Greetings from Montego Bay Resort in West Wendover, NV, just outside of the legendary Bonneville Salt Flats Speedway. We're gearing up for day 3, but let's fill you in on yesterday's adventures. 2014 MINI Takes the States Day 2 had beautiful open roads, a remarkable ending location, unfortunately, a little run-in with the Nevada State Police...
We woke up in Reno, NV for our morning party at Atlantis Casino Resort, complete with a police escort out of town toward US 50 only to be dampened on by a police speed trap just outside of town. Ol’ Smokey clocked us on his gun going 80 in a 70, a warn-able offense in our opinion. The cop didn’t see it our way, and socked us with a $115 speeding ticket. We weren’t the only ones as several other MINIs fell victim to the little 8 police car speed trap, but, hey, no use in letting the men in blue ruin our second day!
Today’s total drive time was north of 6 hours, most of which was on the “loneliest road,” a stretch of US 50 through Nevada almost completely desolate and devoid of towns, houses, and any sign of civilization. Six hours of no-cell phone or radio reception gives you a real chance to take in the open road, and a stop at the “shoe tree” was the only stop our MINI made before hitting the little cowboy town of Elko, NV.
There in Elko we found the most amazing little western store, J M Capriola Co. This authentic cowboy shop has been making custom saddles and horse-riding implements since 1929, including the saddle for Nevada’s 150th anniversary celebration. Founded by J.M., today the store carries on the legacy through his son, outfitting Nevada and Utah’s real American cowboys and cowgirls.
The smell of leather fills the space, and old cowboy books, hats, clothes, jewelry, and other western gear line every wall. If you visit, which you should, check out the saddles and museum on the second floor to get your fix of cowboy history. Also take a peek in the workshop to see their craftsman hand making leather goods for their loyal customers.
From Elko it was a short trek through the mountains to the little town of West Wendover, NV. Not much in this town except casinos and one incredible airfield, Historic Wendover Airfield. Although it saw extensive use during WWII, you known it more as Lerner Field in the movie, Con-Air.
The folks at the field were smart enough to park the “Jailbird,” airplane right on the taxiway, so dozens of MINIs posed for pictures with the movie prop, us included. Our day 2 stop on MINI Takes the States featured the pet pageant, where owners dressed their furry friends and strutted them around. (More on this later)