2019 - West Coast USA - Day 11
We had a lazy start to the morning, although as breakfast chef I was on top form with porridge beautifully cooked in the now replaced microwave.
After that we decided to wander down to the Lake at the end of our road. It was yet another beautiful morning. There was a large Timeshare building on the waterfront with a few shops and the opportunity to partake in many different water activities. They were all very expensive to do. There was also a cafe that was doing a roaring trade and so we got a table outside and had a couple of drinks. It was all very pleasant so much so that we didn’t know whether to cancel our plans for the day and just mooch around the Lake for another day.
In the end we decided to carry with our plan to visit Reno as we may never do so again. Back at the Hotel I reminded the owner that they had agreed to accept a parcel for me that was being delivered by Amazon today (This was Plan B - To get my Golf Shoes). They confirmed again it was no problem and they would put the package in our room once delivered. I told them we were planning on visiting Reno and they were surprised that anyone would want to. They suggested we visit Virginia City instead of or as well as. They even went as far as printing off a route for us.
We had a quick sandwich which we made up from our provisions before heading out to follow our new revised plan. It was another stunning drive over the Sierra Nevadas until we came down onto the flats where Carson City was situated. We then drove up the mountains again to reach Virginia City. I am not sure what we were expecting but this was a whole lot more. It is the original town from which first Gold & then Silver was discovered in absolute amazing quantities. The town grew from nothing to 40000+ in almost no time. The Main Street has been maintained as it was, with many original bars and shops from the 18th Century (and others that have been replaced inside by ones selling tourist tat). There was even a mock gun fight going on in one of the venues as we walked past. It was really just as you would imagine an old gold prospecting western town should be.
The visitors centre was now in one of the oldest bars, where they had a list of all the famous people who had had a drink at the bar. The press office where Mark Twain first worked was still there as well. It was a really interesting place to visit and one we would have missed if the Hotel owner had not guided us.
The temperature by now was well over 100f so we were glad to get back in the air conditioned car. We then drove the short distance down to Reno. Out first impressions were not that good and turned out to be not that wrong. It was a real mess of a town, dirty, and seemingly laid out with no plan. We headed to the River Walk which was supposed to be really nice. It wasn’t. The river was nice but it was like someone had a good idea to create a walk alongside it and then run out of ideas. We have been to some really nice River Walks in the USA like San Antonio, but this was not one of them. We ended up in the main Casino area. This was more Great Yarmouth than Las Vegas. I know Vegas is seedy as such but this was just seedy without the such.
We took a photo under the famous “Reno - Biggest Little City in The World’ sign, and then headed into Harrahs Casino to find the Starbucks inside. By the time we had found it I remembered all the bits I hate about Vegas Casinos. The smoking in the Casinos which stank and the fact you cannot see daylight inside anywhere. We had our hot drinks and then left to walk back to the car.
Our plan now was to find the local Outback for our tea before going onto the Baseball. The restaurant was only a couple miles from the Riverwalk and we easily found it despite the ubiquitous Roadworks everywhere. We both had the Outback Special which were both really good.
We then had some 45 minutes to drive the 3 miles to the Baseball Stadium get parked up and find our seats. Plenty of time or so we thought.
We had tickets to watch Reno Aces play Sacramento River Cats who play at AAA standard which is one below the Major Leagues. Now for minor league baseball we have never had trouble parking and indeed we had see previous evenings game was TV and the stadium looked empty. Tonight it was chaos. It was like they had never held an event at the stadium before. The roads around the stadium were gridlocked. There was no off road parking or any enterprising people offering up their spaces in buildings for parking. It seemed that everyone in Nevada was trying to get into the same multi story car park. The match start time came and went. Admittedly we could see the stadium but were going nowhere. Finally after not moving for 20 minutes I gave up. I turned round and headed away from the stadium. Two blocks away we came upon an almost empty multi story car park that was only charging $5 for parking. We went in, walked back the 2 blocks, passed all the gridlocked traffic and got into the stadium. I have no idea why everyone was being directed to the same car park, but at that point we didn’t care.
As ever we had the cheap seats and we had to turf out some girls who were already in our seats. We were congratulated on doing so by the people around as apparently they were causing trouble. No wonder they wanted our seats as they were fab. Front row not far from first base. The game was already at the top of the 2nd innings. The first ball we saw was smacked miles for a Home Run and the second ball we almost got as it bounced on the field and ran just in front of us, but I couldn't reach over and get it.
It was a lovely warm evening with a temperature of 82f. Reno had one player who was head and shoulders above the rest, not only in size but ability. He had been called up to the Major League but had just returned for a spell as the Diamondbacks needed to get another pitcher on their roster. When he hit the ball it stayed hit and his home run was well over 400 ft.
Given the gridlock getting here we decided to leave early to get ahead of the traffic (we missed another 10 rounders after we left in the last 2 innings). The bits of the match we saw were good and it was a lovely classy stadium just built in the wrong place.
It was 58 miles back to the Hotel back over the mountains and we made good time back. I was very pleased to find my Amazon package waiting for me back in the room.