Hot!Rocky Mountain Highs and Big Skies 2009 Part 8 (finale) updated 8/24

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1bbqboy
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Re:Rocky Mountain Highs and Big Skies 2009 Part 3 updated 8/16 2009/08/18 10:43:10 (permalink)
12 cases fit in the camper? I don't think there would be any room left
for kitty kats, davy.
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Davydd
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Re:Rocky Mountain Highs and Big Skies 2009 Part 3 updated 8/16 2009/08/18 12:29:28 (permalink)
Oops! I meant to say a 12 bottle case. Yeah, 12 cases might get me all the way to California. I'm just concerned getting past the Blackhills without running out.
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Re:Rocky Mountain Highs and Big Skies 2009 Part 3 updated 8/16 2009/08/18 17:41:59 (permalink)
What a joy it's been to read through your trip report..thanks for sharing with us!  There is a bit of dribble from salivating over the pics of food, and i quite enjoy the location pics as well.
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Re:Rocky Mountain Highs and Big Skies 2009 Part 3 updated 8/16 2009/08/19 09:34:31 (permalink)
Davydd

Leinenkugel is a Wisconsin beer. Leinenkugel pretty much runs independently in Chippewa Falls, WI but is now owned by SABMiller. I would no longer consider them a regional or craft brewery. 

Grain Belt originally brewed in Northeast Minneapolis is nothing now but a passed around brand name that has changed ownership hands several times. Schell's Brands in New Ulm, MN the second oldest (to Yuengling) continuous brewery and still family owned now owns the brand. Grain Belt at least since 1970 was always more popular outstate than in the Twin Cities. In a way the Grain Belt brand has moved from regional to nationally owned to now a small craft brew. It has changed. It is no longer the brew I knew in the 70s.

Minneapolis/St. Paul is best associated now with Summit Brewing and their flagship Pale Ale served on tap in just about every bar now and the new upstart Surly Brewing Company with a line up of brews that I think blow everyone in the United States away. When you come to the Twin Cities now, Surly is the brand you want to seek out.

I had Surly Bender, Coffee Bender, Bitter Bender, Cynic Ale and Furious in my fridge this past month to serve my guests but I packing a 12 case sampler of Summit Pale Ale, Pilsner, Autumn Wheat and Porter when I head out in the campervan tomorrow to hold me until I reach Big Sky country.

 
I knew Leinenkugel is a Wisconsin beer, I completely forgot about Summit. Yes that's the beer I always associated the Twins Cities with, kind of like Boulevard with Kansas City and Fat Tire with Denver and of course Red Hook with Seattle and Sam Adams with Boston

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Re:Rocky Mountain Highs and Big Skies 2009 Part 3 updated 8/16 2009/08/19 09:53:29 (permalink)
WJ, we are heading out today for a 5 week swing out West in our campervan. I don't know how much area we will overlap with you since you haven't completed your report. My tendency is to enjoy what you have to present and seek out different places and not to tread on yours, but at the rate you're going you are going to shut me down.   I guess we'll have to spend a lot of time around the camp grill.
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1bbqboy
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Re:Rocky Mountain Highs and Big Skies 2009 Part 3 updated 8/16 2009/08/19 10:11:18 (permalink)
If you decide to see Crater Lake, be sure to stop by, Davy.
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Re:Rocky Mountain Highs and Big Skies 2009 Part 3 updated 8/16 2009/08/19 12:10:24 (permalink)
Nice report and great photos.Love Colorado.
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Davydd
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Re:Rocky Mountain Highs and Big Skies 2009 Part 3 updated 8/16 2009/08/19 13:24:53 (permalink)
Crater Lake is on our agenda as is Mt. St. Helens. We were last at Mt. St. Helens in 1991 eleven years after the eruption and would like to see the changes since.
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Re:Rocky Mountain Highs and Big Skies 2009 Part 3 updated 8/16 2009/08/19 13:43:36 (permalink)
Davydd

Crater Lake is on our agenda as is Mt. St. Helens. We were last at Mt. St. Helens in 1991 eleven years after the eruption and would like to see the changes since.


