Friday, November 1, 2013

Hanging with the Donner Party

Saturday was the day we went from Lake Tahoe to Reno.  We woke up that morning in our cabin, but we had to be out by 11:00.  I knew Robyn would want to sleep in as long as possible, so I ate breakfast and had a leisurely morning reading and relaxing.

When she finally woke up we packed up our things and headed out.  We went out for brunch (lunch for me, breakfast for Robyn) at the Log Cabin Cafe in King's Beach.  It had been featured on several food shows and was supposed to be the best breakfast around.  It certainly didn't disappoint.

I had a breakfast burrito because Robyn's burrito had looked so good at McAdoo's

Robyn wanted a croissant, eggs and sausage.  She found a plate that had all her wildest dreams.
My burrito was super good, but I should have asked for it without jalapenos.  I bit into one and was feeling it for a minute.  Other than that, it was fabulous.

It was a long wait, so we didn't actually start breakfast until around noon.  So when we were done we were into the afternoon.

Afterward, we drove up to Donner Memorial State Park.  There is a museum there as well as some hiking trails.  The museum had some history about the area, about emigrants travelling to the trail and specifically about the Donner Party.

The entrance to the museum

I was excited about the golden spike and started singing the song we learned in Elementary School about Promontory Point.  Robyn was less excited about me singing in a public place.

I really wanted a picture in front of the covered wagon.  This was the best I could get.  Robyn was so embarrassed that I wanted a picture that she wouldn't come around to the front of it, nor would she give me more than 5 seconds.

Robyn was also embarrassed that I wanted a picture of her by the bear.  She basically hates memories.
 After the museum we did a short hike along a walking trail.  When I planned the trip, my plan was to walk to Donner Lake. (4 miles round trip) but we were so beat from the 10.5 miles of walking the day before, we just did this short nature walk.
Robyn is cute in nature.

This monument was in honor of the Donner Party.  It is 22 feet tall, to show how deep the snow was when they were there.

The plaque on the memorial: "Virile to risk and find; kindly withal and a ready help, facing the brunt of fate, indomitable, unafraid."
It was crazy to think what they suffered through.  I can't imagine trying to survive a winter in these high mountains with 22 feet of snow falling on top of me.

After the memorial we headed into Reno.  We were staying at the La Quinta Inn in Reno and so we went to check in to our hotel.  I've always had great experiences with La Quinta, so when I was booking this trip I just booked the Reno La Quinta when I found they had one.  It turns out La Quinta has varying levels of quality.  This certainly wasn't a bad hotel, but it wasn't up to the normal level of quality we're used to.  It was in a little bit ghetto part of town and it had more of a Motel 6 feel to it.  Nonetheless, we got checked in, we changed our clothes and headed over to the Reno temple.  (The reason we were staying in Reno was for 2 reasons, the first was that our cabin wasn't available Saturday night, but the second was that we really wanted to see the Reno temple.)

We headed over to the temple and it was beautiful.  It sits atop a hill framed by some beautiful mountains (or really big hills) as you are driving up.  I put a few pictures on my temple blog.

Finally, after the temple, we came back to our hotel and just wanted to order a pizza and relax.  It turns out that ordering a pizza in Reno, Nevada is an impossible task.  No one wants to deliver to La Quinta.  Apparently, that part of town is so ghetto that not even pizza can enter.  I picture Gandalf standing somewhere on I-580 saying, "Pizza shall not pass."

Finally, I just ordered a pizza and drove the 5 miles to pick it up.  That wasn't the easiest task either because apparently my GPS hates pizza.  I did eventually find the pizza place and returned to the hotel alive.  When I brought Robyn the pizza  I got to feel like a true hunter/gatherer bringing back the spoils of my hunt.

Then, like a true warrior, I feasted on my pizza and went to sleep.

Thus ends my blogging about our anniversary trip.  There was one more day, but it consisted of driving from Reno, Nevada to Lehi, Utah.  We did the normal road trip things: singing songs, talking, sitting in silence when we run out of songs and things to say.  So there you have it.


  1. Sounds like a fun trip! Graham and I stayed in Reno a couple of years ago on our way to California, too. Not my favorite experience either. It's kind of a quirky town.

    1. My aunt lived in Reno for a few years. She assured me that I can't judge the entire town by the area our hotel was in. I'll have to give it a second chance if we're ever passing through again.

      I will say that the area where the temple is was very beautiful.

  2. I share your sentiments about craving pizza and having all elements and services against you in your quest. I too have had many experiences like that. I have a had so many experiences that I have often considered starting a supplemental blog about my struggles with pizza.

    1. I would follow that blog religiously. There's nothing worse than being denied pizza when all you want in life is pizza.

  3. Is that the real golden spike or another replica? We thought it was funny when we went to the Promontory Point museum that the real spike was somewhere in California and not at the location it was originally placed.

    Also: ...the wheels kept a'rollin' down the railroad track...

    1. It didn't explicitly say it was the real one, so I assumed it was a replica. But it also didn't say that the real one was somewhere else, so I don't know for sure.


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