A Road Trip
A Summer Adventure
Once in a while we need to get out of the Delta and visit other areas just to get some perspective on what is going on in other parts of America.
Sue and I packed up our Ford Escape and headed east on I-80. We made it to Elko Nevada on the first night. We could have gotten further but we did not leave Sacramento until 1500 hours so we were getting tired and hungry by the time we rolled into Elko. We never have any set agenda when we go on a road trip and have rarely had problems getting accommodations wherever we go. This time we found a place right on the main drag, it was their last room and possibly the last room in the town as there was a big wedding planned the next day and the whole town was in an uproar. The lady at the motel suggested a steakhouse at a local casino for dinner.
It was right down the street and within walking distance of the motel so we sauntered over. We had a good steak dinner and a couple of drinks. After dinner we invested a few dollars in the local slot machines but unfortunately did not win enough to pay for our trip or even to pay for dinner. We headed back to the motel and got a good nights sleep.
It is impossible for me to start the day without a cup of coffee and for some reason I have a mental block about the coffee makers commonly found in motel and hotel rooms nowadays so we drove around town looking for caffeine. We stopped at a fast food place down the street but they did not serve coffee (?). After a little more driving a Starbucks sign jumped up in front of us. This was great because Sue likes their oatmeal, and they have some good pastries and usually a banana
We got on the road before noon after fueling up and again headed east. Wells Nevada is about 50 miles down the road. I thought it was worth a stop because of the name and I had stayed here with my parents on a trip to Iowa in 1950. I think it was the El Rancho Hotel where the rooms were above the bar. The bar patrons sang along with the jukebox all night. They kept playing the song “Irene Goodnight” over and over ad infinitum. I still have that song playing in my brain 63 years later.
Today the downtown section of Wells is pretty much a ghost town but it is very interesting and there is a walking tour explaining some of the history. The visitor’s bureau is nearby and is like a small museum with a very pleasant young lady to answer questions.
We walked around the town and saw a lot of abandoned buildings. On a map one area was called the “red light District” but it seemed all the buildings there had been destroyed and the debris hauled away. After a while we jumped back on the freeway and cruised by the Bonneville Salt Flats and Salt Lake before arriving in Salt Lake City. We spent the night there and explored the downtown area.
The next morning we left fairly early after breakfast and headed into Wyoming we were only 454 miles from Cody. After a hundred or so miles on US 80 we cut north on Highway 28 which is a good two lane road going through rolling hills and plains. We arrived in Cody after dark and found a great hotel on the outskirts of town. We dined in a local steakhouse and got a good nights sleep as we planned to spend the next day at the Buffalo Bill Center.
About Bill Wells - A retired yacht broker, Bill is currently the Executive Director of the California Delta Chambers & Visitor's Bureau. He is an active member of the Northern California Fleet of the Classic Yacht Association. In their spare time he and his beloved wife Sue cruise their 1937 Stephens cruiser Ranger to boating events throughout the Delta. Bill is active in matters helping to preserve and protect the California Delta. He chronicles his adventures in the monthly Delta Rat Scrapbook column for Bay & Delta Yachtsman magazine.
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