Best Birthday Ever

Welcome back, folks.  This time we will be talking about the best roadtrip I have ever been on.  Cali decided to plan one of Our trips to coincide with my birthday…a 3 day roadtrip to include The Great Basin, Lake Tahoe and Death Valley.

Roadtrip through Nevada

All the time I have spent in NV and I never went north of the city so I was pretty stoked about it.

Monday May 10th (my birthday day), We woke up early and hit the road.  First stop, The Great Basin National Park.  When We left Las Vegas that morning, it was already pretty warm outside, but by the time We got to the park,

it was “chilly”.  Actually, the top of the mountain was closed due to snow falling.  Still.  We bought Our tickets for the Lehman Cave Tour (the only way to gain entrance to the cave), and spent almost 2 hours in the cave.

The entrance to the cave and the guide

The cave itself was pretty awesome…walking too slow with a group of much older people and children got old the first time we “waited for the rest of the group”.  The tour was informative and the ranger was definitely knowledgeable.

The tallest room in the cave.

It was well worth the money and wait…the only thing I didn’t like was the speed at which We were moving.  Or not moving.  Still a very cool birthday so far.

There were alot of broken pieces.

The policy of the cave after it was first discovered and turned into a tourist attraction was “if you can break it, take it” which resulted in a high number of very delicate pieces being broken and taken home by anyone who was brave enough to grab a candle and climb through.

This was once the crawlspace to get through.

After leaving the cave, We went deeper into the park and took the scenic drive up the mountain toward “Wheeler Peak“.  We went “toward” Wheeler Peak and not “to” Wheeler Peak, because that was the part that was closed.  It was still a breathtaking drive up to the point where the road was closed and back down again.  The weather continued to get colder during Our drive, and it became apparent that the storm up on the mountain wanted to come down and play.

The storm on the mountain We wanted to drive up!

Even with the storm on the mountain and snow on the ground, in places the sky was still the prettiest color blue…

Snow and blue skies.

Tiny drops of rain started falling as We made Our way to…UTAH.  On accident.  =)  One wrong turn and 30 minutes later, We were in Utah and weren’t supposed to be, so We turned around and went back to NV where We drove to Utah on a different road this time.  Our hotel for the night was the “Border Inn“.  Please click the link…it says so much more than I can about it.

The Border Inn, click the link.

What it does not say is that you check into the hotel at the gas station counter, which is also the cafe kitchen window.  The pictures of the rooms could very well have been Our room so check it out for a sec.  Not too shabby.  Notice the address?  In case you didn’t, the address is “utah nevada border hwys 6 and 50”.  Thats it.  I guess its all you really need, but srsly?  So, the plan He had was to check into the hotel and go back up to the mountain for stargazing.  The Great Basin is considered one of the best places to see the stars due to the extremely low light pollution…but alas the weather did not cooperate.  Nothing but clouds all night long, and the clouds brought snow.  Lots and lots of snow.    Even without the stars, I had the best birthday I ever had.  I got to talk to my babies from the hotel before they went to sleep, and We spent the rest of the night watching tv in a real bed.  First nights sleep in a real bed since…leaving Austin.  Wow.  The air mattress has been invaluable.

So We wake up and it is May 11th mind you, and We drove through snow for about 4 hours between Baker and Reno.  Seriously?  Crazy snow on May 11th…

The weather was CRAZY!

In the middle of No-Freak-Where Nevada, on Hwy 50 (the “loneliest road in America“) is “The Shoe Tree” of Middlegate NV.

The Shoe Tree

We didn’t even know We were going to happen upon it, but there it was.  We came up on it and passed it before realizing what it was, so We had to turn around to get some pictures of course!

Further up the road, We saw a sign for “Hidden Cave“, so We decided to take a detour to find out what that was.  It turned out to be about a mile hike around in the mountain, where We did see a few caves, but sadly, did not find hidden cave.  It was a nice hike anyway and We got some great pictures.

It was kinda chili-ish by Hidden Cave
Exploring!! Climbing around on mountains is fun 🙂
It was kinda scary walking around up there...
From inside a cave
It was scary in the caves because it was obvious things lived inside them

From there, We continued on Hwy 50 toward Reno, and saw a bilboard with a really pretty lake with a pyramid shaped rock in the middle and said “Pyramid Lake” just before a sign that said “Pyramid Lake —>” so We turned again =)

The pyramid in the lake at Pyramid Lake.Turns out, Pyramid Lake was another detour that was well worth the drive.  About an hour and a half off the intended path, but well worth it.  It was on Indian Land, Paiute actually, and Im not 100% sure people are supposed to be there just to see the lake…We took video

and pictures and continued on Our merry way.

The water was so blue.
This is the only place Lake Tahoe drains to.

We got to Reno, after some circle driving and checked into Our hotel.  We had looked at Travelocity which has a “mystery hotel” button that We pushed, and it had a hotel room for $22 a night, but the catch is that you don’t get to know where you are staying until after you book and pay.  Ok, its an adventure, so We push the button, and end up getting a room at the Peppermill Resort and Casino.  Not too shabby.  Check in, haul Our stuff into the room, and relax a minute.  The driving that day had zonked Us out.  We walked around the Casino for a little while and decided to retire for the night.  Tomorrow will be a full day of Lake Tahoe!!

Stay tuned…

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