Rollins Lake – Orchard Springs

There’s good old California!

Well, we finally had to concede it was time to wrap this trip. It’s always hard to resist the urge to keep on going, but resist we must. Knowing it would be hard, we cancelled Donner Lake in favor of this new place off Highway 80. It is less crowded, had hookups, and most importantly, was at a lower elevation so I could drink. We factor these things in, you see. You must plan correctly for mental breakdowns.

A post parade parade

On our way up and over Donner Pass, we saw so many vintage cars returning from the Reno parade. That was very fun. Lots of them were being towed, but many did the climbing all by themselves. This is a change in elevation of around three thousand feet, with grades of four to eight percent. Impressive.

Nice to find a new place

Rollins Lake is a nice little reservoir with a couple of marinas and campgrounds. Orchard Springs boasts sites with full hookups, although we learned the hard way that the sewer inlet is too small for a standard dump hose to fit into. If you had a funnel type fitting, it might work better. We should have dumped at a place down the road, or even waited until we got home to our new spiffy sewer clean out.

Bike ride just in view of, but not on, 80

We had two nights to enjoy and no weather events whatsoever. No rain, no hail, no lightning, no thunder, no wind, no tornado threats. We realize why we are such weather wimps. Both of us were born and raised in a state where any hint of weather, like the rest of the country experiences regularly, costs billions of dollars in catastrophic damage. We don’t get afternoon wind and hail storms. We get afternoon gentle breezes.

Nice and calm on the lake

Richard was able to get in one last “Jay’s Essential Ride” and I got in one last paddle. I do in fact like storing the kayak in the roof box. It was easy to take everything out and I like that I can put things back not completely dry, rather than have to air it out before packing it away. I figure the blackness of the box must aid in evaporation of any residual dampness by making it pretty hot up there. The small size is perfect for my inflatable kayak, paddle, kayak wheels, pump, life jacket, and stinky water shoes.

Last supper

For our last dinner, we cooked up a couple of Chicken Cordon Blues that we have carried around frozen the whole two months. We had green beans, so I just sautéed them in olive oil, with a little garlic and balsamic at the end. It was a very nice way to celebrate Wrap Day.

Those little frozen fancy chicken things sure are fun

The drive home was bleh. It was kind of windy (despite my previous California weather gloating), and a lot of the driving was on the interstate. Once through Sacramento, I got off and followed back roads the rest of the way. But it was still a long drive.

Some progress in the back yard

Once home, we had to remember how to do everything. Like where did we put the house keys and how do we do that whole ramp/winch thing again? It came back to us, and Dory is now safely inside the garage. Our back yard has a big scoop and some machinery sitting there, so some progress was made for the future Dory1 backyard campground. And we were very pleased to see our daughter and our kitty. The former made us welcome home cookies, and the latter trotted up excitedly and gave us good purrs. It does feel good to be home. We still love our new shower and that sure did feel luxurious. Not that we wouldn’t have continued if we could. We have yet to hit that “let’s be done” wall. Traveling is hard and scary at times, but it’s where we feel the most connected and alive. 75 days on the road and only a few parts missing. Not bad for a summer.

Really delicious welcome home cookies

Speaking of missing, we were using a fold out step after the Dory step crunching incident. We carry that with us for sites that are very tippy, but it worked great as a substitute. Well, we seem to have left that behind in Reno, so for our last stay, we really did have to climb in and out. So ridiculous. It’s probably propped up against the fence at River West. Since we use it so infrequently, we weren’t used to checking for it on pack up. I did send an email to Safari Condo to inquire about the price to send replacement parts for Dory’s step. That will go on the list of things to do before next summer.

Other things we want to investigate or get before our next summer trip include: replacing the stabilizer(s), installing a fan cover (that can be taken off when we need to get in the garage), a surge protector, an electronic sway controller, a propane conversion for the generator, an E-bike for me, and a portable air compressor for tires.

By and large, we did fine with what we had, but weather was the ever present theme and that’s just not going to get any easier. Anything we can do to assist in dealing with it could only help. 400 watt solar panels keep the batteries charged just great when there is sun. Gas that sits in a generator that doesn’t get used in over a year goes bad and gunks it up. Lighting is a thing and so is wind, so we’d better plan for it. And after two months on the road, tires need topping up. We got it done easily on the road, but it could be even easier if we could take care of it on our own. The E-bike is just for fun.

In terms of new rules and procedures learned from this trip, here are the top ones:

  • Have Richard spot me out of the site ALWAYS
  • 2/2/2 (200 miles/arrive by 2/stay 2 nights) unless there is a good reason not to
  • Electric hookups unless there is a good reason not to
  • Check for cell service when making reservations
  • Sandwich non service stays with recovery stays
  • Roll by 9 unless there is a good reason not to
  • Yellow Alert: All outside things put back in car, awnings removed, unplug if lightning is coming
  • Red Alert: (do all Yellow Alert things if not already done), Roof down and/or nose into the wind for serious wind or hail threat, move car in front as a buffer if possible

We did great on supplies, except for Vadouvan Curry Powder. That was a total fail. I had curry powder anxiety with the small glass jar it comes in, so I took extra in a Ziplock freezer bag. Realizing quickly that this does not work to contain spice smells, I double bagged it. That also does not work. So rather than throw it all out, I just let all of Dory become infused with the delicious, bear attracting smell of curry. For coffee pods, we had a box shipped to Jack and Lee, which we got to about half way through the trip. We had TP anxiety but were able to find our brand at Walmart. Everything else we could score on the road, even mango chutney.

We are back in our home routines now and will definitely go out this weekend. The calendar is looking bare, so I’ll need get busy booking weekends. Thanks for keeping me company on the road!

Total miles from Reno: 87.9, 20.1 mpg, 2 hours 44 min. Site 243 full hookups. Worst. Dump. Ever. Good cell for both. Boat launch. Campground store, but wasn’t open.

8 thoughts on “Rollins Lake – Orchard Springs

  1. Aww, it is always sad for me when you get back home. I know then that summer is almost over. What a fantastic summer you had. Thanks for sharing it. One day we will have to get our van closer to you so that we can have a couple of fun nights together.

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