Remember Reno

Remember Reno … I had to do that because of an encounter we had with a nice lady in one of the thrift stores we visited our last day in Reno. It was a long conversation that started when the lady sitting behind a desk, doing financial ‘stuff’, telling us that she was just minding the store for the owner who had stepped out for a moment, but she would attempt to answer any questions we had.

At that particular moment we didn’t have any questions, so thanked her and started looking around. Shortly, however, my natural affinity for communicating with strangers broke out and I found myself in need of striking up a conversation with this stranger. The store was small enough that both Diane and I could participate in the conversation as no one else was in the store.

Though we have no idea what her name is, we learned that she’s lived in Reno for about 40 years and has never, ever been to the Oregon coast. She said that when we told her we were from Oregon. Much of the conversation revolved around various travel events and eventually progressed to bucket lists. Hers, specifically. On her list is the Oregon Coast to which we added, Mt. St. Helens, the Columbia River Gorge, Crater Lake, Silver Falls State Park, and Sparks. Another item on her list was Burney Falls. Since we had never heard of it we quizzed her about where it was and she took her best guess, but didn’t really know. So, that conversation dwindled to a stop, and we decided it was time to leave and returned to our room.

Once back at the hotel, we got to talking about out route home. The original plan was to head up to Klamath Falls and spend the night, then head home. Upon looking at the map, however, the wiser choice became a trip up through Susanville, then kinda NW to I-5 just below Weed, California. That’s a little ways north of Redding. So, plans were changed and we decided we’d head for Medford for the night.

After a terrific breakfast at Hart’s Cafe in Susanville, we took Highway 36 then split northwest on Highway 44, part of which was on Hillcrest Road, go figure, then we took a hard right turn onto Highway 89 just about directly north of Lassen Volcanic National Park. We didn’t stop there.

On on Highway 89 Diane asked it there was something interesting to see along the way. So I looked on my trusty iPad to see. Up ahead there was a place called McArthur-Burney State Park. We considered this an omen because of yesterday’s conversation with the thrift store lady. Apparently fate placed this location directly in our path because we were supposed to stop there. So we did.

It normally costs $8 to enter the park but, since we’re old, we got a dollar off. Considering that we needed to get to our hotel, that we hadn’t yet picked, before headlights were mandatory, I asked the Ranger at the gate (RATG) how far it was to the falls. He looked to his left, pointed, and said, “about 75 feet that way.” Funny guy.

When we pulled into a parking spot we were delighted to meet Stan & Irene whom we’ve never ever in our lives met before. They were just climbing out of their 5th wheel trailer in which they spent the winter in Laughlin, Nevada, like they do every year. Since their license plates revealed they were from North Dakota, we understood why. Together, we all walked to the bathrooms, relieved ourselves, then walked back to the parking lot adjacent to the falls and here’s what we saw …















OK, it’s really pretty, but the falls are only about 40-50 feet high. Pretty, but not Bucket List Pretty. But, this lady lives in Reno so who am I to cast aspersions upon those dreams. I can only compare what I see with what I’ve seen. Normal, right? I try to not display bias when visiting new visual delights, like Burney Falls, but living in the Great Northwest and having so many beautiful places to visit by accident, spoils us. Sounds snobby, I know, but it’s true.

Oh yes … we made it to Medford for the night and will be home tomorrow afternoon. We had a Pizza Hut dinner.

Day 1 – Medford, Oregon

We left St. Helens at 2:00 pm and walked into our room at the Rodeway Inn about 7:45 pm. Normally it’s a 5 hour drive with no stops and we stopped 3 times so we made really good time. Average speed was over 60 mph. It would have been much faster but Diane allowed me to drive 150 miles of the trip. She goes 69, I don’t. On the downside, for me, is that she got better gas mileage than I did because she only drove downhill. Almost all my driving was uphill, all the time. Really. All the time.

As we raced down I-5, which we’ve done many, many times over the years, we shared nostalgic memories as we passed, or stopped at the various rest areas along the way. We’ve been to all of them, from Portland to San Diego. We’re only in Medford so we’ve hit almost all of the rest areas on this interstate because there aren’t many of them in California. Their version of a rest area is a strip mall along side the freeway … not just a place to get out, stretch your legs, and take a leak … oops. Sorry. I didn’t mean to let that blurt out. But it did.

Our room at the Rodeway Inn cost a whopping $59 and we agree that it’s better than some $100 rooms in the past. The furniture is a little worn, but the rooms are clean and tidy. Perfect for an over night stop. And, we get a continental breakfast in the morning. Excellent!

For dinner we motored about 1/2 a mile away to the Burger King we passed and got Whoppers, with lemonade instead of soda. Good, huh? For dessert we each ate two rice krispy treats.

Oh yes! More good news on the medical front … brother Jack is doing excellent after his surgery. He didn’t say that, exactly, but I can tell by the tone of his texts that things are looking up for him. We’re both very happy about that. You all should be, too, but, since it’s a personal choice, it isn’t mandatory.

Now I’m tired so that’s it for now.