Elko, NV is the Go-To for my wife, Linda, and me when we travel from the Monterey Peninsula in Central Cali to Ketchum, ID. I wrote extensively about our Fly-fishing adventures in Sun Valley in October 2018. You can search my Blog site, at ajaxminor.com, for more links under Idaho.

But first let me introduce myself, since I know Elko but you don’t know me. I’m an author. I write Fantasy under the name Ajax Minor. We lost our daughter to a birth accident in 1992 and my series, ‘The Ur Legend’, was a chance for me to give Katherine the life she never got to live.

I love Elko. My mouth begins to water about fifty miles East of Winnemuca. Linda and I have eaten at a number of restaurants in Elko but Luciano’s is our favorite. We lived in Brooklyn in the ’70s and ’80s, so we know good Italian grub and Luciano’s has the goods.

About two weeks ago we were making our second road trip in as many months to Ketchum to fish and ski. We rolled into town about 7 PM and had a great meal. And we met some terrific people while hanging at the bar for our table to be set. Nobody seemed to care when I told them we were from the People’s Republic of California. We even swapped a few stories about Sun Valley. One resident loved the snowmobiling north of Ketchum. We Nordic ski nearby at Galena. Red state Blue state recreation I guess.

After dinner we checked in at our hotel. I ‘drug’ the bags up to our room and parked the car. Next morning I saw that the back hatch was open a smidge. Had I forgotten to lock the car? Had a hacker accessed our vehicle with a nasty program? It made no difference, as I realized we’d been robbed when I saw contents of the glovebox on the floor.

We were lucky. I had brought in my laptop and both of our suitcases. We still had both sets of skis, ski boots and our fishing vests, waders and boots. But our ski bags, with long underwear, our helmets and gloves were gone. Not cheap to replace that day in Ketchum but not a disaster. We had also been carrying a satchel with four bottles of wine for the friends with whom we were staying and a bottle of my favorite scotch for our guide buddy, Scott Schnebly, owner of Lost River Outfitters in Ketchum and the best damned fisherman I’ve ever seen throw line.

This is where Red state Blue state prejudice crept in. The thieves stole the wine and left the scotch! In Elko, NV. Reddest town in Nevada maybe. Hell, Trump visited Elko in 2018! I’d have thought they would have stolen the scotch whiskey. And then I mused that they probably saw a BMW SUV with Cali plates and figured they’d show us a thing or two. Damned if we hadn’t lived in Cali for six years after moving from Colorado and had never had a thing stolen. And we get robbed in Elko!

This Red/Blue divide is relevant to my books since the USA breaks up into small republics in Book 2 of my series, The Girl from Ipanema. The immediate cause is an ecological catastrophe. A deep freeze! But you’ll have to read the book to figure that one out.

Anyway I cursed myself over the loss and then was thankful since it could have been way worse. And then I thought about the nice folks I met at Luciano’s. If we’d started talking politics we probably wouldn’t have agreed on much but we were still just people and Americans at that.

A week later our warm and fuzzies for Elko were reignited when we stopped on our way back to report the incident (we’d tried calling the police the morning I discovered the robbery but a message said the number on the website was not a working number; someone should look into that). Officer Kyle Jones met us at the station and we filed a report. He was affable and thoroughly professional. I mentioned Luciano’s and he admitted it was one of his favorites. I promised to buy him a beer if we ran into each other on our next visit.

And we will stop in Elko, as always, the next time we travel to Idaho. Seems as if there are good people and bad ones just about anywhere.

One last note. Officer Jones said there is, surprisingly he thought, a homeless problem in Elko. We know about that as we’ve seen the tent cities, modern day ‘Hoovervilles’, in Oakland. All Linda and I hoped was that it was someone who was cold and homeless who robbed us and that they made good use of the long underwear, socks and gloves.

See you soon!