Friday, June 20, 2003 - Reno, Nevada
I slept okay but was awake early with some back pain; I don't have a back rest on the Road King, and without the sleeping bag and tent on the bike, there was no back support. So I was awake at 5:55 a.m., my old "alarm" time (when I was working).
I got up at 6:00 a.m., turned on CNN, and found and "Express Checkout" slip under the room door. I had been invited to put my "keys" in the box at the front desk, and I did not need to "check out."
I went downstairs about 7:00 a.m., where I followed Bogey & Carol and Mike & Katie to the parking garage. I wished them a good trip, loaded my T-Bag onto my bike, and waved them goodbye. To make it easier for others to load and leave, I moved into the spot that these folks had just vacated, then went back to the casino and waited for the rest to come down to breakfast.
We had a nice little crowd at Mel's Diner for breakfast, and I played Keno while eating. I was surprised when my three numbers came up and I won breakfast, worth about eleven dollars. That was nice!
After breakfast I went back to my room for one last sweep and found that the housekeeping staff was already servicing the room. I went back downstairs, turned in my "keys" and walked to the parking garage.
As we had come in last night, parking was a little tight, but we got four motorcycles into two spaces, leaving one bike with no place to park. So Danny parked his bike in a handicapped spot and we put Gene's placard on it. This made more sense than moving three bikes to get Gene's out and putting it in the handicapped spot.
Back to this morning, Frank was accosted by someone in the parking garage, complaining about the motorcycle parked in the handicapped spot. Frank pointed out the placard, which they had missed.
Then he proceeded to tell them a cock-and-bull story about how the guy who rides that bike need the placard because he has epilepsy. When the complainer thought about that a minute and seemed puzzled, Frank told the busy-body that we ride with one person on each side of him, so that if he has a seizure while riding, we can reach over and hold his handlebars so he doesn't crash.
Evidently the complainer gets all his exercise by jumping to conclusions.
Anyway, we loaded and fired up the bikes and left the Sands Regency garage at 9:15 a.m., stopped at the Chevron Station at 4th & Keystone for fuel, then rode east on Interstate 80, through Sparks and out into the wilds of Nevada.
We turned eastbound on Alternate U.S. 50 near Fernley, rode past Hazen, then turned onto eastbound U.S. Highway 50 near Lahontan Reservoir and rode into Fallon NV. It was only 62 miles, but there would be no gas for many miles, so we stopped for fuel at a Chevron Station at 10:30 a.m., then continued ethrough Fallon and east on U.S. 50, the Loneliest Highway in America.
We zoomed past Salt Wells (where I did _not_ see the girls waving), Sand Mountain and the Loneliest pay phone, and Cold Springs, where I may stop some day, over New Pass summit and into Austin NV, where most stopped at Chevron and I stopped at Shell about 12:35 p.m., then doubled back and parked near the International Cafe.
We had a nice lunch, I had a steak sandwich and drink for about $8, and others had other delicacies, and Kathy observed that the wiener was too big for the bun. No comment.
We had been warned that there might be some problems with crickets, or was it grasshoppers, but we didn't see very many, and there definitely were not any swarms of them blocking traffic.
We continued another 70 miles into Eureka NV for fuel at the Chevron Station at 3:25 p.m., then backtracked 3 miles, through a little rain, then turned north on Nevada Highway 278 for about 88 miles of Lander County and a few more miles into Carlin NV, then 23 more miles to Elko on Interstate 80.
We arrived at the Stockmen's Hotel Casino at 5:30 p.m. (113 miles from Eureka), parked on the street near the corner of 4th and Silver Streets, and walked about 100 feet to the casino entrance.
I have done a fair amount of traveling in the past few years and have seldom found check-in to be so quick and easy. When I gave my name, they were ready with an envelope containing a metal key-style electronic room key and an envelope full o' coupons and literature.
I took the elevator up to Room 330 and found nice "western" wooden furniture, fluorescent lighting, Decora switches and switchplates, a nice closet, a door to the balcony, atrium and pool below, and a small but adequate bathroom. The place had evidently been here for many years, but had been upgraded along the way and would suit my needs quite nicely.
Sprint PCS did not work in Elko, nor could my phone find an analog carrier to fall back on. What a shame! I would not be disturbed by annoying phone calls while traveling.
Across the hallway from my room I met Tom and Darryl, who were also visiting Elko, and had requested that specific room, partly for the view of the open lots that had the vendor booths. They also had plenty of plastic beads (for throwing), ala New Orleans. They told me to stop by and enjoy the view any time, that they had plenty of beads to throw and plenty of cold beverages to drink.
About 6:30 p.m. several of us gathered at the Elko Convention and Visitors Authority booth, where our member Peggy introduced us to her brother, Ralph McMullen, executive director, who promised us a walking tour the next day.
Ralph and his staff are familiar with most of the businesses in town, so if you're planning to visit Elko and need information, be sure to contact them.
Afterwards I was in a Wendy's kind of mood, so I took the (free) shuttle from the Stockmen's Hotel, down Idaho Street to the other end of town, and then walked back. There are several other hotels, including the Red Lion, several gas stations and restaurants on the way. I also passed the Elko Inn Express, where I had stayed in late April, the Citibank branch and Domino's Pizza, among many other businesses.
I got back to the Stockmen's and asked about a players club. They don't have one. Then I investigated cashing a check. At most other casinos in Reno, Sparks and Las Vegas, it's easy, but the requirement here was that you have a valid check-cashing card, which you had to have known about and applied for in advance. The process seemed complicated and time-consuming, so I walked back to the Citibank and took some cash out with my ATM card in about 10 seconds.
Then I walked back by way of Roy's Market, where I could have gotten some cash back, but did not, and got something to drink.
Back at the Stockmen's, I discovered that they don't have bill readers on the slot machines, you have to use "coins," like Reno in the seventies.
So I used a few "coins" and "changed my financial position," then went back up to my room about 9:30 p.m., checked on the neighbors' view of the activities below, turned on CNN, took a shower, watched a little Discovery Channel and got to bed around 11:00 p.m. The neighbors were hootin' and hollerin' at girls on the street below, but I managed to get to sleep okay.
Miles for the day = 357. Miles for the trip = 626.
Tomorrow: enjoying the Jamboree, a great Basque dinner, and a walking tour of some of Elko's houses, and I don't mean that in a "real estate" way.