In the back of my mind, I am starting to think about crossing the Sierras west of Reno. Well, not so much thinking about it as stressing about it. I had researched the Donner Pass. First – it is a well maintained, year-around US interstate (I-80). It is just that I have never driven the pass before. I am from California and have driven in and out of the state more times than I can remember. I have taken I-5 north (and never liked the steep part around the northern border). I have driven out of the state from the south on I-8 and I-10. One time I took I-40 west coming into California. The thing about California is that you have to pass over some type of pass to get into it. With my trailer, I was worried. But I still had another full day to worry about crossing Donner Pass.
The morning started early in Twin Falls and we got on the road heading south on US 93 to Wells, Nevada and I-80. US 93 was not too bad, no real elevation changes. There were parts that had no shoulder or lane to allow me to get over and let faster traffic pass.
We gassed up in Wells, NV and turned west. The Nevada dessert was hot but the Tundra performed flawlessly. The temp gauge never moved. I kept my speed at a solid 65 miles per hour. For lunch and gas, I decided to stop at Winnemucca. Apparently, everyone else decided to stop there as well. It was a nightmare getting through the gas station adjacent to the McDonald’s and then finding a place to park. Lesson learned, on the way back east I found a travel stop on the western edge of Winnemucca… easy in, easy out with a Subways for lunch.
The afternoon heat continued as we continued to make our way west. No significant issues, just a long day of driving… a bit over 450 miles. Well over what I like to do in a day. We arrived at our destination, just east of Reno at the Sparks Marina RV Park.
Check in was easy and the RV park looked like it had nice facilities. I dropped the trailer in our slot and headed to a nearby Jiffy Lube for an oil change. I was due. Good thing I did as I was low. Dinner was at Applebees. The RV park had a nice pool which I took advantage of with the girls. We slept soundly, with the AC on low.