We're just 75 miles or so from Crater Lake. I'd love to show you guys the sights.
The Chipsters are arriving this Friday. :)
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Re:Rocky Mountain Highs and Big Skies 2009 Part 4 updated 8/17 2009/08/19 22:06:02 (permalink)
Part 5

Saturday August 1

Although this report is about the Mountain West, Idaho is one of those states like Texas, Kentucky, etc  that is not limited to one category. Many consider Idaho the "Inland Pacific Northwest" and this is evident by the amazing cuppa coffee and scone I had at Dawson's Coffee House.



Coming into Downtown Boise this morning I was greeted by two big crowds that surprised me
First



The downtown farmers market and we'll talk about the other later

After perusing the different stalls I found this.



and realized Buffetbuster  was right!




I would find my Huckleberry Pie.  Obviously a fair price for a man in desperate need. I enjoyed it later on in the afternoon (and evening) back at my hotel.

After walking around the farmers market, I found a second large crowd to great me,however for those who were on the forum approximately 4 1/2 years ago, the following photos, and for that matter some excerpts from The Sterns in their last Roadfood book as well as the Five Hundred Things to Eat before it's too late book are complete figments of my imagination and don't exist.



with Basque Dancers and



Basque Concessions

The Basque Block includes



The Basque Museum which I visited on my first visit in 1993

and The Basque Market





after browsing around, I built up an appetite and decided to visit an old, old favorite I haven't been to since 1998



Bar Gernika

Basque Restaurant # 2

established over 20 years ago. This basque/bar restaurant serves up some great Basque sandwiches, lunches and appetizers.





This is my 4th visit. On my first three visits I've always ordered the Solomo Sandwich,. but the waiter told me that this is Saturday and they have their weekly Tongue Special which runs out quick. Sounds good to me!



Wow, I truly forgot how great this place is. Garlicky Tongue served in a red sauce, creamy croquetas on the side and crusty bread infused with garlic cloves- This would be a top 10 contender if I hadn't visited 3x before!


After lunch, I was looking forward to do something. It was going to be 100 degrees today and tommorow too for that matter.
I've hit all the tourist spots on 3 prior visits. One of my tourist maps mentioned the Payette River,approximately 40 miles north of Boise, this area is famous for White Water Rafting and some amazing scenic beauty. I figured up in the mountains it should be cooler- right??? wrong!! instead of 100 degrees, it was 95 degrees













I even ventured into town and check out the local general store!



after strolling and mavelling at the scenic beauty I returned to my hotel and





enjoyed half of my huckleberry pie. again, it reminded me of blueberry!


Eventually it was time for dinner and I wanted to try the local Specialty "Finger Steaks" invented right in Boise. Served at many steak houses, taverns and surprisingly enough, burger stands, finger steaks are basically strips of  steak that are battered and deep fried. the spices have a heavily worcestershire based and are usually served with a dipping sauce. I discovered these are very populular in Idaho and apparently have spread to neighboring Montana because I noticed they were served at the Sport in Livingston too.

Reliable sources on the internet indicate that



Lindy's Steak House serves some of the best...

I was greeted by a young educated waitress who was originally from Casper WY and was moving to San Francisco with a new career in the arts- good for her!

The meal started off with

a small loaf of




wonderbread?

and continued on with



a crispy green salad with fresh blue cheese and sunflower seeds

and for the main course



Nicely battered, and there is real Sirloin underneath. I thought the batter tasted more of horseradish than Worcestshire. A cocktail dipping sauce was served on the side but I thought a blue cheese or ranch dip would have been more appropriate. The crispy thin fries were idaho delicious. Would I try this again? Maybe, maybe not- I'm on the fence.

After dinner it was time to head to



Memorial Stadium
to see the Boise Hawks single A farm team for the Chicago Cubs



and they even serve local fare- Basque Chorizo (no I didn't have any) I deliberately got a seat in the shade, turning down the $1 70th anniversary special tickets for Albertson's supermarket. It was even too hot for a beer- bottled water was all I drank. The ballpark is located at the fairgrounds approximately 5 or 6 miles outside of downtown.

The Hawks hosted the Vancouver Canadians and shut them out 9-zip










They even had



a regionally appropriate Great Potato Race featuring spud, fry and gem!

