Day 18 - I Shot a Man in Reno!May 10 in the United States ⋅ 🌙 8 °C
Woke up at 5.45am, just 15 minutes before my alarm. Got up & made cups of tea. I allowed Jackie a shower, but not time to put her make-up on, whilst I unhooked & 6.40am we rumbled out of the RV Park.
We turned on the directions on our phone & the SatNav voice instructed to continue on the same road for the next 520 miles. Not something you hear everyday. (We looked it up, the A1 is the longest road in the UK at 410 miles). We were heading to Reno on Interstate 80 which was a total of 526 miles.
Around 7.00pm we started to circumnavigate the Salt Lake. It looked quite beautiful shimmering in the early morning sun. Sadly I missed the Rest Stop to get a proper photo. For close on 50 miles the Salt Lake was permanently in our sight on our right hand side. I set the RV to cruise control at 80 mph & sat back to enjoy the views.
About 75 miles out of Salt Lake City we passed The Tree of Utah aka Metaphor. It is an 87 foot high tree sculpture on the Bonneville Salt Flats. Managed to spot it & photo it as we sped past at 80mph.
Several miles along we stopped at the Rest Area at Bonneville Salt Flats where there was a plaque commemorating the place where numerous land speed records had been broken, including by Sir Malcolm Campbell. The current record was set here by Gary Gabelich in his ‘Blue Flame’ at 622mph on 23rd October 1970.
We then drove along a narrow causeway to Bonneville Salt Flats International Speedway. Sadly, the Salt Flats were still a lake so I was unable to try & beat the land speed record in the RV!! It was very surreal as we were now surrounded by shimmering silver water. A few photos & panos to mark the occasion, then we were off.
Next stop, Wendover, which was just over the state line in Nevada. Apparently you are allowed to gamble & drink spirits in Nevada, you wouldn’t know it, by just the one or two (thousand) billboards advertising the fact. First we filled up with $100 of fuel at a petrol station that also doubles as a casino.
Then we went to see & photo Wendover Will, ‘The World’s Largest Cowboy’ at 90foot tall. We caused chaos on the road as we tried to find his best side from the comfort of the RV. That done, we made do with a Big Breakfast from McDonalds. A strange mix of sausage patty, scrambled egg, hash brown, 3 fluffy pancakes with syrup & butter & a side of Hot Cakes.
Pretty full we headed back to I-80 & let the RV take the strain in cruise control. We went up & over several mountain passes, passed through the towns of Wells, Elko, Battle Mountain, Winnemucca & Lovelock. We saw signposts for Shafter, Deeth Starr Valley, Devils Gate, Emigrant & Pumpernickel Valley. On 4 or 5 occasions we came across the ominous road signs ‘Prison Area. Hitchhiking Prohibited’. We looked it up & yes they related to the presence of local prisons, the most significant being Lovelock Correctional Center, made famous when O. J. Simpson was sent there in 2008 & released in 2017.
Jackie was obviously bored, because she discovered the ‘Joy of Siri’. After a bit of experimentation, I was bombarded with WhatsApp messages & poor old Siri attempted to answer every stupid question Jackie could think of. Also somewhere halfway across Nevada we crossed into Pacific Daylight Time Zone, now 8 hours behind the UK.
We took a ‘comfort’ break at Trinity, where there was some interesting information ‘Travelling Through Hell’ about the California Trail in this location. Trinity marked the start of the barren Forty-Mile Desert which travellers dreaded the most, starvation & dehydration took many a man & animal. A survey in 1850 showed the appalling statistics for this stretch of the trail. They found 1061 dead mules, almost 5000 dead horses, 3,750 dead cattle & 953 graves. Let’s hope we don’t break down!
Next stop was Terrible’s Casino at Fernley for another $100 of fuel. And then finally we cruised into Reno along Virginia Street & under Reno’s Famous Arch, which proudly proclaims ‘Reno - The Biggest Little City In The World’. Reno looked lively so we decided to return later that evening.
We then drove the 9 miles to Boomtown to our KOA campground arriving around 4.00pm & relaxed with a couple of beers. At 7.00pm we took an Uber into downtown Reno. The driver Glenn recommended some places to visit & dropped us off back under the Reno Arch. It was not yet dark, so we checked out the Riverwalk- they make too much of these!
Our first stop was into the Club Cal Neva casino & what smacked us in the face was smell of cigarette smoke & the assortment of lowlifes were all smoking. We circled the floor, then moved on to the Casino at Hurrah. Again everyone was smoking (in fact everywhere in Reno was a smoking zone) & we circulated the several floors enjoying the crazies at play. It felt like a lot of the gamblers had lost their short there & were unable to leave.
We moved on to Eldorado Resort Casino which was slightly a bit more upmarket & found Roxy’ Lounge Bar, a speciality martini bar, which had been recommended by our Uber driver. We had 102 martinis 🍸 to choose from. I had a Chocolate Duchess & Jackie had a Blue Eyes Martini. They were very nice & we sipped them very slowly (we weren’t having another at $10 a drink), whilst listening to the house band & getting our moneys worth of the free pretzels.
By now it was dark, so we wandered outside for fresh air & to take photos of the Reno lights. We strolled up & down the Main Street until Jackie had had enough. I tried to shoot the odd photo of some of the ‘colourful sights’ frequenting the casinos, but Jackie curbed this, fearing we would get shot.To be fair she was patient.
We popped into a couple of dive casinos, The Nugget & Siri’s Casino. Selfie attempts were made at the Reno Arch, then it was back into Eldorado for a beer at Brew Brothers bar, where we had to show our ID, then have our hand stamped. I was slightly indignant, but the doorman handed Jackie a free drink ticket, which meant our 2 beers cost just $5.
Jackie had built up the ‘Dutch’ courage for some gambling. She wasted a couple of dollars in $1 slot machines, so I went on the hunt & found some 25c slot machines. I changed up $20 notes into $5 notes (last of the big spenders) & gave Jackie $5 to have some fun with. Within minutes her money was gone.
We went for a wander through Circus Circus & Silver Legacy Resort but gravitated back to Eldorado. I relented & gave Jackie more dollars to spend & at one point she had a Jackpot of $16, we whooped for joy. A woman nearby won a jackpot of over $2000, which made us look a bit silly. I think we ended up about $10 down.
We did also get a free beer each while playing from one of the rather elderly waitresses who were dressed inappropriately for their age! To celebrate a really enjoyable evening, we went to Lucky Joy’s Noodle Bar & shared a massive plate of Pad Thai.
We ordered an Uber & got home about midnight, dog tired. Reno is a low budget version of Las Vegas, but it was a great experience.
FITBIT = 12,231 steps / 5.68 miles. We discovered that my tapping my foot the music in the RV racks up the steps. I walked 2 miles whilst driving!!
Song of the Day - I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles) by The Proclaimers.
Bonus Songs of the Day :-
All The Way To Reno (You’re Gonna Be A Star) by R.E.M.
Reno by Bruce SpringsteenRead more