Reno, Sparks, Leisure Suit Larry

Well, it didn’t snow but it sure got cold.  The last few days have been overcast with rain and snow showers.  One evening we came out of Walmart and got pelted with large flakes of wet snow.  Yesterday it finally cleared up and as soon as the sun went down it got extremely cold.  The heater kept coming on and a check of the outside temperature showed it was somewhere close to 22 degrees.  Yikes!  Thankfully the basement heater came on and kept the water lines from freezing.  The morning sun directly hit the front window and the coach mercifully warmed up.  According to the weather reports, this should be the last of the really cold weather for a while.

A through-the-windshield shot of downtown Reno, Nevada.

Yesterday we drove north to check out the Reno/Sparks area.  We were in Reno about 20 years ago and expected to see something close to what we remembered.  It wasn’t even close.  It was development run wild and we were astounded at the thousands of homes, offices and shopping centers built around the area.  Now we know where all the people from California ended up!  The area isn’t for us and was somewhat of a disappointment.

We also took a drive south to the towns of Minden and Gardnerville, both of which somewhat retained their rural feel.  Driving around the area we stumbled onto the fairgrounds, shooting range, dump and animal shelter.  This is useful information; if we ever settle here we can buy livestock, shoot, take out the trash and adopt a pet.  Life can be good.

We’re getting a feel for the region.  Generally, the area includes a series of valleys along the base of the eastern slope of the Sierras.  With the weather coming from the west, the valleys are sheltered.  In fact, they are surprisingly dry.  Almost every day we can see it is snowing in the mountains, but it rarely spills over here.  I can see why people like it here. 

Our workouts have gotten easier as we adjust to the altitude.  Running on a treadmill is boring and I hope the weather will clear so we can run outside in the afternoon.  At least the gym offers unlimited hot water for showers.

One evening, not wanting to cook, we decided to try a local casino for dinner.  Years ago I played a computer game named Leisure Suit Larry, where an thoroughly obnoxious character wearing a leisure suit navigates through a smoke-glass-and-chrome furnished resort trying to curry favor with the scantily clad ladies.  The tacky interior decor of the Fandango Casino in Carson City reminded us of the game.  Clean, but tacky.  There had to be some sort of connection, it was just too close to be a coincidence.  Anyway, there was nothing memorable about the meal.

As usual, we’re learning our way around and getting comfortable with the community.  On one of our trips of discovery, Jeanne spotted a sign that directed us to a trap range.  It really was a nice range, but an industrial park has completely surrounded it.  The neighbors are nervous and the city wants the land.  At least the city is willing to relocate the range.  If this was in California the range wouldn’t have a chance.

We plan to do more sightseeing over the coming weeks, including an overnight trip to Winnemucca.  We have no idea what is there, but it will be interesting to find out.  Of course we’ll take a day trip to Lake Tahoe, weather permitting.