Kevin Standlee (kevin_standlee) wrote,
Kevin Standlee
kevin_standlee

Rolling Home

Because we returned the U-Haul truck last night (borrowing our van from the mechanic's lot so that we didn't have to walk back to the hotel, then returning it to the lot so they didn't think we'd run off on them), we didn't have to get up terribly early and could sleep in for a couple of hours, which we did. Once we were ready to go, we walked over to the shop, paid for the van ($475 including the 10% AAA discount), drove the van back around the block to the hotel, packed our bags, checked out, and headed for home.

Elko Equipment

On our way to breakfast at the Red Lion Hotel-Casino, we stopped to take this picture of equipment for sale on a local equipment dealer's lot. If you didn't already know that the Elko area was a center of Nevada mining activity, this selection of equipment might give you a hint.

Rather than grabbing something from Starbucks on account of being several hours late as we did heading east, we sat down and had breakfast at the Coffee Garden, then paused to play a slot machine that Lisa likes that has rotated out of Fernley and Reno/Sparks-area casinos. Lisa got lucky and won $10. That was good enough for us, and we set off for home.

While we were anxious to get home, we were both so tired that we had to make many stops to rest and stay awake. As we pulled out of Lovelock, the last city before Fernley (about 50 miles), Lisa noted that the gas gauge was low. I asked what the trip-meter said, and based on that reading, figured we had enough gas to get back to Fernley with some distance to spare. What I didn't realize was that somehow we had reset the trip-meter around 100 miles after we refueled at Fernley before leaving for Utah.

As we crested the last hill before Fernley, the Astro started showing signs of being out of gas. Lisa shifted into neutral and shut off the motor, then turned on the emergency flashers and coasted. We rolled several miles, then down exit 48. We lucked out in that there was no conflicting traffic at the bottom of the ramp, and she rolled us into the Flying J, where (luck again), there was an open pump.

Perfect Coast

The Astro rolled to a stop with the gas cap directly opposite a pump. Lisa only had to apply the brakes to keep the van from rolling backwards from the stop. She was (understandably) very pleased with herself. I refueled the van, wishing that I'd though about it at Winnemucca because the price of gas was cheaper there than in Fernley.

We got home around 4:45 (just as Amtrak was going by on time eastbound), unloaded the van, then made a trip to Raley's to refill groceries.

Tomorrow I have to go back to work, and I've rarely been so happy that my commute is from my bedroom to the living room.

Lisa on the Salt Flats

I forgot to post this yesterday: Just before Wendover, we stopped at the Bonneville Salt Flats rest area, and Lisa had me take this photo of her standing on the salt flats just north of the rest area. You have to watch your step here, because there are many puddles, and in some areas, the salt is merely a thin crust over a pool of hyper-salty water. It's a good idea to shake off your shoes (and maybe wash them off) as you exit the flats, to avoid tracking a bunch of salt into your vehicle.

Despite the vehicle drama with the breakdown in Elko and the out-of-gas at Fernley, this really was a good trip, and we're happy about it, but now we need to rest and recuperate for a few days.
Tags: astro, lisa, minivan, spikecon
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