Thursday, August 30, 2012

Yellowstone Road Trip - Day 01

Greetings Fellow Travelers!  The Two Old Buzzards and Fannie Mae are glad to have you riding along on what we are calling our Yellowstone Road Trip, even though we will be going to lots of other places as well. 

Today got off to a great start. We were scheduled to depart at 6:30 and at 6:27 we were rolling down our driveway (after setting the trip meter to zero and recording Wilma's odometer). For those of you playing the "Weight, Weight Do Tell Me" game, John's weight this morning was 267.6 pounds. He won't weigh again until our return.

Having stopped for breakfast at The Daily Bagel, we then joined the commuters going north on Highway 101. It wasn't half bad, especially since it was a weekday, we could use the diamond lane and we weren't headed to work or jury duty.

After climbing on 580 for a while we came upon lots of windmills as we neared the Altamont Pass. After descending off the pass, the land became flatter and more suited to farming.  There were maize fields, apple orchards, vineyards as well as cows and sheep. We also passed by the corporate headquarters of In and Out Burgers in Tracy and a Ghirardelli Chocolate Outlet (hmmm, it boggles the mind to imagine the temptations that must exist behind those walls).

In Sacramento, we turned onto Hwy 50, headed east toward Tahoe and Carson City. If seeing the Ghirardelli Outlet wasn't bad enough, when we pulled off for a rest stop at McDonald's in Rancho Cordova, it was right next to a giant See's Candy store (not your ordinary shoebox size).

Soon we entered the El Dorado Hills and went through Pollock Pines and Kyburz. We pulled off by a wooded area and a stream east of Pollock Pines for a  snack of puffed rice "discs" and peanut butter.  By the time we were nearing Lake Tahoe the elevation was over 7,000 feet. What a beautiful blue Lake Tahoe we saw as we rounded a turn on the curvy road. While in South Lake Tahoe we passed over the border into Nevada (right before Harrah's Casino).

For Christmas, John was given a book called Off the Beaten Tracks, so before landing at Carson City, Nevada for the night we made a stop at Genoa. It's claim to fame is that it was the first settlement in Nevada. A squatter's government was formed in 1851 by Mormon pioneers in what was a part of the Utah Territory. In 1861 the Territory of Nevada was created and in 1864 Nevada became the thirty-sixth state with Carson City as the capital. We found Genoa to be a quaint, small town with lots of well-preserved homes and buildings. There are also a variety of parks, two museums, gift and antique stores and several food choices. For our lunch we chose the Genoa General Store which had a deli and seats and tables outside. Linda had a turkey panini, and John had a plain old turkey sandwich (no cheese, thank you).

After a short ride to Carson City, we checked in at an America's Best Value Inn.

We had dinner inside the Fandango Casino at their Rum Jungle Buffet. The buffet was pretty easy to find even in the maze of slot machines and other games. The buffet had everything from crepes, BBQ, Asian, Mexican, salads, seafood, soups, fruits and desserts. It was hard to figure out where to start but the old buzzards managed to find enough to eat somehow. Not a bad deal for $11 each. John had grilled tilapia, fried shrimp, boiled shrimp, steamed clams and one tostada with a bit of grilled cilantro chicken. For dessert he had a small piece of coconut cream pie and a sliver of sugar free cheesecake. Even though he spent close to 1,100 calories for his dinner, he still finished the day about 500 calories under budget. And we didn't put so much as a nickel into the slot machines. And, even though we didn't have any rum at the Rum Jungle Buffet, we did have to get help finding our way out of the casino. It seems that once you are inside a casino, they don't want you to know where the exits are or what time it is.

Not a big bunch of stuff to see today, but we did take some photos and have posted 29 of them in today's photo gallery. You can view today's gallery by clicking here. We took some video and will try to post it in tomorrow's travelogue. Just didn't have time to finish editing it for today.

Here's a brief video we shot leaving home and through Genoa, NV.

On past trips the Two Old Buzzards have had a common thread for reflection included in each posting. Some were these: Funny Sign of the Day, Teabag Philosophy, What I'm Thankful For Today. For this trip we are presenting quotations that have something to do with travel. 

Here's the travel quotation for today: “Thanks to the interstate highway system, it is now possible to travel across the country from coast to coast without seeing anything.” John Steinbeck in Travels with Charley. Well, the Two Old Buzzards would not have wanted to travel to Carson City today on a two-lane road but we will try to get off the interstate enough to see something besides the vast world of sameness in Starbucks, Taco Bells, Wal*Marts, Carl's, Napas, Radio Shacks, Super K-Marts, Super Cuts, Walgreens, Lowe's and Bed, Bath and Beyonds. We will try for Beyond. Although, John does love his Starbucks!

We had a flurry of last minute add ons to our “Victims List” before leaving so some of you missed out on the tutorial and the rules for the contests. You can just look at the previous post since that's where it is.

1 comment:

  1. Our frequent stomping grounds! Did you see the VW spider? It's pretty nifty, but I'll have to double-check your route, you may not have driven by it. We've eaten at Grandma Hattie's and Fandango more times than I'd like to count! ;-) Did you see the parrot flying overhead during your meal? That little sucker "poops" out money during his trip flying about the casino. Fun stuff.

    I should have told you how to get into Boot Hill (the cemetery) in Virginia City. That's where my little brother is buried. It is a very interesting place to wander about.