After the game, I returned back to my hotel, finished the other half of the pie (this was a mini pie btw) and called it a night

Sunday August 1

Downtown was alot more subdued this morning. I went to the Flying M Coffee House this time for another great cuppa joe and
a


Marionberry  (not Huckleberry) Scone

afterwards I took a stroll and took some photos of



The State Capitol which I toured on my first visit to Boise.

Those of you may not know this, but the initial plan was that Buffetbuster was supposed to join me for the Boise leg of this trip, unfortunately r/t airfares in excess of $500 prevented him from doing so.  Buffetbuster collects state Capitols, and he hasn't been to Boise yet, sometimes things happen for a reason!




after a further stroll into one of Boise's residential urban neighborhoods, it was starting to get warm. I walked back downtown and stopped by this place



Moon's Cafe. I first read about this place over 20 years ago in the "Lets Go USA" book. They're famous for their shakes.

I got



the Huckleberry- it was ok- I guess I concluded I'm just not a big fan of Huckleberry

I then returned  to my hotel and checked out. Initially when Buffetbuster was to join me, I was going to spend more time in Boise, and then drive to Winnemucca and spend the night, now I had no reason to stay in Boise and decided to leave around lunch time. I hopped on the hotel computer and got an amazing $17 deal on hotwire at the Sands in downtown Reno, luck will have it that is the same hotel I already got a $29 deal at for the two subsequent nights!

My last stop in Boise was lunch at



Andrade's, reviewed in the most recent Stern's Roadfood Book

I ordered the Andrade Special
there were actually two
the meal starts out with obligatory chips salsa and bean dip too





The main meal was a series of tortillas which  were stuffed with Carne Asada and Pico De Gallo



I'll be honest, I don't remember the specifics of the ingredients but they were better than i expected. I  deliberately didn't seek out the salsa bar, I wanted to enjoy the meal "as is"

After lunch, I left the confines of Boise and seemed to end up in what I would truly call "the middle of no where"
I was literally waiting to be abducted by little green men.

After crossing into a piece of Oregon, I finally


I stopped at a Convenience Store about 40 miles north of Winnemucca for some bottled water, I told the cashier I felt like I was truly in the middle of no where- she replied " you are, but nothing strange happens here"!


I arrived in Winnemucca

and found this



laying in front of the Chamber of Commerce

I was amazed at all the old cars still being driven



'



actually it was just another event that was waiting for me- the Car Show

I walked around the sand swept, ancient looking downtown

I walked in here




the bartender told me that Butch Cassidy really used to come in and drink here

Here's another oldie!



My dinner stop was at the historic



Martin Hotel

The first of 4 family style Basque Restaurants I would visit and actually now Basque Restaurant # 3




A family from Boise was seated with me. The couple was in their 40's and they had 4 kids with them- tweens and teens. They were on their way to Sacramento and San Francisco and decided to stay in Winnemucca for the night. We talked about my trip and my restaurant stops in Boise which they replied were all excellent choices.

the meal was served family style and included



and Salad with oil and vinegar (I didn't get a photo)

we then moved on to Creamy Corn Chowder



and Basque Beans



Side Dishes included

a delicious garbanzo bean dish



potatoes



and even the carrots were good




I ordered the Pork Solomo for my main dish- boneless pork simmered with Garlic and Pimentos



served with a mound of fries



I topped this all of with a dish of cinnamony rich bread pudding



after saying good bye to my dining partners I ended up on a desolate stretch of I-80 headed towards Reno.

I arrived at the Sands, parked in front of the hotel (free parking) and entered via the casino. This brought back flashbacks to my trip just over 3 years earlier to the now defunct Stardust in Vegas. I couldn't believe I'm only paying $17 for the first night. I truly felt like I was stealing from the hotel. Didn't they know I was not gambling.

I ended up walking to a local brew pub a few blocks down called the Silver Peaks Brewery and Tap Room. I ordered a refreshing scotch ale, and then a hefeweizen, both were amazing, some of the best of the trip and a nearby smoke jumper chick started chatting away with me. I don't remember most of what we were talking about, but I know she said she was in her early 30's and 10 years away from retirement.  After my conversation and beer I walked back to my hotel got some much needed "shut eye"

post edited by wanderingjew - 2009/08/19 22:12:53
#40
The Travelin Man
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Re:Rocky Mountain Highs and Big Skies 2009 Part 4 updated 8/17 2009/08/20 00:00:10 (permalink)
wanderingjew

Part 5

....

