John and Sandy's RV Adventure Journal

August 2012 Journal

This morning we had coffee outside in the shade for a while.  The nighttime lows are still around 90 degrees so the mornings are also warm.  We hung around in the cave during the morning and started working on our football picks for next weeks football pools.  Mid-afternoon we walked over to the Pioneer for some video poker and tacos at the River Bar.  We walked back along the river walk and made a few more casino stops on our way home.

   30   This morning we got up and it is much cooler inside with the window reflector material.  We sat outside a while then headed back to check out a couple more casinos.  I am looking for my sizzling or blazing 7’s in .05 or .25 denominations.  I have only been able to find a couple of dollar ones.  I don’t think they exist anymore, at least not here, so we played more video poker and slowly made our way from the Golden Nugget to the Edgewater where we had a Steak Buffett for dinner.  After dinner, we were done, so we headed home.

We were up and out early by 730am.  We don’t have a long day, about 200 miles from Mesquite to Laughlin Nevada.  We got checked in at the Riverside Casino and RV Park and set up by noon.
It is really hot around 110 degrees.  Our cow’s AC just can’t keep up.  So we headed to Home Depot for some window reflection insulation.  We got back and started measuring, cutting and putting it in every window.  The drapes come down over it and we are hoping it makes a big difference.  The only drawback is John says we now live in a cave.  It is really dark with all the windows covered.  After we finished our project, we headed out to explore the casinos of Laughlin.  We didn’t get back until real late.

I had some TCI stuff to do, and then we did our pre-departure stuff.  Tomorrow we are “On the Road” again.  From playing in the slot tournament a few days ago, we got a free dinner, so we went to the Casablanca for dinner, stopped for ice cream and had an early evening.

After some morning running around and shopping, we went to our casino the Casablanca for some video poker.  John was lucky and hit a Royal Flush.  We stayed a while, then headed back home.

John is in the kitchen this morning making up a new batch of salsa.  When he makes salsa he makes about a gallon, so it’s a big event.  Of course, we headed out to the pool for a little sun, lounging in the water and some reading in the shade.  Another rough day.

We have a couple things we need at the store so we headed out.  First stop was the RV store, but it’s closed on Saturday so we’ll have to come back next week, then a quick stop at Walmart.  We got back and headed to the pool.  It’s another hot and humid day.
So we set our chairs in the sun for a little while, and then moved to the nice shade.  The pool was very refreshing, especially under the waterfall.  Later we headed to the Mexican Buffett at the Casablanca for dinner, then to the Virgin River casino to see if we would get drawn for the Wheel of Money spin.  Since they didn’t call us, we headed home and grounded ourselves tonight.

Today we had a nice relaxing day.  We relaxed in the shade outside for a while, then headed over to the pool and spent the afternoon there.  After a nice steak dinner, we had to go to our casino at the Casablanca Resort to see if we were drawn for the Wheel of Money.  Our name wasn’t drawn, but we did have a couple cocktails then headed back for a relaxing evening at the cow.

After coffee outside but in the shade, we headed to the pool.  Today the temperature is forecast for 102 degrees.  The Casablanca has a great pool area.  There is a waterslide and a waterfall in the pool and a hot tub.  We got set up and soaked up some sun, floated in the pool, and then did some reading in the shade.  We did head back to regroup early.
There is a slot tournament today and we have a 215pm time.  We did pretty good, but not enough to be “In the Money”.  Tonight is Casablanca spin to win promo, so we bellied up to a couple video poker machines had a few cocktails and hoped to win.  They didn’t call us, but we had a good time.

We got home late last night, really late.  So we slept in and relaxed around the cow most of the day.  We have to head back over to the Virgin River casino for their spin to win promo.  We didn’t get called to be in the drawing, but we played some video poker, blackjack and craps and then headed home.  I did get a Royal Flush on video poker playing .10 cents.

   21   We were up and out early today.  We have a few rain showers but not much.  We are traveling about 250 miles from Ely to Mesquite Nevada.  On this route there is not much of anything.  A couple unincorporated towns and a gas station or two, but that’s it.  We made it to the Casablanca Resort and RV Park, and got all checked in on site 42.  This RV Park has 44 sites.  It’s like a parking lot, but its walking distance to the pool and casino.  Our site is one of the larger corner ones.
Once we got set up we headed over to check out the visitors center and casinos in this town.  At the visitors center we picked up some good information and newspapers.  Our first casino stop is the Virgin River casino.  We got players cards and played a little, then walked across the street to the Eureka casino.  We got our players cards and played a little here also.  Now we headed back to our casino at the Casablanca.  We played some and did a little blackjack and craps.  During the week they have 3.00 tables.

