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JS Bar serves up a weekend feast for all comers to Paradise Valley.
Photo: Matthew B. Brown (JS Bar)
Paradise Valley is about 40 miles north of Winnemucca. From Winnemucca, catch U.S. 95 for about 30 miles, then take State Route 290 to Paradise Valley.
One of the main attractions in the area is the beautiful Santa Rosa Range. Spring is a great time to visit as the wildflowers are wonderful, and if you catch them at the right time you can see complete hillsides of mule’s ear in full bloom.
Fall is another special time to journey the gravel roads into the high country. I would declare these roads to be some of the best in Nevada’s outback, accessible to a two-wheel-drive car in the dry season. Fall leaves line the road in yellows and reds. The hills seem to be glowing in splashes of color as they welcome you to their world. Various U.S. Forest Service Stations make for beautiful, peaceful walks down small trails with old rustic fences and the occasional outhouse.
My husband and I stayed in Paradise Valley for the Saturday-night meal prepared by Bama Booth, the Basque owner of the JS Bar (which is currently leased to Dennis Acorda and Anita Kennedy). The watering hole proudly displays a sign that reads, “Where Friendships Are Made” above its entrance. Tickets were sold ahead of time, and you had to give your request to the cook who was grilling up a storm outside on his homemade grill.
The specialty for the night was rib-eye steaks with all the fixings. Of course, good cold beer was easily obtained at the bar. The meal with the all the trimmings was the best I have had in years. Homemade country-style potatoes and a cauliflower and broccoli dish made in crock-pots were tasty and plentiful. To top it all off, a homemade hot peach cobbler was the delicious dessert.
This event happens every Saturday night at the bar no matter what the weather brings. It is clearly a hangout for locals, but I also met several newcomers who were welcomed like old timers in the community. One couple was from Lake Tahoe, and a single woman was passing through on her way to Colorado. All of us newbies expressed the same sentiments: What a warm, special place to have landed on a Saturday night.
A young handsome cowboy was proudly showing off his new knee-high blue leather boots like a stud looking for a filly. It was hard to resist his smile and gentle manners. Paradise Valley also hosts an annual Thanksgiving Dinner, and everyone is invited and asked to bring a potluck dish.
Paradise Valley has many older charming buildings, and a stroll down Main Street is very pleasant. A peaceful stream flows through the town, and in the distance you can hear the bleating of sheep and crowing of roosters at dawn.
There is an RV park in town with hook-ups across the street from the JS Bar. A fifth-generation Nevadan, Lynford Melody, will stop by to collect a camper’s fee. He is also a wealth of information on the colorful history and local attractions. The fee goes to support the needs of the community.
The spirit of the town and kindness of the residents makes this Nevada outback adventure a must.
WORTH A CLICK
Professional learning experiences in a setting that isn’t far away from airports and city amenities, but far enough away for you to experience Nevada’s beauty while learning.