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Sunday, September 11, 2011

First stop: Winnemucca Nevada

Semi-early, kinda late on Sunday morning, Barbara and I started our journey to Colorado with a drive over the Donner Pass and on to Winnemucca, Nevada. To pass the time we listened to a cassette touring tape that covers the history of the Donner Pass - its geology, peoples, history and even the icky bits about the infamous Donner Dinner Party.

Storms in them hills

I used to drive back and forth from Sacramento to Winnemucca Nevada when I worked in Winnemucca for the BLM in the summer of 1981. So it is nice to have a short visit to my old, state income tax free, home in the desert.

Winnemucca Nevada Country

After a few hours of barren seeming stretches we made it to Winnemucca and checked into a nice little motel. Settled in we were off for a drive so I could tour a bit and try to perhaps see some desert birds. No luck was to be had on the birds; I only managed to scare up some California Quail and some Eurasian Collared-doves.

Why did the Quail cross the road
Who cares! Where were the Sage Sparrows?

A motel room pamphlet stated Winnemucca has more Basque restaurants per capita than any other town in the U.S.A. Will have to hit one on our way home. Meanwhile, as I looked at the mural of a Basque herder and his sheep I thought of lamb chops, lamb shanks... *drool*

Winnemucca is Basque Country

All the northwest desert Nevada towns have their initials on the mountains behind them, to guide air pilots. This one on a hill behind Battle Mountain has been making me giggle since the summer of 1981 when I worked for the BLM out of Winnemucca for 4 months.

BM on the Mountain *giggle, giggle*

I drove around town seeing how it's grown since my last visit in the 1990s. The tiny Humboldt Museum is no longer a fading wooden building in the foreground. It's grown into this 2 story brick building.

The new Humboldt Museum

Part of the old Humboldt Museum

Two Fat Ladies touring the West

Barbara and I got a big laugh out of this pair of piglets outside an eating establishment in downtown Winnemucca.

The start of big sky country

There are green things in the desert

So! We ended the first day of vacation in Nevada. Tomorrow it's on to Utah.

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