Thursday, May 27, 2010

Another day on the road

We left Blue Bend USFS camp and headed west then north, back over to Virginia. I know, I said we weren’t gonna stay here but we decided to go visit Harpers Ferry National Historic Park. We traveled up the road as far as Front Royal, VA and stopped for the night at a Passport America park there. The park was OK, and they had many activities one could partake in, but is in a state of disrepair. The new owners or management is trying to upgrade the park after it’s downhill slide for many years, according to long time residents that seasonally live there. As we travel north we seem to encounter more parks that lean toward the ‘resort type’, trying to attract folks for the entire season and in doing so stretch themselves thin when it comes to maintaining the amenities in the parks. The price is higher than normal and they just got way too much stuff goin’ on.  It didn’t need any pictures. Get off your soapbox Bear!!

We stopped the next day in Charles Town, West Virginia. The town was settled by Charles Washington, brother of George Washington. It also has a claim to fame as the place where John Brown was tried for treason for attacking and destroying the Harpers Ferry National Armory. Charles donated the four corners of the town square for the center of government. Today those corners are occupied by the Courthouse, where John Brown was tried, the City Hall and Post Office.

100_7909Jefferson County Courthouse


Charles Town City Hall

After visiting several historical buildings we ventured over a few blocks from Town Square to the Mt Zion Cemetery. Both the Washington family and the Brown family seem to be well represented here, with the Washington’s occupying a section of their own.


The Washington section

We also visited other historic Colonial Era buildings but I couldn’t post all of them. We stopped in the Visitors Center and learned they have a Racetrack & Casino. Guess where we’re gonna stay & play.

We talked to security at the casino and was told “Sure you can stay, we’ve had people stay a week or more before”. We found the lot with RV’s, buses & 18 wheelers and picked out a nice level spot up against some trees bordering a residential neighborhood, perfect. We’re level, got shade, should be quiet near the houses and we have a vegetation buffer between us and the homes for privacy and it should muffle any noise from that direction. We had grabbed some dinner at Subway before settling here for the night.

The races started at 7PM and since neither of us had ever experienced horse racing we we’re excited to see it. We made our way to the Casino and grabbed up a ‘Players Club’ card with $25 complimentary slot play. It was getting close to 7 so we found our way through the Casino to the race track area. Soon we were seated in the air conditioned area above the track. I neglected to mention it was extremely hot here today for this time of year, 89 degrees. Despite the heat Linda said 'We should go outside down on the ‘paddock area’ to really experience this”,  and I had to agree. As luck would have it the temps had started to mellow somewhat after we were trackside. Sorry no pics of the races, but we had to go through the casino and I know how they are about cameras.

We watched eight of the nine races this evening and it was exciting to see. Then we made our way back through the casino to try and lose our $25 each. You know how I normally get my grub-stake cleaned from me in short order! We found some 5 cent machines and decided to try our hand. They got these games down, 5 cent machine, minimum bet 25 cents, why not call it a 25 cent machine? Cause 5 cents probably attracts cheap folks like us, we’re not really gamblers. Linda tried her luck first.

One thing we’ve learned is that the machine displays how much total money you have left to play. What it doesn’t show is the remainder of your original $25 and the total of what you have won.

Let me explain further. The casino gives you a promotional amount of ‘Free Slot Play’ when you sign up for a ‘Players Club’ card, in this case $25. You choose a machine to play and you have to stay on that machine till you’ve expended your $25. Along with that $25 you have made winnings while you play, which you are entitled to withdraw. The remainder of the $25 initial promotional monies you can not ‘Cash in’ or withdraw, but your winnings you can. So as you play along when the machine ‘hits’ for a goodly amount, push that ‘Cash Out’ button and you will receive your winnings, which will of coarse will be deducted from the total money left to play which is registered on the machine. Personal preference is what decides ‘a goodly amount’ when it comes to winnings and ‘cashing out’. You can continue to play & cash out what you win, as long as there is some of the original money left. What you have to remember is the odds are always in favor of ‘The House’ and if you sit and play without ever cashing out your winnings, you will walk away  empty handed.

In our case Linda would hit and ‘cash out’, play some more, hit and ‘cash out’, she walked away with $14 and I played the same way and ‘cashed out’ $32. Not bad fer’ playin’ with the casinos money!!

After cashin’ out, we went back to our home and called it a night. Since we didn’t make it today, tomorrow we head to Harpers Ferry National Historic Park.

Hope to see ya down the road as we’re;

Dancin’ on the Wind.

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