Another Day in Reno

Friday Day 24

Our day started at 6 a.m. We took the motor home back to the service centre, pulling the bike behind it so we could go get some breakfast while the tank was being dropped and the situation analyzed. When we got back, they had the old pump out and we took it to the Ford parts department to see if we could a new one.  We could.  They’d have it in for us in an hour. We wandered around a local mall to fill in the time. I looked around the Burlington Coat Factory for a bit, but seeing Jim standing at the door looking impatient stifles my desire to shop rather quickly. Now a stop at another Harbor Freight store was a different story! Ha, ha.

When we picked up the new pump, the store manager took pity on us and gave us a cut rate. We dropped it off back at the GM Service Department and came back to the hotel to enjoy a swim and lunch by the pool.  The day had gotten hot again and the water was like that of a tepid bath, but still it was refreshing and it was the only chance we’ve had to make use of our passes.

Back to the service centre again. They were still working on it.  We spent another hour or so in the waiting room.  We began to feel like part of the family. At last it was done and we were pleasantly surprised to find that the labour charges weren’t as high as expected either. So the day ended not quite as badly as we’d thought. We’d saved about $300. Also, the first time that the engine had shuttered, a couple of weeks ago, we thought it was a transmission problem. That could have cost us a whole lot more.

And we’re grateful to Mike at the GM Service Centre and Mike at the Ford Parts department for their sympathy and generosity that got us back on the road as painlessly as possible.

Tomorrow we leave for Yosemite National Park in California.


The Bubble Sprung a Leak

Thurs. Day 23

Today was a day to take care of some domestics. While we waited at the Laundromat for the laundry to be done, Jim made some phone calls to see if we could get the motor home checked out before we were ready to leave Reno tomorrow. He contacted the service manager at the local GM dealership, one that specializes in big trucks. They were very busy, but when Jim explained our situation he agreed to look at it. We took it in right after lunch and spent the next two hours sitting in the waiting room for the diagnosis.  The news wasn’t good. We needed a new fuel pump. With installation it would cost about $1100. Our bubble had finally burst. The service manager did suggest that we might be able to find a better deal on the pump if we could pick it up ourselves. We brought the rv back to the park for the night and we’ll be up very early in the morning to take it back to the service centre. The gas tank will need to be dropped and the old pump removed in order to get a part number.  Then we can look for a replacement.

Rather than sit and fret about all of this, we hopped on the bike and went to the State Fair. Being “old” we got in for free! Bonus! We watched the Wild West Show and a couple of “gun fights” and strolled through the midway.  Again we were surprised by the poor attendance. Everyone blames it on the economy, yet if you take a look around this RV Park it’s plain to see that not everyone is suffering.

Lights of Reno Faded

Wed. Day 22

The outside temperature was over 100 degrees in Reno today. We rode the bike up 6000 feet on a very winding road (more good biking country) to Virginia City.  There it was enough cooler to be comfortable. We enjoyed pizza and a sasparilla in The Red Dog Saloon, an interesting old saloon with a tin ceiling, antique ceiling fans and a crystal chandelier. Sadly the musical entertainment would be playing until later in the evening. The Red Dog is just one of many old-style saloons in this former mining town, now a tourist attraction. We took the town tour in a wagon pulled by a John Deere, and learned its fascinating history.

Back down in the valley a few hours later, the temperature was still steamy. We had a quick supper before riding out again in search of the city lights, the casino district. We found the lights and took some pictures, but we were very disappointed that there was no entertainment to be found in any of the casinos. In fact, there were very few people at the slot machines or the gambling tables, or even on the street. Perhaps it gets better on the weekend. Cindy Lauper is supposed to appear on Saturday, but we will be long gone by then.

A Long, Hot Drive

Tuesday, Day 21

We arrived in Reno at about 5:30 pm, after a long, hot, boring drive.  At first there were mountains around us and the drive wasn’t too bad, but the sun was getting hot. We stopped in Carlin to make lunch.  In a brochure that I’d picked up, Carlin was written up as a good place to visit.  Its main claim to fame is that it’s half way to Reno from the border. All that we saw were two truck stops, both with convenience stores and casinos, a post office, another bar/grill/casino and a boarded up motel, all at one corner.

Once we left Carlin, the topography became very flat. We thought the salt flats were boring, but this was far worse. We could see mountains in the distance but it took four hours to reach them. The sun, by that time, was shining very hot through the window. Both the motor home and I were suffering so we had to stop for a break so we could all cool down.

When we finally pulled off the highway in Reno, with no plans yet as to where we’d stay, our faithful motor home once again protested. She stalled and sputtered and we had to park on the side of the street. I couldn’t blame her.  The inside thermometer read 104 degrees Fahrenheit! While we let her cool down we went into the motel that we just happened to be parked beside, and picked up a map so we could locate a favourable RV Park. We called the Grand Sierra Resort RV Park and booked a spot.  However, the motor home still wasn’t ready to move on, so I made dinner. When we finished Jim did get her going, with a little protest, and we found our home for the next few nights. It is a grand hotel and casino that also has an RV Park. Because we are provided with all the amenities of the hotel guests, such as access to the pool and fitness centre at no charge, we expected the fees to be much higher than previous parks, but it was actually less!

Once we got everything hooked up, we turned on the a/c and took a walk over to the casino while it did its job. We joined the “gamblers club” and took our free $5.00 credits to the slots.  In no time at all, it was gone save for Jim’s last six cents. We now each have a six cent credit souvenir.