Kevin Standlee (kevin_standlee) wrote,
Kevin Standlee

Short Hop to Start the Trip

This afternoon, we finished loading up the minvan and set off on our Worldcon trip.

Loaded for Worldcon

Lisa built a folding cart for the San Diego trip, and it's strapped to the roof.

Loaded for Worldcon #SasquanOrBust

Lisa is remarkably good about making the most of the space in the minivan. Note that despite how that box is labeled, it is not really train books; that's what it was when we moved from Oregon, and the box never got re-labeled.

While doing our checklist to shut down the house, Lisa remembered that we hadn't packed the water bottles that all of the Match Game SF contestants get, so we grabbed a bag and packed a dozen of them.

Today's trip was merely from Fernley to Winnemucca, only about 130 miles. Lisa drove most of the way because I've been up since 4 AM trying to get Day Jobbe done so we could leave early. Thanks to getting away as early as we did, we arrived in Winnemucca only about fifteen minutes after I'd originally scheduled us leaving from Fernley. That made for a restful evening here in the hotel room.

Along I-80, we saw signs for the Winners Casino in Winnemucca, touting their all-you-can-eat spaghetti for $4.99. We decided to give it a try. It wasn't bad. We restrained ourselves after only two helpings. Then, on the way out of the casino, we spotted a couple of pinball machines off the hotel lobby. There were two machines in pretty decent working condition, so we played a couple of dollars' worth of games on their South Park machine before heading back to the hotel, topping off the fuel tank on the minivan at the Flying J across from the Holiday Inn Express.

Why only go two hours from home before the first stop? Well, the next leg of the trip (from here to Idaho) is through some pretty desolate areas, with few places to stop for the night, and all of them looking a bit dicey. Holiday Inn Express is a known quantity. Besides, I used points for tonight's stay. Winnemucca makes a convenient jumping-off point for the long drive up US-95 tomorrow.

The second reason is a bit more subtle. As the photo above shows, we pack very heavy and complicated, particularly with the Match Game speakers and other tech and Business Meeting recording kit. By leaving on Friday afternoon for a short trip, we put ourselves in a position where we have to finish packing and get going. Furthermore, once we get driving, it tends to remind us of what we might have forgotten. If it's critical enough, it's not an impossible trip back home to get something.

Thanks to planning ourselves so that we're on the move and packed tonight, we expect to be able to get off the mark fairly sharply tomorrow and head north into Oregon and Idaho.

Bad news ahead of us, though: forest fires in Oregon have not only intermittently closed I-84 between Ontario OR and Pendleton OR (our original route), but have also closed the Sumpter Valley Railroad in Baker City, which we'd planned to ride on Sunday. After reviewing our options, we decided to cancel our reservations in Ontario and Pendleton and instead drive tomorrow to Nampa ID and on Sunday to Lewiston ID. There are fires in Idaho as well, but currently the route between Nampa and Lewiston is open.
Tags: hotels, trains, travel, worldcon

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