It's Summer in Reno - what are you up to?

Posted by Ryan Jerz on Thursday July 16, 2009.

I’m fine with the heat of Summer. I really dislike the cold that Winter brings, but I manage because I like it in Reno. The Summer brings a lot of outdoor, and other, opportunities, and I wanted to look back at some of the fun stuff I’ve been able to do with my family or by myself or in my head to give you ideas if you’re wondering what you should be up to. Because you should be up to something.

Cruise the Truckee River

You live in Reno (or East Reno) and it’s really freaking hot. You’ve seen that body of water moving through the middle of town but don’t know what to do with it. Water cools you, you need cooling, there is water…

Grab a raft, inner tube, pair of floaties, or whatever, and head out to the Truckee River. Jump in, and float down it. We did it, and left a record of how so that everyone could follow in our amazingly large footsteps. It’s an awesome time that can be as long or as short as you choose. You can paddle forward to make it quicker or you can paddle backward to make sure you get plenty of beer-drinking time. Either way, you win. Do it.

Visit an independent nation

You may not know it, but there’s a sovereign nation within Nevada’s borders. Seriously. And it’s about an hour’s drive from here. The place is called Molossia and it’s just outside of Dayton. It’s about the size of a lot in a rural subdivision (an acre or so)—because it’s a lot in a rural subdivision. The guy in charge is legit—he’s been in the RGJ, the Chicago freaking Tribune, and, of course, this place.

He’s about as nice as can be and welcomes tourists. You just better contact him first. I wouldn’t go invading any nation without prior notice. And this guy is likely able to fight off attackers as he’s military-trained. So don’t screw around—just email the guy and ask about visiting before showing up.

Drink some organic tequila

I am a big fan of tequila sipping. I like the stuff, for whatever reason, and I like to really taste it. When I finished grad school a few friends pitched in and bought me some slick organic tequila. I received the gift at a party for the graduates of my “cohort,” which was at my house. Some people got a little crazy and tried to get me to open it and start drinking it there. With the help of my other friends and my good sense, I saved the tequila and drank it later. I made it last, too. Oh, and I reviewed it. In short, it was really good.

Tequila is a total Summer drink. Get some good stuff, grab a deck to sit on, and pour yourself a glass. You’ll enjoy it if it’s decent and you know what the hell you’re doing. Trust me.

Make a fun video

I’m a video guy by trade, basically. I make them for the State of Nevada’s Tourism Commission officially, but I also like to make them on my own. I like to try new things and test out the limits of my limited creativity. But what I do is really not rocket science. Anyone can pull off a sweet video. You just have to have an idea and execute it. The Summer lets you get outside to do something that people will recognize and have a little fun with. Like the Truckee River. Hanging out down there offers plenty of opportunity to create something.

Even if you want to go as far as approaching people you don’t know, you can find what you’re looking for downtown. Perhaps the topic isn’t specifically Summer, but when the air is warm, heading down there is a good idea. You can ask people to write you earthquake songs on the spot, perhaps. You never know who you might make famous.

It’s fire season

Fire season is not exactly a positive thing. But sometimes those fires are in places that entertain the heck out of you. Like that fire a couple years ago in Jackass Canyon. I don’t have any idea where Jackass Canyon is, but I love that the news made a point to say the name as many times a humanly possible in one broadcast. I even confirmed later on that this was in fact the goal of the guy saying it—to say it as much as he could in one show. Not only is it awesome, but couple that with a few shots of organic tequila and you have a serious winner.

The bat bridge

The Bat bridge is cool. It’s the perfect thing to take the family to on any evening to do something fun and get the kids ready for bed. This one can really only be described by this little bit that I wrote before:

Just as the sky gets darker, bats start flying out from under the bridge. They come out for at least 15 minutes (that’s all I know because that’s how long I was there). It’s a constant stream of bats, and others who were there that claim to know said that there are over 100,000 bats in there. Crazy.

Crazy indeed.

I hope this little rundown of past adventures gives you an idea or two for your Summer—or ever. All of these things is a good time and well worth the time it takes to do them. If you happen out on any of these, let me know. I’d love to hear about it.

Ryan JerzRyan Jerz is an all-around good guy who wants people to eventually refer to him as "that dude who climbs mountains."

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