Today we are heading out to Cave Lake State Park.  This is about 10 miles outside of Ely.  We took a short hike along the Steptoe Creek Trail and saw a snake.  Then we took a drive on part of the loop road.  We saw a deer and hundreds of sheep.
John needs a big hike, so I dropped him off at the Cave Lake Trail and I headed into the park and found a nice scenic area under a tree overlooking the lake to read and practice harmonica.  When John got back and met me at my spot, he told me that along his hike, he got dive bombed from a Prairie Falcon 3 times.  He got his book and we did some reading.  While we were having some snacks a family of ducks wanted some too.  They didn’t much like the apple.  They did like the granola bars.  Now we headed home, we have to regroup and get ready for our travel day tomorrow.     
 19   We were going to head to the state park today, but decided on another day at the Horse races.  Once again we had a great time with a little rain.  The other day we never made it to the Jailhouse casino, so after the races that’s were we headed.  We did end up at the Nevada Hotel for a little more blackjack.

   18   This weekend is the White Pines County Fair here in Ely.  The big thing at the fair is the horse races.  We weren’t sure how it was going to work, but there was a program with 10 races.  There were 4-8 horses in each race.  We headed over to the fair which was just about 1 mile away.  The races were from 300 yards up to 6 furlongs.  There was a tote board with odds and betting worked the same as always.  The first race one horse was scratched so there were only 3 horses.  We had a seat in the grandstand and were glad we were there when the rain came in.  We had a great time at the races and even cashed a ticket.  We headed back to the cow afterwards and had a nice relaxing evening.
 17  We were up and out early today.  We have a few rain showers but not much.  We are traveling about 250 miles from Jackpot to Ely Nevada.  We got to Ely and to the Prospectors hotel and rv park.  This is a very small and basic rv park.  We are in site 7 of 22 sites.  After we got set up, we had to explore.
First we went to check out our casino.  We stayed for a little while, but it’s really small and we don’t like the machines.  Next we headed down the road to the Nevada Hotel.  This is the only place they have blackjack in the town.  We played some video poker at the bar while watching pre-season football.  Then we headed downstairs to play a little blackjack

Today is our pre-departure day, so this morning we are doing some domestic stuff.  Then off to the pool and a little casino.

Another pool and casino day.

This morning we are working on cleaning out Big Red and a few other projects.  We headed over to the pool for a few more hours of sun and relaxation.  Later in the afternoon, we headed back over to Barton’s 93 for some video poker, blackjack and tonight they have a prime rib dinner special.

We headed to the pool a little earlier today, because we want to make it to a 2pm slot tournament at Cactus Pete’s.  After signing up, we played some video poker then went to the tournament.  I ended up with 4824 points which was the most so far but there are still a lot of people to play.  We went back to the cow, had a nice dinner and relaxed.  Around 8pm we headed over to check out the results of the slot tournament.  I ended up in 15th place and only the first 10 were winners.  The winner had 8415 points.  We walked over to Barton’s 93, signed up for their players club and played some slots and video poker.

We went out to explore the town of Jackpot.  It only took about 5 minutes.  We need a few groceries and found the only grocery store is a small one next to the Horshu casino across the street.  It worked out fine for what we needed.  John is in the kitchen this morning making salsa.  Another pool day for a few hours and then regroup and off for more gambling.  We are heading to the other two casinos today.  First up on the hill is the Pony Express.  Once again this is a tiny casino but top shelf drinks.  Next we headed to Barton’s 93.  This is a smaller place than Cactus Pete’s but the 2nd largest casino in Jackpot.  We like this place a lot.  We found 3.00 craps and blackjack tables.  We like that.  So we played some craps then blackjack and video poker.  We were out for quite a while and did ok.

We got up later than normal because we were out later last night.  That’s ok, most days here we will be lounging by the pool and working on rebuilding our tan.  Cactus Pete’s has a really nice pool area.  So off we went, we soaked up some sun, took naps and did some reading.  Tonight we did a little gambling at Cactus Pete’s but we got back early.

We headed out to Jackpot NV today.  It’s about 200 miles.  We got all set up at Cactus Pete’s casino and RV Park.  They actually have 2 RV areas.  1 is a first come/first serve and the other you can make reservations.  We are in site 49 of the one with reservations.  Of course we had to regroup and then head out to check things out and do some gambling.  There are 6 casinos in Jackpot; all are within walking distance from each other.  We started at our own, Cactus Pete’s.  Some casinos are now limiting drinks depending on what and how much you’re playing.  Not in this town.  You can pretty much sit at a .05 machine and order top shelf. Next we crossed the street to Horshu which is also owned by Cactus Pete’s.  This is a very small casino.  We played a little video poker then headed out.  We headed south to 2 other small casinos, had some cocktails, played some slots and video poker and then went back to our Cactus Pete’s.  So far, Cactus Pete’s is the casino we will spend time at.

We were up and out early.  We are only traveling about 100 miles to Idaho Falls ID today, but we need to get there and set up.  We have to have our truck windshield replaced and have an early appointment.  We got that done and a bunch of other stuff and got back to the rig and relaxed.

