Pacific Northwest Day 3 – CA to NV

Day three was the last driving day of the trip. It was about 6.5 hours driving without stops.  

Since I hadn’t eaten the night before, I got up early and picked at the free breakfast at the hotel. It was pretty gross. I had found from searching online that one of the other two hotels in the town sold Starbucks coffee in their cafe. The cafe was historical and quaint. I drove a few minutes around the town, saw some deer in the streets, and then continued south toward Susanville.  

The road from Alturas to Susanville was covered in smoke and pretty flat. There were great views from afar, but nothing worth getting out of the car for. One of the “unincorporated communities” I drove through had a population of something like 3 people. Talk about a small town.

Arriving in Susanville, I knew it was a real town since it had a Starbucks. I grabbed lunch at the grocery store, some snacks for the road, and coffee of course. 

It was another few hours across pretty flat land until you started to reach the hills and mountains just north of Lake Tahoe. I stopped in Truckee on my way and it was one of the best little small towns I’d been in. It was one of the stops on the TransContinental Railroad that was built just after the Civil War. The shops had a variety of mountain and current treasures, there were a variety of restaurants, and history up and down the streets.

From Truckee, I drove to South Lake Tahoe. Since it was Labor Day weekend, it was packed with tourists. There was so much traffic and people parked all over the steep slopes of the mountains. I was able to stop a few times and take in the views and they were absolutely spectacular.

After an afternoon by the lake, I checked into my hotel in Carson City and then drove to Virginia City.  The City was established in 1859 and had mines with silver deposits. The city sits at 6150 feet above sea level. The drive up is full of steep turns. When at the top, there’s a variety of places to see. There’s historical tours, shops, bars and saloons, and a variety of fun things to do. I had dinner at the Red Dog Saloon and then headed down a different route out of town called the Six Mile Canyon Road. There were breathtaking views the entire way down.

Before flying out of Reno NV back to PA,  stopped at Geiger Lookout Wayside Park. It’s just south of the city and had incredible views of the city of Reno. It was only a total 30 minute detour but was an excellent last peak at the city before headed home.  

Overall this was one of my favorite trips to date and I did it alone. I really didn’t understand how awesome traveling alone can be. You make the plans, go at your own pace, and spend time getting to know yourself. (Cliche, I know). But it’s incredible. Overall those three days really were magical as were the landscapes. I am already planning a trip back.  

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