Reno & Lake Tahoe
Trip Start Jul 31, 2010
22Trip End Oct 29, 2010
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Where I stayed
With Bob & Eileen
Took a cab to the Greyhound bus terminal, bought a ticket that cost $16 for me and one bag, plus $11 for my 2nd bag, and for that you get to load them on yourself. But beware.. you can't take on board any pepper spray, flick knives or geeerns (that's guns for us Aussies)..
Bob met me at Sacramento and we zoomed off to Reno.. wow... some beautiful scenery.
Reno itself is a mountain desert landscape which sits in a bowl surrounded by mountains, something I've never seen before. It's a well-laid out city, wide-open spaces, a few standout casinos, and the Hot August Nights festival was on.
We roamed around the acres of classic cars on show, magnificent corvettes, and zillions of others I can't even think of at the moment.
It was really warm when I arrived, about 30 celsius, but even though a cool change blew in, we went for a hike around Lake Tahoe. It was only 6 degrees by the time we started walking.
Unbelievably beautiful pine forests strewn with great granite boulders; after 7kms we reached an overlook where Carson City nestled below, we were at 8,000ft, higher than anything in Oz, and I felt a little nauseous from altitude sickness, but I coped. What I did have trouble coping with was the little white stuff that started falling from the sky... yep.. it started snowing, so the 7km return leg was brisk.
Headed for a great village pub that cost a fortune for a couple of drinks and a meal... disaster for the purse strings... but gawped at all the massive timber homes the mega-rich have built along the shores of the lake.
Was great to see Eileen and Bob, such great happy people, and their daughter Valerie is drop-dead gorgeous and her partner , Sean, is a mini Arnie Schwarzenegger.. biceps that'd bounce you around a basketball court.Their son Steve also arrived for the weekend, and the lot of us went up to Tahoe again where the weather was brilliantly warm this time; we did a lovely little walk around a lake and thru lots of pines and aspens. We got to enjoy the beach and beauty of Sandy Harbor, crowded as hell, which reminded me a lot of Magnetic Island in Queensland.with giant granite boulders and crystal clear water.
Bob volunteered to drive me around to find a motorhome to buy for my big trip.
I couldn't find a small campervan like you can get at home, so now I've got a 21' motor home ...it's got a double bed over the cab + a sofa that converts to a bed, it's got a full bathroom with shower and toilet, nifty little kitchen with a decent fridge and cooker, small dinette, fully air-conditioned, plenty of cupboards and a wardrobe, but it's big. It's got instant gas hot water for the shower and the fridge is gas or 240V, but no 12 volt. It can take 5 passengers, all with seatbelts and it's 9'4" high.
It's a '93 Toyota 3LT V6 2WD single cab ute with a step-thru to the camper, it's automatic, got 63,000 miles on the clock and drives well enough. Cost AU$5,000 or US$4,500
In the DMV the queue to register the vehicle is 500 long. We had to wait 45 minutes to JUST get a ticket to wait to get served. Un-bloody-believable. A few people laughed when I took a photo.
Had to get a smog test ($20) then insurance.. this was a hard one, you know how litigious this society is.
You have so many a la carte choices to cover as little or as much risk as you can handle, anyway we settled on what we thought was good enough and that cost $438 from Progressive.
The registration cost $82 for a year.
It took 14 gallons to fill the tank at $2.75 a gallon. That's 53 lts at .73 cents a litre... now I just have to hope the fuel consumption isn't prohibitive.
I still haven't learnt how to use everything, but I did manage to fill the water tank and run the pump. Next step will be learning how to empty the grey water tank, and then the sewage.
The fridge runs fine on gas even when I'm not totally level and when I'm travelling; can't turn it higher than 2 on the scale of 1-9, 'cos at this altitude it makes ice anyway. Wow!! ice for my drinks.
Haven't used the oven yet, barely bought enough food to sustain me for a week, let alone cook anything, even though I did buy a frittata dish at a garage sale.
And fancy having a wardrobe? Today I think I'll have my first hot shower.
All the venetians and curtains work in the van, so it's very private, and the lights... lots of little ones and a big fluoro one smack in the middle, so I can read well at night. The deep cell battery charges as I'm travelling,.
Still travelling solo, but I'm not too concerned about that. Might pick up a bloke when the toilet needs emptying!!! But that reminds me of a saying my aunt had... there's always trouble when you're dealing with things that have either tyres or testicles.