Tag Archives: Snow

Nevada – full of surprises

windmills 2 nevada

We were heading into Nevada specifically to go to Reno and paddle the Truckee Whitewater park. It was taking us 12 hours out of our way but the pictures looked amazing and the write-ups all said that water flowed year round… It was an interesting geographical change from Utah, as we drove into the Great Basin area with large expanses of flat desert landscape.

nevada snowy road #1

Surprise #1 was a pacific storm rolling in on the day we were leaving St. George. It was bringing high winds, low temperatures and precipitation to Northern California, all of Nevada and parts of Utah. Oh GREAT… We’ve done this once already in September in B.C. – should we start to anticipate this on a monthly basis???

nevada snowy road #2

Surprise #2 was learning that Nevada is the most mountainous state in the United States and that means when you are driving east to west (or west to east), all you do is cross summits! This makes for long driving and alot of work for the truck (aka poor Fordo).

nevada snowy road #3

When you put #1 and #2 TOGETHER you get 6 hours in a winter snow storm for what is supposed to be a sunshine filled, warm vacation! It also made for a long drive with a few held breaths as the truck started to go sideways going both up and down the hills. We even came across a road closure with State Trouper’s blocking the roads. Tim’s awesome driving left nothing to fear and we came through it all without a bump…

nevada snowplow

The really humourful part is that we are driving in more snow than they have at home in Whitehorse right now…

More to come on Great Basin National Park & Lehman Caves (where we camped at 7300 feet and were surrounded by snow) and our exceptionally quick visit to Reno.

Bend, Oregon

Many good friends told us that we HAD to stop in Bend, Oregon as part of our adventures. We took their advice seriously and spent some time reading up on all that Bend has to offer, and it looked great – mountain biking, whitewater kayaking right through town, funky cafes and an outdoor oriented culture.

We had planned to spend 2-3 days (at least) to experience all it had to offer…

The bad news is, that we spent about an hour in Bend. After a cool and wet few days in Washington and northern Oregon, we rolled into Bend and stopped at the local kayak shop to get some intel. It was quite cool out(the staff in the store were wearing winter hats and light parkas) and the forecast for the coming week was for temps hovering around the freezing mark. That did not leave us feeling inspired. On top of that we learned that the water levels were really low and the only sections that were viable were class 4/5 (well above Hunter’s level).

After picking up an Oregon paddling book with ideas for places we could potentially hit on our return trip in March, we made the call to get in the truck and DRIVE. Betty, the magic GPS calculated that it was 14 hours from Bend to Moab and we were on our way south in search of sunshine and warmth. Within an hour south of town we could see the snow marching down the mountains and felt quite justified in our decision to move on.

I counted 4 vegetarian or organic places just on our drive through Bend to the kayak store and there looked to be some really cool architecture in the old mill district so I’m buying into all the advice and we will have to find a way to catch Bend at a better time. We will be back!