Dang It’s Hot

Friday July 7th 2017

This blog entry is going to contain my moaning and groaning about the heat. So go ahead and skip this entry if you don’t want to read about the weather.

It made it up to 101 degrees today. Other towns in the area were higher but after you get to a certain point it doesn’t matter. There was no cloud cover to provide any protection from the hot sun. Even in the car there is little protection from the sun. The car air conditioner keeps the temperature under control, but the direct sun light on exposed skin isn’t something I want to endure for long. The UV index reported by the TV weather talkers was off the scale at 12. That equates to less than 10 minute exposure before burning.

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Memorial to the 509th Composite Group at a park in West Wendover NV.

These weather factors restricted my activities today. Everything I want to do is either outside or involves a lot of driving. That means I can spend more money in the casinos or stay at home. For the most part I stayed home. I made one trip out to the fifth casino in town. This one looked the most impressive from the outside and was the dumpiest inside. My twenty buck budget still lasted a couple of hours on the penny slots. It is better than watching TV and it’s cool in the casino.

I’m not sure why I’m being such a wimp about the heat. It doesn’t really bother me when I’m out in it. If I had something I really wanted to do, I’d probably be doing it regardless of the heat. I knew when I booked this location for the fourth of July week that it wasn’t a tourist area, but I expected there would be things to do on short day trips. There isn’t much in the way of scenery in any direction other than the salt flats to the east. I may cross the flats one day this weekend and explore the area between here and Salt Lake City. I move to Provo and then to Salt Lake City starting the middle of next week. After that I head for the middle of Utah.

Gusty Winds join the Heat

Thursday July 6th 2017

Last night shortly after darkness arrived so did the wind. It was apparently “Gusty outflow winds” from a “Dry Thunderstorm”. Those are the terms the National Weather Service used to explain the weather experience. They’re new terms to this easterner. It had been very calm with bright sun all day until that phenomena arrived to delay my sleep.

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Cloudy skies gave some relief to the solar gain inside the RV.

Today has been a cloudier day but just as hot. It flirted with triple digits here in the Wendovers. Once again Salt Lake City was a few degrees warmer. The addition of a few clouds had a positive impact to the inside temperature of the RV. Without the Sun constantly heating the roof, the AC was able to keep the temperature under 85 in my RV home. In this kind of temperature you really need to run both of the ACs in the RV to keep the temperature fully under control. Unfortunately, I only have 30 amp electric service at this campsite. That makes running both ACs a questionable proposition. If both compressors try to start at the same time your guarantied a blown breaker. If you avoid that issue, don’t run the microwave. It just takes a little thought before turning on an appliance.

It was obvious the holiday was over this morning. After the 11am checkout time at the campground, I was the only RV in the place. There were close to 50 Rvs here last night. I had a real lost and forgotten moment when I first noticed the empty campground. I went out for a couple of hours soon after. When I returned the park was starting to fill up again.

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Campground looking a little empty during the middle of the day.

I didn’t do anything special while I was out. The fourth of five casinos it town got a donation of twenty dollars for a couple of hours of penny slot play. That’s pretty good for making the money last. I go in with the philosophy that it’s an entertainment expense. If I double the initial investment, I’ll take the money and run.

This evening the gusty wind has returned. The RV is shaking a little and the slideout room awnings are flapping noisily. Checking the NWS site, we are again experiencing “Gusty outflow winds”. This time the sun is shining brighter than it has all day so I don’t know where the “Dry Thunderstorms” might be located.

Fourth of July Fireworks

Wednesday July 5th 2017

Last night I had an excellant view of the West Wendover NV Fourth of July Fireworks. From in front of my RV I was probably less than a half a mile from the launch site. Each air burst filled the sky with color. They didn’t have many of the real fancy shells that you’d see in a big city or theme park show, but they had plenty of good old fashion fireworks. The show started at 10:15 and lasted about 20 minutes.

