Our next destination was Incline Village, Nevada on Lake Tahoe. There's a reason it's called "Incline" Village - it's at an elevation of nearly 9,000 feet. The primary route to the town requires people to drive Mount Rose "Highway". According to Only In Your State, "The Mount Rose road is no joke. As you drive along the scenic highway, you'll experience all sorts of steep climbs, drops, twists, and hairpin turns. It's tricky regardless of the weather...". They ain't kidding! Oh, and did we mention there aren't any guardrails between you and the canyons below? Definitely not a ride for the faint of heart. And whatever you do, don't turn your head to look at the scenery. More on this, later. Today's journey from Park City to Incline Village is almost 600 miles. Let the trek begin.
We came upon the famous "salt flats" soon after getting on the road west. No this isn't snow - at least not yet.
The Bonneville Speedway is near here. For the non "car folks", this has been the site of many international speed races. In 1960 Mickey Thompson became the first American to break the 400 mph barrier on these salt flats. Continuing on, we decided to "rest" at one of the few rest stops there are on this entire route. Rorie was glad she noticed this sign, before either of these critters noticed her. This is just way too much nature for her.
As has been the case in Colorado, Wyoming, Utah and, now, Nevada, the roadside scenery has truly been awesome. Pictures can't really capture the height, sheer grandeur and magnificence of the sights we experienced. Mountains, prairies and amazing rock formations line both sides of the highway.
Our journey to Incline Village had a personal aspect to it. We were part of a family surprise party for Rorie's baby sister who will soon turn ???. Let's just say "it's a big one".
Unbeknownst to "the birthday girl", who lives near Incline Village, the family gathered the day before at Rorie's brother and sister-in-law's house to check out the small town of Incline Village and Lake Tahoe. It's OMG beautiful (at least this time of the year).
See those snow cap mountains across the lake? After all the often tortuous mountain drives we've taken in the last 3 weeks, movie theater "snow caps" are the only ones we want to see in the future. This picture of winter 2022 at our family's house provides a sense of how much snow came to the Tahoe area. And this was at the base of the mountain. The higher elevations get way more than this.
Bart's friend John, who also lives in Incline Village, shared this "postcard" scene from "the old days" and another one from a couple of years ago. Notice the reference to Mt. Rose Highway. Yup, that's the road we took up the mountain to Incline Village.
We secretly reconvened down the mountain in the glitzy town of Reno for the surprise birthday party, which went off without a hitch. The next day we decided to try our luck at one of Reno's biggest casinos. Rorie was a BIG winner.
Look closely. We needed a casino supervisor to authorize the big payout.
Rorie's sister lives in an area called Spanish Springs (population 15,064), a suburb of Reno in Sparks, NV. Views from her home to the valley below are really beautiful. More importantly, it was close to the Gold "N Silver Inn. Featured on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives, it's been a local landmark for over 60 years and is Reno's oldest casual restaurant. Booths, slot machines, longtime employees, open 24/7, homemade comfort food and a cocktail lounge....what more could you want? After filling our bellies with food, and our hearts with family and fun memories, it was time to get our heads out of the mountain clouds and begin the trek home. First stop - the frontier town of Cheyenne, WY. See you soon!