlers and was an active war chief.  He had a daughter, Sara Winnemucca, who became a quite famous activist, educator and writer.  A statue of her is in the US Capital building in Washington DC.

Chief Winnemucca's headdress

We then did something unusual, we went to Long John Silvers for lunch.  I had said that I actually liked their fish although I haven't had any in decades.  Twinkles was very upset by this fact, but decided that we would go so she could prove to me the error of my ways.  She ordered one "token" piece of fish for herself.  It was great, even better tasting than I remembered and Twinkles even very painfully admitted that it was good, but continued to scold me for eating something that horribly unhealthy.  I can't win !

On the wall at Long John Silvers

I had seen many handbills in downtown windows for a concert featuring a musician, David Jacob Strain, on Friday evening at the "Martin Hotel" which is a historic Basque restaurant in Winnemucca.  When I saw that he had taught guitar at Jorma Kaukonen's Fur Peace Ranch I knew he had to be someone special.  I bought a ticket and the show was really great !   He is an incredible blues guitar player with a good voice, good stories to tell and great stage presence.  He was accompanied by Bob Beach on harmonica who was equally great.  One of the best concerts I have seen in a long time.  The concerts are put on every few months by a volunteer organization and the Martin Hotel allows them to use a private back room.

The Martin Hotel

Davis Jacob Strain and Bob Beach on harmonica

Saturday morning it's back on the road, route 80 east, to a favorite place of mine, Elko, Nevada.
Hopefully no  smoke;

Twinkles and Slick

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