Geocaching

3 Days In Winnemucca

Hi, faithful ‘blog readers.  I am almost a month late on making this post, and I completely missed making a post in the month of July.  This is the first month I have skipped posting since the beginning of Cactus Kate.  I’m so ashamed.  However, I am going to make that up to you all right now.  Here are some words and some photos about my trip with Janet to visit Julie in Winnemucca.

Janet and I rode the AmTrak to Winnemucca again.  It was much better this time – no thirteen-hour delays, no cold weather, etc.

We got on the train in Green River, UT on July 2.  The train was only an hour late, which (after our December trip) seemed totally reasonable.  We arrived in Winnemucca early on the morning of July 3, and Julie met us at the station.  We went out for breakfast at the Winnemucca Inn (I think that’s what it’s called, anyway), then back to Julie’s house for a little nap.  Trains are not easy to sleep on when you’re too cheap to pay for the sleeper car.

We went grocery shopping after that for a BBQ that Julie was having that night, and then went to clean up the pens of some ponies that she was boarding at a stable for a co-worker.  The ponies were cute, but looked like they wanted to bite me.  Julie dutifully cleaned up their pen, and we went back to her house.  We sat around and had some drinks, and Julie made an AMAZING pasta salad involving feta cheese, pepperoni, etc.  MMMM.

Her friends came over that evening (only 3 friends joined us), and we made veggie burgers and grilled veggies, and ate the delicious pasta salad. Julie’s friends seemed nice, and it was a good evening.

The following day (July 4), there was a gathering of booths and people at the local park for the Independence Day celebration.  Julie is a co-founder of a non-profit animal rescue called “Kindred Spirits Animal Rescue”, and they had a booth there to raise interest, get some volunteers, and adopt out some kittens.  At this point, they are only dealing with the Winnemucca feral cat population.  Julie also borrowed the local Coca Cola trailer, and Janet and I ran that.  Coke was very popular.  There were lots of other booths – some with food – including a taco truck with excellent tacos and burritos.  There was even a booth raffling off a quarter of a cow (for meat, of course), which I did NOT win.  Apparently, it was also election time there, as a good majority of the booths were politicians trying to win people’s votes.

We went out for dinner, and then went and sat on a lawn near the park to watch the fireworks.  They were better than Moab’s fireworks.  I did get a FEW decent photos, but by and large the photos were bad.

On Monday (July 5), we did a little geocaching, and went to Winnemucca Pizzeria for lunch.  They had great food, although I was not impressed with the competence of our server, OR the kitchen.  Our appetizer came out after we received our food (and only then after we assured our server that we DID still want it), and Janet’s lunch had ingredients which she had asked them to leave out.  However, again – the food was great, and made up for that.  While sitting there, I took some photos, including one of a lady at a nearby table with a large and prominent neck tattoo. EEK.

That afternoon, we went to see Toy Story 3 at the cinema.  It was pretty good!  We went to dinner that night at Dos Amigos (where we had eaten in December).  They have really great queso dip (which they put on LOTS of their dishes).

Julie had to work on Tuesday (July 6), so Janet and I hung around the house.  I took a decent photo of a California Quail, which Janet had spotted across the street in the neighbor’s side yard.  Julie came and picked us up for lunch, and we went to Third Street Bistro.  The food was great here, too.  I had a really large Philly Cheese Steak sandwich, and a cup of the roasted red pepper soup.  MMMMM.  Janet and I went back to Julie’s house while Julie finished her work day.

Julie came and picked us up again, and we went to the Martin Hotel, which is reknowned for its Basque food, and family-style dining. Basque food was new to me, and was delicious.  I took lots of photos there, and they are below.  When we first sat down inside, one of the servers came over, plopped down a carafe of red wine, and asked if we wanted anything to drink other than the wine.  Janet and Julie said ‘yes’, and I drank wine.  We ordered our entrees, and all sorts of food started coming out for us.  Julie had warned us about how much food there was, but I had NO IDEA.

First came bread and butter, followed by soup of the day, which was the most delicious split-pea and ham soup I have ever had (sorry, mom).  Next was salad with a really yummy garlicky vinaigrette, and some beans (which Julie said she thought were supposed to go in the salad).  They were good separately.  After the salad and beans came the ‘side dishes’ – beef tongue in a brown gravy, really amazing mashed potatoes, and green beans with bacon.  All were good.  I put aside my feelings about beef tongue, and tried it…and it was delicious.  Everything was.

There must have been some issue in the kitchen, because our entrees too a LONG time.  I had ordered lamb chops, and Janet and Julie split an order of veggie alfredo pasta.  By the time we received our food, and ate a little, you could practically hear the train whistle blowing…and it’s a good thing the Martin Hotel is right across the street from the train station!

We got our bags out of Julie’s car just as the train pulled up, and that was that.

Janet and I had a great time in Winnemucca, and Julie – thanks again for your hospitality!  It was a great visit!

Winnemucca, And Julie!

Wow. My trip to Winnemucca. So much to tell. I scarcely know where to start! I guess the train would be a good place to start.

Train from Green River, Utah to Winnemucca, NV: Scheduled trip – 5:58pm pick up in Green River. 5:30am delivery in Winnemucca. Our trip – 1:30am (7 1/2 hours late) pick up in Green River, 3:30pm delivery in Winnemucca (10 hours late).

December 10 – Rich drove us to Green River (50 miles north of Moab), arriving there at 7:45pm (we had gone to the website, and it said the train would be there at 8:15pm). We waited, and waited, and WAITED. I kept calling the update phone number, and all the way until 9:00, it said 8:15. After that, an agent told me there had been a train derailment in Grand Junction, CO, and it wouldn’t be there until 1:00am. Lucky we had a car to stay in, as it was about 2 degrees outside (this is NOT an exaggeration).

