We last left you headed up the mountain to Lake Tahoe. Although we saw snow along the side of the highway and definitely on the sides and tops of the mountain, we had clear roads and the climb up wasn’t too bad. It was a steep descent down from the summit of 7200 ft to South Lake Tahoe at 6000 ft., we made it just fine and found our RV park without much difficulty. It was an older Coast to Coast park with odd shaped sites and loaded with huge pine trees. I think they were Ponderosa Pines but there might have been some redwood pines in there too. Whatever they were, they were beautiful and the most trees we had seen in a park since we left Michigan. We had a little trouble finding a spot we could fit in, but we managed. We had to take on water before we parked as they had not turned the water on yet because of the cold temps at night.
We had never been to Lake Tahoe before so we explored the area and were in awe of its beauty. It is a glacier lake at 6200 ft and the second deepest glacier lake at 1600 ft deep only surpassed by Crater Lake in Oregon. One day we drove around the entire lake, all 70 miles of shoreline, and although the day was mostly overcast and chilly, it was as gorgeous as all the photos show. We stopped to have a picnic lunch, but ate in the car instead of at a picnic table as it was too cold to enjoy being outside, at least for me.
The next day we spent the afternoon visiting the casinos at Stateline, Nevada, only a few miles from our campground. We weren’t very successful at the gaming tables, but had a few good $1.00 margaritas!
One day we drove down the mountain into Carson City, Nevada, the state capitol, and toured the state buildings including the Supreme Court, the State Assembly building, the State Office building and walked around the grounds, which are set up as a park. We even sat in on a session of the legislature and were surprised to discover that all of the senators were attired in suits and ties and/or skirts or dresses. I guess we thought we’d see more jeans and cowboy hats.
Corinne had told us to be sure and visit Virginia City which was nearby so we drove up a very twisty, hard uphill climb to find the old gold town of Virginia City. It is now a very touristy town, similar to Jerome, AZ, and several other old mining towns we have seen. But it was still fun to walk the streets and experience the feeling of what it must have felt like back in the active mining days. We stopped to tour a very old catholic church, built in 1864 and still operational today and it was beautiful inside. We also stopped at one of the oldest cowboy saloons in town and had a beer. The bar itself looked very old, but very cool, and there were lots of Tiffany lamps hanging from the ceiling. Old wooden floors that squeaked when you walked on them really gave it an authentic feel. Actually, it reminded me of the old Dime Store in West Branch with its creaky wooden floors.
We left Lake Tahoe in warm temps and sunny skies headed for Winnemucca, NV to spend the night, but knew there was a late winter storm predicted for the next day with temps dropping 40 degrees and high winds predicted. Our RV park in Winnemucca was brand new, very nice and a Passport park, which meant we would pay half the rate. Well, they were on reduced spring rates, which meant we paid $9.65 for a large site with full hookups, including cable. So we really didn’t mind when we decided to spend another night there to wait out the storm. I’m glad we did as the next morning we woke up to 35 mph winds, snow in the air and by the middle of the day, huge dust storms all around us. In fact, we’re pretty sure we saw a “haboob” just a little ways from us. It obliterated the sky and mountains all around us with huge billowing clouds of sand moving very fast. It moved along I-80 just to the west of us and you may remember it moved into Utah and caused massive traffic pileups around Salt Lake City and into Nebraska and they eventually ended up closing parts of I-80. We were sure glad we decided to hole up a day as the next day the sun was out and although it wasn’t warm, it was much better than it had been the day before.
So now it is on to Boise and a chance to spend some time with Kristine. We’re looking forward to seeing her and Springtime in Idaho.