Two weeks after departing our lot in Indio, we are about five hundred miles to the North, straight up US Route 395. Along the way, we stopped for one night in Adelanto, CA, then three nights in Bishop, CA and tomorrow we break camp of seven nights in Carson City, NV.

As there’s not much to say about Adelanto, CA…I won’t say much. In our time living on the road, this was one of only a handful of places where we did not disconnect the Jeep from the motorhome. True, many of our sites are back-in style, so clearly we need to disconnect on those. That night, Lynn picked a pull-through site for maximum in-and-out convenience. Fun Fact – Non RV’ers may not realize that when towing with a motorhome, you can not back up while connected to the towed (toad) vehicle without causing major damage to the tow bar. The only time that this fact became a limiting factor in our travels was when I got the rig and Jeep stuck sideways across Route 25 in Travelers Rest, SC, in the pouring rain. If you’d like to read about that shit show, look back to the blog titled “Oh Truck” in August 2019. So, it’s been only ten days since Adelanto…I remember nothing, and let’s move on.

The four photos below illustrate the change after leaving Adelanto.

Leaving Adelanto

The next stop was in Bishop, CA and we had a decent time visiting that quirky town. Honestly, the only highlight I can think to share is Erick Schat’s Bakery, so adjust your expectations accordingly. This gorgeous bakery and their Sheepherder Bread have been around since 1938. Other than once to make Lynn French Toast, we probably have never had a loaf of bread in the rig, but did I mention that Erick Schat’s makes Apple Fritters? Those can be put to use in this family, so we both got one the day we arrived, and just to be sure of their quality, purchased two more as a treat / sugar pick-me-up on our drive out of Bishop. I’d loved to have posted a photo of the fritters, but they did not stick around long.

The other thing we did in Bishop was drive to Mammoth Mountain Ski Resort. Along the East side of the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range in Eastern California, its base elevation is 7,953 feet with a top elevation of 11,053 feet. They have snow making equipment to cover 477 acres and have a lift capacity of 50,000 people per hour. While their normal annual snowfall amount is 400 inches, this year they received 700 inches, the highest in history. Their website says that skiing will continue this year all the way to at least July 31.

Along the way to Mammoth, we tried to visit a thermal creek flowing with hot water, but the road was still buried with snow. Before we had to turn around, we came upon a beautiful bald eagle literally standing on top of a 15-20 foot snow bank at the edge of the road. We did not get the camera out in time before it flew off, but it was a wonderful precursor to the nature in Alaska! Leaving Bishop and climbing 3,800 feet to the base of Mammoth yielded a drop in temperature of 25 degrees.

While not a skier, the village around Mammoth seemed strange in that there really was not one aligned with the ski resort. There is a small retail area a few miles from the skiing area, but nothing like any other ski resort I have seen. As we continued towards what we thought would be a village like Whistler or Vail, we started seeing vehicles parked along the road with about two miles to go. Apparently here, you lug your equipment along the road from your parked car and enjoy the burn of lower oxygen levels at almost 9,000 feet.

All in all, seems a pretty shitty way to set up a ski resort, but that’s me. We did support the local town with the purchase of an excellent IPA and peanut butter porter at Distant Brewing and got to talk with the partly-friendly owner. Might I go on record to say that while Lynn and I do enjoy well-made craft beers, $8.00 pints with another 8.25% tax, pre-tip is, most of the time, not worth it to me. OK, sure, $20 for two beers out the door at an amazing location might be something I can rationalize, but then to see these same beers at the store selling for $10 / $11 for a six pack is just nonsense.

We were treated to beautiful views and increasing temperatures on our way back down the mountain to Bishop.

There was a rodeo in town for the weekend, but it was middle school and high school kids participating and let’s just say…I didn’t have a horse in that race, so we passed on attending.

Leaving Bishop, we had a three hour drive North on US Route 395 to our current spot in Carson City, NV. Knowing we’d be driving through some cool scenery, we decided to try our first Facebook Live and stream some of the cool spots. It was awesome seeing friends pop on from Florida, Cozumel, Texas, Georgia, Massachusetts, California, Minnesota and watch us motor down the road. We will do this again, so follow getoutzmap on Facebook in order to catch us live.

