Pioneer Potluck: About our 10,000 mile trip to the lower 48

  • By Grannie Annie
  • Tuesday, May 31, 2016 6:04pm
  • LifeFood

Through Montana, Idaho and to Jackpot, Nevada in one day

Sept 26, 2000


After leaving Hamilton, Montana, we headed for Salmon, Idaho, where I do believe the movie “River Of No Return’ was filmed with Marilyn Monroe. It also is the place I thought I wanted to move after a doctor at the hospital where I worked in Fort Collins, moved to build his practice. I changed my mind – mostly no money changed my mind. Later, I was then going to Sitka to work for a doctor and his wife after they moved from Fort Collins. Then stubbornness moved in and I decided that I should make the kids Dad be a Dad, so I made plans to move to Kenai, Alaska. I never ever regretted it! And after almost 50 years I am still here!

From Salmon where Bob told me all about the 45th parallel which is half way between the Equator and the North Pole. We saw lots of cows at Challis Valley and on to Arco to Butte City and down to Atomic City where we believed that our friend, Jim Nelson was from. I renamed it Sage Brush City. Our Alaska van was doing well in the heat only if the air conditioner was off, so we rolled down the windows, I put my bare feet up on the dash and enjoy the non-view.

Had to put my shoes back on at Blackfoot where we followed the Snake River on into Pocatello. After a brief stop at a McDonalds and a great big, tall, icy soda and a quarter pounder with cheese for Bob, a quarter pounder without, for me and sharing fries, we crawled back in the van for a nice trip through the bottom of Idaho to Twin Falls. We had a nice stop at Massacre Rock rest area, where I saw for the first time in 30 years of living in Alaska, a live rattle snake and one dead one. I knew I had moved to Alaska for a reason. NO Snakes!

The area was farm land, full of wheat, beets and corn fields. I loved it. We crossed the bridge on the Snake River and into Twin Falls, made a turn south and headed for the Nevada boarder. We had a long, long day from Hamilton, Montana, through Idaho to Nevada and decided to stop and rest at Jackpot, Nevada, right on the border.

Well, this farmer’s daughter and later Alaskan gal, had never in her life gambled. Bob educated me in the art of pulling levers and watching what came up. In 20 minutes we had lost $100 and that was the end of our gambling at Jackpot!! We ate at Club 93. Salad for me and turkey sandwich for Bob. On the menu for the following day was potato soup! I started to laugh. I ate potato soup without milk at Jakes Corner in Canada, we had potato soup at Maries, in Hamilton. I learned that Marie made hers very differently than mine. She put left over milk gravy, mashed potatoes, lots of cream and butter in hers.

We stayed at an older place in Jackpot, called the Covered Wagon. It was old. It was clean. It cost $19.95 a night! It creaked and groaned. It made noises like we were going across the prairie in covered wagon. Bob could not sleep and stayed up all night listening to the noises of the night. I slept for a change!

We felt like we had a bargain as we had paid as high as $89 a night else where. (Remember this was year 2000! Probably double that now!) And I still had my new camera! I took lots of pictures.

The next morning, Bob’s reasoned that loosing the $100 was because we really saved on the motel room and the food, so we went gambling again. We lost again. I was beginning to think gambling was not for us! We ate a nice breakfast. We left about 10 that morning headed for Bob’s son and daughter and their families in Elko, Nevada.

I had seen Salmon, Idaho, went through Atomic City and Pocatello and Twin falls, all in one day. I had seen the Snake River and my first time at the slot machines. Makes me smile to this day. I never, ever left the state of Colorado in my first 29 years of living there, except for a trip once in a while to Wyo. I felt very lucky at 59 years old! And we were having fun!

We headed for Elko, Nevada with big smiles as we were about to spend some time with Bob’s son, Mugs and family and daughter Daphne and family.


Next week Our stay in Elko

My deepest hope and prayer is that everyone had a safe and happy Memorial week end. I hope that you are kind and compassionate to who ever you meet. Just remember “Be kinder that necessary because everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.” I have this taped to my computer.


The Grannie Annie series is written by a 47 year resident of Alaska, Ann Berg of Nikiski.Ann shares her collections of recipes from family and friends. She has gathered recipes for more that 50 years. Some are her own creation. Her love of recipes and food came from her Mother, a self taught wonderful cook. She hopes you enjoy the recipes and that the stories will bring a smile to your day.


Grannie Annie can be reached at anninalaska@gci. net


The “Grannie Annie” Cook Book Series includes: “Grannie Annie’s Cookin’ on the Woodstove”; “Grannie Annie’s Cookin’ at the Homestead”; “Grannie Annie’s Cookin’ Fish from Cold Alaskan Waters”; and “Grannie Annie’s Eat Dessert First.” They are available at M & M Market in Nikiski.

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