Thursday, September 25, 2014

The Trip from Ely to Salt Lake City with a Stop in West Wendover


On Sunday morning, I woke up feeling really good and went for my morning run.  Shari was just getting up as I came back to the hotel.  

The plan was to clean up, load our stuff in the car and make the trip back to Wendover and get there sometime before noon.  That way we could take advantage of the breakfast items on the buffet, gamble for a few hours and then head home from there (a nice way to break up a 3.5 hour trip).

Leaving Ely

I am pretty quick at packing and getting ready so by the time I was done showering and cleaning up, Shari was still in the process of getting ready.  To kill time, I went down to the casino and figured I'd put in $20 into Fu Dao Le.  

I hate to say it, but that $20 lasted all of about 5 minutes (if that).  Reluctant to go back, I popped another $20 in and scored a large bonus round.  Yeah me!

My final cash out
After collecting my money, I went back to the room and Shari was still busy packing and getting ready (women!).  I was watching TV when all of the sudden, the TV popped and the screen went black.  There was an awful smell of "electronics" that emanated from it as well.  I quickly unplugged the TV as it was clearly dead.  I reported this to the front desk...

A few minutes later without any distractions, we loaded up the car, took some final pictures of ourselves in the lobby and headed out to West Wendover.

What a treat.  Since we had driven at night, we missed a lot of the beautiful scenery.  Many might call the area boring, but I would consider it anything but.  The area around Ely was desert vegetation / scrub with a passage of mountains to either side.  It was flat and straight away driving until the junction to Wendover.  The fall flowers were up with plenty of yellows and burnt reds.

Upon hitting the Wendover junction the road gets a bit more turn filled with some elevation climbs and descents.  You are also surrounded by brown mountains that are much closer than what they were in Ely.  It was pretty desolate and in one section I took my car up to 100mph.  

As we got closer to West Wendover we could see the Bonneville salt flats.  If I wasn't in a hurry, I definitely would've pulled over and gotten a few shots.  But I suspect I'll be returning through there sooner or later.

West Wendover

We arrived just before noon and went into Montego Bay.  For a day with 7X comps, I expected it to be packed.  I didn't think it was that bad and after a brief wait in line, I printed out my free play coupon and 2-for-1 buffet pass.

Shari and I got in a good buffet, and looking back at it, it was only my 3rd "real" meal all weekend.  For the two of us, we ate for just under $20.  I love their desserts and made good on this piece of cake:

I largely had all of my money from the get-go.  I was probably up about $50 - $100 and being it was 7X day, I went to one of the only Fu Dao Le machines and popped a $100 into it.  With my luck, I figured I'd get something good as I've seen people winning big on it.  Since I had put so much into it, I was betting a bit more aggressively than I have in the past, a lot of 88 cents to $2 bets.  

I hate to say it, but I basically got NOTHING for it.  I was extremely frustrated.  No bonus rounds, no wild bonus game, nothing.  While I did earn some half way decent comps, it was one of the more disappointing runs I've had.  Fu Dao Le can certainly be generous and other times I've seen it go through some extremely long cold spells.

Frustrated and tempted to just go home at that point, Shari suggested we check out the Peppermill, as she seems to have good luck there.  Somewhat reluctantly, I agreed and we made the 1 minute drive.

Shari had been itching to play Rise of Ra so I gave her a $20.  Turns out she wound up making back the $100 I had lost at the Montego Bay (and then some).  I had been on tilt prior to that and it was good see get some of our money back.   I went over to the Fu Dao Le that was next to it and stuck in a $20 and got a bonus round and made a profit on it.  

Happy to be leaving on an upswing,  we took off.  I would've liked to have stayed longer, but we had company coming in from out of town and Shari was insisting we had to clean and get a few groceries.


This whole trip was super exciting and I am so glad I went.  I got a chance to run a race, eat plenty of food and see a lot of things I've never seen before.  Hence, I've added about half a dozen new post as a result.  

In addition, I got to check off a bunch of cities on my "must-see in Nevada list"  I definitely want to go back to visit the Great Basin National Park, the Lehman Caves and hike Mt Wheeler.  So I don't think this will be the last time I head out that way.

Gambling wise, if I had won that stupid football bet (like I should've), I would've made a profit on the trip.  I left with about $300 and came home with a little more than $250.

Either way, I still came home with my wallet not empty and lots of life-time memories.

Goal accomplished!

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