Mister Eclectic (howeird) wrote,
Mister Eclectic

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Long Hot Day

Very restless night. Went to bed at around 9, kept waking up. Finally stayed up at 4:30 until the 4:45 alarms went off. I was ready to go by 5:30, should have waited till 6, but I was at the train station before that. The station wasn't open, but Caltrain staff was on the platform so I found out which track. San Jose station has horribly lacking signage, despite all kinds of electronic reader boards. It would be so easy to mark each tunnel entrance with the type and destination of train.

One other guy was waiting by the train, which was staged about 50 yards from where it would be taking off from. A conductor came out to give us a head-up at about 6:30 (6:45 train).

The ride to Sacramento was easy, we got there way early. The train was about half full at most, which meant I could keep my pack on the seat next to me.

There was a cart waiting for us on the platform, it's almost a mile from the track to the station where the buses are. My bus was not due out till 10:15, and got there at 10:10. Not a lot of passengers.

I am so very glad I had not tried to drive that final 72 miles, because Hwy 50 degrades from a 12-lane superhighway to a 3-lane mountain road which switches which side gets two lanes depending on which side is going uphill. The scenery is spectacular, sheer cliffs, Yosemite-like mountains, dense forests. There was a fire somewhere which hazed things up, and between the not-clear view and the winding route and the glare on the windows which my polarizing filter hardly touched, I took very few photos and just enjoyed the view and the vertigo.

The driver explained that the S. Lake Tahoe stop was three stops, the last one right by the hotel (which is in Nevada), but I had planned to take the first stop and catch a more scenic drive local bus. The good news is it was free for Amtrack transfers, the bad news is it was a 45-minute wait. It only runs once an hour. And it wasn't all that scenic, only about 3 minutes of lake view.

2-block walk to the hotel, plus a 2-block maze to the registration desk. They really want you to gamble. No problems checking in, the room is huge, but has no fridge and no view and no outlets by the desk. Nice TV, but it is glued to the wall, so no way to swivel it if you want to sit in one of the lovely chairs off to the side.

Dumped my stuff, put a light jacket and my tablet in my foldable knapsack, grabbed the camera and walked back to the bus stop. The bus had already gone. Took some photos in the neighborhood, and saw the camera battery was almost depleted, so walked back to the room, put that one on the charger, replaced it with a spare and put the second spare in my pocket.

Back to the bus station, which turned out to be a mistake because it goes to the end of its route and turns around, stopping right in front of Harvey's.

The agent at the first local station was very helpful, she suggested I visit something called Lakeview Commons. I had the driver drop me off near there, and it turns out to be a lovely public beach and boat ramp, with a sort of amphitheater leading to the lake. Very nice view of the lake. It's way too shallow to swim, but people were wading and sunbathing. Very scenic. I hung around for a while, then looked for food in the area, and found a lot of choices. It was late for lunch, early for dinner, so I had a huge chocolate malt at the "snow zone". Popular place. Burgers smelled wonderful, but I was not in the mood. The cashier is a cute pixie.

Investigated a few other places but was no longer hungry. Walked 1/4 mile to the crosswalk and 1.4 mile back to the bus stop and waited for the #50 to take me back to Nevada. Either the schedule is wrong or it was way late.

Totally pooped, sunburned and not hungry at all, I went to the room and got comfortable and watched some of MNF. Decided to be among people, there is a lot of eye candy around here, so I watched in the sports book room till halftime and then went through the underground tunnel to Harrah's, found the food court, and a Thai food stand.

The young man who took my order for Thai Iced Tea without boba pellets got it wrong, and when he went back to fix it he asked me, and still had it wrong, so I shouted in Thai asking if he spoke Thai. Both he and the really cute teenaged girl at the register said yes, so I gave him my order in Thai, he got it right and they both waied me. So cute! Still not hungry, and the main dishes were way too expensive, so if I go back it will be for Thai Iced Tea.

Back to the sports book room for a bit, but it was all men with  beer. Back to my room to watch the end of the game, log into the net (which cost $14! - it's free in Harrah's food court).

Hiked way down the hall to get ice and a diet pepsi. No coke. Boo, hiss.

Plans for tomorrow:
Not sure. This is basically a ski town but it's summer. I think it got up to 80 today. Major league khamsin winds from the mountains.
One of the buses from the terminal goes to Carson, which is a place I have never been. But it looks like it runs even less often than the #50.
There probably aren't any weekday tours now that summer season is over.
No shows on Monday night, nothing I want to see tomorrow as far as I can tell.

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