Sunday, October 19, 2014

Yellowstone and Geezer VII - The Trip Begins

September 22 – Atascadero to Roseville, CA
We didn’t get on the road this morning until 10:30, but we had a short drive today so it didn’t really matter.  Traffic was pretty light today on I5 particularly the truck traffic so it turned out to be an easy drive.  Tomorrow it will only take us a couple of hours to get to Reno so we can maximize our time there.  One thing we noticed when we arrived in Roseville was how thick the smoke was from the King Fire near Lake Tahoe.

September 23 – Roseville to Reno

Traffic was pretty light, but the smoke from the fire was very thick.  You felt like you were sitting by a campfire with the smoke blowing in your face.
We arrived in Reno just after noon and saw they were already closing streets for their annual Street Vibrations Festival.  Street Vibrations is a huge motorcycle gathering in downtown Reno.  The closed streets are lined with various motorcycle related vendors, food and drink vendors, and entertainment.  Several years ago we unsuspectingly arrived at the height of it on our way back from Idaho and it was very crowded.  This year we knew it was coming, but figured it wouldn’t really get crowded until the weekend after we were already gone.

We checked in and were pleased to learn that we had gotten a suite again, that’s one of the advantages of staying in Reno.  Our room was ready so we settled in, cleaned up and then went down for some gambling.  I had a terrible time and soon had used up my afternoon gambling allotment.  We had lunch and I went back up to the room while Val, who had much better luck, went back to the casino. Our room was on the 21st floor and we had a great view so I spent the afternoon reading and watching the set-up for the Street Vibrations.  Val joined me later and after relaxing a bit we went back to the casino where I had a dramatic change in luck.  I sat down and put twenty dollars in a dollar slot machine and about half way through my money I hit a win for $800 and suddenly things looked a lot better.

After a little more time in the casino we went to dinner and had some good Chinese food.  After dinner it was back to the casino for a short time and then called it a night.

The view from our room was great.

September 24 – Reno

We slept in this morning and after breakfast we decided to walk around and check out what was going on with the Street Vibrations.  The vendors’ booths were all open and there were quite a few people checking things out, but nowhere near the crowds that would be out later in the week.  This would have been great fun for me back in my twenties or thirties, but my biker days are long over so there really wasn’t much that interested me.  

Street Vibrations was just getting underway.
We checked out some of the other downtown hotels and casinos and then returned to Harrah’s and had lunch.  The rest of the day was spent gambling and relaxing and generally doing nothing.  After dinner we had some free play given to us by Harrah's, which we used and then called it a night.  We had a good time in Reno as it is pretty low key compared to Lake Tahoe and Las Vegas and not nearly as crowded.  Thanks to my big win yesterday I actually ended up a little ahead gambling, which is always a welcome surprise.

September 25 – Reno to Elko, NV

Today our destination was Elko, NV, which is only a five hour drive from Reno so we took our time getting ready to go this morning.  We had another buffet pass to use so we opted for brunch so we wouldn’t have to stop for lunch.  We were on the road by 10:00 and headed east on Interstate 80 with very light traffic.

Driving I80 across Northern Nevada.
Except for a large amount of construction it was an easy drive and we were in Elko by 3:00.  We’re staying in Elko because tomorrow we are taking an off-road trip to the remote town of Jarbidge, NV, and Elko is the nearest town to the turnoff.  During dinner tonight we met a couple who had lived in Jackson, WY for many years and gave us a lot of advice of things to see and do while we are in the Tetons.  We have actually planned only one day in the Tetons and now we’re wishing we had planned for more; oh well, there’s always another trip.

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