Under Way Again
Trip Start Apr 17, 2011
23Trip End Jul 20, 2011
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We left Kathy's Dad's place at Pleasanton around 8.20am yesterday to go and pick up the camper trailer that we had hired, though only seen closed once briefly, and we had no idea what it would be like inside, so packing was rather difficult. When we arrived at the pick up home Ron had the 2 campers out side as he was expecting us. It turned out that as he was preparing the newer one (that he had suggested would be best for us) that he damaged it & it wouldn't rise, so he was then preparing the original one that we had expected to hire
We travelled N/E through the California capitol of Sacramento and up into the mountains passing an old family holiday spot of Kathleen's, Donner Lake, and bypassing another favourite spot, Lake Tahoe. By the time we got to Donner Lake & it's town called Truckee, we had driven through snow clad mountains and came into an unseasonal snowstorm. At one stage visibility was quite bad not due to the snow, but due to the steam coming of the road after the snow as the contrast between the air temperature which was 31 degrees (below freezing) and the road temperature caused the steam effect. Anyway as we travelled further we quickly left the snow and cold and the roads were dry again. However we were still one of this is unusual in those areas but not normal for the 1st day of summer.
We made quite good progress for our 1st day and travelled just over 600 miles, that's over 960 kms. The roads are all at least dual lane each way separated so that you are never facing oncoming traffic directly. Another thing of interest to me is that since the snow yesterday lunch time we have been travelling in desert areas. In Australia we don't have high altitude desert so to be on roads with snow markers and warnings travelling between snow capped peaks is not our norm! I have also enjoyed seeing the high number of freight trains travelling across the desert, some very long, and often with 2 loco's at both the front & end.
We spent last night in Nevada at a reasonable size town with several Casinos and 26 hotels/motels as it is a good overnight stop for travellers and there seems to be a lot of mining type of ventures and employees around, who also live in the motels and the good RV/trailer parks that the town had, and eat at the good food places.
Then today on a border town we discovered that we were virtually at the Bonneville Salt Flats and speedway in Utah, so decided to take the road out to the sight. Obviously we had been seeing and travelling with salt flats either side of us, but it was a real surprise to find that the destination was no more than a sealed turn around at the end of the sealed road
We have a loan of Colleen (Kathy's sister) & Gary's Chevrolet Silverado light truck/ute which is a very good vehicle and it has made this trip possible. As big as it seems to us it is just a baby on the roads we have been travelling. Interestingly the speed limit has been 75mph(120kmh) through the desert country and I am passed by more motorists than I pass. Two that passed me at speed today were a heavily laden VW family van like Ros & Shane Hinton have, and a Toyota Prius like Kelly & Ian Carter have. Both were pulled over by the Highway Patrol along the route, so they gained nothing and lost a bit I am sure. Everywhere the traffic seems so fast, and whether in cities or country it always seems to be at least 5 mph faster than the speed limit. So we are constantly passed, but that doesn't matter.
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