With our thru-hike of the Tahoe Rim Trail completed, CareFree and I still needed to actually leave the trail.
We planned for a week of sightseeing after we finished the TRT, and that involved getting a rental car back in Reno. So, we needed to get back there.
After picking up our “bounce box” of stuff we wanted to have for the sightseeing leg of our trip that we didn’t need while hiking (mostly extra clothes), we tied off our hike of the TRT by actually walking to the lake and touching it.
After that, we needed celebratory ice cream, which we were easily able to get in Tahoe City, with a short delay while we waited for the place to open.
That taken care of, we returned to the Tahoe City Transit Center, and waited for our (rescheduled) 12:40 shuttle back to Reno.
The ride back was uneventful. For a while, the road paralleled the Truckee River, and we could see a great many more people floating down the river on inflatable rafts. So many, that there were logjams of rafters at a few choke points in the river where the river channel temporarily split!
Back in Reno, we checked into a hotel adjacent to the airport (where we will get our rental car on Tuesday). The hotel actually put us in room 101, the closest to the front desk and restaurant (but also, almost as far as possible from the laundry room).
After showers that made us feel like new people again (or at least, like clean people), we then proceeded to walk over a mile to a Vietnamese restaurant in 97°F heat, becoming sweaty just by standing outside. I hoped that the temperature might drop — at least a little — while we were in the restaurant, but service was so quick, the temperature didn’t have any time to fall. Fortunately, we were assisted with staying cool for the walk back with cold smoothies we got with dinner.
Arriving back at the hotel, we did our laundry, and started planning our week-long sightseeing road trip.
With no miles of hiking planned today, check-out at 11, and our rental car available at 10, we were in no great rush to get up early, and enjoyed sleeping in.
Breakfast at the hotel’s restaurant was delicious, and not exorbitantly priced.
After checking out, we got a shuttle to the airport — we would have walked, but there were no sidewalks on the road entering the airport — and then I proceeded to wait in line for over 80 minutes to get a rental car, because the rental desk was understaffed. (They gave the same tired “nobody wants to work” excuse so many other businesses are giving.)
While I was distracting myself from being annoyed about the wait by writing yesterday’s post, I noticed the “hiker from the bus” we’d been leapfrogging. I managed to get CareFree’s attention and point her at her, and they chatted for awhile. We finally got her trail name (“Cricket”), and learned she was at the airport to catch a shuttle to Lone Pine, to start hiking the John Muir Trail, further south in the Sierra.(Lone Pine is the nearest town to the JMT’s southern terminus, Mount Whitney, the highest peak in the mainland US. Starting there, she’ll have quite a climb up from Whitney Portal to start her hike, but at least she’s in trail shape from the TRT!)
Once I finally got our rental car, CareFree and I made a beeline for a McDonalds for lunch, and then headed east, along I-80, to begin a week of sightseeing.
Where to, though? That’s another story, for another day…