Fun Stuff© ‘Round Reno NV and Transit to the PRC

Ya know…I been wonderin’ for a buncho years now jus’ what kinda bear I am. I’m sort of the color of a cinnamon grizzly but definitely don’t really look like a grizzly. I reviewed every known bear type and really can’t figure out which one I’m descended from. Based on recent things I’ve done tho’…I’m thinking I’m descended from the prehistoric cat-bear. But I digress…more on my lineage a bit later.

Thursday we set off for a day trip over to Virginia City, NV…which as many of you probably remember was the site of the Comstock Lode in 1859…this was the first major silver…and gold…deposit discovered in the US…quite a bonanza of silver and gold were pulled out of the ground around the city. It’s been pretty much preserved as a tourist trap/old west town…pretty cool albeit not quite as cool as Dawson City in the Yukon was.

We headed south on our 40 or so minute drive…the first part was down I-80/I-580 then we exited onto NV-342 and summited over Geiger Summit at 6,789 feet…a sequential summit elevation.

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After summiting we got back down to only about 6,200 feet as we entered into Virginia City…we parked Big Red along the side of the main drag as it was still early enough that parking was available. We wandered around town for a couple of hours and got some pretty neat pictures of the Old West Stuff.

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Ya’ll should recognize this map…well, maybe not all of ya’ll but only those of a certain age. It’s the map that was displayed during the theme song for the TV show Bonanza from 1959-1973. That’s Pa and Hoss on the left and Adam and Little Joe on the right. Their fictional ranch named “The Ponderosa” was situated on the north end of Lake Tahoe in the Virginia City area. After the show ended there was a tourist attraction centered around the show down near the lake but it’s not defunct. Neil’s mom visited it back in the early 70s when she came out to visit her sister Rose but it’s no longer open to the public. Dun da da lun da da lun da da lun da da lada lada lon don…go ahead, say that last part real fast out loud.

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The chandelier in the old Crystal Saloon that is now the visitor center for the town.

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Friday we did laundry and then met our friends Frank and Gail Mascari for dinner…Frank is the Exalted Ruler (head honcho) at our Elks Lodge #2742 down in Fort Myers. They we’re in Reno for the annual Elks convention which was over but they were staying the weekend to see Virginia City and Lake Tahoe. We had a very nice 3 hours or so visiting…had a brew at the bar and then dinner at the seafood buffet. The only drawback was the parking garage…it had a vertical clearance of 7 feet and Big Red is 6 foot 8 inches tall…so we cleared the ceiling by a whole 4 inches. Getting into the garage wasn’t too bad…not crowded and we parked up on level 8 of 9. Getting out at 1930 was a whole ‘nuther thing though…a constant stream of cars going up hunting for a space and us trying to get down…we had to back and jack several times to get around the corners and all the idiots that saw somebody getting into a car and just blocked traffic for 5 minutes until they moved…making sure they properly blocked anybody else from either getting into the space or getting down the ramp. What a zoo.

Saturday was a planned trip down to and ‘round Lake Tahoe…which is supposed to be pretty cool. This where the cat-bear thing comes in. As you may know…or maybe not, I have no idea what you do and don’t know…a lot of folks have either a dog or a cat for a pet. Dogs are subordinate to their pack leader and have owners. Cats…well, they consider themselves superior to mere humans and what they have is staff to do their bidding.

I realized that said trip down to Lake Tahoe from Reno…which sits at an elevation of just 4,300 feet or so…would require a trip over the top of Rose Mountain Pass…which tops out at 8,911 feet above sea level. At that point…I realized that I should just dispatch my minions…Connie and Neil…to do the trip and bring me back some photos for the blog. When they agreed…I just figured they were my staff…and that makes me basically a cat I reckon…but then a conundrum arose. I’m clearly a bear and not a cat…take a look at the masthead on the blog and you’ll almost certainly agree with me. So the only thing I can figger is that way back in the prehistoric dinosaur days past…there musta been something known as a cat-bear that had a lot of the characteristics of both a cat and a bear and hence the predilection for staff came down through the millennia to me. Either that…or there was some strange mating goin’ on back then between saber tooth cats and prehistoric bears. I dunno…but since my mama bear never mated with a cat it musta been way before I was a gleam in my daddy’s eye.