A family from Boise was seated with me. The couple was in their 40's and they had 4 kids with them- tweens and teens. They were on their way to Sacramento and San Francisco and decided to stay in Winnemucca for the night. We talked about my trip and my restaurant stops in Boise which they replied were all excellent choices.

....

I don't remember most of what we were talking about, but I know she said she was in her early 30's and 10 years away from retirement.  After my conversation and beer I walked back to my hotel got some much needed "shut eye"


To sum up, for those that don't like reading lengthy entries...

* Crowds
* Basque food
* Huckleberry tastes like blueberry
* Trees
* Deep-fried steak
* Baseball
* More Basque food
* coffee
* beer
* More Basque food
* Scared tourists with tales of eating your way through their previously fine city
* Picked up a hooker in Reno

Good job, Bro.  You left out the part where you scored some blow to go with the hooker, though.  Or, are you trying to keep this family-friendly?
#41
1bbqboy
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Re:Rocky Mountain Highs and Big Skies 2009 Part 4 updated 8/17 2009/08/20 00:25:12 (permalink)
I never knew the true meaning of the term "Smoke Jumper".
#42
Bruce Bilmes and Susan Boyle
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Re:Rocky Mountain Highs and Big Skies 2009 Part 4 updated 8/17 2009/08/20 00:27:31 (permalink)
wanderingjewI ordered a refreshing scotch ale, and then a hefeweizen, both were amazing, some of the best of the trip and a nearby smoke jumper chick started chatting away with me. I don't remember most of what we were talking about, but I know she said she was in her early 30's and 10 years away from retirement.  After my conversation and beer I walked back to my hotel got some much needed "shut eye"

I had to hit the urban dictionary for that.  New one to me.
#43
mar52
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Re:Rocky Mountain Highs and Big Skies 2009 Part 4 updated 8/17 2009/08/20 01:14:54 (permalink)
Wonderbread!!!

Wonderbar!

Wonder... Mexican food?

Your trip leaves me quite envious.

Who would have thought that they'd have cilantro in Idaho.

Isn't there any place that I wouldn't have to say... no cilantro, please?
#44
leethebard
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Re:Rocky Mountain Highs and Big Skies 2009 Part 4 updated 8/17 2009/08/20 07:00:12 (permalink)
Wow, that pork solomo looks like a keeper....thanks for a great report...some beautiful country!!
#45
Nancypalooza
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Re:Rocky Mountain Highs and Big Skies 2009 Part 4 updated 8/17 2009/08/20 07:17:05 (permalink)
Steve, you missed two things:
  • After about twelve tries, he concluded he was not that hopped up on huckleberries.
  • He stumbled into possibly the one place in the nation where it is a good idea to order the Tongue Special.


Beautiful scenery Dale!
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mayor al
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Re:Rocky Mountain Highs and Big Skies 2009 Part 4 updated 8/17 2009/08/20 08:15:38 (permalink)
Nancy,
  I am surprised that the 'Tongue-in-Sauce' was served minus the usual side of Head-Cheese. I would have asked for it or felt cheated!

Having driven the US 95 from Boise down to Reno I will second the comments about it being a very empty area. They call US 50  crossing the state as the "Loneliest road in the USA', but I think that piece of US 95 matches it !
post edited by mayor al - 2009/08/20 08:18:24
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mr chips
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Re:Rocky Mountain Highs and Big Skies 2009 Part 4 updated 8/17 2009/08/20 08:44:04 (permalink)
The basque meals look wonderful. I love the boarding house style and the richness of the food.
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ellen4641
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Re:Rocky Mountain Highs and Big Skies 2009 Part 4 updated 8/17 2009/08/20 11:26:03 (permalink)
I love all the pics of your often adventurous meals (elk sausage, etc!)  and all those pics of city views of Boise, etc are better than any postcards I've seen.....(as they are most current and "live" from WJ !)

That's one area of the country I have'nt been to much (Wyoming and Idaho...) so it still fascinates me..

