Views From the Road: Reno, Nevada #MondayBlogs #travel

When we told people about our upcoming vacation, and that part of it would be in Reno, most responded, “Reno?! Why Reno?” Often I answered, “Why not?” When we lived in San Francisco, we spent our summer vacations hiking and camping around Nevada. My husband in particular is fond of the basin-and-range topography. We actually had wanted to stay in Carson City, the state capital, but I couldn’t find us a decent Airbnb. I must confess, I love Airbnb. I love staying in a neighborhood where I can pretend, for my short visit, that I live there. I love being able to eat-in instead of having to dine out, which of course saves a lot of $$$.

Greg suggested Reno when my Airbnb search in Carson City came up empty. Besides, we both noted, the airport is right there.

So after our excursions in California (which you can read about here and here and here), we took off for Reno, Nevada. Our drive across the state was longer than anticipated because:

(1) we woke to find our rental car had a flat tire and so Greg had to change it out with the spare, then we had to find a Budget place nearby and switch out the car. This was the Saturday before Labor Day, mind you, and getting service was no easy task.

(2) I-80 is a slog. Stop-and-go almost the entire 200+ miles.

Lucky for us, I have a friend along the way, near Auburn, and we were able to take a break and visit with him and his wife, their dog and transient cat in their very lovely home. Some of you know this friend: Kevin Brennan. Yeah, THAT Kevin Brennan! Woot! It was great fun to sit with Kevin and Sue and drink ice water (have I mentioned yet how hot it was) and talk about writing and politics. It would have been more fun if we hadn’t had that flat tire and been able to arrive in time for lunch. Eh, it was a wonderful respite nonetheless. Meeting Kevin face-to-face was the highlight of that day for me. We’ve been “virtual” friends for about four or five years now. It was nice to get a real hug from him instead of an emoji.

By the time we got to Reno, it was dusk, my husband’s eyes were itchy, and we were bickering about how to find the condo we were renting. We found it.

Our Airbnb condominium in Reno, Nevada

Our condo was on the seventh floor, high enough for Greg to do a day-to-night timelapse from our window.

Watch the video and you’ll see fireworks at the end. Seriously, fireworks. A block from our condo are several casinos. We assume the fireworks were some kind of promotion or entertainment. They definitely were entertaining for us.

Reno is an interesting city, definitely a work in progress. We met a friend of a friend who has been living in Reno for the last couple of years. She’s an artist and is very excited about the developing art scene. It was fun to walk around with her, but it was also hot and very, very dry. I have to admit, I felt unsettled, uneasy from the moment we arrived in Reno. While I know Greg and I are on the hunt for affordable living way west of where we currently live, I wished we had stayed in Lagunitas for a second week.

I never shook off my uneasiness. Some of it was a sense of foreboding, some of it was fatigue. Even though Reno is a walkable city, it was too hot and dry to walk much. But when we walked, I took lots of photos. The photos below are grouped by location rather than time.

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The Truckee River literally runs through Reno, bisecting it into North Reno and South Reno. We had a view of the river from our living room window, and it is a wonderful amenity. One late afternoon, I took off by myself to just walk along the paved path that follows the river. Here’s my favorite photo from that walk:

Truckee River going west.

Reno is investing in its creative potential. Whimsical metal sculptures, colorful murals give a lift to the otherwise grimy, gritty feel of the city, especially where the casinos are. The grittiness never left me, though, and thanks to the dry air, by the end of the week I was having nosebleeds.

Courtesy of

Yeah, that bad.

We had more adventures ahead of us, some fun, some … not so fun. Tales of our time in Nevada will be continued so stay tuned.

32 thoughts on “Views From the Road: Reno, Nevada #MondayBlogs #travel

  1. I’ve never been there–and I didn’t even realize a river ran through the city. I’ve had nosebleeds here in the winter when the air gets dry from having the heat running, but I never thought of getting them from being in a city such as Reno.
    How nice that you got to meet Kevin in person!

