Friday, November 28, 2008
When in Mesquite, Don't Stop!
I should have listened to the elephant.
We drove hours and hours, over winding mountain highways with every kind of danger sign: run away truck ramp, elk and deer crossing next 12 miles, watch for rocks on highway, slippery when wet, pictures of trucks tipping sideways on turns, warnings of steep angle to hill ahead, bridge may be frozen, bump signs, have I forgotten anything? And through it all it was raining hard and sometimes IMPOSSIBLE fog, which is disorienting and truly scary.
And we ended up in Mesquite, Nevada, where the room cost $100 in the dog wing, even though the signs all along the last 200 miles had said $24.99 and up. On check-in they said it was because it was a holiday and there were only 20 rooms left. LIES! The place was maybe half full. This inn is a minor city! Building after building. Maybe it should be converted to a jail.
The food got an early start in the oven on Thursday, or maybe the day before, and was enjoying the warmth of the steam table. It's a $14 all you can eat buffet, with aging turkey, gravy, and assorted trimmings like vanilla sauce. ? People weren't even returning for seconds.
I was happy to taste the green beans with mushroom soup and canned onions, because it's a famous recipe I've read about and never experienced. Not too bad. It holds well under the cafeteria's hot lamps, perhaps long enough to make it till Christmas.
The seafood newburg reminded me of airline meals long ago, when we thought the food on planes was bad, never imagining that in the future they'd just throw a snack pak at you.
I got to watch people walk up to the pie case and look over the desserts. This was kind of fun. No one looked too happy with the dried pies available, but they'd snatch one, then scurry over to the frozen custard machine, also in my view, and slowly squirch out pumpkin frozen dribble onto the pie. Oh for a video camera.
So a crummy cafeteria meal on Thanksgiving, big deal. But nothing compared to the urine SOAKED bedroom which was such a stench we didn't quite know what to do. Jon called the front desk to tell them about it so we wouldn't get charged for it in the morning when the pet inspector came by. I told him, "Well, you know how it is with bad smells: at first they really bother you and after a while you don't even notice them." (We've been through this with skunk sprayed dogs)
NOT SO! All night I tossed and turned inches above the stinkiness. It was still on Molly the next day! There WAS no pet inspector, because the place has fallen on hard times. You could tell it first from the half empty casino, and the Asian croupiers standing behind empty tables looking worried.
The picture is of a cute sculpture in Norwood, Colorado, where there used to be many cute animal sculptures made of car parts, but most of them have vanished. We stopped at the grocery store to buy chips for our sad sandwiches but the grocery store was closed.