reno, rest, relaxation & return

The drive from Seattle to Glacier National Park took almost ten hours. Originally our plan was to hit up Yellowstone after Glacier, and then Arches and Zion, and then hit Las Vegas before heading home. But looking at the map, we saw that each of those drives would be at least a good eight hours. We were getting kind of road weary, and we had spent more money than we had planned to, so we decided to head back home early. From Glacier we drove southwest through Idaho into Nevada, stopping in Reno. We drove through the night, taking turns, driving over one thousand miles in one straight shot.

We were able to get a free room at the Grand Sierra hotel. After the usual casino buffet dinner we hit up the wine tasting bar. They have this cool automatic wine tasting bar there. The only problem with it is that it gets pretty expensive pretty quickly– and in truth I’m not much of a wine connoisseur anyways, if I do drink wine it’s usually cheap stuff… I can’t really tell what’s a good wine anyways.

On our way back home we decided to hit up Grover Hot Springs state park. I have a lot of great memories of that place from when I was a kid. We decided to hike up to the waterfall I used to hike to with my family. The trail seems a bit overgrown nowadays.

It’s a nice hike along a stream. I remember having a ton of fun as a kid scrambling up the rocks. It’s still fun as an adult.

I remember the waterfall being a lot bigger when I was a kid… It’s only like 20 feet tall. We actually went right up underneath the waterfall. The cold water felt really refreshing on my back, and the stream of water hitting my back and shoulders felt like a great massage.

Then we hit up the hot spring. It’s still exactly the same as from when I was a kid. My family used to come here often to camp when my bro and I were young. Honestly I think the only reason why my parents were willing to camp is because they could relax in the hot spring. In fact, I know that to be true, because nowadays they still go to the hot spring, they just stay in a hotel in Reno instead of camping. I am thankful that I got to camp with my family as a kid because of this hot spring– my love for camping still continues to this day because of those great memories from my childhood.

The spring water has a bunch of minerals dissolved in it. I don’t know what any of these minerals are good for, all I know is that my skin feels smooth after sitting in the hot spring. My bro and I both had mild cases of eczema when we were kids. These waters always made our skin better.

While we were waiting for the coals to get hot and our dinner to cook, I took some more test shots with my new lens. There were a good number of squirrels and birds to take pictures of, and we made friends with them by feeding them croutons and nuts. This guy is pretty cool with his mohawk.

I’m pretty happy with the sharpness of my lens. It makes me want to get a new SLR body though, one with faster continuous auto focus. I got lucky with this shot, since this guy was stationary while eating this peanut…

But for the most part it was hard to take pictures of the squirrels, because the birds kept chasing them away. The slower autofocus on my five year old SLR can’t keep up.

After dinner we drove back to Davis. It was a somewhat anticlimactic ending to an amazing trip. I think this might be my last road trip though. My passport came in the mail right before I left for this trip, so I think my next trip is going to be overseas somewhere.

Things I’m thankful for:

  • childhood memories
  • camping with family and friends
  • mineral hot springs

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