I also firmly believe in eating items I can't get much of back here in Atlantic City area...
That's why I was SO excited about hitting all my BEEF RIB joints in L.A. area !!  I can't get beef ribs anywhere real close by here...
closest place is Fat Jack's BBQ, Cherry Hill,  etc..over an hour away..
or else gotta go into NYC or Philly..
I love L.A., so many choices! The beef rib capital of the country

You did'nt see ME eating pizza or sub sandwiches out in L.A. or San Diego, cause I get so much of that here in AC !!

You really outdid yourself this time , WJ !! Great report!
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wanderingjew
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Re:Rocky Mountain Highs and Big Skies 2009 Part 4 updated 8/17 2009/08/20 21:01:39 (permalink)
The Travelin Man

wanderingjew

Part 5

....

A family from Boise was seated with me. The couple was in their 40's and they had 4 kids with them- tweens and teens. They were on their way to Sacramento and San Francisco and decided to stay in Winnemucca for the night. We talked about my trip and my restaurant stops in Boise which they replied were all excellent choices.

....

I don't remember most of what we were talking about, but I know she said she was in her early 30's and 10 years away from retirement.  After my conversation and beer I walked back to my hotel got some much needed "shut eye"


To sum up, for those that don't like reading lengthy entries...

* Crowds
* Basque food
* Huckleberry tastes like blueberry
* Trees
* Deep-fried steak
* Baseball
* More Basque food
* coffee
* beer
* More Basque food
* Scared tourists with tales of eating your way through their previously fine city
* Picked up a hooker in Reno

Good job, Bro.  You left out the part where you scored some blow to go with the hooker, though.  Or, are you trying to keep this family-friendly?



Hey, I simply decided to mimic your experiences that you had on your trip to Reno earlier this summer.

What I found interesting were all the Billboards advertising "Ranches" and I kept saying to myself, wow, if I only had more time, I can check out a ranch tour. It wasn't until after I left Reno for Salt Lake City, that I realized what kind of Ranches those billboards were advertising.






wanderingjew

I ordered a refreshing scotch ale, and then a hefeweizen, both were amazing, some of the best of the trip and a nearby smoke jumper chick started chatting away with me. I don't remember most of what we were talking about, but I know she said she was in her early 30's and 10 years away from retirement.  After my conversation and beer I walked back to my hotel got some much needed "shut eye"


Bruce Bilmes and
Sue Boyle


I had to hit the urban dictionary for that.  New one to me.



" />
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smokejumper
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DoctorDan
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Re:Rocky Mountain Highs and Big Skies 2009 Part 4 updated 8/17 2009/08/20 21:20:54 (permalink)
WJ,
  With the seeming preponderence of Basque food it begs the question - were all the basques in one exit? Groan..............
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mayor al
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Re:Rocky Mountain Highs and Big Skies 2009 Part 4 updated 8/17 2009/08/21 07:53:35 (permalink)
Nice one Doctor Dan !  I admire your creativity!
 
OK WJ, did they serve "Weak Coffee, Huckleberry anything, and green-chili, in the "Oversized Hot Tubs??   Come on tell us, Your Special Fan Club wants to know !
 

post edited by mayor al - 2009/08/21 08:09:42
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Re:Rocky Mountain Highs and Big Skies 2009 Part 4 updated 8/17 2009/08/21 09:46:44 (permalink)
DoctorDan

WJ,
  With the seeming preponderence of Basque food it begs the question - were all the basques in one exit? Groan..............


Yes- the Southern Idaho/Northern Nevada exit.
 
Dr Dan
 
This is only the beginning. There are 4 more Basque Restaurants to go! " />
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Re:Rocky Mountain Highs and Big Skies 2009 Part 4 updated 8/17 2009/08/21 10:04:08 (permalink)
SUPERB REPORT WJ.

Thanks for all the trouble.
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wanderingjew
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Re:Rocky Mountain Highs and Big Skies 2009 Part 5 updated 8/19 2009/08/21 21:11:34 (permalink)
Turns out this will likely be a 9 part report verses an 8 part report (Too many photos to upload for part 6)

Monday August 3

I started my morning with a fine cup of coffee at Bibo Coffee House, the first of two outstanding Coffee Houses I found in Reno. The place almost had a real "industrial loft" feel to it.