   8   This is our pre-departure day.  So we are getting all our domestic stuff done and ready to move out tomorrow.  We had a great time in the Yellowstone area.  We also would recommend this campground, Lionshead RV Resort.

We had an easy exploration day today.  We explored the 15 miles from West Yellowstone to the Madison area of Yellowstone NP.  Even though we drove through this area every time we entered Yellowstone NP, we never explored the walkways.  We saw the regular herd of elk that hang out in this area. 

This is our last big day in Yellowstone Natl Park.  We still have a few places we haven’t explored yet.  On our way in, we had a couple wildlife traffic jams.  We saw a baby golden eagle across the river.  It was calling to Mom for breakfast.  There are 2 that are in this area, but we only saw the one this morning.  A little further down, we saw a bald eagle.  A mama Elk and baby were just off the road feeding.
We continued on to Black Sand Geyser Basin.  We walked around the area and saw Cliff Geyser; this is a small unpredictable geyser.  We did get to see it erupt.  It goes about 25 feet high for a couple minutes.
Now we headed to the West Thumb area.  We did the 1 mile geyser basin walk.  There was a ranger talk so we joined in to that.  West Thumb is right along the Yellowstone Lake.  Now we continued on to the Fishing Bridge area.  We stopped at the visitor’s center, and relaxed for a few minutes overlooking Lake Yellowstone.  A ranger joined us.  He told us that about 40 miles southeast of where we are right now, is the remotest place in the continental US.
We stopped to check out the old fishing bridge.  You can no longer fish off of Fishing Bridge.  This is due to the Cutthroat Trout spawning area.  As we continued on into the Hayden Valley we had some big storms move in.
There were a lot of cars in this one area about 3 miles north of Fishing Bridge.  We stopped and were glad we did.  There was a Grizzly Bear across the river taking a nap while he waited his turn on a kill that another Grizzly had.  We couldn’t see the one with the kill because he was hidden behind a tree.  The rangers told us they had been on this kill since Thursday and it’s now Monday.  As we continued on, some big storms moved in.
We stopped at Volcano Paint Pots, but decided against the hike since it was pouring rain.  We got hung up in a Bison traffic jam in the rain.  We saw over 100 bison.  We had a good day and headed home.  We saw another Bison herd on the way back.
Wildlife Sightings – Golden Eagle Baby – Bald Eagle – Bison herd – Elk and babies – Grizzly Bear.

5   We are hanging around the cow today and taking a time-out.

We are doing a few festivals in the West Yellowstone and Hebron Lake area.  First we headed to the Mountain Man Rendezvous at West Yellowstone.  There are vendors with items from and for the mountains.  Lots of animal skins, bows and arrows, handmade animal skin clothes and other stuff.
Next we walked around the town park where there is an antique car show going on.  We headed out of town to the Hi-Country Tavern for a BBQ party there having.  It was supposed to start at noon, but we got there around 3pm and nothing and no-one was there.  So we went down the road to the Happy hour bar.  This is a nice little place right on Hebron Lake.  We enjoyed the sun for a while.
We headed back to Hi-Country and got there around 430pm.  There are a couple people here and the band is setting up.  It was actually really nice.  We played some corn hole, watched the minnow races, they had free BBQ food and drink specials.  The band, Lil Elmo and the Mambo Kings band started at 6pm.  There are still only a few people here.  The band was really good.  They played lots of blues.  It was getting cold so we left at 930pm.  We felt bad since it was just John and I and another girl left.  Oh well, we had a great time!
3   This morning John did some reading and I was working on our pictures, journal and website.  We headed out around 4pm to go on a game drive up hwy 191 towards Big Sky Montana.  Part of this route is through Yellowstone Natl Park.  It’s beautiful country all around here.  We did get a brown bear sighting.  He was just off the road.  We watched him for a while, and then he headed off into the forest.  We continued on, but got stopped by a horse roundup traffic jam.  A ranch was moving a herd of horses from one area to another and had to close the street for a few minutes.  We made it up to Big Sky which is a bustling ski town in the winter, but not much was going on there this afternoon.  We headed back and stopped for some scenic photos.  We stopped at our hang-out; Bullwinkle’s for a couple beers and some video poker and then headed home.
 2   John still has some major hikes to do before we leave.  This is the biggest one.  Today he is hiking Mt. Washburn.  I dropped him off on the road to Mt. Washburn (Chittenden Road) and picked him up at Dunraven Pass which is about a 6 mile hike.  It’s not as long as some of his others, but it starts at a much higher elevation and climbs about 1700 feet in elevation.  The Chittenden Road Trailhead starts at 8559 elevation, Mt. Washburn is at 10243 and Dunraven Pass is back down to 8859 elevation.  At that elevation, it was much cooler and very windy.  There is a fire tower on the top of Mt. Washburn and the views are 360 degrees.  I found a nice area with a good view and practiced harmonica.  We got home, had dinner and watched the Olympics. 
 1   Today we are taking a time-out day.