July 2nd, 2014

SMOF License

Across Northern Nevada

Thanks in no small part to the extensive pre-packing job that Lisa did on the Astro, we got away from Fernley House at 8 AM Tuesday and set off east on I-80. The speed limit here is 75 MPH, and aside from spots of road construction, we were able to maintain that speed much of the day, so our progress was good, and that meant we had time to stop and do things that we don't always have time to do on these road trips.

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We lost an hour east of Wells, but that's because we entered the Mountain Time Zone. A small strip of eastern Nevada keeps MT due to its ties to Utah. About 9 PM local time, twelve subjective hours after we left Fernley, we rolled into Winnemucca Wendover and checked into the Peppermill Hotel. Yes, that's the same brand as one of Renovation's hotels. Unfortunately, the Reno Peppermill's slot club cards are not cross-compatible with their Wendover casino.

After a late dinner, we turned in for the night, vowing to sleep in on Wednesday because it's only about 150 miles to Salt Lake City and there is not much point in arriving too early to check in. We could have made the trip in a single day, but we've been trying to keep from over-taxing ourselves and also trying to give ourselves a chance to see things when we're traveling.
WSFS Plate

Welcome to Utah

As expected, getting to Salt Lake City from Wendover didn't take very long, not with a dead-straight tangent across the salt flats and an 80 MPH speed limit on I-80. We even had enough time to make a side trip to a military-surplus store south of downtown where we hunted up a new belt of a certain type that Lisa has been trying to find. We arrived at the hotel at about 2 PM, and check-in and move-in could hardly have been more efficient. I was astonished that even with two carts of stuff (our personal luggage and the Match Game gear), the bellman who went with Lisa had everything unloaded and Lisa nearly had it all stowed by the time I'd parked the van in the underground parking garage and made my way to the room.

After checking in, we got registered, which was simple, and then we walked over to the food court at the adjacent city center shopping center and had lunch. We did a little reconnoiter of the area around the hotel. The big Fantasycon convention that will be going on across the street in the convention center parallel to Westercon (and with members of one allowed to attend the other) is highly visible. There were billboards on the approach street to downtown and banners on the downtown streets. I suspect nobody will even notice Westercon is happening, actually, if FantasyCon is really as big as its image projects itself to be.

The hotel has a mini-fridge, which is quite welcome and useful, but the wired connection for internet doesn't seem to connect to anything. There is wireless internet, and apparently the $10/day charge for it will be removed from my bill at check-out. Besides the shopping center, there is a useful Rite-Aid around the corner, where we stopped for something we'd left at home and also some small snacks for consumption in our hotel room. We thought about taking a spin on the light rail system (stations for which are all around us here), but we are pretty tired and decided instead to go back to the room and rest a bit.

I have Westercon's site selection ballot box and will deliver to whoever is running site selection when I can do so. We have scoped out Salon B/C where Match Game SF will be and it looks like it should do okay, although we might end up putting the six panelists side-by-side instead of in two ranks; we'll have to see how the hotel resets the room on Friday evening to make a final decision.

Oh, and had we decided to drive the Rolling Stone instead, there was a parking lot around the corner from the hotel where we could have parked; and it is the one I saw on Google Street View; however, I was never able to find out in advance whether the lot allowed oversize vehicles or overnight parking. When we walked by it this afternoon, we could see no prohibition on overnight parking, and there was an RV (bigger than the Stone) parked in the lot, so that presumably answers that question. I just wish it wasn't so difficult to get committees to answer that question about high/long vehicles. Are there really that few conrunners who drive larger vehicles sometimes?