Vacationing during Easter Break (Ely, NV)…Part 1, The Good!

I married an artist. The end result is that vacations are usually comprised of drive to the middle of nowhere, turn left, and continue for 50 miles. Thank goodness this one had a Needlework store! Ely Creations had Feather Fairy as a display model in the window and Winter Queen inside the shop. The shop has a huge selection of Week’s Dye Works and they had Stranded by the Sea which I had heard about but never seen before. Being the only decent hobby shop for miles, they had a bit of everything: beading, quilting, cross-stitch, canvas work (real and plastic canvas), knitting, and crochet. I was able to get one of the Nickel Quilt books from my wish list and I got 2 of the Stranded by the Sea colors.

The best place to stay in Ely is The Prospector Hotel and Casino (although the city council member who runs Copper Queen would disagree). The place has a child friendly pool and a free exercise room. There are clean rooms, plenty of parking and most everything is marked Holiday Inn. Just don’t plan on eating there (see the Ugly section).

Speaking of food, I can enthusiastically recommend three restaurants in Ely: La Fiesta, Orient Express and R&P BBQ Express. La Fiesta was recommended by the Nevada Tourism Bureau in Wendover, NV. They didn’t have the new location though. La Fiesta is no longer on the McGill Highway, they are now on the Great Basin Highway but the food and service are still excellent. Every waiter was concerned about our drinks, chips, salsa and the pickled veggies served with the salsa. The food servings were huge compared to the prices charged.
Orient Express was picked due to expediency, they were the only place we found on Main Street open at 8:30 on Friday night that allowed children. (Okay, so we didn’t go to the coffee shop at the Hotel Nevada which is open 24/7 according to the waitress at the Prospector Café who told us to go somewhere else to eat). The sign was old and read Ent Express (this engendered a comment on how many weeks it would take for service). The service was quick, friendly, and they gave us take-away silverware with our boxed leftovers since as travelers, we probably didn’t have any.
R&P BBQ Express is located next to the Steptoe Valley Inn. We had the pulled BBQ pork sandwiches and the Beef Kabobs. I have received smaller steaks for more than the $6.95 that the Beef Kabob cost. Along with the Kabob, there are 2 sides and bread. It was probably one of the biggest meals I saw all trip and one of the least expensive.

Ely has a wonderful walking tour of the murals painted on the buildings downtown. We didn’t get too it since we spent most of our time in the train yards. One of the really good things we discovered is that you can rent the steam or diesel engine for 2 hours and be the driver. DH wants to go back often to photograph the place so one of the women I met in the gift shop told me about the volunteer program. I bet you didn’t know that I would go nuts over the idea of spending a day locked in with archival documents? I can’t wait until DH goes back.

The award for the cleanest restrooms on this trip goes to the visitor center at Great Basin National Park! I also loved the conversations with the rangers especially since DD is thinking about Conservation Science as a major.

Mustangs running, Antelope close enough to the road for pictures, Elk, and the kids reactions to ordinary farm animals.

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