The train ride itself was lots of fun. Because the train was late, we got to see everything between Salt Lake City and Winnemucca in the daylight. I saw the Momen Tree for the first time (though from a distance). I got one photo of it, and that photo is bad.

Train_to_Winnemucca_12-11-09_1_Momen_Tree

Janet and I each got our own set of 2 seats for the whole trip there. In Salt Lake City (about a third of the way to Winnemucca) a lady with 2 little kids got on, and sat right in front of us. The rest of the trip consisted of her kids running around the train, and squealing, and the lady yelling at them to stop, but not actually doing anything about them or disciplining them. GRRRR.  Janet on the train, and a picture of the observation car:

Train_to_Winnemucca_12-11-09_5_Janet Train_to_Winnemucca_12-11-09_3_observation_car

December 11 – We got to Winnemucca at about 3:30pm, and Julie met us at the train station. YEA! We went to her house and dropped off our stuff, and met her doggies, Bernice and Cash. Bernice is a very well behaved St. Bernard, and Cash is a very SPASTIC German Shepard. Cash is cute, though. They both are. Here is a photo of Bernice sitting on Julie’s chest (she just backed up and sat there), and Cash, at the very calmest he was while we were there:

Bernice_12-13_09_3_sitting_on_Julie Cash_12-11-09_2

We immediately went out to dinner. It was great to see Julie! After that, we went back to her house, hung out, and had some cocktails.

December 12 -Got up and went to breakfast at Sid’s (I think that’s the name of it) restaurant.  Looked like Mel’s Diner.  I had a delicious omelette.  It was snowing, and there wasn’t much to do after that, so (since I had my GPS loaded with a bunch of Winnemucca geocaches) we went geocaching.  We searched for 4, and found 3 of them.  It was rough with 7 or so inches of snow on the ground.  We kind of gave up after a while.  Janet didn’t have snow boots, so Julie and I went searching for them, and Janet took photos.  Here is one of the pictures of us after we actually found one, some quails we saw along the way, and two of the 3 of us at the site of another:

SANY0018 Quail-ee-ohs_12-12-09_2 SANY0021 Julie_Janet_Katie_12-12-09_1

We went to Jack in the Box for lunch, and went home to get ready for Julie’s company Christmas dinner/party that night.  It was interesting to go to a dinner for a company that I didn’t belong to.  I was disappointed for Julie, because she didn’t win anything from the fabulous gift table.  Here are Janet, me and Julie in Julie’s kitchen just before the party.

Janet_Katie_Julie_12-12-09_1

We left the party early, and went home.  Hooray for home!

December 13 – I am actually not sure what we really did.  It really was just nice to visit Julie.  I hate that all my girlfriends live so far away.  I do know that we ate at Long John Silver’s for lunch, and at a restaurant called Dos Amigos for dinner.  They had GREAT food!  After that, we drove around and looked at Christmas lights, which was nice, too.  A LOT of people put a lot of effort into their holiday lights displays.  Here is one of the more decorated houses, and one that I SWEAR had light-up holiday hippos on their lawn, but I was ASSURED by my buddies that they are bears.  I am skeptical.

X-mas_lights_12-13-09_13 X-mas_lights_12-13-09_19_polar_hippos

We watched the movie Seven Pounds that night.  It was really good, but definitely a Four-Kleenex movie.  Sad.  I recommend it, but be prepared.  Here we are before the movie.

Janet_Katie_Julie_12-13-09_1

December 14 – Julie took us on a Winnemucca tour.  We saw the sights.  Below are the Winners Casino, the Winnemucca courthouse, Winnemucca Blvd, and I was really excited to find out that Winnemucca has a community garden!

Winners_Casino_12-12-09_1 Winnemucca_courthouse_12-13-09_1 Winnemucca_12-13-09_3 Winnemucca_community_garden_12-12-09_1

The most exciting part of the tour was a drive-by of the local ‘houses of ill repute’ in Winnemucca.  Note the red lights on the signs…

houses_of_ill_repute_1 houses_of_ill_repute_3 houses_of_ill_repute_2 houses_of_ill_repute_7

At about 2:00 that after noon, Janet had an appointment to get a tattoo.  This was her second one, and it went REALLY quickly, and turned out great!

Janet_tattoo_12-14-09_1 Janet_tattoo_12-14-09_7 Janet_tattoo_12-14-09_9

Julie took us to the train station at 8:15 that night.  Miraculously, it was only 30 minutes late.  We didn’t run into problems until we ran over some debris on the train tracks, and had an air hose blow (or something).  When we arrived at Salt Lake City (at about 4:00am), we had to replace one of the locomotives (train engine), because it wouldn’t pull a load, or supply power to the train.  We had to sit there and wait for about 3 and a half hours for a Union Pacific locomotive to show up, attach itself to our train, and be tested.  I guess it worked, because we started moving again at about 8:00am.  After that, the trip home was pretty uneventful.  The scenery was great, and it was interesting to see the route from the tracks, rather than a road I have driven many, many times.  I got photos of the BIG windmills they recently installed at the mouth of Spanish Fork canyon, a few where you can see the funny-looking yellow Union Pacific engine, and some decent photos of Helper, UT (which, apparently, is a historic train town).

train_home_12-15-09_2 train_home_12-15-09_6 train_home_12-15-09_13_Helper_Utah

Thanks, Julie, for everything!  …and thanks, Janet for being an AWESOME traveling companion!  I had a great time!  I’m looking forward to a visit to Winnemucca in much fairer weather sometime soon.

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