Afterwards I returned downtown and took a nice morning stroll along the riverwalk of the Truckee River..








After my stroll around downtown, I drove to Carson City, the state Capitol







and also saw the State Assembly Building



I stumbled across this place, from the outside it appears that most on the forum would consider this a potential Roadfood stop



but I didn't stop here.

I did stop here for lunch though



The Villa Basque Cafe and Deli  (Basque Restaurant # 4)

serving breakfast and lunch, they offer both Mexican and Basque cuisine on the menu



I ordered the Chorizo Sandwich which came with a choice of salad or fries and basque style chili beans.



The spicy chorizo was exceptional and the beans tasted more Mexican than Basque, what would you expect from a place that also offers tamales to go?

Looking "under the cover" you can see the pimentos on top of the Chorizo



I finished all of this off with



a dish of deliciously rich n cream flan.


The Villa Basque Cafe and Deli was a surprisingly nice find.

After lunch, I drove to Virginia City, made famous of course in the old Bonanza Series. I actually am old enough to remember the last season , I think i was about 8 years old when it went off the air.








here's the old jail




I truly felt like I was in "the old west"

after strolling around the old downtown, my plan was to take a tour of the old Chollar Mine

I decided to walk (it was a beautiful dry day in the mid to upper 80's)

and had to walk down this hill to get there




hey it was a great day to burn off lunch.

I passed the Railroad Museum



and a real  "choo-choo" that was moving right by me!



and finally made my way to




Here's the entrance



The walkway inside the mine is very narrow and being a tall guy I had to stoop down very low for the entire tour

It was really cool, but I wish we could have gone deeper into the mine..











here the tourguide is showing us a phone from the 1920's that was used to communicate with those who were above ground



On the way back to town I caught this and had to get a photo



I returned to Reno just in time for dinner and headed to



Louis Basque Corner 
(Basque Restaurant # 5)

I've been wanting to try this place for almost 2 decades..

Service is family style



and I was seated with two guys. As soon as I saw them I thought "uh-oh" this is going to be very interesting"

The older guy was a big, bald heavy set guy with a mustache, he was in his 50's. The younger guy was thirtyish and was wearing a cowboy hat. As it turns out they're father and son and were in town for the car show. They were from Northern Idaho and again I thought "uh-oh" this really going to get interesting.

We engaged in some banter

and

It got even more interesting when the older guy's ring tone on his cell phone was "Larry the Cable Guy"

at this point, I had to tell them that one of my favorite comedians is Jerry Seinfeld, you can only imagine the response I got. Dare I tell them my roadfood screen name wanderingjew
Let's just say its times like this that I'm glad I look more Irish than anything else.

Anyway, the food ..

The meal started off with soup...



what kind of soup, I don't know, all I know is if they served a bowlful of hot water i probably wouldn't have noticed the difference

and of course bread



then the sides of Basque Beans and Oxtail Stew and salad came. I took the photo after I added them to my plate



The Oxtail Stew was actually really good, my favorite dish at Louis'

The big guy next to me and I both ordered the Leg Of Lamb



which actually was pretty good but I thought was just a tad on the bland side.

and of course
 



french fries.

I was enjoying all of this with a couple of glasses of house wine which is complimentary



dessert choices were either ice cream or jack- jack? yes monterey jack. Ok, since I go with tradition- that's what I ordered...



which predictably came with fruit- actually I thought this was a nice finish to the meal

Overall the meal itself was ok, I prefered the Martin Hotel though, can the basque meal get better than this...well we'll have to wait and see.

The dining companions though, that was definetely the most "interesting" experience of the trip!

after dinner I walked the few blocks over to the new



(this photo taken earlier in the day)



Reno Aces Ballpark

I said hello to the



Archie the Mascot- who actually "said" hello  back. I thought mascot's don't talk?? This one did
however he did have a "cartoonish" voice.













The Aces hosted the Colorado Sky Sox. It was a blow out with the Sky Sox winning 7-1
I saw the Sky Sox last year and don't remember being overly impressive, but wow, these guys can really hit, and it wasn't due to poor pitching on the Aces's part.

