Kevin Standlee (kevin_standlee) wrote,
Kevin Standlee

Wendover Ho

I was able to get away from work after lunch and we got on the road before 1 PM. Lisa drove and I read from the latest issue of Classic Trains while we headed east on I-80. We ended the day at the other side of the state. Other people come to Reno for the resorts and game. Us, we went to Wendover.

Red Garter Hotel

The Red Garter Hotel is at the west end of Wendover's Casino Row. It's less expensive than the other casino hotels on this mini-strip, but the rooms are serviceable if not luxurious. We've stayed here before. One drawback of the place that we encountered last time is that on one of the two wings of the hotel (which is only two stories tall), there is no elevator, which can be an annoyance if you travel heavy, as we do. This time, however, we were on the wing with an elevator.

The room was pretty warm and stuffy when first arrived, so we turned on the air conditioning and went down and played a few slot machines for a while.

Travel Bear

Kuma Bear plays with the pillows on the king-sized bed while Lisa and I unpacked. Lisa then took advantage of having a room with a full-sized bathtub to get a long bath while I caught up on e-mail. Fortunately, it looks like no emergencies broke out at work on the afternoon heading into the holiday weekend. And also fortunately, the wi-fi in this hotel works without complaining or costing extra — not even the "resort fee" that some of the other hotels around here charge as a way of raising their hotel price without raising the headline rate. (Correction: There is a "resort fee," but it's less than that of the other multi-hotel Wendover group.)

During today's trip, we encountered some pretty nasty weather at times. This morning while I was working, I heard knocking at the front door, which turned out to be the first of several bands of hail followed by heavy rain. Similar wild weather was all around us during the drive today.

Dust and Wind

Near Winnemucca, the winds in front of one of the bands of thunderstorms whipped up a dust cloud while a few minutes behind the wind was heavy rain. We drove into bands like this that required us to slow down because the road couldn't shed the rain fast enough, causing pools of water to form across the roadway.

Eastern Nevada Mountains

East of Elko, there was still snow on the higher peaks, some of which might have been new accumulations. I heard that there was snow in the Sierra Nevada at the higher elevations over the past few days. Wild weather has been everywhere this week. A few nights ago, the road to Gerlach was closed due to flash floods. Good thing Burning Man isn't until August.

It's Memorial Day Weekend, so what could be more natural than to have dinner at the Coffee Garden at the Red Lion Hotel? (People who attended BayCon in the Goode Olde Days will understand this reference.) Oh, wait a minute...

Red Lion Elko

The Red Lion Hotel & Casino Elko has a clever sign. We stopped here for a couple of hours. The Coffee Garden Restaurant (ah, the memories) had a $27 seafood buffet dinner. It was okay. Not bad, not spectacular, not overpriced. We got our money's worth.

A Building in Elko

Taking a walk around the outside of the hotel after that big dinner, I was amused by this sight across the street from the Red Lion. I said, "Yes, it's a building, but which one?" Also note the plans for E building in the distance. (Yes, I know it's an E for Elko, and that most towns and cities around here have their initials on a nearby hillside.)

This weekend's trip is not primarily a railfan excursion, but we did get a few bits of train viewing done. As we left Elko, we paused at the Northeastern Nevada Railport, where Lisa got a picture of their switching locomotive. (I'll post that later, as it's on a different device than I have right now.)

Carlin Tunnels

East of Carlin, the freeway passes through tunnels. To the right are tunnels for the former Southern Pacific and Western Pacific, in their "paired track" arrangement between Winnemucca and Wells. Union Pacific now owns both lines.

Nearing Wendover, the highway crosses Silver Zone Pass, and then passes over the ex-Western Pacific railroad tracks twice in quick succession. The two points on the highway are less than a mile apart, but several miles by rail as the railroad snakes through a large horseshoe curve to keep the grade to only 1%. No photos of this because by then it was getting dark.

West Wendover NV, as befits its primary purpose as a place where the people of Northern Utah can come to gamble legally, is on Mountain Time, not Pacific Time as most of the rest of the state is. Thus we lose an hour tonight.

We set out on this trip not precisely sure where we would be going other than Wendover for the first night. We had options on Ely and the Nevada Northern railroad or the "Heber Creeper" east of Salt Lake City, but we've decided on a third option, about which I'll write more tomorrow.
Tags: "kuma bear", lisa, nevada, travel, weather

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