After staying at the campground by Eagle Lake for 12 days, we headed to Golden Ranch Casino/RV Park in Reno, Nevada. We indulged ourselves with fast Wi-Fi, cable TV, hot showers, and pools. A California lottery building sat right on the border in the RV park. People in Reno came here to buy California lottery. Old people smoked cigarettes and played slot machines in the small casino. It was a totally different world than that of Eagle Lake. It was hot with the highest of 100 on Monday. The sun dried the shoes that were wet by the sprinkler at night in no time.
After staying at the RV park for two nights, we decided to take road 395 heading south back to California. A big C and the U.S. national flag were engraved on the cliff by Carson City, state capital of Nevada. Flanked by the Carson Range, a branch of the Sierra Nevada Range, the city has a semi-arid landscape. Concrete walls along the highway that served as a noise buffer were creatively imprinted with the silhouette of the mountain view around the city. Even the retaining walls by the highway were artistically laid with rocks and boulders that resemble the mountains. That was a clever low-maintenance design. Stephen said that coins were made in Carson City with letters “CC” on them. We stopped at Minden to get a bear bell because we were heading to the bear country. Minden is a booming tourist town with the beautiful Sierra Nevada range as its background. It is also close to Lake Tahoe.
We drove along Topaz Lake and back in California at half way. Again, there was an agriculture inspection station right after we entered California. We stopped at a small town named Coleville for lunch. There was just one elementary/middle/high school in town. A hill with pinnacle cliffs soared above the ground near the Meadowcliffs Lodge. The mountain road winded along Walker River. A soaring cliff was right up in our face at the turn of the road. White rocks exposed on hillside. Tall evergreen trees covered most of the hills. But sagebrush took over the hills after Walker. Near Devils Gate, we were surprised to see cattle grazing on ranches at an elevation of 7,000 feet. Then we saw miles of big ranches near Bridgeport. It was a beautiful country scene with herds of cattle grazing on the plateau against the snow-capped mountains in the distance.
After passing the Conway Summit at an elevation of 8,138 feet, we stopped at the viewpoint overlooking Mono Lake. The sun poke through the clouds and shone on the yellow hills. A long road way down there led to the lake. We resumed our trip, and the long curvy downhill road took us descending for about 1,000 feet down to Mono City quickly. We drove into the Lundy Canyon and checked the Lundy Canyon Campground. The canyon was nice but the campsites were small and there were no water supplies.
We continued heading south on road 395. After passing Lee Vining, we turned to June Lake Loop. Under the white clouds and blue sky were beautiful mountains waiting at the end of the road. Clear blue Grant Lake laid by the road. The campground by the Grant Lake seemed to be full. We kept going towards Silver Lake. At last, we found a good campsite at Silver Lake Campground. The campground was nestled among mountains. Our campsite has the view and sound of a beautiful slender falling waterfall and the mountains around us. Sagebrush and tall grasses covered the campground. What a gorgeous place to camp! The campground is at an elevation of 7,200 feet. Cool!
We rode our bikes to Silver Lake. It was a charming small lake at the base of 11,000 feet and 12,000 feet imposing mountain peaks. It would be even more beautiful if the peaks were not hazy. We saw three deer wondering on the RV resort across the road. Then we met another two deer in a campsite by the lake. They were not afraid of people at all. Amazing!
In the evening, I noticed that the haze became heavier and smoky. Stephen checked the Internet and said there was a fire near Yosemite National Park burned 1,000 acres. We hope we will wake up to a clear blue sky.