We headed north along Hwy 395 towards Carson City and Lake Tahoe to join our friends Nina and Paul, and Todd and Russ one last time before our routes diverged. Along the way we passed more fabulous California scenery and cute towns.
We camped at a Nevada State Park recommended by Nina, Washoe Lake State Park, which turned out to be a wonderful place – read my review here. This was Island Girl’s first time in Nevada and the northernmost point we would visit on Hwy 395 for the time being.
This stop was also important to handle some “business” items – mail, laundry, for Hector to fix some maintenance items with our pantry drawers and doors (he did), having a new water pump installed (hired that out), some car maintenance, shopping and a couple of other items.
It was also our last chance to socialize with these friends for awhile, as we were headed east towards Yellowstone National Park, and they were headed north to Oregon. We will likely meet up down south sometime in the winter. We have had so much fun with them over the last few months!
And socialize we did. Carson City had some excellent restaurants, we dined at a Vietnamese and a Thai one. We also visited Reno shortly on another restaurant outing, this time Mexican, also excellent. And of course, had a couple of fun gatherings.
A few days after we arrived, our friends went on their way north. Safe travels friends!
Next up was a visit to Lake Tahoe. We went on a ski trip to Heavenly Valley several winters ago, but had never visited in the summer. And the winter we skied there was cloudy and snowy all week and I never saw the lake from the top of the ski hill.
Of course, Lake Tahoe had big shoes to fill after Mono Lake. And frankly, it is not a fair comparison, Mono Lake is a fairly remote lake, Lake Tahoe is a much, much larger lake with a combination of a few remote areas and several highly developed ones along its shores.
But Lake Tahoe does have its own “celebrity” status – it is the largest alpine lake in North America, the second deepest in the United States after Crater Lake and the sixth largest by volume after the five great lakes. Only part of its shoreline is in Nevada, with the majority of it in California. And Lake Tahoe has a number of beautiful coves, beaches and “secret” spots.
So we decided to visit Lake Tahoe once again. And we also returned to Reno for some great shopping at a couple of discount outlets, most notably the Patagonia Outlet – highly recommended. We found a couple of nicely discounted coats there.
On our return to Lake Tahoe, we drove around another side of it and hiked down to one of its beaches for some evening photography. We wound up hiking back up in the dark. Ay, ay, ay. We hiked up a different trail that Hector thought would be easier but led us to a different parking area than where our car was (which we knew). And Hector walked down the road over to the next parking area in the dark with a headlamp on the back of his head and a flashlight in his hand. People driving by the parking lot must have wondered who this crazy lady was in the parking lot in the dark by herself, only to find a crazy man wandering down the road. Anyway, all was well in the end.
That is when we discovered Gordon’s Photo Service in Carson City – a great photography store, with another location in Reno. The gentleman in the Carson City store called Reno, they had the part, and someone from that store who was working in Carson City the next day brought it down. Great service and decent prices too. Who knew?
All in all a great ending to our journey north on Hwy 395.