Showing posts with label Nevada roadtrip. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Nevada roadtrip. Show all posts

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Red, White and Blue Road Trip

Happy Birthday America!

While citizens and cities drape themselves in our patriotic colors on the Fourth of July – our holiday commemorating the signing of the Declaration of Independence from Great Britain in 1776  – we decided to take ourselves on an armchair Red, White and Blue road trip through America’s West:

Our trip begins  in Seattle, Washington, where sometimes that old song, “The bluest skies you’ve ever seen are in Seattle. . .” holds true. On sunny days, Elliott Bay, on which Seattle is located,  is pretty blue as well:

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Heading east across  Washington, we’ll spend a bit of time in Spokane, where red brick buildings stand tall against a blue sky backdrop.

A walk through the town’s historic district is a glimpse back at a segment of state history.

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WARoadTrip2012 097From there, we’ll go south through Washington’s wheat fields and agricultural lands. Our route takes us through countless small towns like, Rosalia, population about 600.

White clouds flit across those Eastern Washington blue skies providing a backdrop to its mid-century architecture, like the gas station below.

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WARoadTrip2012 127Then we cross the border into Oregon State – our destination  to Wallawa Lake and more hues of white and blue.

Just down the road a splash of red, white and blue wrapped history in the town Wallowa, population 807:

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To the west a bit further, near Pendleton, Oregon, we are under those blue skies and white cotton-candy-like cloud formations:

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Then south into the  state of Nevada , our route awash with blue and white –

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Entering Arizona we see on the horizon a splash of red as the spectacular Vermillion Cliffs Monument area expands before us:

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An even more brilliant red is found in the Navajo Tribe’s woven rugs. Artisans continue the tradition of their Native American ancestors as they blend color and design in these works of art. (These were for sale at a roadside restaurant in Northern Arizona.)

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Our road trip ends  in Arizona’s Valley of the Sun where even the dessert blooms add to our patriotic palette of colors:

PicMonkey Collage

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That’s it for this Travel Photo Thursday and for Travel Photo Mondays.  To all of you celebrating the Fourth of July, we hope your day is filled with family and friends and decked out in red, white and blue.

Travel Photo Thursday is at Budget Travelers Sandbox, hosted by Nancie McKinnon, and Travel Photo Monday is  at Travel Photo Discovery created by Noel Morata.

Hope to see you back again for Travel Tuesdays and our WAWeekend (that stands for WAshington)  featuring in-state destinations. If you've not yet become a follower or subscriber, hope you'll do so today!

The Western United States:

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Note: This armchair road trip combines photos from three road trips we have taken through the West.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Tuesday Travel Classics: Ely’s Hotel Nevada

Continuing our series of Travel Classics – those still-sparkling hotel gems of yesteryear -- we make a stop in Ely, Nevada and The Historic Hotel Nevada and Gambling Hall.

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Back in 1929 when the six-story tall hotel opened, it was the tallest building in the State of Nevada.  (From my photo, you might still call it a ‘high-rise’ in this small town 250 miles north of Las Vegas). 

AZroadtrip2012 037The Scout had researched the hotel prior to our Winter Road Trip, but we couldn’t fit in more than a lunch stop there on the southbound route. That little taste had us vowing to return, which is what we did on our return  from Arizona. And that time we spent the night. 

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Just like those upscale casinos in Las Vegas, the hotel’s front desk is just off  – in this case – the ‘Gaming Hall’ (casino)  and the guest rooms are on the floors above it. Unlike those Vegas places, this one was small and filled with curios.

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Buffalo heads, stuffed critters, the bigger-than-life bronze cowboy and antler chandeliers left no doubt you stepped back into the Ol’ West. Being December, all were decked out in bows and garlands as well. 

AZroadtrip2012 043 We can recommend the hotel restaurant for both the quality of its food and the portions.
This is my half of the French dip sandwich plate we’d ordered for lunch.

The hotel opened during a time in our country’s history when "Prohibition” was still in effect.  But thanks to the local bootlegging efforts the hotel was kept supplied with “Bath tub Gin” and “White Lightning,” the latter a grain alcohol that could reach 200 proof.

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Back in its early days rooms rented for $1.50 a night and all had private toilets and nearly all had private baths as well. I suspect they might not have been as cute as the one we stayed in for only$54.95 (free wi-fi and a welcome margarita; no hotel fees, either!) Though we’d been warned that the old pipes carrying water to our shower in our en suite bath could go from cold to hot without warning, we didn’t have a problem (but we didn’t take long leisurely showers either).

RdTripAZ2WA2012 066Rooms are all named for and decorated with that person's musical memorabilia. 

Ours was Charlie Rich,  the Country Western singer. 

Bet you know this song of his (click the link to You Tube and go) 

“Behind Closed Doors”

If You Go:

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Ely, is in White Pine County in the central part of eastern part of Nevada, sitting at the crossroads of U.S. 93 and U.S. 50. As you enter the town,you’ll find a selection of motels flanking the main drag.

