Stuck in Mesquite, Nevada

The fact that we’re still sitting in Mesquite, NV is proof that sometimes things just don’t work out as planned.

Mesquite is a very small town right on the Nevada/Arizona border where the Virgin River flows out of the surrounding mountains on its way to Lake Mead.  At one time this was a ranching community of sorts, but now gaming and retirement are the driving industries.  The town boomed in the last few years and there now seems to be a scramble to update the supporting infrastructure.  Several streets are in various stages of repair and traffic snakes through makeshift lanes marked by bright orange barrels.  The few streetlights that are working are not timed correctly and detour signs send traffic around in circles.  It is as if the traffic engineers purposefully tried to maximize traffic with a minimal supply of cars.

Like Vegas, this place can be hellishly hot in summer but relatively mild in winter.  Not much more needs to be said, except that we are stuck here waiting out the weather.  The local weather is o.k., but our route through Utah has been pelted with one storm after another.  So here we are enjoying sunshine locally, but unable to reach Grand Junction.  If we were just driving the jeep we would be long gone, but there is no compelling reason to push our luck moving the coach.  The RV park is full of travelers in the same predicament.

At least the place is conducive to workouts.  The Oasis Casino has a small but well equipped gym and the surrounding terrain is good for running.  In fact, this is the first time I ran outside for a long, long time.  It is good to get off the treadmill.

Staying out of the buffet is key and we try to avoid it.  However, in a moment of weakness we hit the buffet for the St. Patrick’s Day dinner, where I was able to enjoy all those foods we rarely eat.  Corned beef and cabbage once per year is o.k.  Right?  What could be better than dining with a bunch of people with a BMI index of 38 or more?

It so happened that one of our Florida friends, Luis, was in Las Vegas for a long weekend.  On Thursday, we drove the Jeep down to Vegas to meet him for lunch.  We very much enjoyed the visit and hope to see him again when we settle somewhere.

For some mysterious reason the wireless internet connection on my computer quit working when we reached Mesquite.  Jeanne’s works, but mine refuses to cooperate.  Since my computer is used to write and maintain this web site, we were concerned.  While in Vegas, the connection was tested at a T-Mobile hot spot and it worked fine.  As suspected, the Wi-Fi connection in Mesquite was the problem.  What a relief.

To pass the time we rented season one of the TV series 24, which should keep us busy for quite a while.  Our other activities include reading, fiddling with the computers and running a few errands locally.  There is not much to see here and even less to photograph, but there are some pictures associated with this log entry.

In the Wouldn’t-You-Know-It department, a motorhome very similar to ours pulled in right beside us.  Same basic model and color scheme, but theirs is a 40 foot rig with four slides.  The two rigs have become a park curiosity of sorts.

Part of our travel experience is interacting with the locals.  We noticed Mesquite has a small-town feel and people are generally eager to engage in conversation.  But on one occasion, we had a failure-to-communicate moment.  Here’s the story:

Taking advantage of a break in the weather, we decided to get out and drive around town for a few minutes.  One of the few local restaurants open on a Sunday morning was a small cafe in a strip-mall.  It looked o.k., so we went in.  Upon entering, we could see it was a order-at-the-counter type of place.

It was a little after 11:00 AM, so we decided to have lunch.  My order of a ham and turkey sandwich on wheat was easy enough, but Jeanne’s order was a challenge.

Waitress to Jeanne:  And what will you have?

Jeanne:  I’ll have a tuna salad sandwich.

W:  What kind of bread do you want.

J:  White, toasted.

W, somewhat confused:  You want toasted white bread?

J, somewhat suspicious:  Yes, white bread toasted.

W, after a few minutes:  Do you want the toast buttered?

J, with growing suspicion:  No.

W, to Jeanne:  What kind of bread do you want on the sandwich?

J, impatient:  O.k., let me clarify the order.  I want a tuna salad sandwich with toasted white bread.

W:  Oh.  O.k.

We sit down and in a few minutes the waitress approaches with our sandwiches and sets them before us.  At the moment Jeanne notices her sandwich is on un-toasted white bread, the waitress announces that she will be right back with the unbuttered toast.  Before things spiraled out of control I told the waitress to skip the toast.  We enjoyed the sandwiches, paid, left and wondered what went wrong.  Such is life on the road.

We returned to the coach, reflected on our Five Easy Pieces moment and waited for the weather to change.