Destinations Magazine

Road Trip Update Rambling and Gambling – Redding to Reno to Las Vegas Baby!

By Kenin Bassart @Constantramble

After having a great time in the Pacific Northwest we decided to take our trip to a much warmer climate. On our last trip in the area we took Highway 101 South along the Pacific Coast to Northern California. This time we decided to switch it up a bit and head towards the inland and made a stop off in Redding, CA before hitting Reno and Las Vegas in Nevada for a little rambling and gambling.

Road Trip Update Rambling and Gambling – Redding to Reno to Las Vegas Baby!

Our route from Portland to Redding to Reno To Las Vegas

We left Portland and set out for a stop off in the city of Redding, CA. The drive was pretty scenic and took us through Crater Lake National Park and several other national and state parks. One of the most fascinating parts of the drive had to be the elevations changes and how the weather was impacted because of them . During one part of the drive it was a cool and crisp Autumn afternoon and then suddenly it was frigid and wintry.

Road Trip Update Rambling and Gambling – Redding to Reno to Las Vegas Baby!

A Beautiful Autumn Afternoon

Road Trip Update Rambling and Gambling – Redding to Reno to Las Vegas Baby!

Elevation brings on the full effects of Winter

Once we arrived in Redding we both came across the one thing that every traveler loves the most: The Flu. While I’m sure all of our dear readers would love to see lots of photos of us laying around a hotel room with runny noses and a cough, we decided to omit those :-) We ended up spending 2 nights in Redding and all I can tell you about the place is they have this really cool Sundial bridge at the Turtle Bay Exploration Park. It’s actually both a pedestrian bridge across the Sacramento River and one of the worlds largest sundials!

Sundial Bridge over the sacramento River Turtle Bay Redding CA

View from on the Sundial Pedestrian Bridge

Road Trip Update Rambling and Gambling – Redding to Reno to Las Vegas Baby!
Profile of the Sundial Bridge Redding CA

Once we were feeling a bit better (or maybe our itinerary forced us) we left Redding and set our sights on the lovely state of Nevada to visit Reno and Las Vegas. We visited Las Vegas on our last road trip, and it’s always a good time but Reno was a first for both of us. Considering where Reno is located, we decided to avoid the interstate as much as possible when we left Redding and we were glad we did. Our route took us through the Lassen National Forest which, sadly, was closed due to winter conditions but still afforded some spectacular views.

Entering Lassen National Forest

Entering Lassen National Forest

Shortly thereafter we traded the trees and forests for the lovely desert that Nevada is so famous for :-)

Snow covered mountains on the CA NV border

By the time we reached Reno our flus had all about cleared up along with all the winter conditions. We figured the best thing to do at that point was to head out into a bunch of cigarette-smoke filled casinos and gamble!

Welcome to Reno Nevada

Welcome to Reno Nevada

Reno reminded us both of a smaller and somehow seedier version of  Las Vegas. There were many of the same casino chains, just a whole lot smaller and older. The one big plus side was that Reno still has many of the attractions that “old” Las Vegas was famous for. If you’re looking for cheap eats and bad free drinks Reno is the place for you!  I mean who can beat this gem for only $4.99!

Road Trip Update Rambling and Gambling – Redding to Reno to Las Vegas Baby!

“El Gordo” Burrito at Top-Deck Diner at Cal-Neva Casino Reno NV

Road Trip Update Rambling and Gambling – Redding to Reno to Las Vegas Baby!
The following morning we decided to find something to do that wasn’t drinking or gambling and found something right up our alley: rambling!

Sign at the National Car Museum in Reno NV

Sign at the National Car Museum in Reno NV

Reno,NV is home to the National Automobile Museum which features over 200 cars, many of which are part of the Harrah family collection. It was ranked one of the top 5 car museums in the country and we can see why!

Where else can you see this  classic 1912 Rambler

Road Trip Update Rambling and Gambling – Redding to Reno to Las Vegas Baby!

1912 Rambler from “Titanic”

alongside something as cool as Lana Turner’s bright orange Chrysler Newport?

Lana Turner's 1941 Chrysler Newport Phaeton

Lana Turner’s 1941 Chrysler Newport Phaeton

We spent a few hours looking through the whole collection and it was  definitely worth the cost of admission.  Once we were done gawking at cars we inevitably found ourselves drawn back to the Reno “strip” for the promise of cheap food and the chance to win big! While we certainly didn’t find big money at the casinos we found more artery-clogging goodness at The Nugget Casino/Diner.  We stopped in for their “famous” Awful Awful burger. The burger is everything you’d expect from a diner (greasy, cheap, yet strangely satisfying), served atop a full pound of french fries, and served by a staff that could care less about customer service. Somehow it was the perfect meal for a town like Reno.

Awful Awful burger at The Nugget Casino and Diner Reno NV

The Awful Awful is Awful Big and Awful Good! :-)

We departed the next morning and decided to take our quest for instant riches to Reno’s much larger and corporate big brother, Las Vegas! We spent about 8 hours in the car driving from city to city. Other than lots of desert there was some great scenery, like Walker Lake, near Hawthorne, NV.

Walker Lake in Hawthorne NV

Walker Lake in Hawthorne NV

The other pretty cool and unexpected stop on the trip was the Hawthorne Ordnance Museum. Hawthorne is home to the military’s largest ammunitions depot, so it’s a perfect place to house a collection of historic armaments.

Hawthorne Ordnance Museum Hawthorne NV

Hawthorne Ordnance Museum Hawthorne NV

Once we arrived in Vegas, checked into our hotel, and settled in the pooches, we were off to one of our favorite parts of Vegas, Fremont Street!