Today's game was special because we had a special guest



The "famous" San Diego Chicken

He's quite entertaining, here he's wrestling "Barney"



The Stadium itself was somewhat generic and dissapointing, however the really cool thing was during the 7th inning stretch - "freaky baseball" as one girl behind me described me, pops out behind the batters eye behind center field and actually "mouths" the words to "take me out the ballgame"-  it is quite freaky!



After the ballgame, I decided to check out the sights and sounds before returning to my hotel.
Here they are..












more tommorow


post edited by wanderingjew - 2009/08/21 21:26:10
#55
The Travelin Man
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Re:Rocky Mountain Highs and Big Skies 2009 Part 5 updated 8/19 2009/08/22 02:18:14 (permalink)
I told you that it was worth sticking around for the 7th inning stretch.
#56
wanderingjew
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Re:Rocky Mountain Highs and Big Skies 2009 Part 5 updated 8/19 2009/08/22 15:43:07 (permalink)
The Travelin Man

I told you that it was worth sticking around for the 7th inning stretch.


Hey, I'd take another trip to Reno even if it meant just seeing the "freaky baseball " again.
#57
Nancypalooza
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Re:Rocky Mountain Highs and Big Skies 2009 Part 5 updated 8/19 2009/08/23 13:19:34 (permalink)
You didn't see the Truckee River Killer anywhere didja?  :)
#58
wanderingjew
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Re:Rocky Mountain Highs and Big Skies 2009 Part 6 updated 8/21 2009/08/23 14:16:56 (permalink)


As  it turns out, this will be just an 8 part trip report


Part 7


Tuesday August 4

Began the day with another amazing coffee house in Reno.  Walden's Coffee House, their medium roast coffee actually had a bolder taste and fuller body than most dark roasts I've had. Unlike the coffee house from the day before, Walden's had a very "homey" feel to it.

Today was probably the biggest highlight of the trip. I was going to spend the day in



Lake Tahoe
!

On top of that it was also one of the most beautiful days weather wise on the trip. Sunny, extremely low humidity with temp's in the mid to upper 70's.

I took Rte 50 in and then went South along the loop.

There's no need to go into detail . The photos speak for themselves













The natural beauty was beyond spectacular  and is no doubt in my mind the most scenic part of the continental US that I've experienced.

Entering California, I decided to stop for brunch at a place I've been wanting to check out for awhile in South Lake Tahoe



The Red Hut Waffle Shop

I also encountered my first line of people waiting to get into a restaurant of the trip thus far (there would be only one more)




They just took my name and told me there would be about a 25 minute wait. I don't think I waited more than 15 minutes when they called my name.

Assumably famous for their waffles, I ordered a side of ham



to go along with my banana walnut waffles



They were good but there was nothing that really stood out about them as being "memorable"

I continued on with my journey and stopped at the Rangers Station/ Visitors center for a hike along one of their trails.

I then continued on and stopped at one of Tahoe's fine beaches, Sugar Pine Point State Park which included a nature center and museum.











After leaving the beach, I took one last shot of Lake Tahoe



I took Rt 89 towards Truckee and headed back to Reno via I-80

I returned to Reno for my last meal there and of course had to try the other Basque Restaurant (Basque Restaurant # 6)



Hotel Santa Fe

This restaurant was actually written about in the first two Roadfood Books and is also the oldest Basque Restaurant in Reno having been around since the late 1940's.



I was seated with a family from Santa Rosa CA who were in town for the car show, but then two coworkers came in and we started talking. As it turns out both are transplants, the older guy was  from LA and had just retired recently and the younger guy from Baltimore but apparently both have been in Reno for many years.  We discussed the prevelant Portuguese culture in Southern New England comparing it to the Basque Culture in Reno, and as it turns out the younger guy was married to a girl of Portuguese descent.

Like all the Basque Dinners, the meal started off with


Salad



French Bread



and an amazingly addictive peppery red soup

and of course



Basque Beans.

The choice of entree was Paella or Lamb Stew, I asked if I could try both and they prepared a "half and half" dish for me



The paella was flavorful but the consensus at the table was that it was just a little dry. The Lamb Stew was fantastic

as were the fries



However my main course



The Lamb Chops was impeccably outstanding.

Like Louis Basque Corner, the choice of dessert was ice cream or jack. Of course I asked for jack, however unlike Louis'



I literally got what I asked for- Monterey Jack- no fruit no nothing- wow, straight cheese for dessert!