RdTripAZ2WA2012 079But we’d recommend heading straight to The Hotel Nevada where they say, “Stay with us once and you’ll become a ‘customer for life’.”

That’s what happened to us.  We’ll be back. Hopefully, soon!

Have you stayed in a Travel Classic? Tell us about it in the comment section below or for those of you subscribers, head to TravelnWrite where you'll find the comment section.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

TP Thursday: Did You See That?!

We tell you about the destinations, but don’t always mention those entertaining sights (and sites) along the way. Those brief snapshots in time . . . so fleeting. . .so unexpected. . .but oh, so memorable, like in:

Tuscany, Italy
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We had been, for some time, the only ones traveling this two-lane road through Tuscany last fall.  Yet, we stopped and waited at the red light. . .and waited. . .and waited, to the point we started thinking it might be some sort of joke. When, finally, it turned green, we found major road construction just around the corner had narrowed the road to a single lane.

Eastern Washington State

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We’d passed through a number of picturesque small towns as we drove from Spokane, Washington to Joseph, Oregon but none had as clever a welcome sign as did the town of Anatone, a tiny spot  in the southeastern part of the state.

Nothing, Arizona


Nothing, Arizona is just that these days. The sign on US 93 between mile markers 148 and 149 is six miles north of the junction of Hwy 97.  It once was the site of an operating rock shop, and a gas station and even a pizza joint.

Sfakia, Crete

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That is a roadside guard rail at the top of the photo, framing this beast of beauty we spotted sunning itself one fine day on the southwestern coast of Crete.  This laid-back sunbather could have been posed there for the attention he gave to my phototaking.

Nevada’s Extraterrestrial Highway

State Route 375 is a long, lonesome 98-mile stretch of highway in remote southern Nevada. Like other similar roadways  in Nevada and Arizona, it provides immense stretches of vast, barren high desert-scapes. 
What sets it apart from those other roadways – besides the fact it’s near ‘Area 51’ which was for sometime a top-secret government research and test facility within the Nellis Air Force Base’s Bombing and Gunnery Range -- is that in 1996 it was officially named the Extraterrestrial Highway because of the UFO and other paranormal activities recorded here.

We’d chuckled about not seeing anything extraterrestrial or otherwise as we drove between Crystal Springs and Warms Springs, on that particular morning. About then, this is what we saw in the distance:

                                 Alien Research Center- Jackie Smith photo

We drove past, but I insisted I had to take a photo, so we returned to the parking lot so I could take the above shot. It was then we saw the sign "Alien Research Center."   Hmmm, not a person in sight, although the sign read, ‘museum and gift shop now open’. 

That was two years ago. I Googled it then and again this week and found no more information on either of my investigations than I have told you of this place located at:  100 Extraterrestrial Highway, Hiko, Nevada: It is simply there.

That’s it for this week’s Travel Photo Thursday. Hope you visit Nancy’s Budget Travelers Sandbox today for more fun photos. And if you’ve not yet checked out TravelnWrite’s Facebook page hope you’ll drop by there as well.

How about you? What have you seen on your travels  made you exclaim, “Did you see that?!”

Monday, December 31, 2012

2013: We’ll Be On the Road ~And Going 60!!

In his book, Dark Star Safari, Paul Theroux chronicles his solo trip through Africa taken in celebration of his 60th birthday.  When I read it several years ago, I thought to myself,

“How good it is that a person that old still travels like that. . .”
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The Scout is already at work planning travel escapades for 2013. He’s been at it for weeks already. . .seems he began sometime during our Winter Road Trip.

Don’t you love this end-of-the-year moment in time when the new, untouched year - only hours away - beckons with possibilities for adventures and travels? 

0006100-R1-009-3While the possibilities are endless, the trip The Scout’s currently focused on is the one we will take to celebrate The Scribe’s 60th birthday. 

(The Scribe who is now quick to point out that Paul Theroux wasn’t that old after all! )

Earlier this year I quoted in a post another favorite writer of mine, Frances Mayes, after learning that a couple of our friends were dealing with cancer. By the end of the year, eight of our friends had had their life altered by the disease.  The quote I had used back then still rings true for us:

“Life’s little wake-up calls. (Do they have to be so numerous?) Scroll down the list and start to wail – or shout out Carpe diem.”

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Life’s little wake-up calls, Frances called them. She got that right!  Each friend's news was a reminder that hitting  60 is reason to celebrate!
Knock it out of the ballpark.

Dance in the street.

Put your feet up and watch a sunset.

Seize the day.

Pack the bags.


The birthday is six months away, but if all goes as planned the trip in launch in the spring. Will it  rival Paul Theroux’s?   Will it result in a book as his did? It just might! It’s going to rock no matter ~ because this is the year we hit the road – going 60 all the way.

DSCF2065But before we set out to discover all that 2013 holds for us; we want to take a moment to toast each of you’ who have come along on our journeys this past year via TravelnWrite. To you, we raise our glasses and say:
“Thank You!

Carpe Diem!

Happy New Year!

Happy Travels!”

