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From Oregon to Reno Nevada

September 28 – October 8, 2017: 

We have been in the western side of Oregon before so nothing new here for us really.  After Portland we moved further south to Redmond OR and the Expo Center RV Park.  The Park wasn’t anything special except it was cheap.  It was just a large parking lot sort of place.

Our site in the the Expo Center in Redmond OR

I managed to get a 5 mile nice run/walk here in Deschutes County land behind the RV Park.   As I was running on county land I was thinking about why government has RV Parks that compete with private Parks.  I like that we get a nice clean park for very cheap rates but at the expense of a private park.  It just doesn’t seem right to me.  These sorts of parks are all over the US.  I wonder why the private parks put up with that. If there wasn’t a private park to compete then that would be fine until there was private organization that wanted to run it as a private park.  Then, the government should give up the park to the private organization.  OK then, that was my political rant for this post!

Nice view of the eastern side of the Sierras from my morning hike path

My run/walk path

After leaving Redmond OR we headed into northern California to the town of Alturas.  Here in Alturas we stayed at Sully’s RV Park.   We never saw anyone who worked at this park!  The park is behind an industrial facility so it can’t be seen from the road.  

We pulled in and found that we just needed to pull into any open space than fill out the available form with $20 per night in it.  We were there just one night as this was a bump and run for us.  The only things we did here were to purchase fuel and stay the night.

We woke up to a heard of deer in our RV Park

On our way out of Sully's RV Park

Next Monday the 3rd of October, we traveled further south through eastern California and into to the town of Sparks in Nevada.  Sparks is a close suburb of Reno Nevada.  Originally we were going to stay at the Reno RV Park located in downtown Reno but when we arrived the gate was closed with a sign that said they were full.  So we looked at plan B and went to the Sparks Marina RV Park.  The Marina RV Park was more money and further away from Reno but it is a nicer Park.

Landscape on our way to Reno while still in California

Stopped at a rest park in CA.  The rest park is just a sighting along the highway with almost no warning for the entrance

Our rig at the rest park

View from the rest park looking south.  Very desolate, not even a fence along the highway

Our space in Sparks NV

Since Reno is a destination place for us we are spending 4 nights or 3 full days here.  We really don’t have any idea what there is to do here except gamble and we don’t gamble.  We have never been to this area so we will spend a little time in Reno and Lake Tahoe is close so we will spend some time there too.

On our first day in the area we went to downtown Reno to check out the river walk. While there we figured we would also have lunch and see if there was any place we would want to come back to and explore more.

A very nice place to have breakfast in Reno

The Truckee River in downtown Reno

Looks like a reflection but that is a mural on a building in Reno

The river walk in Reno.  It was cold at around 60 with wind the day we were there

Another nice mural, this time on a parking garage

I had to look this up online.  Why does Reno have free speech sites?  It seems that you need a permit to sell stuff in Reno on the street.  However, if you are selling free speech sort of stuff then you don't need a permit!  The city of Reno even lists what is considered free speech merchandise.   Free Speech stuff would be church, gun control, and almost any activist stuff is allowed to be sold without a permit. 

The river walk is nice but it is very short, maybe a mile at most.  The Truckee River is not a big river at all.  Maybe in the spring with the mountain run off it is larger.  The river walk doesn’t have any sidewalk cafes or restaurants directly on it either.  So the walk mostly just gave us some of the views of the city.  We didn’t find anything we would come back to explore more of either.  We finished off the walking tour of the city by walking through the casino area and seeing famous Reno sign.

On our second day, Wednesday the 4th, we made reservations to take a Lake Tahoe lunch cruise.  The cruise leaves from Tahoe City CA which is 51 miles or about an hour away.  The cruise company warned us that there was construction on the roads leading into Tahoe City and to plan for extra time. 

There are 2 main ways to get to Tahoe City from Sparks, the best being route 89 and the loner way on route 267.  We chose route 89 which is just the last 14 miles. The rest of the way there was a fast 70 mph interstate. Our cruise time was at noon so we left the RV Park at 10 am giving us 2 hours to make an hour drive.  It turned out that the 2 hours was not near long enough for us!

First, there was construction on the interstate 80 just getting to 89.  That took away about 20 minutes of time to pass that.  Then, when we arrived at the exit for 89 it was closed due to construction.  We were still sort of OK on time so we got off at the next exit and came back the other way to find the 89 exit was closed on each side.  

We went one more exit and followed our Garmin on an alternate route in the town of Truckee to bypass the closed exits.  This was bumper to bumper and stopped traffic!  We sat there for about 15 minutes until it was 11:30 and decided to cancel and try again tomorrow.  We called the cruise company and they swapped our reservation to the next day without any hassle at all.  We sort of think this must happen a lot.

