Thursday, April 28, 2011

Earl and I enjoyed our visit with my mother, which included Easter Sunday brunch at my brother's and sister-in-law's house (great food!). 

All great things have to come to an end, though, so on Monday morning we packed up and headed toward home.  Our first stop was the gas station in Melba to fill up with diesel ($4.339 per gallon) and then in Kuna to dump and fill with fresh water.

We stopped in Nyssa, Oregon, to visit my Aunt Ilene for a couple of hours and then had lunch in Ontario.

The weather was cloudy, and we did run into some rain and wind, but for the most part, the drive was uneventful.  We stopped in La Grande for groceries and diesel ($4.349) at the Safeway, and then headed on to Hilgard Junction State Park north of town, the place we normally stay when we're in the area.  The Oregon State Park website had indicated that the park was closed because of flooding of the Grande Ronde River; however, when we arrived, the flood waters were down and the gates were opened, so we backed into our favorite spot, having the entire park all to ourselves.

The next morning, the dogs got us up early...around 5:30 after their potty walk, we perked a pot of coffee, had one cup in the camper, put the second cup in our travel mugs, and were on our way.  It was lightly snowing when we left, but we encountered heavier snow over the White Mountains...fortunately, it was very tiny, dry flakes, so didn't stick to the road.

We stopped at the Wild Horse Casino east of Pendleton for breakfast and in Colfax for lunch, arriving home around noon.  We spent the better part of the afternoon unpacking the camper and getting the satellite TV receivers set up.  Finally, late in the afternoon, we were done, so fixed dinner and relaxed in front of the TV.

Friday, April 22, 2011

We've been having a good time at my mother's house...particularly Gracie and Blaze who have been having a ball playing out in her large back yard!

We went over to my brother's house to see his new pigs:

And his chuckers:

Blaze will be four months old tomorrow.  Here are some pictures we took of him today:

Here's a picture of Blaze when we brought him home:

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

After visiting the Jean Baptiste Charbonneau's grave site, we continued on to Jordan Valley where we stopped to have lunch at the Old Basque Inn.  I was looking forward to some Basque food...maybe a bowl of lamb stew...but, to my disappointment, they had nothing on the menu that was Basque.  The only lamb they had on the menu was lamb chops on the dinner menu...for $23!  What we had was good (shrimp baskets), but certainly was not Basque!

We then continued on to my Mother's house in a small town south of Nampa, Idaho.  We'll be here until the Monday after Easter when we'll head home to Spokane.

Jean Baptiste Charbonneau

The next morning after walking the dogs and having breakfast, we continued north on US-95 to Burns Junction where US-95 heads east to Jordan Valley.

On our Oregon Benchmark Atlas, I noticed the Jean Baptiste Charbonneau Grave National Historic Landmark which is about three miles north of US-95 near the small hamlet (wide spot in the road?) of Danner.  The name was familiar, but I couldn't place where I'd heard about him...obviously, he had some connection with Lewis and Clark, but I knew this only because of the signs out on the highway.  We decided to take a quick detour and drive up to the grave site.

Turns out that Jean Baptiste Charbonneau was the son of French Canadian interpreter, Touissant Charbonneau, and his Shoshone wife, Sacagawea (you already knew that, right?).  If you Google his name, you'll come up with lots of websites where you can read about his life.  Here is just one: .

We came across this in the path as we were walking around looking at the grave site.  The area was totally fenced off with a gate that has to be unlatched to get in.  So that must mean this area has humongous birds...or flying cows!

On the way out of Churchill County Fairgrounds on Wednesday (4/13), we dump tanks, filled with fresh water, and then went by the laundromat to do laundry. 

We then headed north on US-95 to its junction with I-80.  There's a rest stop there, and we pulled in to walk the dogs.  A Class A pulled in behind us and, as I was walking Gracie, I saw a man heading purposefully toward Earl and Blaze.  I heard him say, "What are you doing with my dog?"  It turns out that the couple had had three Basenjis, the most recent of which they'd lost a few months prior...AND they live in Spokane during the summer!  We spent probably about half an hour talking with them.

We continued our trip east on I-80 (although at this point, it goes north until it gets to Winnemucca), stopping in Lovelock for lunch.  We then drove the few remaining miles to Rye Patch Reservoir, a frequent stop for us when in this area. 

The next morning (which was COLD!), we got back on the Interstate and stopped at the stone house in Imlay, which we'd often seen traveling up and down I-80, but had never taken the time to visit.  On our Nevada Benchmark Atlas, it's listed simply as "stone house," but it's actually Thunder Mountain Monument, built as a monument to the plight of the American Indian at the hands of the White Man.  You can read more about it at .

We went on to Winnemucca where we stopped for diesel ($4.239).  After fueling, we continued north on US-95 to McDermott where we had lunch at the Say When Casino. 

About 35 miles or so of the Nevada/Oregon border, we pulled over at a gravel pit (one we'd stayed at before) to spend the night.  This gravel pit is out in the middle of freakin' nowhere...not a sign of civilization anywhere, except for the FAA traffic control beacon a few hundred yards to the east.  Yet, I had excellent Verizon Internet access!  Go figure!

Monday, April 18, 2011

US-50 (The Lonliest Road)

After visiting Belmont and Manhattan, we continued north on NV-376 to US-50 and then headed west through Austin.  We were headed to Fallon, but it was getting late and it was at least another couple of hours before we'd get to Fallon.  Approximately five miles west of Austin, we came across a large paved area with a historical sign about Jacobsville, a town that served as a Pony Express stop and as a stop for the Overland Stage, now a ghost town, .  We decided to spend the night there.  It turned out to be a nice quiet area...not another vehicle stopped there the entire time we were parked.

The next day, we continued west on US-50, stopping to see several ruins of Pony Express and Overland Stage stops.

This is difficult to read, even when clicked on to make it bigger.  It talks about Robert "Pony Bob" Haslam, a Pony Express rider.  You can learn more about his story by Googling his's one:

We then stopped to see the Shoe Tree.  There weren't many shoes hanging from the trees...turns out that the original shoe tree was cut down by vandals.


We finally made it to Fallon where we spent the night at Churchill County Fairgrounds, stopping first to have lunch at the Golden Rice Bowl.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Manhattan, Nevada

To read about Manhattan's history, and to see more pictures, go to .

Belmont, Nevada

You can read about Belmont's history at .

First Courthouse, then a bank (see informational sign below)

Sign in the above saloon's window

Sadly, some didn't live too long

On the other hand, some lived to a ripe old age

Note the spelling of this person's place of birth

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Warm Springs, Nevada

Warm Springs is (or was) at the junction of NV-375 (The Extraterrestrial Highway) and US-6.  The site was originally a stopping place for freighters and stages traveling to Eureka and Elko. It was a place where travelers could stop and enjoy the rejuvenating waters of Warm Springs.

Most likely a newer vintage than the other building here.

This may have been a corral for the horses of the stages and freighters that traveled the road.

Little A'Le'Inn in Rachel, Nevada


One dollar bills attached to ceiling with names, dates, and other information.  Reminded us of the Signpost Forest in Watson Lake, Yukon