Breakfast Around Las Vegas

There isn’t much between Arizona and Elko Nevada except for Vegas. However, I really really don’t like Vegas. Too loud, too noisy, too much artificiality and distraction. Can’t handle it, even for breakfast. So, if, like me, you find yourself on a road trip through the infinite empty roadways of Nevada and you need eggs and bacon, here’s where you should go instead of Sin City.

Omelet House in Henderson

The Omelet House in Henderson Nevada isn’t much to look at outside. Or even inside, for that matter. It’s got a local Denny’s kinda feel to it with big booths, round tables and industrial carpeting. But the food is really surprisingly great

Omelet House in Henderson

And there’s so much of it you won’t know what to do with yourself. That omelet, hilariously, is called the “health nut” and I’m guessing it had 8 eggs with zucchini, mushrooms and swiss cheese. There were a lot more eggs than filling but since I could only eat half of it, I was ok with that. The potatoes were light and crispy crunchy like potato chips and the pumpkin bread was homemade and spectacular. Plus the whole shebang cost about $11, which in Nevada is about 20 seconds with a slot machine. I’d recommend the Omelet House if you have a big love for breakfast or a big family with big appetites.

World Famous Coffee Cup Cafe

Slightly further from Vegas, The Coffee Cup Cafe in Boulder City is World Famous. It says so on their T-shirts. And all those people you see in that picture are waiting for a table.  Some places are famous because of hype and TV coverage and some are famous because they serve really fantastic food and their service is top notch. Coffee Cup is both. It’s been featured on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, their food is outstanding and their servers are cute-as-buttons college girls that handle incredibly busy shifts with smiles.

World Famous Coffee Cup Cafe

I had a basic breakfast and the bacon was thick cut and peppered, the browns were crispy and the toast was also thick cut homemade sourdough. Had I tried to get a table at 9am on a Sunday, I think I might have waited 45 minutes. But I slid in and sat at the breakfast bar and had eaten and gone in 45 minutes.

Coffee Cup deserves the hype. Go check it out. Either sit at the breakfast bar or try to get a table in the shade outside and maybe have a mimosa while you’re waiting.

So, clearly I lied because I had one more Nevada post in me. But this is it. Promise.

Tomorrow is Arizona and Route 66. See you then…

Aliens in Rachel Nevada

Nevada Mountains

Nevada State Motto: Take your pictures from the middle of the road!

Rachel Nevada

And speaking of that, this is Rachel Nevada. By that I mean that this is the sign signifying the entrance to Rachel and in the background is the village of Rachel. Squint. There’s not much to it but I promise it’s there.

Rachel Nevada is famous for plane crashes, UFO sightings, proximity to Area 51, and for just simply being a teensy tinsy speck of habitation in a wide flat array of empty desert.

Rachel and the surrounding countryside remind me strongly of X-Files episodes where green flashes light up the sky, the cars stall out and all the clocks stop (at which point Mulder gets out his can of orange spray paint and puts a huge X in the road so he can further investigate). I drove through Rachel during the day but I can only imagine that driving through at night begets stories of bizarre happenings. The desert in this area is so alien and uninhabited and the most remarkable thing is this place.

Little Ale Inn Rachel NevadaSome detours are worth taking all by themselves – Escape from Dinosaur Kingdom – and some places are better visited en route to somewhere else. I’d put Rachel in the second category except that it’s not really en route to anywhere and I might think differently if I had stayed the night at the Little A’le’Inn (so bewildered by the apostrophes, btw…).

Little Ale Inn Rachel Nevada

Little A’le’Inn is the only bar/restaurant/inn for 80 miles in any direction so everyone stops here. I came in on a Saturday afternoon right after a memorial service that had turned into a happy hour. The locals were nicely dressed in cowboy hats and button down shirts, sitting outside at the picnic table getting tanked on Coors Light and Black Velvet. That’s a story rich environment if ever I’ve seen one. Had I more time, I’d have joined them and heard every UFO story there is and some besides.