We were now in the town of Truckee CA and it looked like a nice place to explore and to have lunch.  We would not have known about this town except that we had to navigate through it trying to get on 89.  This turned out to be a great find.  

We are now in the after season for this area even though the temperatures are still in the 80s most days and very comfortable.  Being it’s after season many places were on restricted hours or just not open.  We did find a nice place to have lunch and spend a bunch of money on it too.  After lunch we just walked the town and did some shopping (looking) and took in the town.  Truckee CA is also a stop on the Amtrak line to San Francisco and we got to see the train stop in town.

The train station in Truckee

Amtrak train heading into Reno after leaving Truckee Station

Now we are on our last day, Thursday the 5th, in the Reno area.  This time we left our RV Park at 9:15 am to make the one hour trip to Tahoe City!  This time we sailed through route 80 as the construction was only Monday through Wednesday!  We were a little worried about the 89 exit but it was open too, whew!  Most of the way to Tahoe City on 68 is under construction making it very slow.  But we had a lot of time this time around to help with the slow road.  We ended up arriving 45 minutes early this time!

Our Lake Tahoe cruise boat

This advertised lunch cruise doesn’t include lunch, its ala Carte.  We knew it was ala carte but just didn’t want to believe it as the price for the cruise was pretty steep at $115 each just for the cruise alone.  Their lunch wasn’t too badly priced and was pretty good, but still….

The cruise was 4 hours long just like the Gilligan’s Island cruise plus one.  Basically it is 2 hours out and 2 hours back.  The 2 hours out part was really pretty good.  The captain was giving us a verbal tour all of the way to Emerald Bay where we turned around for our return.  

Interestingly, this is the highest lighthouse in the world!  It's that little red & white sign with a light on top.  Its the highest because we are at around 4000 feet on the lake here.

Entering Emerald Bay on Lake Tahoe

When they widened the road up on the ridge over Emerald Bay they used too much explosive and caused a landslide!

A lot of money built this house on Emerald Bay!

Just a picture to show how clean and clear the water is here

The return trip was just about the same exact route but with no captain tour.  The return trip was very boring as we had seen everything and there was no new information.  The return trip needs some work on their part.

Lake Tahoe is in California.  We are on our way back to Reno in Nevada.

We see these nice overpasses a lot in the west.  

Same with sound walls, they really do a good job with making public spaces nice

All in all it was a nice cruise and we learned a lot about the lake.  The weather was perfect with low 80s and just about no wind.  It just doesn’t get any better than that!

OK, that winds up our trip from Portland OR to Reno and Lake Tahoe including the Reno Area.

Next stop will be Death Valley California!

Stay Tuned!

Portland Oregon

September 26 – 28, 2017: 

This is somewhat of a short post about our also short visit to Portland Oregon. 

Not a great state sign entering Oregon

We left South Prairie Creek Washington on Monday the 26th heading further south.  We were in Portland OR 5 years ago but for just a drive through.  This was a relatively short drive for us with the RV of just 160 miles.  We were originally headed to the fairgrounds to stay there but there was an event scheduled for when we wanted to be there. So we had to call around to find another place on our way there.  We had a pretty hard time finding a place too!  It seems that most of the RV parks close to Portland are mostly full with permanent live in folks. We have not seen that in other areas of the country at least to this level!  We finally did get a place at the Columbia River RV Park.  

We are going to be in Portland for 2 full days or 3 nights in the Park.  The first day we spent getting some food shopping done and planning for a day in Portland.  

Mt. Hood was on the eastern horizon in Portland OR

Next to our RV Park on the river were these boathouses.  These boathouses were as big as some peoples homes.  We have seen them this big and maybe larger but never this many big ones together.

The only thing that sounded good to us was the dinner river cruise on the Willamette River.  

Our cruise trip on the Willamette River

The dinner cruise boarded at 6 pm, right at rush hour! The information on the cruise didn’t tell us that there wasn’t any parking at the cruise port either! So we are near the cruise during rush hour in heavy traffic looking for parking near the cruise, what fun.  We finally managed to find a place not too far but we had to circle the place a couple of times before we could get in the proper lane at the right time to get to the entrance to the parking place.  This parking place was under a bridge that used one of those pay machines for payment which was not working.  So we parked for free and we made the boarding time, whew!  

Our cruise boat

We had a nice time doing this cruise. The only improvement would be to add some upbeat music. We like a cruise that has some dancing after dinner or at least some party music.  This cruise just had a guy playing nice dinner type music the whole cruise, sort of like elevator music.  The food was very good!  I had salmon that was better than the salmon that I had in Alaska!

Views along the river of Portland OR

So that was pretty much for Portland Oregon! 

Next, we are heading to northeastern California and Reno Nevada.

Stay tuned!