The Roadtrip Continues…
On Tuesday morning we pulled out of Reno with Bend, Oregon as our day’s destination. But of course we just had to detour up to Lake Tahoe first.
We headed up to Mt Rose. Unlike me (type A’s don’t stop!), we stopped several times at the viewpoints just to walk in the forest. We crossed the mountain pass at the 9,000 foot level. Finally the lake in all its glory was shimmering below in the morning sun. We drove along the north shore enjoying the view.
When we came to Crystal Bay we reminisced about the good times we used to have at the lake. One year we rented a condo for week. The condo came with a boat slip so we were able to keep our ski boat in the water the whole week. Over the course of the week we cruised the entire shore line around Lake Tahoe and enjoyed the raw beauty of a place we find special. Of course we and our kids were young so we water skied and knee boarded for miles every day.
“In the old days” we used to frequent the Cal Neva Lodge and Casino at Crystal Bay. The state line between Nevada and California runs through the lodge and middle of the swimming pool. It was the first legal gambling house in Nevada circa 1930.
We saw some big name acts and played blackjack next to celebrities who were only there for R & R. Before our time this was the place of Marilyn Monroe, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and the rest of the “rat pack” crowd.
The current state of this icon saddened us. Most of the casino was filled with furniture to make a large lobby for the hotel. The morning we dropped in, there were less than 15 patrons in the whole place. And there was no excitement or atmosphere. The only thing time could not change was the magnificent lake views from the lobby and bar area.
We ate lunch at a place called “The Blue Onion”. It was the restaurant at the clubhouse of a small golf course. The food was terrific! We sat outside at a table with a view of the lake and trees just beginning to turn to fall.
From there we took a scenic road to Truckee, CA and then back-tracked to Reno to catch Hwy 395 up to Susanville where we turned off to go to Klamath Falls, OR.
To date, construction delays requiring pilot cars and a long wait are all over the west. There is road construction / repair everywhere. We were delayed 6 times in Nevada, 3 times in California, and twice in Oregon so far. That’s a small price to pay to stay off the interstates!
The beauty of the countryside is absolutely amazing. We passed through forests, over mountains, through valleys and across farmland and ranches. There is a lot of hay cutting going on (must be 3rd cutting at least), and I love the smell of fresh cut grass and alfalfa hay.
At Honey Lake in Northeastern California we stopped at one of the nicest, cleanest rest stops that either of us had ever been in. The state crew taking care of that rest stop obviously had some pride.
The drive from Klamath Falls to Bend, OR is through high desert forest most of the way. I was looking forward to seeing it again, but after the late start out of Tahoe, we made the drive in the dark. We kept our eyes peeled for deer but all we ran into were moths and other bugs.
After we checked into the hotel in Bend, I took Zazu out to do her nightly business. About 50 yards away I saw a large buck with a huge rack of antlers. He was staring at us and not moving so I thought, hell, it might be a statue. The next morning when Zazu and I returned to the scene, there was no deer but certainly fresh deer droppings, so it really was a huge buck in the middle of Bend. Glad we saw him there and not out on the highway.
The next day we had a short drive of just 5 hours on to Kennewick, WA where Carol’s sister, Lynne, lives. Again it was another beautiful drive across farmland, ranches and wheat fields. For a while we were on the interstate but we were driving next to the Columbia River so we didn’t mind.
I will talk about Lynne’s court date in Grandview, Washington in my next update.