When we told people about our upcoming vacation, and that part of it would be in Reno, most responded, “Reno?! Why Reno?” Often I answered, “Why not?” When we lived in San Francisco, we spent our summer vacations hiking and camping around Nevada. My husband in particular is fond of the basin-and-range topography. We actually had wanted to stay in Carson City, the state capital, but I couldn’t find us a decent Airbnb. I must confess, I love Airbnb. I love staying in a neighborhood where I can pretend, for my short visit, that I live there. I love being able to eat-in instead of having to dine out, which of course saves a lot of $$$.
Greg suggested Reno when my Airbnb search in Carson City came up empty. Besides, we both noted, the airport is right there.
(1) we woke to find our rental car had a flat tire and so Greg had to change it out with the spare, then we had to find a Budget place nearby and switch out the car. This was the Saturday before Labor Day, mind you, and getting service was no easy task.
(2) I-80 is a slog. Stop-and-go almost the entire 200+ miles.
Lucky for us, I have a friend along the way, near Auburn, and we were able to take a break and visit with him and his wife, their dog and transient cat in their very lovely home. Some of you know this friend: Kevin Brennan. Yeah, THAT Kevin Brennan! Woot! It was great fun to sit with Kevin and Sue and drink ice water (have I mentioned yet how hot it was) and talk about writing and politics. It would have been more fun if we hadn’t had that flat tire and been able to arrive in time for lunch. Eh, it was a wonderful respite nonetheless. Meeting Kevin face-to-face was the highlight of that day for me. We’ve been “virtual” friends for about four or five years now. It was nice to get a real hug from him instead of an emoji.
By the time we got to Reno, it was dusk, my husband’s eyes were itchy, and we were bickering about how to find the condo we were renting. We found it.
Our condo was on the seventh floor, high enough for Greg to do a day-to-night timelapse from our window.
Watch the video and you’ll see fireworks at the end. Seriously, fireworks. A block from our condo are several casinos. We assume the fireworks were some kind of promotion or entertainment. They definitely were entertaining for us.
Reno is an interesting city, definitely a work in progress. We met a friend of a friend who has been living in Reno for the last couple of years. She’s an artist and is very excited about the developing art scene. It was fun to walk around with her, but it was also hot and very, very dry. I have to admit, I felt unsettled, uneasy from the moment we arrived in Reno. While I know Greg and I are on the hunt for affordable living way west of where we currently live, I wished we had stayed in Lagunitas for a second week.
I never shook off my uneasiness. Some of it was a sense of foreboding, some of it was fatigue. Even though Reno is a walkable city, it was too hot and dry to walk much. But when we walked, I took lots of photos. The photos below are grouped by location rather than time.
The Truckee River literally runs through Reno, bisecting it into North Reno and South Reno. We had a view of the river from our living room window, and it is a wonderful amenity. One late afternoon, I took off by myself to just walk along the paved path that follows the river. Here’s my favorite photo from that walk:
Reno is investing in its creative potential. Whimsical metal sculptures, colorful murals give a lift to the otherwise grimy, gritty feel of the city, especially where the casinos are. The grittiness never left me, though, and thanks to the dry air, by the end of the week I was having nosebleeds.
Yeah, that bad.
We had more adventures ahead of us, some fun, some … not so fun. Tales of our time in Nevada will be continued so stay tuned.