Another three and a half hours later after leaving Bishop, we arrived in Carson City, NV and immediately felt stupid realizing that it is Nevada’s state capital. Our first and second nights here brought overnight low temperatures in the mid-20’s and we woke up to light snow on the Jeep. Twelve days ago, it was 100 degrees in Indio. We got a quick peek at the State Capital and felt happy to be retired and wearing casual clothes as so many people were slicked up in fancy attire.

As penance, we visited the Nevada State Museum and it truly was the best $10.00 admission price I’ve ever spent. We enjoyed exhibits ranging from Native Americans to Chinese Woodcutter communities, a super-realistic silver mine in the museum basement and got to see the original coin press in what was the Carson City Mint. Currency was minted here on this site from 1870 – 1893 and all coins were produced from gold and silver.

The next day was wonderful! We got to re-connect with Dave and Patty, two wonderful people that we met twelve years ago on a Celebrity Alaska cruise. Dave was a California firefighter and upon a way-early retirement, they moved to a beautiful mountain-top home overlooking Lake Tahoe. Their home is at an elevation of 7,800 feet. With seven feet of snow on the ground and drifts reaching up and over some two story houses, being up there was freaky and surreal.

While getting together was long overdue (8 years), the timing was difficult. Their daughter (mother of two and four year olds) lost her husband in the recent crash of an air ambulance flight in nearby Stagecoach, NV. While we never met Ed, he was a former Army combat warrior and had recently become a flight nurse. As my therapist says, there is trauma and there is Big T trauma, and I can not imagine a more more horrible situation than what Lauren and her family are going through. Lynn and I were simply ecstatic to provide Dave and Patty a few hours of mindless laughs and hugs. They drove us around the entirety of Lake Tahoe and generously treated us to a wonderful shore-side lunch overlooking the lake. At an elevation of 6,200 feet and 22 miles long and 12 miles wide, it trails only the Great Lakes as largest by volume in the United States. It’s maximum depth is 1,625 feet making it the second deepest lake in the United States, with only Crater Lake (1,949 feet) being deeper. We got to see its only spillway, which releases water into the Truckee River.

Neither Lynn nor I had ever been to Lake Tahoe and we could not have had more wonderful hosts to show us this magnificent part of the United States. You know it’s real friendship when not seeing someone eight years feels like eight weeks.

Yesterday, we visited quirky Virginia City, NV, a town that developed as a boomtown with the 1859 discovery of Comstock Lode, the first major silver deposit in the United States. The population peaked in the mid 1870’s at 25,000 people, while today there are just 787 people living there. Samual Clemens (Mark Twain) even worked at the local newspaper. In four years of full time traveling, this town generated the most authentic representation of an old Western Town that we have yet encountered. With signs prohibiting trucks, busses and RV’s and 15% grade, it was a wild ride both up and back down.

On our way to Carson City, Lynn noticed a familiar-sounding establishment, so on our way back, we took Exit 69 and became Looky Loos. Certainly were not the only drive by’s this (or any other) day.

Never seen a fluorescent green Lexus before, but I guess if you were to find one….this would be the place.

Today, on our final day in the Tahoe / Reno area, we visited…yes, you guessed it – Reno. In my road warrior years at 3M, I never had the occasion to visit Reno. All we really planned to do was visit the Reno Arch and to get a feel for the city. We had lunch at a cute place, but after consuming the sirloin / pancetta / bacon burger that was perhaps medium rare, me and my grumbling stomach steadily made our way back home rather than venture out into much else.

Yesterday was the four year anniversary of our life on the road our Nomadiversary) and tomorrow is our twenty-third wedding anniversary. Tomorrow, Winnemucca, of Johnny Cash’s I’ve Been Everywhere song.

Lynn’s two cents – CA Route 395 has been a spectacular journey. Never did we expect to see this much snow. I mean we had no idea we would be driving in the snow at all! Only took us 4 years to drive from Charleston to Lake Tahoe to see Dave and Patty. We took the long way. Hope we can get together with them again sooner than another 8 years. The visit with them was long overdue and certainly the highlight of this portion of our journey. But North to Alaska we must keep going!

3 Comments on “US ROUTE 395 NORTH

  1. Had I known you would be in Carson City, I would have HIGHLY recommended Red’s Old 395 Grill. Great BBQ and other dishes…oh and a veritable library of beers and ales. It’s one of Traci Arnds favorite places too.

    Liked by 1 person

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