I’m paraphrasing a line from one of the poets who recited earlier this year at the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko, Doris Daley, from her work titled “Million Star Resort.” The gist of the poem is that camping Out West under a night sky filled with brilliant stars will always beat those fancy hotels and resorts with 4 or 5 Star ratings. If you’ve ever experienced the nighttime sky in the West, away from the lights of civilization, then you can’t disagree with her Canadian logic. Northeast Nevada is home to many of these “Million Star Resorts,” and here are two I’d recommend for a July camping trip.
South Ruby Campground, managed by the U.S. Forest Service, is located adjacent to the Ruby Lake Refuge. I like this campground because it gives you easy access to the refuge and is hardly crowded, so you can enjoy the peace and quiet of Ruby Valley. Angel Lake Campground, also managed by the U.S. Forest Service, is easily accessed from Wells, Nevada, and is at the end of the Angel Lake Scenic Byway. At around 8,000 feet above sea level, the cooler temperatures are a welcome escape from the hotter valley floors. The lake is the best part of camping here, as it is has good fishing and is fun for swimming, canoeing and kayaking too. Call the Forest Service office at (775) 738-5171 to check on current campground conditions and to get information on reserving a campsite at either of the campgrounds.
Elko County is tough country for growing vegetables, and for good reason. Our short growing season, cool summer nights and poor soil will test the patience of most gardeners. Despite the challenges, a small group of producers have sprouted (pun intended) in Elko and are working to provide high quality produce for the community. Best place to meet these growers and buy from them is at the downtown market at the corner of 5th Street and Railroad Street, on July 23rd, starting at 8 a.m. Email ElkoDBA@gmail.com for more information. In addition to produce, vendors will also be selling locally-raised beef, chicken, honey, and other goods.
Boot, Scoot & Boogey
Elko is still home to some fun Country and Western dancing, and there are some great venues here that are well worth checking out. The Silver State Stampede Rodeo Dances: Two nights of dancing to live music on Friday July 8th and Saturday July 9th, following the rodeo. The Cowboy Bar: This newly opened saloon on Idaho street has a big dance floor, free lessons, a good DJ, and nice bartenders. It’s also non-smoking. Let’s Dance at the Western Folklife Center: On July 14th, there are dance lessons from 6 – 7 pm, and open dancing from 7 – 8:30 pm. Cost is $5 per person. This is a low-key night that’s perfect for beginners and families, as well as experienced dancers.
That’s all for July, so enjoy the beautiful Elko area, and I hope to see you on the trail someday!
— Doug Clarke