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Monday, July 30, 2012


Day two saw us waking up to a beautiful morning in the Sierras, packing up and going to the lobby for the ubiquitous continental breakfast. After one half a sip of coffee that tasted five days old and reheated at least eight times we passed and headed a few doors down to Schat's famous bakery.

Walking into Schat's one is overwhelmed with the quantity of baked products available, all of it delicious and all of it accessible.  We immediately grabbed two loaves of chili-cheese bread for our hosts later in the day and got in line for breakfast pastries and coffee (apple fritter and cinnamon roll--yes they were and yes if you are in Bishop you must).

The drive north on US 395 is a winding drive up through the valleys and canyons, north of Mammoth and June it follows the West Walker River.  Once the road follows the bends and twists of the Walker the roadside is littered with SUV's and pickups as the fishing folk just pull over and climb down to the river to entice the rainbow and brown trout to bite their fly. (Seen on a bumper sticker "Why do men fish? So they can play with their fly all day.)

Like many roads in America one's speed is often dictated by the number of motor-homes and trailers being hauled by huge pick up trucks and how long before you can pass them and get back above 40 MPH (30 in the mountains).  Having a leisurely two hundred mile day to cover we enjoyed the scenery and mosied along towards destination Reno.

Reno is an interesting city.  Expanding through the valley and having merged with Sparks, Reno has several casinos whose hotel towers spring up across the valley and also has many new businesses relocating from neighboring California (more on that later).  Around 1:00 we pulled up to our friends Shelle and Mike's home.  Immediately Mike indicated he and I were meeting friends to go target shooting and the ladies were heading off to run errands and evidently go wine tasting.

Reno is in Nevada and Nevada is decidedly not California when it comes to gun laws.  Driving northeast out of Reno about half an hour Mike pulls off the highway and into a barren area right next to the interstate.  The area has several groups of trucks with its occupants firing pistols and rifles at target set up on berms.  We pulled up to one of the groups where Mike's good friend Tim who was also a classmate of Leslie's at Cal State Fullerton, was set up with his family, including a sergeant with a Southern Californian police force.

Mike had loaded a .45 pistol and a HK-91 rifle, which I have no idea about but was told it shoot 308 bullets, which I was to find out are very powerful and very loud. Our group of about nine shooters took turns firing at targets with various guns and have a great time.  If one is to consider an insurgency in America my strong suggestion would be to avoid Nevada and the Caltagirone and Wilkinson families.

Here is a look at your intrepid writer firing a .45 caliber handgun for the first time.

You can believe I had earplugs in.  This picture gives you and idea of the backdrop for our bullets and you can see the targets arrayed on the berm.  Here is Mike with the big rifle that is quite powerful.

After shooting we met our wives at a local wine shop for a glass of wine and then headed up the hill to Lynn and Tim's home for a barbecue. Set on the top of hill at about 5700 feet in altitude we were treated to a beautiful night as we looked over the valley and slowly the lights of Reno and its casinos lit up below us.  One of the best views of the night however was Tim's grill as he masterfully worked his fire and meat to perfection.

A lot of people come to Reno looking to be dealt Aces for a winning hand.  We were dealt a winning hand just by being with our friends the Caltagirone's and Wilkinson's.  Day two was definitely Aces.

Day three will be without a set final destination, we will continue up US395 into Oregon, perhaps as far a Pendleton which is just below the border with Washington and according to Google Maps 589 miles away. So far we have traveled just under 400 miles from the front door in Long Beach. 

1 comment:

Sharon said...

Where did you eat lunch? and did you see the Bob' sign at mile 89 on 395N about 10 miles out of Bridgeport?