Save your money for the slot machines! Find deals on Las Vegas hotels at Hotels.com

Road Trip Update Rambling and Gambling – Redding to Reno to Las Vegas Baby!

We spent the rest of the night casino hopping from one end of the strip to the other and reveling in classic Vegas slots that allow you to still use coins. The following day we spent our time on the new strip enjoying all the outsized architecture and world travel as we went from New York to Paris by simply crossing a street :-)

NY NY Casino Las Vegas NV

New York!


Vegas Polo Towers

Eiffel Tower at Paris in Las Vegas

Eiffel Tower at Paris in Las Vegas

All the world travel had us pretty hungry so once we were done sightseeing along the strip we decided to seek out some high quality eats. All the Casinos sport some great buffets, but we were looking for something a little more unique. We found our answer when a friend mentioned Hash House a go go! The place was founded in San Diego and quickly became a Las Vegas staple with 4 locations across the city. With entrée’s like Sage Chicken Benedict, you can’t go wrong if you are looking for fresh food made with whole and simple ingredients served in Vegas style giant portions.

Road Trip Update Rambling and Gambling – Redding to Reno to Las Vegas Baby!

Fried Chicken, Eggs, Gravy, Biscuit, Sage, and… Oh Yeah MASHED POTATOES!

After filling ourselves to the brim at Hash House with breakfast for dinner (they serve dinner for dinner too) we did the only sensible thing we could do after spending days gambling in both Reno and Vegas… gamble some more :-)

Enjoy our gallery below with some pictures from this leg of our trip and we always welcome comments!

If you enjoyed this post we invite you read past updates from our Florida to Alaska Road Trip or become subscribers by entering your email address in the subscribe box on our sidebar.

Our route from Portland to Redding to Reno To Las Vegas
Our route from Portland to Redding to Reno To Las Vegas
Backcountry in Oregon

Punkin taking a break on the roadside
Lowell Covered Bridge Oregon

Lowell Covered Bridge Built in 1945
A Beautiful Autumn Afternoon
A Beautiful Autumn Afternoon

Zoe enjoying a roadside pit stop
Elevation brings on the full effects of Winter
Elevation brings on the full effects of Winter

Sundial Bridge over the sacramento River Turtle Bay Redding CA
View from on the Sundial Pedestrian Bridge
DSCN2456

DSCN2460
Entering Lassen National Forest
Entering Lassen National Forest

On the way to Reno NV
Snow covered mountains on the CA NV border

Welcome to Nevada!
Welcome to Nevada!
Bonanza Casino Reno Nevada
Bonanza Casino Reno Nevada

Cal-Neva Parking Stadium Reno, NV
Top-Deck Diner at Cal-Neva Casino Reno NV
Top-Deck Diner at Cal-Neva Casino Reno NV

Road Trip Update Rambling and Gambling – Redding to Reno to Las Vegas Baby!
“El Gordo” Burrito at Top-Deck Diner at Cal-Neva Casino Reno NV
Harrah's Casino Reno NV
Harrah’s Casino Reno NV

Welcome to Reno Nevada
Welcome to Reno Nevada
The Nugget Casino and Diner Reno NV
The Nugget Casino and Diner Reno NV

Awful Awful burger at The Nugget Casino and Diner Reno NV
The Awful Awful is Awful Big and Awful Good! :-)
The Nugget Diner in Reno NV Home of the Awful Awful
The Nugget Diner in Reno NV Home of the Awful Awful

Sign at the National Car Museum in Reno NV
Sign at the National Car Museum in Reno NV
1938 Phantom Corsair
1938 Phantom Corsair

Road Trip Update Rambling and Gambling – Redding to Reno to Las Vegas Baby!
1910 White “Touring”
Road Trip Update Rambling and Gambling – Redding to Reno to Las Vegas Baby!
1912 Rambler from “Titanic”

Lana Turner's 1941 Chrysler Newport Phaeton
Lana Turner’s 1941 Chrysler Newport Phaeton
Circus Circus Reno NV
Circus Circus Reno NV

Jets leaving their mark near Schurz NV
Jets leaving their Mark
Walker Lake in Hawthorne NV
Walker Lake in Hawthorne NV

Old Munitions turned to art in Hawthorne NV
Old Munitions turned to art in Hawthorne NV
Hawthorne Ordnance Museum Hawthorne NV
Hawthorne Ordnance Museum Hawthorne NV

The Desert near Tonopah NV
The Desert near Tonopah NV
Binion's on Freemont Street Las Vegas NV

Cowboy on Freemont Street Las Vegas Nevada
Terrible's Hotel and Casino Las Vegas NV

Welcome to the Goretorium Las Vegas NV
Getting shocked at the Goretoreum Las Vegas NV

Hard Rock Cafe on the Las Vegas Strip
M&M World on the Las Vegas Strip

Statue of Liberty made of Jelly Beans @ It's Sugar Las Vegas
Eiffel Tower at Paris in Las Vegas

Welcome to Hash House A Go Go
Hash House A Go-Go

Fried Chicken, Eggs, Gravy, Biscuit, Sage, and... Oh Yeah MASHED POTATOES!
Fried Chicken, Eggs, Gravy, Biscuit, Sage, and… Oh Yeah MASHED POTATOES!
Profile of the Sundial Bridge Redding CA

Telling time with the Sundial Bridge Redding CA
NY NY Casino Las Vegas NV
New York!



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