Pondering life, doing some research and some studying about blogging and travel writing was my business at hand these past days. My honey was involved in the real business of being in this locale. On arrival, we felt the “coming home” part of Reno. Familiar. Comfortable. 24 hour town. We simply find pleasure in the options at hand. We were given the gift of a comped room for a couple nights at the Peppermill. A mini suite in the Tuscany Tower. Lavish bathroom was the highlight of this space. Double sinks, private commode, separate walk in double headed massage shower and jacuzzi tub all decked out in marbled tile opulence were the pinnacles. Later we made our move to a corner suite with a mountain view at the El Dorado. The vistas and the jacuzzi tub set before them were the high points that my honey found for a ridiculously discounted rate. Although we had no plan for any real excitement it came to us on a silver platter. Tuesday we walked out of the El Do to while away some time before the business dinner set for 8pm that evening. As we made our way across 3rd street we saw police cars begin to swarm the area. We heard homeless chatter about shots being fired. We discounted it and turned to get past the tale telling we deemed to be “out there.” In the surrounding blocks the police presence could be seen from all angles. Streets were being closed down, people were being ushered inside. We heard the confirmations over the security radios. Sniper at the Montage. We made our way to our room and sure enough we had a birds eye view of the SWAT teams positioning themselves as the gunman holed himself up on the 8th floor of the condo complex, shooting randomly out the window. The sound of these barrages was certainly loud and even created a bit of a shaking sensation. The fire power carried in the hands of the law enforcement and the back up laying at the ready near all their vehicles was daunting. Later as we sat down for dinner at Roxy’s and chatted with our friends our discussion went to a strange fact. In our world today we are becoming mundane about this over the top style behavior. It’s part of our new normal and even with the threat right outside the doors of the building we were in, it didn’t stop any of us from proceeding with our own priorities. Another symptom of our society today? As it turned out, SWAT rushed in and the shooter succumbed. No other major injuries resulted. Not an attack on society but a shooter not quite in reality.
SWAT moving in
8th floor Montage; Perfect View from our room at the El Do
We were lucky enough to meet up with old friends and partake of many of our favorite haunts over these days. The weather was mild and we did lots of walking. Third Street Bar, Tonic, Cal Neva, ElDorado, GSR, Circus Circus, Silver Legacy, Harrah’sCopa Room, The Grille at Gold Dust West (lovingly known to us as the “cheap coffee shop”), Roxy, Brews Brothers, Pho 777, Oyster Bar at The Nugget (disappointingly not quite the same value menu as in the past), Miguel’s and all the Sports Books in between ;-). We spent great time watching sports and had one night of a great run on the gaming tables. Not the business we were here for but it certainly added to the pleasure! There’s no doubt we are good at hanging out 😉 Our stay got extended a bit (partly business; partly no sense of going home to just leave again for the finale of our Fall into Winter adventure 2018), we ended up moving to Harrah’s. The absolutely only thing I would recommend this property for is The Steakhouse, other than that, shame on you Caesar’s , where’s your pride?
395 towards Susanville, CA led us out of the Biggest Little City. We were on the road to one of the highlights of this travel window. We headed to Eugene, OR. A favorite band, A Perfect Circle performed Monday evening at Matthew Knight Arena, the basketball stadium of the Oregon Ducks. We arrived the night before after a grueling drive through the mountains with a little bit of snow pack and little bit of black ice, mixed with lots of curves. We ate some decently clean Mexican fare at a place across from our Red Lion Hotel on Broadway called Chula’s. The room was bare bones decent but conveniently located within walking distance to the venue as well as the downtown corridor. Our daytime was spent driving the outskirts of the area. The beauty of the forested areas is incredible in this state with lakes, streams, waterfalls and rivers to accent the Cascades as they make their way to the Pacific Ocean. The 210 days of no sun and 46 inches of annual precipitation lend to the mosses and ferns that make the green remaining in fall seem bright to us, our forest is high desert and this comparison attests to it! We started out early on foot to the show (only a mile away). We stopped for a beer at a brewery right across the street and as is my practice when I am completely dissatisfied, I will not even mention the name, not worthy! The beers were “weak” and the service horrendous, enough said. We made our way to the sports bar across from the arena, Sam’s on Franklin to watch Monday Night Football and have a last splurge opportunity before we headed home to strike fried foods, trans fats, cheese, starches, alcohol, white flours, sugars, etc from our diet (again)! We were disappointed to find a limited event menu as we would have stuck to simpler meat and potatoes from the regular menu but we were very satisfied by the buffalo wings, Turkey Bacon Avocado and French Dip. The show did not disappoint us, not one little bit. From the opener Beta Machine (loved the lead singer’s voice and her outfit), to the headliner, the lights, the production and the stage presence of Maynard, from beginning to end, awesome. If you know the music check out this set list! We were determined to squeeze every little drop out of our closing window of time away so we hit stride and walked the 5 blocks to downtown and made our way in to a couple of the bars. It was fun to banter with others who had attended the show and the atmosphere was great at the second place we stopped, The Horsehead Bar, check it out when you decide to check out Eugene!
Heading east on the I-5 we started our travel home with some of the greatest beauty this state has to offer. I poked at the Mr. about extending the time away some more and making our way to the coast, I can always use the sound of the ocean tide to soothe my soul, but he did not cave, Siri guided us on the path to home. Following along the McKenzie River on Highway 126 through the Willamette National Forest, on to the Deschutes National Forest across the Pacific Crest Trail over McKenzie and Santiam Pass, I swallowed in the beauty to carry home with me. Travel provides such fodder for the brain, the senses and the emotions. The experience of a road never traveled or the revisiting of places well known, nomad lifestyle suits me. Home for the holidays and to plan the next adventure! Enjoy the spirit of the season my friends; until you #travelsoonagainwithme!