RENO BY BUS 3X October 30, 2013

Again badly in need of some weight loss, I chose to get away from the fridge. With sun forecast all about much of the Pacific Southwest, I longed for another road trip. Alas, no one comes forward to do any of this! People do have jobs and commitments, but I seek someone like myself. There are retired, jobless, and independently wealthy, but I assume hiking is never one of their priorities.

Up at a moderate hour in the early morning, I determined excellent rates for travel, so couldn’t resist. I’d get a round trip to Reno, NV, for 12. There had been a new snowfall, and perhaps some fall colors still existed at my destination. I did more research for dining and things to do, and to spare me lodging, however also highly reasonable, I opted to do this trip in a day. I’d have about two hours to spend in Reno, plenty of time to do what I wished. My main interest was to video the sights along the Interstate. The goal would be to see how fast and conveniently that I can make my post. New hardware and software would aid in this.

Leaving home at about 8:30 a.m., I took the light rail out to the Cal State campus. It is a slight walk on often street, with no good sidewalk, but I needed some exercise. I did photos to remember how it was, as most students go from the train to the bus. Taking Folsom Boulevard east, I had some slight memory of this street, not changed that much from when I cycled down its length to get to Folsom, CA, even to do a circle of the lake.

Shortly, I came to the street that leads into the University grounds. I passed the parking lot, with numerous cars still commuting, the polluting way. Very few electric or similar. A hardly used shuttle went by. Yes, if not for enviro minded politicians, it would still be like the 1950’s. No vision, here. My goal was to visit an outdoor rec venue. I knew my directions by computer maps. New buildings, but same old mentalities. Such a school isn’t famed for smarter students.

Getting to the office, I spoke with a staff person. Not much doing as far as true adventure. A backpack to Point Reyes, and a strong emphasis on cycling. They refused to suggest much about student groups to do anything, as I recalled a “Sac Packers” way back in the 1970’s. Long gone. With the excellent, central location for exploration of the Pacific West, there looked to be near zero interest. Cars, not pedal power, and brown, not green. Stupidity, not smarts. I had discontinued my formal education from here, with a total lack of any inspiration or genius from faculty. Maybe it’s the then smog, but intelligent individuals are sadly lacking.

Having then to catch the intercity bus back at the light rail station, I shortly left to go back a slightly different way. I imagine to be using this transportation venue a lot for this winter, so made sure to check things out. Back to the bus lot, I looked for my bus. This was the first time that I had picked it up here. Waiting, I started fearing that it was also lost. I checked other possible locales, and then it was there. About a half load or so stood in line, and I presented my printed copy of my reservation number.

Getting a front seat for my video, this was great! The windshield was a bit dirty, but then I had paid all that I did for the hotel view, last road trip, and it also had not been washed recently. While I keep my own car windshield clean as needed, I guess that you get what you get. There had been the old hiking club carpools, where drivers didn’t particularly care if they could see anything in front of them, and even imbibe heavily, previous to high skilled level driving.

We took off a bit late, and motored on streets to U.S. 50 westbound. I had my camera running, and we then headed eastbound on Business 80. It was late morning, and though there was sun and reflections, I timed it well enough so that the light favored the sights ahead. Me running video sporadically, we passed Roseville, Auburn, Colfax, and then Yuba Gap. My new batteries were not as good as the brand name ones as far as charge. My experience is that some of those fail almost immediately.

Into the snow country, I made sure to have a record. There was still road work ongoing, and we had to slow in a spot or two. Passing Kingvale, then over Donner Summit, we soon were passing the sight of Donner Peak. I had to replace another battery, and then it was the Truckee River Canyon. Coming into Reno, I like the sight of the casino high rises. A dramatic view as one passes the West McCarran Exit. We exited on the now beautiful freeway, and arrived about on time.

I entered the casino to first use the restroom. Figuring to play cards a bit, I found a appropriate table. Winning to double my bet, a waitress came by to ask for drinks. I ordered a non-alcoholic beer, then ceased play, as I didn’t want to have to gamble more or to have to leave the table before my drink came. The beer finally came, and I then started to lose. Only then a loss of $20, I left a small tip as appreciation for the time spent. I have enjoyed 21 since I was a child, also poker, with even a toy roulette wheel to entertain friends.

As I finished the beer in the casino, I looked for a waste container to place it in. Near the door, I spotted the solar waste container outside, so went through the door to deposit the bottle. Doing this, I apparently had inadvertently violated the open container law posted on the sign there. I held the bottle next to the sign with the name of the city, failing to read or comprehend the rules, which I didn’t realize till viewing the video. I mean no disregard or disrespect for Nevada law, and if someone could please advise me legally, I would be pleased to hear about it.

I did some research on the Net about this, and recalled back to 1979, where a hiker in my carpool had started drinking beer, albeit not non-alcoholic like mine, this day, as I was driving the car. That may have been in or just out of the State line, I fail to recall exactly. While I have had my drinking days, urged on by members of the old hiking club, I stopped my beer drinking as I left that club, definitely a bad influence. Lately, with only a shorter time left in my life, I have noted the drinking crowds by many places, and would like to see less being under any influence, therefore the non-alcoholic beer. I deem it flavorful as regular beer, not say as diet soda to regular soda. While I know alcohol is a toxin, no hiking club member had any big objection to it. Then, they too don’t actively support clean indoor air laws.

Taking South Virginia, I sought to dine on the Truckee River. I took photos as I walked, then came to the top rated eatery by their own website. It was a glass, then two, of lemonade mango, then fish tacos. Delectable! One of the staff remembered me from last summer, and now there was good Wi-Fi. I left only a modest tip, and ventured to the Riverwalk. There were pigeons, and ducks. The fountains and waterfalls made for video, and I thought that it was quite pleasant.

With time, I headed back north on Sierra Street, passing by living high rises as well as run down areas. Eventually, Reno will be a new, modern town, as Vegas has become, and the future of Nevada peak climbing may well be including entertaining base camps, spacious highways compared to California, and more friendly attitudes toward outdoor fitness. The bus came by a bit late, with a good crowd waiting.

I was the last to board, not that interested in capturing any more video. The sun would be ahead, and there was no late afternoon drama. I had an aisle seat, and declined to do much than telephotos out the side. My batteries had run low, although I had a spare camera, but sought to enjoy the ride. We ran into traffic coming into town, and even then came to the light rail station not too late.

The train came by fast, and I paid the total then of $5 to get home. Getting to a nice, favorite, new dining, the staff was especially friendly, and I had another non-alcoholic beer with a cheese plate to savor another safe and successful jaunt into the mountains, with now better tools to get it all online.

Walking maybe 3 miles, I spent about 80 cash, with the 17.50 total fare. It is 140 miles each way. Capturing 341 images and movie clips, I didn’t drive at all. For my peak buddy, it would have been some $200 in fuel and wear and tear, not counting insurance. He would spend only say 10 for food, though, as he is pleased by mediocre fare, and the gourmet preparations would go wasted on him. There are hikers to stuff themselves on greasy, tepid fries. Quality seafood, the freshest ingredients, and no detectable pesticides are my drift. And a clear watered river to flow by me as I ate, as with my backpacking and hiking, not the muddy, toxic laden, altered watercourses that many say is the best beauty. Better a pristine forest, versus an oil refinery. But then where some hikers prefer to spend their time!