Back to Nevada

Shortly after our Hawaiian adventure, a mere six days, we packed up for another excursion – this time to Nevada.

In order to make the trip as comfortable as possible, we decided to rent a car for our drive. We were heading to Ely, Nevada, and GPS told us it would be an 8.5-hour drive. It felt as though we had just finished unpacking from one trip, only to leave our home again for another.

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We laid a sheet in back to protect the seats from excessive dog hair.

But I was excited. My dad and aunt were driving out to Nevada to my grandpa’s house, and we were going to meet them there. I hadn’t seen my grandpa since my wedding nearly seven years ago – we were past due.

We had planned to take the motorhome there to visit him but when we landed in California, that plan got pushed to a later, unknown date.

I could not pass up the opportunity to see all of them together.

We left extra food for the cats and Pica, and packed up the dogs for a road trip. We went through some of our belongings and determined what we would donate and what I wanted to send back to Minnesota with my dad.

Then, we headed out early in the morning on May 21.

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Teddy was not thrilled with the sheet situation.

We made a few stops along the way but decided to drive straight through Barstow  (see our Las Vegas blog from last summer for a reminder of why this holds some not-so-fun memories).

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We found a great spot to stretch our legs, and the dogs’ legs, at Miller’s Point in Cathedral Gorge.

It was beautiful.

 

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We took a short hike in the desert heat before hitting the road again.

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Much of the scenery on our drive was unimpressive.

I tried to find beauty in the desolation and, though it was possible in some places, it was difficult. The rock formations in some areas were very interesting though.

We reached our motel after about 9 hours on the road. We checked into our room but ended up trading rooms with a woman. After watching her struggle to get her old dog to climb the stairs, something that brought tears to my eyes, we offered to trade rooms with her. We were supposed to have the ground floor room right next to my dad and aunt but I could not stand to let that poor dog struggle each time it needed to go to the bathroom.

To the disappointment of my dad, we switched to a room upstairs and let the woman have the ground floor. It ended up being a good decision for our dogs, too. Piper gets a little excited to see people and her barking was less bothersome being upstairs in an end unit.

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After checking in, my grandpa met us at our room. It was really nice to see him and it had been way too long. My dad and aunt arrived not too long afterwards and once they had checked in, we all went out for dinner.

Since we couldn’t be gone for long, May 22 was our only full day to spend with the fam. We visited with my grandma and let the dogs play in the backyard as we enjoyed the sun and cooler temperatures.

The elevation of Ely is more than 6,000 feet and the weather was nice up there.

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Dad, Grandma Carol, Grandpa, Me, Aunt Lorie

We went on several different hikes.

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Old mine.

We had lunch at Cave Lake State Park, and the dogs got to go swimming.

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I could definitely feel the elevation when we went on some of our hikes. Ramona is at 1,400 feet, so this was a change. Exerting the energy to climb up some of the hills was harder than I thought it should be, until I realized that the elevation change was making it more difficult.

We saw quite a few antelope and deer on our outings.

That night, we went out for dinner at Cellblock Steakhouse in the Jailhouse Casino. It was kind of fun to eat dinner in a cell – though I have no desire to eat dinner in a real one!

I enjoyed seeing relics of the old west, in town and on our hikes.

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I can see the appeal of certain areas of Nevada, with the snow-capped mountains in the background.

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Still, it is not the place for me. The Wandering Dolphin will not be landing in Nevada (though perhaps we will have to plan another trip to see my grandpa and show him our home-on-wheels).

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Still a beautiful place!

The next day, we had to leave. After a nice breakfast, we said our goodbyes, packed up the car, checked out of the motel, and set out on the road.

Teddy tried to sleep in several different positions.

The drive back was uneventful. We hit two bad spots of traffic so our drive totaled about 10 hours. We were exhausted from traveling but when we got home, we unloaded and checked on everyone, and then went out to play our first pool night of the new season.

Aside from getting to see my family, another perk of the trip was that my dad brought us my Super Nintendo! We have been having a great time playing games from my childhood.

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I am very happy that we were able to make the plan of seeing my family work, even if it was only for a short trip. It was a bit of a tease and now I miss them more than ever. That just means we have to get back on the road!


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