I gotta tell ya though…Connie and Neil pretty much thought that Lake Tahoe was a bust. There were way, way, way too many peoples running around down there. They did get a good brew and some lunch at the Brewery at Lake Tahoe…but beyond a few pictures that…mostly…had to be snapped on the move as there just wasn’t any room to pull Big Red over and park.

Here’s a shot of Neil sitting at lunch…Connie took this when he wasn’t looking.

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Yeah…it really is that blue.

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We got back after about 6 hours…much longer than we anticipated but the traffic…especially around the west side of the lake where we were after lunch…was awful. Numerous traffic jams and about 3x as many cars on the roads as they would really take and just about no parking at all available.

All in all…pretty much of a bust as we couldn’t really park anywhere and the crowds were crazy.

Sunday was Mass and getting ready to go…although Neil did grill a pork loin and some corn on the cob and grilled mushrooms with balsamic vinegar, basil pesto, and parmesan cheese to go with the pork.

Monday we got up early, packed, hitched, and were on the road by about 0915. Shortly afterwards…we entered the PRC…otherwise known as the People’s Republic of California…the land of granola because everything that isn’t a fruit or a nut is a flake.

As we crossed the border from Nevada…in the first mile there were 8 signs with rules of either things we had to do or things we weren’t allowed to do…starting with “$1,000 fine for animal abandonment” We traversed across US-395 and CA-44 through Lassen Volcanic National Park…and the nanny state was in full force. There were way too many recommendations to slow down for curves that weren’t actually very curvy and signs to slow for grades that weren’t actually very significant grade…but all the truck and agricultural inspection stations were closed…guess that’s what happens when you basically have a bankrupt state due to all the socialism and give away programs that they’ve instituted.

We arrived at Mountain Gate RV in Redding CA about 1400 and got setup in site 76…nice level full hookup site with satellite visibility. We’ll be here for 10 days…it will be in the low 100s almost every day we’re here.

More Fun Stuff© to follow.

Interesting things found on the net this week.

This one wasn’t actually found on the net but at a gift shop in Virginia City…they wouldn’t let us take a photo though…but I’ll describe it for you. It was a pair of 8×10 signs you could post on the wall.

Democrat…because it’s easier than getting a job.

Republican…because not everybody can be on welfare.

Lots of truth in those statement Ima thinking.

It finally happened…hell has frozen over.


I would be worried.


I wonder how fast that roller coaster was going.


Don’t leave your children unattended at Whole Paycheck…aka Whole Foods.


For the Doctor Who fans amongst you.


And finally…you think your city’s potholes are bad.



About Gunther

The full time RV travels and experiences of Gunther the Bear and Kara the Dog…along with their human staff neil and Connie.
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4 Responses to Fun Stuff© ‘Round Reno NV and Transit to the PRC

  1. Mj Trainor says:

    OMG! Awesome pix! Reminds me of the trip Steen and I took when we were 4 and 12 respectively to “Annie’s house” in Sparks, NV; can’t remember the name of the street. We flew in/out with Aunt Grace/Reno Granny! So glad allayalls went to the Bonanza ranch; I remember Mom and Dad went there and brought back the “cups”! Think I have a few really old grainy pix from that visit iffin the cat bear wants to see ’em!! Ima trying to get used to adulting again/aka job and hope to follow blog more regularly! Huggems, BabySis

    • Neil Laubenthal says:

      I remember when mom and dad went out there. I was in Kate grammar or early high school. They visited the now defunct Bonanza amusement park but I don’t remember much more from their trip.


      The three kinds of stress…nuclear, cooking and a&&hole. Jello is the key to the relationship.


  2. Mj Trainor says:

    ps forgot to mention that it was “our first plane ride”! 🙂 Think we were in Sparks for 3 weeks? Uncle Myron was still alive, as was Annie, and either or both of Aunt Grace/Reno Granny were living there at Annie’s house!

  3. Mj Trainor says:

    The Lodge Annie’s clan used to run was called “Brooke’s Lodge” I think on Lake Tahoe! (sp?)

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