Aug 3-7, 2016
Elko is a cool place. Get past (if you can) the casinos, fast food joints, mining rednecks in beat-up pick-ups, neon-lit brothels and 24-7 railroad noise and you have a little town with grit and heart. Home of the Western Heritage Center and the annual Cowboy Poetry Gathering (takes place in the winter when it’s cold so I won’t be there) this place has history and cowboy soul. Basque culture is huge here and when in town you have to dine at the Star Hotel where family-style Basque dining is the draw along with a killer drink called the Picon Punch – dare you to drink 2. (Thanks to Gene Kilgore for the tip!).
The real surprise were the Ruby Mountains just south of town. Incredible! Still had snow up high this late in the summer. Did a circumnavigation and drove up Lamoille Canyon. Lots of mountain mahogany trees, aspen and white pine. Stunning, glacier carved peaks. On my radar for a return trip someday when I figure out dry camping (boondocking without hook-ups or services). Check out these pics!
Next Stop: Salmon/North Fork, Idaho for a week (en-route to Glacier National Park)