Monday, December 21, 2009

Arizona trip report - Part 2 of 8

Arizona trip report - Day 2

I woke up in Show Low and hit the road for Camp Verde, AZ. There's a casino there named Cliff Castle and I had booked a room to spend the night there. Along the way was the most scenic drive I took the entire trip. I went through a National Forest and mountain gorges which took my breath away. Every few hundred feet, I'd let out a "damn, that's nice" and continue driving. As I wound my way into a particularly beautiful passage of windy mountain road, I stopped at every opportunity for pictures. The great state of Arizona had thoughtfully provided many such opportunities for photographers like myself, and I took full advantage. What should have been a 2.5 hour ride turned into something closer to 4.

I arrived at Cliff Castle, which is in a really amazing spot, high on a plateau surrounded by fantastic views of mountains and buttes (pronounced beauts, like the word beautiful). Inside was a homey looking poker room with a bunch of locals mixing it up playing $3-$6 Omaha hi-lo. I joined, and donated $160 over the course of two hours. I had a great time, but I wasn't hitting my draws and I didn't scoop a single pot the whole session. I moved over to a $3-$6 lhe game going on and found my rhythm, crushing it for $174. The only noteworthy hand was when I decided to use my new card spinner, gifted to me by the wonderful Dawn Summers over at I Had Outs, and the very first hand I used it for, I flopped quad Jacks. Clearly this is an impressive spinner!

At this point in my trip, I was way ahead in my itinerary, by about 10 hours or so. This gave me a lot of freedom to do what I wanted to do. Unfortunately, being high in the mountains, there wasn't a whole lot. I was only about 45 minutes from Sedona, which I heard has amazing scenery and a cool vibe. I debated doing that but I already had it in my schedule to do that the following morning, so I decided to see another casino, also ahead of schedule, about 30 minutes away in Prescott.

Bucky's Casino, in Prescott, AZ, is another small casino with a small poker room. Nothing noteworthy here except that there is a rodeo ring across the street, which I found interesting. Rodeo sports is a big attraction in Arizona, as you'd expect in the southwest. I played 2-8 spread limit hold'em for about two hours, taking $88 in profit for my troubles.

Going back to Cliff Castle, where I stayed for the night, I joined a 3-6 lhe game in progress. It was 11:20pm when I sat down, a big mistake. I donked of $200 in short order before figuring out that playing tired in a limit game is no way to play at all.

One more thing about Cliff Castle. The rooms that you book at the casino aren't even in the casino. Hell, they're not even on the property. You have to drive around the corner to a motel that serves as the casino's "hotel". Bleccch.

As I was getting ready to go to bed, I turned on the TV and listened alarmingly at the weather report. Snow was due for northern Arizona, and in large quantities. A rare winter storm was blowing in and Flagstaff, just over an hour north of where I was, was expecting 2 feet!!!! Holy crap, I thought, I hope I don't get caught in that! I wasn't worried at the time since I was supposed to be taking an airplane tomorrow afternoon to Farmington, New Mexico where I would then rent a car and drive to Ute Mountain Casino in Towoac, Colorado. I fell asleep without any worries.

More to come...

1 comment:

Memphis MOJO said...

I need to get me one of those spinners.