As I write this, I am rolling out of Reno, NV and headed for Provo, UT (NOTE: the conductor yelled “All aboard!” this time, which made it feel like a legit train trip). As a result, there is not writing update, as I spent the day exploring Reno. Work will happen this evening after dinner, included with my roomette (which is probably small enough to make Tyrian Lannister feel claustrophobic).
Meal times are assigned, and I drew the “senior special” at 5:00 pm. So, the plan is to write this, grab dinner, (UPDATE: finish this), and then get to work. I roll into Provo at 4:30 am and if I can find a coffee shop I’ll probably do a writing and overnight “bonus” update for Day 2. Until then, here’s a recap of Reno, which likes to refer to itself as “The Biggest Little City in the World.”
My initial assessment of it was that it should be referred to as “Sad Vegas.” Why? Well, I can’t imagine rooms on the Strip advertising $39 per night or a place that will give me 3 squares for less than I paid for lunch on yesterday’s train.
Beyond that, I’m pretty sure the Bellagio staff don’t have to utter the phrase, “take a left at the Quizzno’s Subs” when giving directions to the room elevators. Additionally, the place just seemed deserted, which made it difficult for the “Play Beer Pong Anytime!” claim to be true:
Still, I managed to win $80 in twenty minutes at single deck blackjack (pretty much the only casino game I understand and have the guts to try), which made me start thinking, “Hey, Reno, you’re alright after all.” At least, that is, until my fantasies of paying for this trip in one night of blackjack vanished as I dropped that $80 and another $100 in the next 45 minutes. Oh well, at least I got to play the world’s largest Pac Man game on the way to bed!
I retired for the night, so I could wake up and get a run in before it got too hot. Running through town along the Truckee River provided a strange juxtaposition of the beauty of nature (in the river) on one side of me and the sadness of humanity (in the still sleeping homeless people) on the other.
I spent the rest of the day exploring University of Nevada-Reno’s campus, visiting a new local watering hole/pizza joint, and popping into a pawn shop to see what people hock when they’re down on their luck. I saw the guitars, watches, and rings that I expected, but I discovered a new low point in life, during which you need to pawn your power sander or drill. The saddest part of this discovery? The number of power sanders and drills in this pawn shop. I counted at least a half-dozen and dozen, respectively!
Again, no writing stats for the day, but hopefully this post helps convey some of the fun that can be had during a mobile writing retreat. Hopefully, I’ll have good writing progress to share in the morning from Provo.