September 18th, 2021

Tonopah Westercon

Out of Practice

Lisa and I are on a "field trip" to Tonopah this weekend, partially to do some tourism to another place we would certainly never have time to go during Westercon 74. We also are doing something we would never do in most cases: change hotels during the middle of a stay in the same town. (We did stay in three different IHG hotels during our 2014 Worldcon trip, but that was a combination of moving between the convention site and hotels where we could make the most use of our IHG points, and in any event, we always stayed at least two nights in any one place.) We spent last night in the Best Western Hi-Desert Inn, from which we are about to check out as I write this, and will spend tonight in the Jim Butler Inn & Suites. Why would we do this, you ask? Because in practice it's the only way we can get the level of documentation we want of the hotels, and these are the last two of the four "downtown" hotels we'll be using for Westercon 74. We've already stayed and and photographed hotel rooms in the Mizpah and Belvada Hotels, plus the Tonopah Station, which is about 1.5 km south of downtown. (We're not planning on staying at the Old Brewery Hostel, so if you really want to keep your costs down, you'll need to look at the documentation on the Mizpah's website.) With an anticipated attendance of 200-400 people and around 200 hotel rooms in the "downtown four," we reckon most of our attendees will want to stay in these hotels. While of course staying in every possible room type is impractical, having representative photos seems like a good thing to us, especially inasmuch as in our experience most hotels' sites don't include all of the things we personally want to know when investigating a room. We'll have more to say about this when I write this up after we get home, and I'll update the Westercon 74 website with more photos later.

In the meantime, there's the practical matter that Lisa and I are clearly way out of practice when it comes to travel. With the exception of the trip we made here in July, we haven't been on an overnight road trip since January 2020. We both forgot a number of things for this two-night trip. Fortunately, none of them are critical, and in some cases we could back each other up.

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Of course, in this trip's case, I could have always gone to Raley's and replaced some of the things that I'd left behind. Also, I'd separately packed my bag of medications that I take for my blood pressure and diabetes, so I'm good there. I did leave my blood sugar meter behind, but for a short trip I don't think that's a big deal. However, I think I'm going to have to make an actual paper checklist of things to pack, because as we simply have not been traveling for a couple of years, things I used to do without having to think about it have dropped out of my memory. For some of our planned trips coming up later this year, I might leave behind something more mission-critical.

A Day Trip to the Moon

Somewhat inspired by [personal profile] delosharriman, Lisa, Kuma Bear, and I did a day trip to the Moon today, or at least something related to it.

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We did not rush out of the hotel this morning, taking advantage of the Hi-Desert Inn's room to have a leisurely breakfast before checking out, refueling the minivan, and setting out east on US-6 on a drive that would take us almost halfway to Ely. US-6 is a high-speed highway here, with a speed limit of 70 mph, and vehicles still passing us even when I could maintain that speed.

As it happens, the turnoff for Lunar Crater is only a short distance from Moore's Station Road, which is how we left Project Faultless in July.

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Between the two of us, we took a lot of photos. Click through any of these and you can explore the entire Lunar Crater album.

It seemed to take less time to get back to US-6 than it had taken to get out there. Lisa said that was because I'd gotten used to the road conditions and better at finding the less teeth-rattling sections of it. We set our course for Tonopah, and in pretty good time we were checking in to the Jim Butler Inn & Suites, where we are staying tonight.

Hotel reports will be forthcoming in a few days, but I wanted to get this tourism report written tonight. We enjoyed visiting this landmark, and we had the whole thing to ourselves for the hour we were there, as well as the drive from US-6 and back, except for meeting one car that was turning off US-6 just as we were coming back to the highway. This is of course a pretty out-of-the-way side trip (unless you happen to be driving US-6 from Tonopah to Ely or vice versa), but it was fun to visit. I thought it was an impressive site, and I'm glad we made the time to go see it.