Sunday, July 29, 2012

Visit to Elko, NV - Day 2

Our second day in Elko, NV we had breakfast at our hotel and then took a scenic drive up Lamoille Canyon, the largest valley in the Ruby Mountains.  John wanted to get in some miles on his bike so we dropped him off beforehand on Lamoille Highway to ride up the summit where we will meet him.
Then my mom-in-law and I continued on, driving up the 12-miles road.  It's nice that the speed limit is 35 miles per hour, allowing visitors in cars time to enjoy the view and making it safer for bicyclists sharing the road.  I didn't see any runners though the gorgeous route would almost be enough in length for a half marathon!
(Click image to view larger photo)
Two glaciers merged here and carved the v-shaped valley to the left (in the photo below) and the u-shaped valley to the right.
(Click image to view large photo of Lamoille Glaciers)
Behind where Maggie is standing is Camp Lamoille which is available for group rental. What a beautiful place for a getaway!
Lamoille Creek meanders along the only road leading to the top.  It is fishable and you may find Brook Trout or Wild Rainbow Trout.
At the head of Lamoille Canyon, you'll find Lamoille Lake and Dollar Lakes which feed the Lamoille Creek.  You'll have to hike about 2 miles to see them (follow the link to trail info for the Ruby Mountains) or check out this interactive panorama.
We'll have to go back to the canyon so I can run its length or hike to the lake and fish.  This trip is for a bike ride and while Maggie sat on a boulder to read a novel rode down the road where I crossed paths with John coming up the hill.  He was on a training ride so we didn't have much time to talk.
We shot this photo and he was off to the summit leaving me to myself. I kept grinding the gears, turning the cranks, and pedaled my way up.
The view is what makes the pain and suffering worthwhile.
John and I would really like to go back there to ride (and run).
Each year there's a Lamoille Canyon Hill Climb, a bike race up the canyon followed by the award ceremony and BBQ.  This year, the event takes place on August 11th (three weeks from today) so you still have time to train!  For $35, the registration is a deal and it's not too late.  If you didn't get to mail and postmark the form by August 1st, you can still register the day of for $40.  It would be fun to do but there are no USA Cycling upgrade points if that's an important consideration for you.
After our ride, we drove back to downtown Elko for lunch at McAdoo's.  Recently opened in March of this year, the interior is hip and modern - perfect for a cafe serving breakfast, lunch and sweets!  We had ice tea, Coca-Cola (great post ride pick-me-up), and lavender lemonade.  The special of the day was a marinated veggie sandwich (marinated tomatoes, avocado, cucumbers, alfalfa sprouts, and herbed cream cheese on the best whole wheat bread for $8.99) with a side of roasted potatoes -- yum-yum!!  John ordered a turkey sandwich and Maggie ordered a sandwich with applewood smoked bacon and sausage (I can't remember the name but it was superb!) and a house salad peppercorn dressing.  GREAT place for lunch if you are in town.
Afterwards we stopped by the Elko Convention Center to visit John's dad who was in tooling class.
Then we walked through the Elko Chamber of Commerce to look at the school house and other buildings. They were closed so we didn't get to go inside but what we could peek through and see was really neat!
By evening we were seated at the bar of the Star Hotel, a Basque family style restaurant and lounge.  The place was packed and even though we had reservations, our wait had been 1 1/2 hours before we decided to leave.  The staff didn't anticipate that one of the dining rooms would remain closed and apologized profusely.  As good as the Picon Punch we had at the bar were, our stomachs soon wanted some solid, satisfying food.
So we made our way to Chef Cheng's Chinese Restaurant.
Inside was like an old timey diner with powder blue booths.  It was smokey as if the kitchen had poor ventilation system; I knew the food was going to be GREAT!  And it sure was.  Maybe I was hungry but I thought the chow mein were the best I've ever tasted, the honey spicy chicken was absolutely delicious (it had a nice kick and excellent flavoring), and though I'm usually not a fan of fried food the hot and sour pork and salt and pepper shrimp were yummy.  I don't know how they do it but the breading was really crispy and but the inside still tender.  Most breading are halfway soggy and it's not always cooked thoroughly.  Anyway, the meal was nice and of course time with family was the best part of our evening.
John and I had a really nice time in Elko.  The places we visited, restaurants we ate at, our touring adventures and seeing John's parents made our trip just AWESOME!!
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