This blog entry contains some of the better pictures I captured of the fireworks. I really enjoy trying to capture good pictures of fireworks. I’m including eighteen pictures out of about seventy five that I took. My camera has a fireworks setting, but it isn’t very fast. It takes fifteen or twenty seconds to capture and process each picture.

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The fireworks started slow.

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Start of the final burst of pyrotechnic energy.

Today was another very hot day. Salt Lake City is setting a record high of 105. I haven’t left the campground today. I’ve probably been brainwashed by the TV weather talkers into being afraid of the heat. It isn’t really that bad in small doses.

A Fourth of July Parade

Tuesday July 4th 2017

Happy Fourth of July Everyone.

The heat wave continues on the Nevada Utah line. The mercury made it up to the 99 degree mark on the thermometer today. Hot, but still a few degrees cooler than Salt Lake City and much better than southern Nevada and Arizona. This was the hottest day of the year so far in Salt Lake City. It is predicted to get a few degrees warmer each day until the heat wave breaks over the weekend. The worst part is that with sunset around 9:30PM, it is still in the 90s at bed time. I need to run the AC all night.

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Parade starting up the road by the Wendover Will statue.

The highlight of the day was the local Fourth of July Parade. The combined towns of West Wendover NV and Wendover UT have a parade from the West Wendover City Hall to the Wendover town offices. It wasn’t a big parade, but it was a fun small town event. The parade started at 11AM. I was about a half a mile from the starting line and it was over at my location by 11:30.

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Police cars from Wendover UT and West Wendover NV lead the way. They are followed by a color guard from the Civil Air Patrol cadets.

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Marching in a Chicken suit, flapping arms like wings in 90 plus degree weather.

There was a little bit of everything except a marching band. The closest thing to a marching band were a group of cheer leaders and gymnasts from a local training academy. Police and Fire equipment from both towns were making enough noise with their sirens and horns to be heard on the moon. Local businesses and civic groups entered floats in the parade and bringing up the rear of the parade were lots of horses with a couple of mules thrown in for diversity. A couple of the horses were entertaining by walking backward along the parade route.

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The grand prize winning float.

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The horses brought up the rear of the parade.

By far the biggest draw of the parade was the candy. Everybody in the parade was throwing candy to the spectators. Some of the candy trowing might have even been malicious. One group of adults that were not really watching the parade were showered with candy. It was kind of funny to watch the adults jump and run to be replaced by the kids grabbing all the candy from the ground. I don’t know if the people at the end of the parade route got any candy at the rate it was getting thrown around where I was located.

Tonight at 10:15 the fireworks are scheduled. If I can get some pictures of the fireworks, I’ll include them in tomorrow’s blog entry.

Lazy Monday

Monday July 3rd 2017

They say we’re having a heat wave. It got up to 96 here today. One hundred plus miles to the east in Salt Lake City it was a few degrees higher. Tomorrow through Friday are forecast to be even higher. Thank goodness for air conditioning.

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The line between Utah (on the left) and Nevada (on the right) is a line across the street. On the south side of the street in Nevada is a Casino and on the north side of the street in Nevada is another Casino.

I spent most of the day in the RV reading and watching TV. I made one excursion to the grocery store for bread and cookies. While I was out I stopped at another one of the five casinos in town. Since Saturday I’ve stopped at one casino a day. At each casino I’ve invested twenty dollars in the penny slots. Saturday it lasted less than half an hour. Yesterday I got just under an hour of entertainment out of the twenty and today I got around an hour and a half. If the progression continues, I should leave the next casino with my twenty dollars after a couple of hours then maybe I’ll make a profit on the next day. I can only hope.

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Covered bridge connecting the Wendover Nugget Casino and the Montego Bay Resort Casino.

When I entered the Montego Bay Resort Casino I was greeted by a huge video screen with a video loop of a snow storm playing. Coming in from ninety plus temperatures to that greeting was surreal. The walls of the casino had many video screens playing loops of nature scenes from all over the world. If this was Las Vegas all of the video screens would be playing advertisements.

