Weeds, Flies And Road Trips: A Western Travel Guide

Posted in: Featured, Ranch Life

Summer is approaching, and all ranch folks know what that means: weeds, flies, and road trips. If you’re in the mood to throw a suitcase in the pickup and hit the highway, here are a few words of wisdom – or something – about a few Western destinations. To help out my fellow traveler, I took a cue from Dave Barry (motto: “I love mottoes”) and compiled this fictitious (please don’t sue me, city of Tonopah) travel guide.

Elko, Nevada
Motto: “Our streets are more rutted than yours.” Come experience the real Wild West, as it applies to eating at one of the many delicious and smoke-filled casino restaurants, playing the slots while grocery shopping, and hanging out with pipe line workers at the laundromat. Local buckaroo sightings featured in town every payday.

Jordan Valley, Oregon
Motto: “If there’s more to life than horse roping and Basque food, we don’t know about it yet.” This comatose little town in eastern Oregon is a dead spot for cell phone service but THE place to be the third weekend of May, which brings the famous Jordan Valley Big Loop Rodeo, and a mysteriously scheduled weekend in September, which brings the Owyhee Rope ‘N Ride. The legendary parties of JV are true, so bring a tipi (the two motels in town will be sold out, guaranteed) and your party shoes and have a good time.

Montague, California
Motto: “Weed has the college, Yreka has the Walmart, but we have the roping arena.” In this quaint rural town, you can buy fuel (including diesel!), eat at one of the one downtown restaurants, or mail a letter. Make a day of it and do all three.

Bozeman, Montana
Motto: “We hate Californians.” In this beautifully built college town, you can eat some truly terrible Mexican food, some truly delicious sushi (fried chicken rolls available) and fly fish within miles of the city limits. Budget tourist packages consist of driving around local communities and taking pictures of multi-million dollar vacation homes. Bison burger lunches provided; bring your own camera.

Tonopah, Nevada
Motto: “Not nearly as cool as the Dave Stamey song makes it sound. Sorry.” In this run-down desert town, visitors can eat at Burger King, view the grandeur of old hotels and buildings built during the mining boom many decades ago, or try not to look at the falling-down corrals and decrepit trailer houses in the outskirts known as “Horse Poop Acres.” (Edited version.)

Tombstone, Arizona
Motto: “Wyatt Earp lives! He’s just on meth with the rest of the population.” A mere 15 miles from Mexico (as the crow flies. As the crow drives, it’s about 40 miles down the interstate and through the Border Patrol checkpoint), T-stone offers visitors the unique opportunity to stroll down wooden sidewalks, buy a t-shirt that reads “I’ll Be Your Huckleberry,” and eat an ice cream cone while watching a gunfight. Editor’s note: the $2 margaritas are mixed 50/50 and significantly raise the ratings for the entire town.

If this doesn’t inspire you to grab a change of underwear and your toothbrush, crank over the diesel engine and hit the interstate, you can always settle for the at-home cowboy vacation: buy a jug of Carlo Rossi and watch Lonesome Dove. Both discs.

road trips

Posted in: Featured, Ranch Life

About Jolyn Young

Jolyn Young lives near Montello, NV with her cowboy husband and 3 small kids. For more, visit www.jolynyoung.com....

View all posts by Jolyn Young