Friday morning we got up and Keaton went to school until about 11:00 a.m. We packed up and left Salt Lake around noon and headed west on I-80 to Reno, Nevada.
It's around 511 miles driving distance with two short pit stops, which equaled out to be around 7 hours total time. I have never driven West of Tooele before, so I was excited to see the landscape and it did not disappoint. I had to take a road trip selfie of the three of us on our way out of town.
Natalie Mellem had given me the heads up about the tree sculpture along the Bonneville Salt Flats and I'm glad she did because I might have missed it, if I didn't know it was coming. The weather was beautiful with big thunderstorm clouds everywhere. We have had so much rainfall the past two weeks, that the desert was flooding with water.
The Great Salt Lake made for gorgeous photos along the way. I love how this mirror image of the mountains feels like an inverted world.
We stopped in Wendover to get gasoline and some lunch from Taco Time. I wasn't super hungry at that point and my stomach was feeling a little off after a huge breakfast at Citrus Grill that morning. The only other stop we made was in Winnemuca. Our friend Jeniel moved there during our high school years, so I had to take a picture and text it to her. See claimed it still looked the same even 30 years later.
Coach Ronnie had a practice set up in the Reno Sparks Convention Center at 7:00 p.m. So, we went and checked into the Circus Circus hotel and was happy to get on the same floor as the other Utah Elite teams. We were in room 2660 in the Sky Tower and I liked being over there as it seemed a little more quiet. Practice went for about an hour and a half and it was nice to be to go inside the facility and figure things out the night before the game. Cory and I bought our wristbands too and I walked around the perimeter of the convention center.
After practice, we went to Olive Garden for dinner as we were all a little hungry. I had a yummy chicken dish with veggies, salad and breadsticks. Cory had parmesan chicken and his was delicious, so I ended up eating a bit of his leftovers. Keaton had a chicken alfredo dish with curly noodles. He loved it and devoured it. It was well after 10:00 when we got back to the hotel and went to sleep pretty quickly as we had a game first thing Saturday morning at 9:20 a.m.
Utah Elite 6th grade played Fresno Stampede for the first game. We won 62-40 and Keaton had 14 points. What's also amazing, is that we won with only five players. Jordan, Keaton, Sam, Daniel and Hela. Race was put on the 6th grade B team, which was a bummer because we were low in numbers the whole tournament. We also only played one game on Saturday and had two games on Sunday without Daniel. They drove all the up to Reno on Friday and then left Saturday afternoon, then they drove all the way back early Monday morning to finish out the tournament. CRAZY!!!
Unfortunately, the 4th, 5th and 6th grades all had a game at the same time and in the same place. Fourth graders won their first game, but 5th grade lost theirs by 10 points. Here's a picture of the 5th graders towards the end of their game.
Keaton tripped over his feet during the first game, falling backwards and spraining his wrist a bit. I wish I had taken a photo of one of the wrist wraps he got from the trainer because they were pretty cool and in three different colors-white, red and black. The wraps really helped stabilize his wrist while playing those last three games.
We had the rest of the day to ourselves since we only had one game. We went back to the hotel and hung out for a while until Keaton started feeling hungry. (He rarely is hungry immediately after a game. It takes him a while to cool down.) Cory and I had had only a Starbucks that morning, so we were ready for some lunch. Keaton wanted Johnny Rockets so we drove over there and had a nice lunch. I had a crispy chicken salad with a Coke and we all shared some cheese bacon fries. Keaton had a burger, fries and an Oreo milkshake. Cory had a burger too.
The weather was awesome, cool and rainy most of the day. Luckily, Cory had parked by the sky bridge during the gam, so we just walked under it for protection! He's a smart smart guy. I loved looking up out of the sunroof and seeing this stunning rain filtered view of our hotel. I had to take a photo of it. It is easily one of my favorite photos of the weekend.
Back at the hotel, we just hung out and walked some TV and relaxed. We decided to meet Sam Hansen and his mom and brother at the movie theatre. We went the 5:10 pm showing of Tomorrowland. Keaton didn't really want to go but we needed to get out and we had already told the Hansen's we would go with them. I liked the movie and then we walked out of the theatre to a gorgeous sky full of storm clouds.
We parted ways with Sam's family after the movie and then we decided to find a pizza place nearby for dinner. We ended up going to Pirate's Pizza and timed it perfectly! They had been slammed all day long, but it was relatively quiet and empty when we arrived. Hooray!!!! We ordered a deep dish pizza half pepperoni/half ham, olives and onions. I also ordered a yummy Greek salad. Everything was really really good.
After dinner, we went back to the hotel and got ready for bed as we had another 9:20 am game for Sunday morning. But before we went to sleep, I snapped a photo of the city lights outside. Goodnight Reno!