Little A'le'Inn Rachel Nevada

Sadly, I didn’t have that kind of time so I ordered my Alien Stout, brewed for the Little A’le’Inn and quite delicious, and a grilled cheese sandwich. There’s nothing fancy here at the Little A’le’Inn but the food is good, all the locals are friendly and the gift shop and accompanying alien merchandise have to be seen to be believed.

Had I to do this detour over, I would plan to stay overnight in one of the Little A’le’Inn’s double wide trailers ($50 a night, I hear), I’d make sure I had plenty of X-Files episodes loaded on my laptop and while the sun went down, I’d order another Alien Stout and say “Tell me about the woman who got advice from an alien named Archibald…”

Rachel NevadaBye bye Nevada! You’ve been a picturesque treat.

Tomorrow AZ.

Hanging out in Elko Nevada

When you get to Elko, go outside. Preferably to the Ruby Mountains.

Ruby Mountains

There’s snow on the mountains out here until summer. Sometimes as late as July. But there’s an extensive network of hiking trails and camping spots all through this mountain range. We found a delightful half mile nature walk around a river and a beaver dam, definitely the best place to take an almost three year old who loves running

Casey

And jumping

Casey

And giant sticks

Casey

His little brother dressed appropriately gangster but did a lot less running

Kyron

After an afternoon of herding kids, throwing snowballs and collecting a million rocks to throw into the river, my sister and I finished the evening with a picon punch at The Star Hotel, Elko’s best Basque restaurant

The Star Hotel in Elko

Basque sheep herders came to Elko during the gold rush of the mid 1800s and The Star Hotel opened in 1910 to provide a boarding house for these herders and ranchers. It’s been open ever since, serving picon punch made with brandy and a Basque digestif called amer picon (those drinks will knock you over so have some respect…)  and huge family style dinners

The Star Hotel in Elko

The Basque have a love affair with garlic. The Star serves excellent steak covered in sliced garlic, their salad comes with creamy garlic dressing and many of the side dishes like the cabbage soup, spaghetti, chick peas and sausage and green beans all have garlic in them. Give in, eat it up. It’s delicious and good for you. Just bring with you all the people you plan to kiss later.

Dinner was fun and the company was excellent.

I’m going to miss this little rascal whose favorite words are “come here!” and “Watch!” and loves to be tickled and cuddled

Casey and Kaitlyn

And his squeezable blue-eyed little brother

Ky and Kaitlyn

I’m so lucky that my favorite girls have had such great babies. I never see them often enough.

Tomorrow, my last day in Nevada.

 

 

Alien Roadside Attractions in Nevada

Dusty Nevada

Nevada isn’t my favorite road trip state because there’s so much nothing.  It’s just hours and hours of driving without even a town in sight and multiple signs warning me that the next gas station is 100 miles away. All that nothing has a bleak dusty beauty to it but seriously… there’s literally no one around while I’m driving for hours. Close to zero supervision, is that a good thing? I just know if makes me want to do about 100mph and I probably shouldn’t.

Fortunately, I found the extraterrestrial highway on my way up to Elko

Extraterrestrial Highway

How can this highway can have existed since 1996 without my knowledge? Probably a conspiracy by this big guy

Alien Research Center

He stands guard outside a gift shop… which seems like a relatively important task. And across the way is the research center

Alien Research Center

I always thought Area 51 had something to do with Roswell but apparently I’m confusing my UFO crash sites with actual government work. Or something. And what all that has to do with this research center is another mystery. I didn’t go in. Didn’t seem like a good day for probing.

Most people passing through Nevada have seen Alien Fresh Jerky, but now there’s also ET fresh jerky

ET Fresh Jerky

The website takes pains to clarify that the jerky is neither alien flesh nor made in outer space, both of which are a considerable disappointment to me and probably all other visitors. But perhaps they think the abducted cow is misleading…

Probably the aliens are too busy planning a stagecoach robbery to make jerky…

Alien Mariachi

I think there are more UFO sites to be had. I’ll check them out on my way back down to AZ.

nevada sky

Nevada, I have to give it to you. When you break up the nothing, you go all the way.