DELICIOUS MEALS & BOONDOCKING
|Tonopah Station Casino in Tonopah, Nevada|
Why do we stay at casinos when we travel from Oregon to the Mexico border in our motorhome, especially since we rarely gamble? Mostly to save money. Traveling to and from our home in Mexico to see our family in the United States once a year is expensive, so we've learned how to save money on lodging wherever possible. We often stay overnight, free of charge, in an Indian casino's peaceful RV parking lot. In exchange, we can afford to go out for a tasty dinner and glass of wine at one of the casino's restaurants. Once in a while, we catch a free lounge show after dinner, usually a lesser known musical group, but always enjoyable. We have been known to leave $20 in the 1¢ slot machines occasionally. In the rare event that I find a $3 Blackjack table, I may settle in to play for a couple of hours or until my $60 is gone. We figure it's the least we can do to help pay our country's debt to the Native Americans.
|Tonopah, NV has Many Relics from it's Days as a Silver Mining Town|
The other reason we like to drive this route is it gets us off of the monotonous I-5 interstate and onto a highway through beautiful country and interesting towns. After a long day of driving from Oregon toward Mexico, we look forward to arriving at the next casino where we can park our motorhome and go in for dinner, casually dressed as we are when we travel. Usually, the Indian Casinos offer boondocking, free RV parking, and we take advantage of saving the RV Park fee and put the money into a good dinner. By the time we level the RV, put out the bedroom slide, and walk Bella, we are grateful that dinner and wine await us just a short walk away at the casino restaurant. The exercise we get from our walk to and from dinner is welcome, as we have done little all day but sit in the motorhome listening to an audiobook as we drive through mountains, forests, and then miles of desert.
Our Route This Year from Oregon to Mexico:
|Boondocking at the Diamond Mountain RV Park in Susanville, CA|
Diamond Mountain Casino, Susanville, CA: Our first stop south of the Oregon border was the Diamond Mountain Casino, governed by the federally recognized Susanville Indian Rancheria. They allow free overnight RV parking and the lot was fairly quiet on a weekend night. Dinner at the restaurant was good and relatively inexpensive.
Tonopah Station Casino RV Park, Tonopah, Nevada: Weather sometimes dictates whether we can boondock in the casino parking lot or choose to pay for an RV site with electric hookup. When we arrived in Tonopah, Nevada on our second night of traveling south, it was early October and cold and windy. We knew we would be more comfortable using our portable electric heater to warm the motorhome to prevent the propane furnace from running all night. So, we paid the moderate $27 for full hookup, even though we didn’t bother hooking up the water or sewer for just one night’s stay. The other option would have been to stay in the free RV lot at the Banc Club, the other casino a mile-and-a-half up the road. From a previous stay there, we knew the food was not as good and the lot was noisy. The restaurant inside the Tonopah Station Hotel was nothing fancy, but the atmosphere was cozy, the food was good, and the prices inexpensive. We enjoyed walking around the hotel’s basement museum after dinner, admiring their antiques from the old silver mining days in Tonopah.
|Antique Slot Machines Displayed in the Tonopah Station Casino|
|Old Figurines in Casino Museum Representing the Silver Mining Days|
|Blue Water Casino's Front Entrance|
|Prime Rib at the Blue Water Casino Steakhouse|
Casino del Sol, Tucson, AZ: The Casino del Sol in Tucson, owned and operated by the Pascua Yaqui tribe, is one of the most upscale of the Indian Casinos that we have stayed in. They allow free overnight RV parking. We look forward to staying there on our way south in the fall when the weather has cooled off enough that we don’t need to run our air conditioner at night. The inside of the casino is beautiful, in the same league as many Las Vegas casinos. The dining options are wide, offering many menu and price point options. We like “Ume” which serves Asian food that is reasonably priced. The PY Steakhouse is very good but expensive. A couple of nights of free lodging here allows us to treat ourselves to dinner in the casino. We have a day to shop for supplies and get Bella’s Health Certificate at a local vet, then we’re on our way across the border at Nogales to San Carlos, Mexico!
|Inside the Casino del Sol in Tucson, AZ|
|Our 2017 Casino-Hopping Route to San Carlos, Mexico|
A Previous Indian Casino Route We Took From Oregon to Mexico:
Rolling Hills Casino RV Park, Corning, CA: (Off I-5) $28 last time we stayed there
Golden West Casino, Bakersfield, CA: Free RV Parking with 24 hour security and a restaurant inside
Quechan Casino and Resort (Hwy 8 just west of Yuma Arizona): The steakhouse was very good, though a bit expensive). Cost was $10 for a 3-night pass for overnight RV parking
Casino Del Sol, Tucson, AZ
Other Indian Casino Routes
We also enjoy the coastal casino route from northern California through Oregon. There are so many beautiful areas in California and Oregon that we discover by striking out for an Indian Casino we haven't visited yet. Check out www.IndianCasinos.com for maps by state. Here are the three that we use most often:
Oregon: Oregon Indian Casinos
California: California Indian Casino Main Directory
Arizona: Arizona Indian Casinos
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