Reno, NV & Lake Tahoe

7/30/2018 to 8/1/2018

Beautiful Lake Tahoe and Disappointing Reno

Monday 7/30/2018     We stayed at the Snowflower RV Park as long as we possibly could because we only had about 30 miles to drive.  We are staying at the Coachland RV Park in Truckee, CA for the next three nights.  I read that this park had a free wash area that I could wash the truck and trailer and that is what we did as soon as we checked in.  It was a nice, spacious area on the side of the park with a very long hose so you can reach your RV or trailer.  We've been on the road for three and a half months now and it was really dirty.  After we finished washing the truck and trailer we drove to our site and set up.  Then we went for a ride to check out the neighborhood.  We found a very upscale ski resort only a few miles away called Northstar at Tahoe.  It is a very large, fancy lodge with expensive shops, restaurants and a skating rink in the center.  It must be a hopping ski area during the season but now it only had a few people roaming around and seemed to be a gathering spot for mountain bikers.  We did find a nice pizzeria called Rubicon and shared a delicious pizza.  After eating we roamed around the shops area until we were ready to head back to the trailer.

Tuesday 7/31/2018     Reno, Nevada is about 45 minutes away from our campground and we wanted to see what it was like.  I checked online and Circus Circus has a free parking deck and the truck would fit so that's where we parked for the day.  So, the first casino we visited was Circus Circus which connected to a casino called Eldorado.  We played a few slot machines but not for very long.  We walked in and out of a few other casinos and then went for a walk to find the famous "RENO, The Biggest Little City in the World" Sign.  We were expecting a mini Vegas and were very disappointed.  Reno seems to be run down and nothing is bright or glamorous like Vegas.  There are only a few casinos and they aren't very large.  There wasn't a lot of people gambling or walking around.  Even their buffets were closed until the weekend.  We continued walking through the town center and on their river walk (which wasn't a nice river walk) until we found the auto museum that I wanted to go through.  The antique autos were from a collection of Bill Harrah's.  (of the Harrah Hotel and Casino chain)  We took a guided tour, watched a short movie and roamed around for a couple hours.  And we even found two cars in the collection that were made by the C H Wills Co. A 1922 and a1924 model. We left and walked back to the casino part of town for a while and then began our drive back.  On the road back we saw a casino named Boomtown and stopped to see what it was like.  It wasn't very impressive either but it did have the Original Mel's Diner inside and we tried it for dinner.  After dinner, it was back to the trailer for the night.

Wednesday 8/1/2018     Today we visited Lake Tahoe which is divided in the middle by the California and Nevada state border. Lake Tahoe has a 72-mile shoreline and a road that goes completely around it. Our plan was to drive to the lake from the campground and then drive the road around Lake Tahoe stopping at points of interest along the way. At first, when we got on the road around the lake we were in a commercial area with lots of little shops and places to stay. Further down the road was a state park area called Emerald Bay. It was very crowded even at 9 am in the morning and we were lucky to find one of the last parking spots.  We were even luckier when we paid the senior rate for parking which was $9 instead of $10.  We planned to take a one-mile hike down to the beach of Emerald Bay and tour Vikingsholm, the old summer home of Mrs. Lora Josephine Knight built in 1929.  We bought tickets to the 10:30 am tour and walked around the beautiful bay while we waited.  The house was modeled by Scandinavian architecture and has beautiful woodwork and carvings throughout.  Part of the house is covered by a grass sod roof.  They claim to have most of the original furniture and decorations.  The front of her house faces the scenic Emerald Bay and the rear of the house showcases the mountains.  She was determined not to cut down any trees during construction and the architect was able to accomplish this.  She also owned a small island in the bay that she built a small tea house on.  We took a nearby hike up to Eagle Falls which was about a quarter of a mile uphill. The Emerald Bay beach area is a very popular spot even with the long hike down the hill.  Many families were enjoying the water either swimming, kayaking, boating or stand up paddleboarding.  They have a sign posted that says you swim at your own risk because the water is cold but no one seemed to mind.  We took a lot of pictures even though the views weren't as beautiful as we hoped because there was still a lot of smoke in the air from the forest fires in northern California. The time came for the long hike back up the hill to the parking lot.  It wasn't too bad mainly because we took several breaks in the shade along the way.  We got back in the truck and continued driving around the lake.  Our second stop was The Taylor Creek Visitor's Center where we had our picnic lunch and walked down to another beach.  We continued driving along the park road to the south end of the lake which turned into a commercial area with shops, restaurants, and lodges.  As soon as we crossed over the state line from California to Nevada the casinos appeared.  Actually, they were just a step over the border, I guess Nevada wants to make certain they tempt all the Californians.  We drove the remainder of the road which had a lot of privately owned expensive homes.  Our campground is very close to The Donner Pass.  Those of us who remember the history know the story and this town has built a park with a visitor's center and a monument to the memory of those in the Donner Party.  We arrived just a few minutes before closing and just took a quick loop around their museum and visited the outside monument before driving back to the trailer.

Thursday 7/2/2018     Today we are leaving Truckee, CA and only have about 100 miles to travel. We have reservations to tour San Francisco and Alcatraz on August 6th and 7th so we have a couple of days between now and then. So we are spending them in Sacramento, CA. 

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