Roving Retrievers-Tails and Trails

A “tail” of two Golden Retrievers (and their humans)as they travel west:

Day 66, South Lake Tahoe, CA-Elko, NV 347 miles, 5 hours 50 min

We’re all beat! It’s hard to roll out of bed and we need to get back on the road.

MJ and Bobby have spent the last two days at the ultimate doggie hang out. Playing at an indoor doggie playground with 20 of their new “besties”. No doubt MJ found a corner where he could be left alone most of the day but based on his lack of will to do anything once we picked him up, he must have spent his two days joining in on at least some of the action. On the other end of that spectrum, I think Bobby most likely led the charge and kept all the other dogs active whether they wanted to be active or not, I don’t think they had a choice. The fact is the boys were very tired and it’s just what we needed. Two sleeping dogs in the car as we are headed to Park City, UT.

Park City by car from South Lake Tahoe is a full 10-hour drive. We have zero interest in sitting in the car that long so we look at a map and decide Elko, NV will be our destination stop for the day. We originally planned two days to drive to Park City so we are fine with a planned stop as our legs are tired from skiing in the deep snow. Sue and I have never skied in such conditions so the extra day of rest between our ski destinations will suit us just fine.

After a quick breakfast we pack up and are ready to go in short order. We have done this enough that now it’s no big deal. We spent the evening before getting most of our things together so once we feed and let the dogs outside, it’s mere minutes and we get everyone in the car.

Once in the car, as hoped MJ and Bobby are absolutely zonked. Not only did the two days of hyper activity contribute to their current state but they are now very accustomed to the long car rides. On travel days the rear of the SUV is configured in a manner that is different than the time while we are staying at a destination. As soon as we open the car door and tell them to get in, a brief look around the interior of the car and they know today is another long day in the car, a rest day. MJ has seniority and is allowed to get in the car first, he concludes he’s in for the long haul and immediately lies down. Bobby jumps in next but he needs five to ten minutes to make his final assessment before he finally concedes, let’s out a loud sigh and starts his long day of rest.

Today the skies are partly sunny. As we depart South Lake Tahoe the highway runs along the south and east edge of Lake Tahoe. When the sun pops out of the clouds the color of Lake Tahoe is a deep blue allowing us to imagine how beautiful the summers are here. Our route takes us through Carson City, (never been), and Reno. While we drive through the outskirts of Reno at 75 miles per hour, the city looks exactly as I had envisioned. I’m not a gambler, never have been in fact I never quite understood the addiction to losing money so it’s very easy for us to take in the view from less than two miles away and get on with today’s mission-get to Elko before the boys get restless.

We finally get on the interstate in Reno which, in my mind makes me think we are officially under way. We left South Lake Tahoe with several feet of snow on the ground and 45 minutes later patches of snow on the ground is all the snow we now get to see, I think that will change as we near Park City.

Every state we’ve driven through, every area we’ve visited has it’s own exclusive geographical signature. Northern Nevada is no different. Even though I have never driven through this area, it’s exactly as one would imagine. Some would probably tell you it’s a boring drive. At times you can see the highway is perfectly straight for at least ten miles but the surrounding area is astonishingly beautiful. Sue and I are mesmerized by the beauty of it all and talk about it between ourselves often. This is definitely the high, dry desert offering views we are not accustomed to seeing in northern Illinois, so for us, it’s beautiful!

With one quick fuel stop behind us we continue on. The dogs really didn’t want to be bothered with a wake up call to do their thing but they were able to take care of business and we were under way quite quickly. As we press on the weather quickly deteriorated as light rain turned into snow, snow turned into heavy snow as we had about 60 miles to go. As we neared Elko, NV Sue searched for a dog friendly hotel. We’ve done this so often and have always found there to be no trouble locating a place to stay that we are never in a hurry to try and secure a place to spend the night. Elko proves to be no different. The first hotel that pops up on the web search has great ratings so Sue looks no further. An hour of gripping the steering wheel a little harder than normal and we pull off the highway, happy to have that portion of the trip behind us.

A quarter mile off the highway, and we pull in. Tonight…we are staying at a casino! It’s a cheesy brightly lit up marquise that tells us we are at the right spot. Sue runs in to check in. The good news is the hotel is in a separate building from the casino but it’s rather stereo typical at best and we get a good chuckle out of the experience.

We walk into the room and are pleasantly surprised at how clean and large the room was. We quickly settle in, feed the dogs and rush on over to the casino for dinner. Of course I ordered the prime rib and it’s exactly as one would expect at such a place. That’s ok as we have a great room and that’s all we need. As soon as we get moving tomorrow we’ll be on our way once again!

For now, we need to get out of our smoke-filled clothes and shove them in a plastic bag…like I said, stereo typical!