Unionvile or bust

People traveling on two of our major highways, 80 and 95, usually think Nevada’s a stretch of space to be endured and put in the rearview mirror. With good reason—80 and 95, for the most part, are indeed pretty damned bleak, barren and uninviting. But Nevada’s good stuff isn’t on the flats. It’s up in the hills, in the canyons of our many mountain ranges, especially the ranges that have peaks of 9,000 feet and more. Those mountains are high enough that they can hold a fair amount of snow, which in turn feeds the creeks running down those canyons, creating dozens and dozens of Edenic retreats, places that most modern dimbulbs don’t even realize exist, much less visit.

The town of Unionville, out there between Lovelock and Winnemucca (kinda), is one such slice of paradise, but it’s a mistake to call it a town. There are no services there, just a few homes on the creek and the terrific Old Pioneer Garden B&B. I recently spent a night there, and I’m delighted to report that it’s still functioning at a very high level and ready for you whenever you want to treat yourself to some of its timelessly enriching hospitality.

One nice touch at the O.P. that makes it superior to all other B&Bs is that you’re not staying in the same house with the owners. They don’t wanna hear your snorin’, somnambulism, and miscellaneous. Smart. So there are three separate buildings for the guests, and each one is not just a comfy and cool place to stay, but a bit of a western museum as well. A museum that gives you the feel that yeah, those folks back then knew what the hell they were doin’.

Rooms are $85 a night, and dinners can be had for an extra $12. A steal. And don’t miss dinner, still home cooked by Mitzi, who’s been running the place forever. Everybody sits down for some family-style eating, and it feels just like 1937 at the table, and I mean that in a most complimentary and affectionate way. Just be sure you bring some friendly wine to dinner. Two bottles.

Breakfast in the morning is at the big picnic table out in the yard, and this ain’t no ordinary yard. It’s a zone of lush enchantment, with shade and lawn and trees and hummingbirds, a place that feels like something out of Grimms’ fairy tales, if the Grimms had set their tales in Nevada instead of Bavaria.

After dinner, us three single men, given our own house to hang in, retreated to the patio overlooking the creek, quaffing bottles of zin, and watching the hungry demons of the forest emerge for their nightly rounds of murder and gluttony. In other words, watching great horned owls fly into the last light of dusk, seeking furry victims.

The Old Pioneer Garden. A wonderful place. Seriously. Google. Go.