Summer 2011

Diamond Lake, OR to S. Lake Tahoe, CA

396 Miles/634 Km

2 July 2011

Route Map

Click on pinpoints for local information

Destination Map

Photographs and Commentary
Click on picture to enlarge

We planned on an early departure from Diamond Lake so that we would have more time in Lake Tahoe in the afternoon. At the time of our departure the temperature was a balmy 37 degrees. Our route took us through Klamath Falls, OR and south into California. Shortly after we got into California we had to stop for a mandatory Gypsy Moth inspection, which took over ten minutes while two inspectors thoroughly checked the outside of the trailer and crawled underneath to look for egg sacks... that was a new experience for us. The route then took us southeast through the high desert of California, over the Sierras into Reno, NV. At Reno we continued south to Carson City, NV and then west over the mountains into the Lake Tahoe area. In the course of our trip we went from 37 degrees to 93 degrees in the high desert area and down to the upper 70s when we got over the pass into the Lake Tahoe area.

The area we traveled through is sparsely populated and that raised some concerns about the availability of diesel fuel. Experience has taught us not to wait until we are in the middle of nowhere to start looking for fuel. When we travel the Interstates I will wait until I'm down to a quarter tank before starting to look for fuel. In sparsely populated areas, such as what we drove through today, we start looking for fuel at the half tank mark. We also carry a five gallon can of diesel as a reserve (we have only relied on the reserve once in our travels). One of the biggest towns we drove through was Susanville, CA (I'm not kidding) and this was just about at the half tank mark. There were several stations selling diesel and our full tank took us to our destination with plenty of fuel to spare.

As it turned out we didn't get into Tahoe Valley Campground until about 4pm so we didn't have a chance to look around South Lake Tahoe. This trip also proved the fallibility of technology. We have been reliant on our GPS and other route planning software for routing us between stops. In the past we have had minor errors from the GPS because of bad data in the GPS (we have found that several GPS and mapping programs, including Google Maps) rely on the same databases and thus the errors occur on all of them. For the various segments of this trip I used a mapping software that is part of the electronic version of the Trailer Life RV Directory. It provided the routing we took today. I also checked with Google Maps and got the same routing. My GPS gave me the same routing in car mode and a different one that was 90 miles longer in truck mode. I always drive with GPS in truck mode when we are towing because it takes into consideration the size and weight of the truck-trailer combination (so does the Trailer Life Directory) so I started off with GPS in that mode. When we got to Klamath Falls the GPS wanted us to go southwest to pick up I-5. The other programs told me to the left fork and head southeast into California so we did. I thought that after a while the GPS would recalculate the route to match the other programs. It did not and eventually froze up (I guess the women inside the GPS decided to get even for our ignoring her). We relied on routing information from Trailer Life Directory which I sent to Susie's iPad for the rest of the trip. The GPS finally found itself as we were coming into Lake Tahoe where I didn't really need it. Until 2009 I always put together a book with the map and way points for each travel day. After today's experience, I am going to go back to the book so that we have a non-electronic backup.

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