June 25, 2006 - Winnemucca to Wendover

After leaving Winnemucca, I just followed I-80 through the desert valleys, passing the little towns of Battle Mountain, Elko and Wells. 
The desert valleys were interspersed with some good size mountain ridges. 
Wow, I see green!
I-80 tunnels through a mountain. 
There was some beautiful scenery. 
This town was so desolate I had to take a picture of it.  Hard to imagine living in a place like this. 
There was no desert valley to get through the mountains ahead so I-80 and I had to climb.
The little town of Wells, Nevada.  The airport is on the east side of town.  I wanted to visit a friend of mine here but his number was disconnected so I guess he moved. 
Not much to it. 
Not much to the airport, either. 
You can see how I-80 climbs through a pass in the mountains. 
I'm approaching my destination for today.  Wendover, Nevada  is on the east side of the mountain range and at the west edge of the Great Salt Lake Desert and Bonneville Salt Flats.  It looks like low clouds ahead, but actually it's the salt flats. 
Getting closer you can start to get a good look at the salt flats. 
Three days ago, I watched the movie "The World's Fastest Indian" starring Anthony Hopkins with my parents.  Good movie, by the way.  Half of the movie takes place on the Bonneville Salt Flats, so I was looking forward to seeing them.
The town of Wendover is dead ahead, with I-80 stretching over the salt flats to Salt Lake City in the distance.  The airport is at right-center.
Wendover is mostly in Nevada and it's a casino town.  I had enjoyed a little tailwind all day so it was only 2PM but I figured this would be a good place to stop and I was right!
Wendover Airport.  Built in World War II, it was a huge training base for bomber crews.  Hundreds of B-17s, B-24s and B-29s were based here. 
Most of the old hangars are still standing.  They are trying to preserve everything and make a museum out of the entire airport.  I hope they are able to do it. 
The terminal building.  I was able to get gas right away, and the staff was friendly.  The terminal is literally a small museum with lots of photos, dioramas and models about the World War II days.  That tower is the original control tower used to direct flight operations. 
I talked with the owner of this beautiful twin.  He was flying from Phoenix to Idaho.  He flew at 18,000 feet and 150+ knots.  His family of five jumped in and off they went.  What a nice traveling machine. 
I stayed at the Montego Bay casino-hotel.  They sent a shuttle right away to pick me up.  I paid 50 bucks for easily the best room I stayed in the entire trip, including a wall-mounted, flat-panel TV.  I was luxuriating in the outdoor the pool by 4PM!  For another $15, I had one of the best dinner buffets I have ever had:  all the prime rib, steak, peeled shrimp, etc. I could eat.  You name it, they had it.  There was a chocolate waterfall to dip big, fat strawberries into.  Unbelievable.  They even gave you a coupon for a free drink.  I guess the gamblers make all of this possible.

Since I have long known that I am not lucky when it comes to gambling, I didn't gamble.  If I had wanted to gamble, I could have just thrown the money out of the Citabrias window as I passed over the town, and saved some time!

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