Saturday, June 21, 2003 - Elko, Nevada
I slept okay but overnight I noticed a noisy climate control fan, and could not get any heat in the room. The switch on the control unit did nothing.
I first looked at the clock at 7:20 a.m., got up and dressed. I realized that I should have brought a pair of comfortable shoes for walking, so I wouldn't have to wear my boots all the time. I also should have brought a spare belt for my other pants. Walking around required me to constantly hike them up, which was annoying. That problem would be solved later in the day.
I was unable to locate a hotel directory, so I called the front desk and was told that local calls were free, they didn't know if 800 calls were free, and there was no heat, just air conditioning. There were no floor heaters available, and that they would "probably be illegal."
I didn't do much better when I asked the maid about heat, because I don't speak quite enough Spanish.
I went downstairs and through the casino to do a bike check. Mine was fine, some of the others were covered, some of the others were gone.
About 8:30 a.m. I went into the hotel restaurant and had a nice breakfast of French toast, scrambled eggs and juice, then used a 50% off coupon that had come in the big envelope full o' stuff that I had received at check-in.
I went down to the Jamboree office and registered ($20 cash only) to help support the event. They gave me another bag full o' goodies, including a coupon for an official Elko Motorcycle Jamboree tee-shirt, which I took outside to one of the official booths. It was barely nine o'clock in the morning on the first day of the event and they were all out of XXL shirts, so I had to make do with another style. It was still a nice looking shirt.
I wandered through the vendor area. It was about two blocks wide and about 4 blocks long, containing all the standard biker stuff: tee-shirts, sweat shirts, knives, leather goods, sun glasses, food, tattoos, motorcycle parts, patches and patch sewing, etc.
Some of the businesses in Elko were open during the weekend but not doing too well. I went into the western clothing store, but they didn't have the style and size of Wrangler jeans that I like.
I walked back to the Stockmen's Hotel and back up to my room to put away the extra shirt and go through the bag o' goodies. There wasn't much that I could use.
I walked through another portion of the vendor area, then a few blocks to the Citibank branch, only to find that they were closed on Saturdays. Back in the vendor area, I had an Elko Motorcycle Jamboree patch sewn onto my vest for $5 plus a $1 tip for the old guy (about my age). It's a little more than I pay at home, but much quicker, since they do it while you wait.
I took the free shuttle down Idaho Street to the Red Lion Hotel, nearly at the east end of town, discovered that I could cash I check for $100 if needed, then found the Player's Club and signed up for a card. It was a pleasure talking to some nice ladies at the booth. They gave every appearance that they were glad to have bikers in town.
As a matter of fact, many employees of many businesses in Elko wore tee-shirts saying "biker-friendly Elko."
I found a 50 cent slot machine and had my way with it for a while; eventually walked away with what I'd started with.
I walked across the street to Wendy's for a grilled chicken sandwich, the walked back to the Gold Country Casino Hotel, across from the Red Lion and using the same player card.
I found a 25 cent machine and changed my financial position slightly, then checked messages from a pay phone. (My parts were in at San Jose Harley-Davidson.) I went back across the street to the Red Lion and improved my financial position slightly, then cashed a check for $100 and waited outside for the shuttle bus.
After some foolishness involving an idiot with a pickup blocking two other vehicles, then waiting for the bus driver to refuel the bus, several of us got on the bus and proceeded back down Idaho Street. I debarked at the Thunderbird Motel and walked across the street to an empty lot to watch the dirt bikers jumping for a while. They're very good, and very impressive to watch, but I couldn't do that.
I got back to Room 330 about 1:40 p.m., and caught up on some notes while monitoring CNN. When I checked with the guys in the room across the hallway, they told me that a hotel guest had jumped from the third floor balcony to the pool below, but had misjudged and smacked his head on the concrete. It was nobody with our group, and nobody knew if he was even there for the jamboree.
I walked down to do another security check on the Road King, and it was fine, so I returned to the room and lay down for a nap. The alarm went off at 5:45 p.m., and I got up and walked over to the Star Restaurant, a couple blocks away, where I met with some of the others on the trip.