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  2. I enjoyed that time lapse and your photos. I have never visited Reno, though I have friends who lived there. Oh man! How awful about the nosebleeds! Is the air that dry and dirty?

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    1. The air is definitely that dry. So dry that the week after we left there were red flag warnings for fire around Reno. This year has been really rough for the West in terms of fire 😦


  3. We were in Reno and Carson City last year! I posted about it on my Tahoe post (we went there, too). My cousin lives in Carson City as he works for the government. There were things I liked about Reno, especially the gluten free bakery (the best I’ve been to), but overall I could not live there. Carson City is kind of darling, but small.

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    1. I remember that post. Reno has a lot going for it but it’s already too expensive for us. I wish we had spent some time in Carson City. We were going to, but changed plans at the last minute.

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      1. The topography of the land (I think that is the right word) is not good for me around Reno. I couldn’t have that view day after day. (No offense to people who live there and love it!)

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        1. You mean the basin and range? Or the hilliness of Reno? We both like basin and range topography although I’m eager to go back to Trinidad, CO, and Santa Fe, NM. The drive on I-25 from Trinidad to Santa Fe was gorgeous!

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            1. Hmmm … I’ve never been in Nevada in winter. Glad you mentioned it because Greg and I should think about visiting during winter sometime. I have to admit, I didn’t enjoy the scenery much, maybe because it was so dry. Greg is a geology buff (among many other things) so for him, basin and range is like a geologic candy shop. He could study rocks all day long.

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  4. I went to Reno last year for the first time in 20 years, and boy has it changed! Much more upscale. I missed the old Time casinos that have been torn down but I did love all the street art, and had a fantastic health food store v close to the condo we stayed in. And the river is so pretty. I actually like the desert landscape but the temps are pretty extreme. Glad to see your post.

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    1. Was that the Great Basin co-op? We bought our groceries from a co-op just around the corner from our condo. Small place but well-stocked. Staff was very friendly. That is something I would miss if we move to a small town. Most small towns we’ve been to only have the big supermarket chains.


    2. Oh, hi, Kathy! Lol … for some reason I thought you were someone else when I first read your comment 🙃 Reno’s midtown infrastructure is being improved and there’s definitely a welcomed emphasis on the arts. Still, there’s a lot of sprawl and reliance on cars. The friend we visited said people generally go into hibernation during July and August. I’m not sure how well I’d tolerate that. Still their summers are a lot shorter than Florida’s 😉


  5. I’ve been to Reno a couple of times, but only stayed the night one time. I feel for you and the dry-air nosebleeds. People think I’m weird when I will say how I liked living down South. Humidity means it is easier to breathe in some ways due to less drying out of the various passages, and my throat tends to get dry. Also, I used a lot less lotion when I lived somewhere humid! Reno and Boise are probably fairly on par with how dry the air is, but maybe Reno is a bit more so.

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    1. I think Reno was above average dry. My husband’s lips got severely chapped and we always felt dehydrated no matter how much water we drank. Inland Florida is the other extreme. The humidity is not as bad as on the coast but then … well … hurricanes 😏

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  6. Hey, thanks for the shout-out, Marie! Sue and I were so glad you and Greg were able to stop by. We just wish Hitch was a more welcoming host-dog! 😳 Great to meet you both in person and spend a little time commiserating on all things writing and politics.

    Reno must not be for everyone, but my aunt and cousin have lived there for 20 years or so and seem to love it. My aunt’s on South Virginia Street, probably close to your room!

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    1. Hey, Kevin! Hitch was fine 🙂. I never expect dogs to be friendly … seems safer that way 😉 Maybe we can give Reno another try someday, but we’ve got more exploring to do. I hope the next time we’re in CA or NV, we can have a longer visit.

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    1. Hey, Phillip, I thought of you often on this trip, especially when we were in Virginia City 🙂 I’d love to take a trip where I met every one of you. That would be the trip of a lifetime!


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