The Santa Fe Hotel edged out the Martin as my favorite "family style" Basque Restaurant.

After dinner I returned to The Silver Peak Tap Room and Brewpub for one final Scotch Ale


and called it a night since I had a big drive the next day...

Wednesday August 5

I started out the morning with another fine cup of Coffee at Walden's Coffee House, and then hopped on I-80 to head east.
Ironically the I-80 stretch from Reno to Winnemucca would be the only route I would duplicate over the entire course of the trip.

Today was probably the first (and thankfully the only day) I was "on a schedule" I was losing an hour since I was heading back into Mountain Zone Time and had a 500 mile trip ahead. I wanted to get into Salt Lake City in time for dinner, and then get to the ballpark on time.

It wasn't until I was halfway done with my trip when I realized I didn't have lunch stop planned. Elko NV seemed the logical stopping point and the Nevada Dinner House seemed like a logical choice. My Triple A book indicates they're open for lunch, however I called just to make sure, they told me they don't open for lunch anymore , apparently they don't get a large enough lunch crowd. Ok, option # 2 was



The Star Hotel (Basque Restaurant Stop # 7) and yes the last Basque Restaurant of the trip!

Should be easy in/easy out- right? Wrong! The place was packed!

I got there



and got a kick out of their t-shirt displayed on the wall



There were several people in front of me waiting for tables and I was told there would be a 10 minute wait, well, the 10 minute wait was actually a 30 minute wait.

After I was seated, it was another 15 minutes before anyone even approached me, I actually had to get out of my seat and approach the owner to advise that no one has taken my order yet..

Thankfully lunch is an abbreviated version of the family style dinner..




The dressing on the Salad was actually a creamy Italian, which I liked. This reminded me of the dressing they used to apply to the Salads at the now defunct Basque Restaurant Onati in Boise

And of course the meal came with bread



and an "ok" cabbage soup



The fries were pretty good



and although the lamb chops were drenched in Garlic Cloves, they were cut thinner than the ones I had yesterday at the Santa Fe
but paled in comparison in terms of flavor



The meal itself was just north of mediocre, however the service was definetely the worst of the trip!

I finally left Basque Country and arrived in Mormon Country (Salt Lake City) at around rush hour. It was warm (upper 90's) and I could tell a storm was brewing as it was getting dark, and windy.

I stopped 3 miles from my hotel for dinner at








Navajo Hogan

a small simple cinder block building from the outside, but on the inside, loaded with cool Native American decor











I had a nice conversation with Bill, the owner, a Native American from New Mexico, who told me Navajo Hogan has been in business for 20 years.

I looked at the menu board-





so many options- but of course I settled for



The traditional Navajo Taco , whic is basically a taco served on fry bread

I added some red salsa


and finished the meal




 with some fry bread drizzled with butter and honey.

Bill was explaining to me that fry bread is traditionally served with salt on top.

If I ever get back to Salt Lake City, this is a worthwile stop to try the other Navajo Taco options as well as the Saturday only mutton stew.

As I drove to my hotel, I observed the ballpark about 1/2 a mile away, sadly it started to rain, and when I checked into my hotel America's Best Inn, the desk clerk told me these storms go out as quickly as they come in. And he was right, I can see that the clouds and the storm was heading east towards the Mountains.

I walked to Spring Mobile Park home of the Salt Lake Bees, triple A club for the Anaheim Angels



They were hosting the Memphis Redbirds that evening, but diversions led to the view of the Wasatch front








Apparently I saved the best for last- this ballpark was my favorite of the entire trip.













Here's the mascot- predictably a bumplebee!



Considering I was in the land of "donnie and marie osmond" this had to be one of the must rambunctious crowds I've experienced in minor league baseball.

It was a close game- Memphis won 3-2

Part 8 and the finale tommorow

#59
TJ Jackson
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Re:Rocky Mountain Highs and Big Skies 2009 Part 6 updated 8/21 2009/08/23 14:29:44 (permalink)
Is the "gem" part of the great potato race at the ballpark because the state is the "gem state" or is there actually a potato dish called a "gem"?

Sorta kinda missed the context, but always happy to learn
#60
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