Convention and Visitors guy Ralph had arranged for our party to have dinner in a back room of this Basque-style restaurant at 6 o'clock. We were seated fairly quickly, then served soup, bread, salad, beans, and green beans. I had prawns, while others had steak and chicken, and then they served ice cream for dessert. It was an excellent dinner, but many other were waiting, so we cleared out and walked back to the hotel.
I checked with Tom on his balcony (the room across the hallway), and he was doing well with the girl-watching, beer-drinking and bead-dispensing. I respect a person who knows how to multi-task.
I went down to street level and looked at a few of the motorcycles on display, along with more of the vendor booths.
Roy's Market was just a block or two away, so I walked over there for some Mountain Dew to put on ice for the next morning. On the way back, I discovered that a custom car club was in attendance, showing off numerous restored classics on 5th Street, including a 1956 Crown Victoria and an extremely customized 1957 Chevrolet wagon. These guys must have spent a lot of time and money making these cars look great! It was amusing to see the looks on the faces of some of the teenagers, born in the late eighties. They must have thought they were looking at horseless carriages.
Also on the way back I saw some guys from a four-wheel-drive club with their vehicles on display. One was a raised Jeep CJ5 with huge wheels and tires, one of which wheels was parked on the wheel of another Jeep. Kinda like the rock mountain in front of a Land Rover dealer, but different.
Painted on the Jeep was "CJ5 3/4," and it made sense, because of it's size. Painted on another of the Jeeps was "born to party, forced to work."
Back at the hotel, I stopped to see Tom again and discovered that he was now getting two flashes for a string of silver beads. He had a few takers, but there was a lot of hotel security around, so there weren't that many flashes.
I put the Mountain Dew on ice for the morning, then went back down to the casino. I saw Kathy, from our group, and she told me she had seen some nice suspenders at a certain vendor booth, so I went out there and found them. Mostly black with red and yellow flames. They were ten dollars, so I got them. Problem solved.
I've never been a "suspenders" kind of guy, but sometimes a belt just isn't enough, and these snazzy (did I say that?) suspenders did a great job of keeping the pants where they're supposed to be. At least where the pants are supposed to be for _my_ generation - at my waist.
I've found that the older "they" are, the higher the pants, and the younger "they" are, the lower the pants. I sometimes wonder how may teenage boys are killed each year while trying to run across a busy street with baggy pants ... but I digress.
Our host Ralph had arranged to meet with the group about 9:00 p.m. for a walking tour of some of the downtown (ahem) businesses , so several of us got together at the Convention and Visitors' booth. Ralph 'splained that prostitution is legal in many Nevada counties, notably excluding Clark County (Las Vegas), Carson City (city and county), and Washoe County (Reno).
We first stopped at Mona's, where we pushed the button and waited for the door to be buzzed open. The bartender/owner was about 85 and hard of hearing, and another customer was there bothering the (ahem) employees. Ralph had the owner tell us a little about the place and its history, but he was much more interested in selling drinks and keeping the girls busy.
The owner did not want the female members of our group inside, so I gallantly volunteered to wait outside with them.
Our next stop was Sue's Fantasy Club, a block down. This was a little fancier joint, run by a guy and his wife. He gave us a little rundown on the place, and some of the guys had drinks. Another male and I waited outside with our female members. The group decided to forego the third place, even though it was just across the street.
Instead, we walked back past the hotel and to a place called the Horseshoe, where there was supposed to be a good band playing. There was a $10 cover charge, and since I am cheap, I decided it would be more fun to people-watch in front of the place. It was.
After a few conversations with some drunks, one of our members (Danny) came out the door and we walked back to the hotel by way of the vendor booths.
I stopped at the casino and changed my financial position slightly, then went up to the room around 11:00 o'clock, took a shower and went to bed about 11:30 p.m.
Miles for the day = 0. Miles for the trip = still 626.
Tomorrow: riding toward Reno, Corvettes aplenty, and a nice lunch in Lovelock.