*Photos in order:  Outside Ely, Nevada, Naxos, Greece, on board Carnival Spirit off Mexico's Baja Coast, Waikiki, O’ahu, and somewhere in the Mediterranean on board the Celebrity Constellation.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Ely, Nevada: An Elixir for the Soul

While The Scribe was packing our suitcases, The Scout was planning the route for our Winter Road Trip through the Western United States. 

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He’d calculated that on our second southbound day we’d reach tiny Ely, Nevada, (population 4,288 in 2011)  tucked away in the eastern part of the state in time for lunch. This town, that began in the late 1800’s as a stagecoach stop, is located at the northern tip of Nevada’s Great Basin. It became the county seat in 1887 and by 1906 was a copper mining boom town.

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Illuminated by a mid-day sun against a blue sky background the the city park with its nearby towering County Courthouse called out Small Town Americana.   It’s a call that we find irresistible.

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The Scout had read about the historic Hotel Nevada and Gambling Hall which  at six-stories it was until 1948, the tallest building in Nevada.  it was there we dined on our mid-day break.  (You can tell from the photo it is still one of the tallest buildings in town.)

So charmed were we by this taste of the Old West – both town and hotel -- that we vowed to return on our northbound trip – and three weeks later pulled in for a second dose  of small-town-soul-elixir.

By then winter had turned the little town into a Currier and Ives card:

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Our arrival seemed synchronized with the snow that began falling in the mid-afternoon.

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The small town seemed even more charming as -now bundled in winter coats and gloves -  we strolled along its darkening main street, named Altman.

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One of our favorite ‘finds’ along the way was Economy Drug, an old-time combination pharmacy, gift and toy store, and boasting one of the coolest authentic drug store soda fountains we’ve ever seen.  Opened in the 1940’s the family’s on its third generation pharmacist.

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We were warmly greeted by two camera-shy ladies running the eatery, one in particular was a ‘fountain’ of history about the town and the business. She told me not to miss the ‘naughty boy’  mural on the side of the building. So . . .

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I didn’t want you to miss it either.  (Look closely near the lighted window.)

This time we stayed overnight in the historic Hotel Nevada and it’s a story unto itself. . .one that I'll soon be telling. . .

If You Go:

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  • Ely, is in White Pine County in the central part of eastern part of Nevada, sitting at the crossroads of U.S. 93 and U.S. 50. As you enter the town,you’ll find a selection of motels flanking the main drag.
  • It’s a great base for outdoors enthusiasts as camping, hiking, fishing and places to climb are found within a close radius.
  • In Ely, you are also in old Pony Express Country and not far from some old stage stops and mining ghost towns. 
  • The old Ely Ghost Train, is an operating railroad museum. Between May and September you can take train rides powered by old steam engines No. 40 and No. 93 – both important links to the area’s mining past. For more information:  775.289.2085
Hope you’ll continue our journeys with us. Sign up to receive our posts in your inbox by using the box at the right. Or we’d love to see your photo among our other friends just mid-way down the column.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Raindrops and Rainbows~ Sunshine and Snowflakes

I sat reading a book Thursday evening in front of the fireplace as rain lashed the windows and the wind howled outside our adobe casita  - winter was announcing its arrival in Scottsdale, Arizona.

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It was time for High Plains Drifters to head north.  We’d lucked out on the weather since our arrival the weekend after Thanksgiving as most of our days had been sunny and unseasonably warm in Arizona. As we headed out of town Friday morning  Black Mountain near Carefree was hidden behind a thick cloud cover.

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Scottsdale roadways were covered in places with water and desert sand that had washed across the asphalt.

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We would follow a route  that took through the small hamlet of Wikiup, past Hoover Dam and loop us around Las Vegas  as we headed to Highway 318 which would take us. . .

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on a near magical journey through Nevada’s Great Basin.  If you’ve never visited this stretch of country we highly recommend adding it to your bucket list. 

One of its many highlights is about 90 miles north of Las Vegas,  the  8,400+square-mile Paharanagat National Wildlife Refuge, which was created in 1963, to provide habitat for migratory birds, especially waterfowl. The lakes and marshes are a rare sight in this part of Nevada.

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Our plan was to reduce our travel time from four nights on the road to three – if road conditions permitted.  So far, so good, we thought.

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From expansive vistas to winding our way through towering cavernous walls we sped north. . .

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We planned to spend our first night in Ely, Nevada, a small community where mining provides the economic foundation, where the third generation pharmacist works in the independent pharmacy that opened in the 1940’s and where the County Courthouse that belongs in a Norman Rockwell painting, serves three of the sparsely populated counties around it.

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It wasn’t until we were within minutes of  Ely, that rainbows and raindrops and sunshine gave way to snowflakes.  As we crossed Murray Summit, elevation 7,312-feet (more than twice as high as Washington’s Snoqualmie Pass) we encountered the first snow of the trip. Luckily Ely was only minutes away. . .

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Eight hours, 609 miles later we concluded Day One’s in Ely –  I'll take you there later this week and then we’ll set a course north through Oregon as we wind down the Winter Western Roadtrip. 


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