Monday, September 9, 2013

Nevada Weekend Part 1 of 5 09/06/2013 - Wells, Nevada

This series is all about my trip to Nevada for the Race to the Angel half marathon. For it to make sense be sure to start in chronological order.

After work on Friday, I grabbed a few things and headed west.  I had signed up for the Race to the Angel half marathon which was going to happen on Saturday morning.  The race started in a little, itty, bitty town called Wells, Nevada, about an hour west of the border of Utah.

My first stop in the weekend journey was to West Wendover for a quick seafood buffet and to place a few football bets.

The trip there, in rush hour traffic mind you, was pleasant and I arrived just after 6:30.  I put some bets on the Patriots over the Bills and Bucs over the lowly Jets.  Sadly neither one paid off.  To make matters worse, I bet on two baseball games and lost on both of those.  One of the games ended in the bottom of the 9th too... the Rockies closing pitcher couldn't close the deal for me.

I didn't do a total "pig out" at the buffet.  While I did try to eat $26 worth of crab legs, I certainly left room for more when I left.  I've run races after eating a buffet the night before and let's just say that it hasn't been a good experience.  While I wasn't really in a competitive mood (as you'll read in my next blog post) I still didn't want to be hitting the bushes every few miles.

After gambling on the slot machines (and actually winning a bit) I took off for Wells.

I've never driven further west than Wendover and unfortunately it was dark.  It was also raining periodically.  With lightning... if you haven't seen an electric storm in the desert you are missing something!  Bolts of lightning can certainly illuminate the skyline and horizon.

I kept within the speed limits and made it to the little map dot called Wells.  I pulled off the freeway and was looking for a casino as well as my Super 8 Motel.  As I headed towards the motel I spied a red, glowing building... ahh the casino!

Before going there I figured I'd better get my room.  I pulled into the Super 8 and checked in.  I asked the night clerk if the red building was a casino.  He laughed and said no, that's the local cathouse, Bella's Hacienda Ranch.  For those not in the "know" rural counties of Nevada have legalized prostitution.  I was like oops... The glow of the building could easily be seen from the motel as well.

There isn't a whole lot going on in Wells.  I did drive around and there seemed to be nothing but truck stops, trucker casinos and fast food joints.  The downtown area was completely dark and it seemed to be an almost abandoned town.  The Super 8 was clean but it did have a distinctive moldy odor.

I slept pretty well that night and the motel did look fairly busy.  For $55 I got my money's worth...

In the morning I got up, ate some food and headed to the downtown area for the start of the Race to the Angel half marathon.  This race is a bit of a legacy: this was the 28th edition.  I met many other runners who had run it at least 20 times.  People have died running it and they have dealt with heat and snow.  The race started about a mile from the motel.  I parked, grabbed my bib, hung out with the other 75 runners, cyclists and walkers

I had a good 45 minutes to kill so I strolled the downtown area and took pictures.  In my opinion, Wells has seen better days.  Most of the establishments in the downtown area were deserted -- visages of a time gone by.  There seemed to be a newer looking sports bar, but most of the downtown area was empty except for the visitor's center.

Next up -- the hardest half marathon I've ever done...

Crab legs for dinner. Yummy!

Peanut butter middle. Actually awesome dessert.

My lonely motel room.

Well Nevada Welcome Sign
The Wells welcome sign outside the motel.


Residential section near the race start

Downtown Wells Nevada
Residential section near the race start

Downtown Wells Nevada
The Main drag

The main drag

Downtown Wells Nevada
Once the crown jewel of Wells

Downtown Wells Nevada

El Rancho Hotel Wells, Nevada
Once the crown jewel of Wells - at one point the most elegant hotel in Nevada

Stuffed Mountain Lion

Downtown Wells Nevada

Downtown Wells Nevada

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