After one week on the recent road trip (click HERE for earlier posts), it was time to begin the long journey back. From South Dakota, we ventured for a brief time to western Nebraska. Small town food once again was a delight, as in tapas-style dishes for lunch in Scottsbluff. The Tangled Tumbleweed is doing some delicious small plates and we were very happy to have found them! On the to-do list is a longer trip to Nebraska, in particular Omaha.
We had an overnight in Denver on the first day dine-in was allowed in restaurants. Few places were actually prepared. The hubby called about six restaurants to find a dinner spot until we landed on one that was open for business, called Gaetano’s.
They were very polite (but firm) in the requirements: Masks at all times except when seated; temperature taken upon entering; guest book sign-in for contact tracing. Nevertheless, kudos to these places as it’s harder on the staff than the patrons. They are running around in masks and gloves, constantly cleaning surfaces while trying to provide service with a hidden smile. It’s not easy to converse either. We were happy to support the establishment nonetheless.
From there it was a hike to the next stop, Salt Lake City. We stopped for lunch in Laramie, WY, after which a warning light about tire pressure caused another stop. We were directed to downtown Rawlins to a tire store. Unable to find it, we pulled into a hardware store parking lot to ask directions. The driver rolled down his window, and we asked if he knew the place. He began to direct us, paused, and said: “Are you ready to go now?” “Yes, we are.” He said, “Follow behind me; I’ll drive to where it is.”
I’ll refer you back to an earlier post entitled “Never Underestimate the Kindness of Strangers.” At any other time, I wouldn’t think to mention this gentleman happened to be black and we’re a couple of white strangers. But this occurred during the Minneapolis riots. After following him to the right place, we thanked him for his graciousness as he went on his way. We have been the beneficiaries of this type of random goodwill and kindness and would do the same in our home city without a moment’s hesitation. Perhaps the timing of this particular incident is what made me tear up wishing this happens without exception.
On a lark we stopped at the renowned Park City area for dinner (The Eating Establishment) before heading on to Salt Lake City for the night. Oh, how I miss my skiing days. Then I remember the creaky, artificial and repaired joints and I snap out of it. It was a gorgeous and unseasonably warm night and Main Street was lively with people. Just beautiful.
From there, it was an insanely long and boring drive to the last night of our trip, Reno, NV. There were two unexpected high points: a “pit stop” at the world famous Bonneville Salt Flats (below) and the discovery of another wonderful cafe called McAdoo’s in Elko, NV. Absolutely delicious and very fresh food at this very small establishment in what I like to call “the middle of nowhere.”
The hubby had not been back to Reno since living there in the early 80’s. His two older brothers had a business called Parts World (six locations), and he handled the finances. See below for what the “world HQ” now looks like. To say Reno has changed in the 37 years since he was last there is the proverbial understatement. All hell began to break loose in the evening as we dined with his great Reno friend and political menptor, Patty Cafferata. Our phones all sounded the curfew alerts so we made a mad dash for our hotel. We had a view of the protests from our room, but thankfully things calmed down.
The long drive home took us to Mammoth for a quick lunch, then that familiar drive along HWY 395 and then 14. A helluva journey. Ten states in 10 days clocking 4,500 miles with so very many lasting memories.