The Best Food in Jail – The Cellblock Steakhouse in Ely, Nevada, Road Trip Day 7 Ep.15

Neek sez:

Lex was delighted to see an old cigarette vending machine at the entrance of the Jailhouse Motel and Casino in Ely, Nevada. He and his older sister used to pull the levers pretending it was a game when they were children. Sar and I used to buy chocolate cigarettes and bubblegum shaped like cigars when we were kids. The good old days!

We walked into a cacophony of electronic bells, fake clanking coins, and real people yelling in glee. Continuing on, we passed through a short corridor and till we were seated at our very own jail cell. The Cellblock Steakhouse is a themed restaurant where you can sit and have your (possibly last) meal. Continue reading

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Great Basin National Park in Nevada – Road Trip Day 7 Ep.14

Lex sez:

Just a short drive away from Route 50 within the town of Baker, Nevada is the entrance to Great Basin National Park.  It is filled with ancient natural beauty, such as the iconic Bristlecone Pine trees throughout the park, as well as spectacular scenic views.  Neek, Sar and I decided to start our exploration by checking out the Great Basin Visitor Center for information and advice.

Before we ventured inside the Visitor Center, we noticed when we parked our car outside of it that there was already a spectacular view to see.  The horizon was filled with beautiful mountain peaks!  Continue reading

The Loneliest Road in America – Hwy 50 in Nevada, First Stop – Road Trip Day 7 Ep.13

Neek sez:

In the distance, we saw a lonely little motel with a lonely gas station and a lonely casino. We were at the start of Highway 50 – The Loneliest Road in America! The motel, The Border Inn (aptly named since it stood right on the state border of Utah and Nevada) was our first stop on a challenge that would take us approximately 287 miles through lonely roads, living ghost towns, roadside attractions and a quirky steakhouse.

In 1986, a Life Magazine writer declared Highway 50 from Ely to Carson City, Nevada as one of the most remote areas that he had ever driven and declared it to be “The Loneliest Road in America”. Truthfully, there are probably more deserted roads around but this one has a guidebook and challenges you to take it. Continue reading

Driving Through a Snowstorm in Wyoming – Road Trip, Day 6 Ep.12

Lex and Neek sez:

When we left Gillette, Wyoming on our way back to Midvale, Utah, there was already a heavy amount of rain coming down, worse than the day before when rain prevented us from seeing Mount Rushmore and Crazy Horse.  We had seen a TV news report that morning in our motel that a heavy snowstorm was coming to Wyoming and that the roads in and out of Casper, Wyoming would be closed starting at 3pm.  Our hope was that if we could make it past Casper by noon, we would miss the snowstorm.

It was nowhere near winter as far as the calendar was concerned, but this late May storm was about to rock our world, and not in a good way!  We did drive through the pouring rain fast enough to reach Casper by 11am.  We stopped at a local gas station and as we pulled in, we saw a temperature reading of 35 degrees Fahrenheit.  The rain had let up a little bit, so we thought since we were heading south that things might warm up.

Continue reading

Is This Mount Rushmore? – Road Trip Day 5 Ep.11

Lex sez:

It was supposed to be one of the highlights of our road trip. Neek, Sar and I were driving up to see the iconic sculptural monument known as Mount Rushmore National Memorial. It was rainy as we drove up Highway 244 in South Dakota on our way there, but we were hopeful the sky might clear enough to get a view of Presidents Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln and (Theodore) Roosevelt carved in granite.

The idea to carve these icons of American history into Mount Rushmore, which was named after Charles Rushmore, a New York lawyer who had mining claims in that area in the 1880s, began in 1923 when historian Doane Robinson thought it would be a great way to promote tourism in South Dakota. Continue reading

Prairie Berry Winery in South Dakota – Road Trip Day 5 Ep.10

Lex sez:

For me, a road trip just isn’t a road trip without a wine tasting!  Neek, Sar and I were not sure what we had in store for us on this excursion.  We’ve tried some unique wines over the years, but wine made from currants?  Rhubarb?  Chokecherries?

Strangely enough, this has actually been a winemaking tradition in South Dakota for over 100 years and five generations at Prairie Berry Winery. Continue reading

Free Ice Water and 5 Cent Coffee at Wall Drug, South Dakota – Road Trip Day 4 Ep.9

Neek sez:

Pharmacist and entrepreneur, Ted Hustead must have thought it was a good idea to purchase a drug store near the newly opened Mount Rushmore Monument in 1931. The only problem was that Mount Rushmore was 60 miles away and the United States was in the throes of an economic depression. It must have been disheartening to see travelers continuously pass by the town of Wall where the drug store was located.

But Ted’s wife, Dorothy had other notions. She thought that it would be helpful to advertise “Free Ice Water” to the tourists who had finished looking at the dry, hot Badlands or were heading off to see Rushmore. Continue reading