Sunday, May 15, 2016

What a Difference a Year Makes


After three and a half months in California we are now at Washoe Lake State Park just north of Carson City, Nevada. We stayed here last May and the lake was completely dry. What a pleasant surprise to see the lake full of water (although still low) and green vegetation everywhere.

May 2015


May 2016


When we left Mono Lake we didn’t hook up the car since we had to climb 8,100’ Conway Summit and knew it would be much easier for the Lazy Daze to make the climb up without the car attached. A few miles before Bridgeport I found a level pull-off where we stopped and hooked it up for the rest of the trip.

View from our front windshield at site 8, the same one we were in last year.


After we had been driving along for 15-20 minutes I decided to look at the tire pressure monitor just to make sure everything looked good, when I noticed the rear tires on the car were about 15-20 degrees hotter than all the others. I mentioned to Jim that we might have a problem, and he immediately asked if I had put the car in neutral and released the parking brake, my job while we are hooking up. Of course I had no recollection of doing it, so he pulled over and we got out to smell burning brakes, and the parking brake engaged.

Nothing to be done at that point but release the brake and hope for the best. Jim was going over all of the horrible scenarios, like having to get the car towed somewhere for new brakes and to flush the burnt fluid, etc.

After we got settled in our site Jim researched the parking brake and found that Subarus have separate drum parking brakes for the back wheels only, so our disc brakes were not even affected. He was able to adjust the brake and all is well. I have a feeling we won’t be doing that again, as he will carefully double check me. And the funny thing is he usually does, or at least asks me if I released the brake after we hook up the car. Of course I had to blame it on him! So leaving a load of clothes at the laundromat last week, and leaving the parking brake on this week. Can’t wait for my next blunder.

Our first day at Washoe Lake we hiked the shoreline and dune trails




Found a few flowers.




And a mailbox in the middle of nowhere with a bowl and jug of water in it. There is a nearby stable and we’ve seen a few horses so maybe this is a rest stop.


Pieces of a cut tree trunk. Not sure why they are here.


Yesterday we went to Reno for some real shopping. I found new hiking boots, pants and shorts at Sierra Trading Post, conveniently located right next to Whole Foods. Jim stocked up on beer at Total Wine, and we picked up a few hardware store items.. Since we were close to Great Basin Brewing Co we had to stop for a late lunch and a little beer tasting. The black bean burger was good and their Imperial Russian Stout was some of the best we’ve had anywhere. We like it here so will probably stay the seven day limit.


  1. Thanks again for the tours on your blog. I am hoping to hit some desert time this fall. I miss it. In the mean time I am working on getting my knees good enough to make it more than three miles on a level trail. Something about the old paper on my birth certificate seems to be holding me back these days.

  2. Not even sure 'marsh' would be the right word, but a lake it is not! On one trip there was water :) but most times dry. It's a perfect location to stop, but watch out for the ticks! If you want to blow a full days calories for breakfast try Peg's Glorified Ham n Eggs, after all breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Safe travels!

  3. Even Mike S. former RV guy told me a tale of how he had forgotten to put his toad in gear or forgot the emergency brake. I can't remember if he had to get a new transmission or what but everyone makes mistakes. Today I almost really damaged my finger unhooking in Horton Creek. Pinched the skin taking off lots of layers. Had it gone a teensy bit deeper I'd be at the emergency room! Fortunately it's OK.

  4. Bet I made more blunders than you did this week!

  5. You are not alone. Last week I put the milk in the pantry and today I set the blueberry muffins to cook for 4 hours! Told John pretty soon it won't be safe to leave me unattended.

  6. I'm sure you have now used up all your mistakes for the next year:) It happens to all of us:) How nice to see the lake looking so much better:) There is hope!

  7. How nice to see everything green, water, plus snow on the mountains! The last time we were in that area it had been a very dry winter and the mountains were bare.

  8. The bowl and water are for your dogs ... if you happen to have any with you ...
    Sure glad to see a little green up there!!

  9. If you're going to leave the brake on, at least you have the right car for it :-) Glad you turned on the TPMS!! Wonderful to see blue in that valley. Hope the late snow keeps it that way all summer. Love all the flowers. Very strange sliced logs......

  10. You're too young to be having these senior moments! Glad to see all that rain last winter did some good.

  11. Love the view from your site. I am always afraid that I forgot to take the car out of gear and release the brake. I often go back to check even if I’m “pretty” sure. So glad your system is such that there was no damage. Don’t think ours would be so lucky. Love your wildflowers. Such a pretty place, I would stay the limit too. Love Sierra Trading Post but I’ve only ever bought from them on line. Sweet to have a Whole Foods next door.

  12. What an amazing change in water and vegetation. Must have been a lot of rain or snow. Hope you're done with blunders for a while.

  13. I have left a load in the washer, not drying it till I discovered it was missing while folding clothes. Only with doing dumb things made me remember the next time.

  14. I have always wanted to see water in Washoe Lake. Our last two visits the lake has been bone-dry. As for the mishaps, happens to the best of us. I'm with Pam, you have probably gotten it out of your system for the foreseeable future. Enjoy your time at Washoe.

  15. Gayle, don't be so hard on yourself, I cannot count the times I have stopped right after leaving in the morning to check if the satellite dish is stowed or if I have locked and checked each and every bay door on the bus. Hang in there!!