Tomorrow the towns of West Wendover and Wendover have a fourth of July parade at 11AM and fireworks at 10:15PM. I plan to walk up to the Boulevard to watch the parade and hope to be able to see the fireworks from my campsite. Pretty much all of the sky over the town can be seen from here so I should be able to see the fireworks.

Bonneville Salt Flats

Sunday July 2nd 2017

The summer heat is arriving in this area. The temperature made it up to ninety six today and it is only going to get higher. Even the higher elevations are getting ninety degree temperatures. I haven’t been in this level of heat since March in Arizona and April in Las Vegas. During May and June I’ve been in northern states at altitude. There is a desire to stay in air conditioned comfort, but once you get out in the heat it’s tolerable so far.

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Salt flats and mountains in the background through the heat rising off the surface.

I hung out in the air conditioning this morning, but in the afternoon I went out to explore the Bonneville Salt flats area. I took Interstate 80 east toward Salt Lake City. The rest areas on each side of the interstate are some of the better places to view the salt flats. The east bound side even has an observation tower to see across the Interstate to the area the speed records are set. The interstate is built straight and flat across the salt flats on two strips of gravel about 4 feet higher than the salt flats. It is over 40 miles across the flats on the Interstate. I know because I had to go that far before I could reverse direction on the Interstate and I hadn’t filled my gas tank before leaving Wendover.

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Car and driver out on the salt flat. It was driving fast to get out there.

The wide expanse of white is impressive. The hard flat surface is covered in crystallized salt. There are areas that are covered with water and areas that have been drained by digging drainage canals. The water covering during the wet season helps keep the area flat. People who walk out onto the surface of the salt flat need to rinse off their shoes. It really seems to stick. Similarly, cars out on the salt flat pick up more salt than a car in the north would over an entire winter. They need to be washed well after being driven on the salt flat.

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That isn’t sand. It’s salt. 

There were two or three groups of people that had their cars out on the salt flat. I think they were all trying to set their own speed records. I wouldn’t want to risk it. With my luck I’d find the only pot hole on the flat so I could say the flat caused a flat.

At the campground this evening travelers arrived to fill the sites around me. Each new arrival turned their air conditioners on and the electrical system couldn’t take it. We blew the master breakers for the B row of sites twice. The electrician on call indicated that he needed to obtain and replace the master breaker. Hopefully, he will do that soon since the forecast is for the temperature to rise.

Exploring the Wendovers

Saturday July 1st 2017

Today started clear and sunny around 70 degrees at 8am this morning. It kept climbing to around 90 late this afternoon. The sun was blocked by dark clouds late in the day or it would likely have gotten a lot warmer. I suspect the dark clouds are actually smoke from wildfires in northwestern Nevada.

I did my usual first day in a new area exploring today. There isn’t much nearby but the two towns of West Wendover NV and Wendover UT. West Wendover NV is the bigger town that seems to exist to satisfy the gambling and other vices of the citizens of Utah. I stopped at one of the 5 casinos in town and most of the cars were from Utah. Two of the casinos are built right on the state line which is also painted on the main street.

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Statue in the middle of the main road in West Wendover NV.

Wendover UT was settled as a stop on the railroad and became known for its role in World War II. It was the home of the US Army Air Force base that trained the 509th Composite Group that dropped the atomic bombs on Japan. I need to find out what kind of memorials or museums are available in town. The areas to the north and south of town seem to be nothing but desert mountains. To the east is the Bonneville Salt Flats area.

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This campground is primarily an overnight stop. I had plenty of neighbors last night, but many of them were gone by the time I got up this morning. The remainder of last nights arrivals were gone by the time I got back from my touring. A handful of rigs were here when I arrived and were still here this afternoon. Tonight I have new neighbors that also look like they will be gone in the morning.