Monday, June 2, 2014

Reno Wrap Up

We've had an enjoyable stay in Reno but we're ready to move on to more serene surroundings. Cities can be a fun stopover, adds some spice and variety to our travels, but after a few days the hustle and bustle makes me long for the slow and quiet pace of life on the back roads.

Staying at the Grand Sierra Resort and Casino RV Park we were right on the banks of the Truckee River. There are several miles of paved trail along the river, so one day we rode the path East from our park for about five miles before we came to a closure due to road construction. We quickly dubbed this the "Industrial River Trail" because of the part of town we were riding through...but the ride was still beautiful due to the lush plant growth along this pretty river.

Truckee River and bike path.

Truckee, CA is just 30 miles West of Reno so it made a nice day trip into the mountains for us. Naturally we had to include a hike! Immediately West of Truckee is Donner Lake and Pass, an important transportation corridor over the last 150 years. We hiked the Summit Canyon Trail and enjoyed the views and the history of Donner Pass.

Donner Lake from the Summit Canyon Trail.

Truckee was a pleasant mountain town with lots of cute shops and restaurants and seemed like it would be a good place to spend a few nights if we pass through here again. It had more charm and perhaps slightly less crowds than the towns we drove through around Lake Tahoe a week ago. AND, there are lots of trails around Truckee.

Another birthday rolled around during our stay in Reno and I chose to spend the day immersed in a beautiful garden! Since I can't have my own garden on the road I seek out public gardens whenever possible and the Wilbur D. May Center Arboretum and Botanical Garden did not disappoint. It's located in the Rancho San Rafael Regional Park, whose beautiful grounds include a huge leash free park for dogs, multiple playgrounds, ponds and lots of open space.

Lots of goslings!

Hans is always on the hunt for live Surf music during our travels and he found a local band, The Mighty Surf Lords, were playing on my birthday at Adele's in Carson City. If you happen to be in Carson City, do yourself a favor and eat at Adele's! Very, very tasty dishes, worth every penny! My crispy, panko crusted chili relleno was so good I'm going to try to recreate it myself.

The Mighty Surf Lords at Adele's in Carson City.

We discovered the hip, fun neighborhood in Reno is the Midtown District. Bordered by beautifully restored turn-of-the-centuryish homes, this business district is where you will find a diverse selection of restaurants, unique shops, art and nightlife, without the casino culture prevalent in downtown and other parts of the city.

We also took another great hike, the 9 mile Jones Whites Creek Loop. Though you go from 6,220 ft at the trail head to 8,080 ft at the high point, if you hike counterclockwise the incline is quite gentle the whole way up. A good chunk of the trail is along Whites Creek, the sound of the rushing creek made the climb quite pleasant.

Lots of aspen along the creek beds, I'm sure this would be a very pretty hike in the fall.

Wonderful views into the Sierras.

Tomorrow we head into the mountains of Northern California, where we'll spend a week at Lake Almanor, not too far from Lassen National Park.


  1. Happy Birthday Lisa, wishing you more trails to conquer and enjoy, Cheers!
    And yes agree, Truckee is less crowded than the other cities around it

  2. Happy birthday! I sure appreciated reading about how you spent your time in this area. We purchased our motorhome in Reno and our first stay in it was at the Grand Sierra Casino and RV resort. One major limitation, however, was not yet having a toad! We didn't get to explore much when we were there.

    One of our friends just bought a home in Truckee and she keeps telling me how charming the area is. Another place we need to visit, perhaps on our way to Oregon.

    When you get the panko-crusted chile relleno recipe perfected, let me know! I am guessing you can just replace the last flour dredging with the panko. Sounds yummy.

    1. I actually preferred Carson City over Reno, but the access to the mountains from both areas is excellent.

      There were so many great things about that chile relleno: the crispy coating outside, the shrimp inside, the black bean tomatillo sauce on top...just plain yummy!

  3. Did you catch more of the breweries in Reno? We found some good ones!

    1. We only went to Great Basin, which had good beer and just okay food. I wish we had made it to Silver Peaks.

  4. Sounds like you once again made a great time in busy area. Glad you had a nice birthday:) Looks like a some good hikes!

    We took the motorcycle for a ride last year when we were out west. We lucked out and they opened the road through on our last day. There were two fires that closed the roads going to the park and two fires in the park. All the firefighters were staying in the campgrounds. The drive through was quite an experience. They had only opened the road at noon the day we decided to give it a try. Looking forward to seeing what you find with a longer stay.

  5. Happy Birthday! Isn't it fun to spend birthdays on the road? My birthday last December started out in a bug-infested swamp in an impending thunderstorm, but vastly improved when we moved the party to Sanibel Island. The pleasures of mobile life! Adele's sounds delicious -- and how fun to find music, too. We're always in search out music in our travels.

  6. Happy Birthday Lisa. Glad you managed to find plenty of flowers to enjoy. The more time we spend in the boonies, the less we seem to embrace the cities. I'm sure there's a happy balance we'll find :-)

  7. Happy Birthday Lisa....I think I just want to follow in your tracks! What beautiful hikes you had there.

  8. Have you been to Lassen before? There are some amazing hikes in the park. Hope you had a wonderful birthday!