Saturday, August 01, 2009

Under the Volcano

Lassen, Tahoe and Reno

Last week I took a short vacation to Lassen National Park, Lake Tahoe and Reno. I have a thing about volcanoes I always feel good going to volcanic places. There are no volcanoes around here and it’s always a special treat to be near one. Perhaps it’s that volcanoes remind me the earth is not a dull planet for when they blow their tops they really turn things around. I’m not one of the crazed types that don a fireproof outfit and walks on hot lava. I’ve actually never seen one lava spewing. But I always feel good being in the presence of such volatile mountains. The last time I had been near a volcano was in Guatemala six years ago (I had attempted to see Aconagua while in Argentina but a road closure prevented that a few years ago). So having a plane ticket I needed to use I headed to the Lassen National Park. Until St. Helens blew up Lassen was the last volcano to erupt in the lower 48 states when it sent smoke, ash and mud down its sides in 1915. My best access point for Lassen was Reno about three hours away so I spent four days seeing Lassen, Lake Tahoe and the Biggest Little City in the World Reno. While in Reno I was able to attend a Basque Festival, a Pacific Islander Festival, watch people gamble and visit few yard sales.

Reno come for Burning Man stay for the gambling!

Massive clown presiding over downtown.

Just over the California Boarder is Donner Memorial State Park noted site of starvation and cannibalism. Now a place for jet skiing.

Dancing Basques, Nevada has one of the largest Basques populations in the US.

Hula dancers in the desert, I have no idea why Pacific Islanders descended on Reno. But I enjoyed their presence.

Most of the yard sales I visited on Saturday morning were in the Old Southwest neighborhood. In many ways it looked a lot like the neighborhoods I visit in Atlanta but with more xeriscaping in the yards and more western styling on the homes.
The initial sale I visited cooled shoppers by showering them in bubbles.

A sign the economy is turning around in Nevada, people are selling their books on making money selling foreclosed properties.

This faux book case actually hides a mini sewing machine. It indicates it's better to look like you read 70's pop literature than sew.

Disco balls for sale at the home of a local artist. I think even the yard sales want to have a casino look.

Regardless of where one travels, discarded piles of old electronics look the same