Day 5

We have abandoned all sense of being adventurers, and the departure from Winnemucca for Reno is kindly referred to as leisurely, as compared to slothful. At about noon we are able to head for Reno and luxury suites arranged by Dean.

This trip has morphed from a cross between Jeremiah Johnson and the Donner party to Cleopatra on her barge cruising the Nile.

Many members of the group warily are waiting for an event to occur to cause the reappearance of Mr. Happy. Apparently, today might must be his day off.

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Traveling towards Reno the temperature begins to rise with each mile. Soon the temperature is in the 50's, at which point we stop in Fernley to sun ourselves, in full motorcycle gear, in the Walmart parking lot. Not even the writers for the Beverly Hill Billies could have made the Clampetts look this sophisticated.

Prior to this stop, we bought gas in a town called Lovelock - in a state with legalized gambling and prostitution, we do not even want to venture a guess as to how the town got its name.

Every ones' spirits have soared with the bright sunshine and higher temperatures.

The scenery in Nevada along I-80 is remarkable for its ruggedness and unusual features such as the Nightingale Hot Springs that have some form of geothermal research or commercial development. As we approach Reno, the vegetation changes and takes on a live-like green as compared to the previous miles of alkaline sands, bare ranges and occasional snow capped peaks. This is a result of the benefits of the watershed produced by the Sierra Nevada Mountains and the Truckee River which runs through Reno.

Dinner was along the Truckee River at the Wild River restaurant in the heart of the downtown, but Dinner would not have been possible though if we had not had a GPS to locate our accommodations for the evening of luxury suites that had no working ventilation system. Now, being seasoned travelers used to coping in adverse situations, Marly goes to a nearby casino to gamble where the ventilation system is working quite well, Bill is doing laundry — a domestic side of him we had not seen until just this moment, but is quite appreciated by everyone. Dean, Danielle and Leo go grocery shopping and by late afternoon we are together for cheese, crackers and fine wine which just keeps appearing out of Leo's and Dean's saddle bags. One has to wonder, but would rather not, if they brought anything else such as a change of clothes???

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As previously mentioned, we proceed to a nice restaurant after which we walk the downtown area enjoying and admiring all the sights and lights. We get a group picture in front of the Reno sign taken by a passerby who not only is kind enough to take our picture but even gives us back our camera.

Now an odd thing happens. As we walk into the Excalibur Hotel and Casino, Danielle, beaming, asks Dean if he remembers their last visit some 30 years ago, and she mentions the souvenir ashtray they have from that visit. All Dean can do at this point is say he only remembers the ashtray. One has to believe that Danielle's look of there was much more to remember probably means the astray was not a door prize from their last visit.