Yesterday marked the end of the vacation aspect of our trip. We left the coast, bound for Reno, Nevada. Our route, though, was a bit circuitous. And it took us through some spectacular scenery. Forests of towering redwoods stretching from dense patches of forest ferns to places so high I had to assume they were far beyond the sky. Vineyards so enormous that I had to believe they held all the grapes used to make all the wines in the entire universe. Roads so crooked and steep I had to believe they were impossible to traverse without plunging off of them into an abyss so deep and unknowable that no one has ever been able to understand where it ends.
Perhaps I am overstating the experience. But not by much. We wandered through Anderson Valley and Napa Valley and other places so remarkable I did not even catch their names. We saw vineyards bigger than Alaska and trees taller than the distance between the sun and the most distant planet. We witnessed water so deep and dense that Earth is far too small and timid to hold them.
Our trip took us south, toward the Bay area, but not quite there. We crept along roads with bends too sharp for gnomes to follow without plunging off into other dimensions as they rounded curves. We slinked beside creeks and slid along rivers. We followed the car’s insistence, knowing the automobile knew far better than we did how to maneuver the landscape. We then drove on big, hideous freeways for awhile, then traveled on magic carpets crafted from gravel and black tar. When, finally, we found ourselves on superhighways that connected cities like Davis, California and Truckee, California, we encountered massive traffic jams caused by truck fires; but we kept ourselves focused on the direction of travel we had chosen. As we drove past the flaming inferno, we saw dozens of firefighters working to contain flames that could have consumed the entire western half of the country. Finally, we made it to Reno, Nevada. To our motel. And to a room with a bed and a shower and a place to rest and recover from an incredible journey.
We did not have dinner last night. Instead, I munched on a bag of Sun Chips and mi novia chose to fast. Surprisingly, I do not feel especially hungry this morning. She is not yet fully awake, but I know she did not feel well when she went to sleep and I think she feels about the same this morning. I hope she improves as she shakes off what little is left of her semi-sleepless night.
Though yesterday we drove only 320 miles, more or less, the winding roads and spectacular scenery extended the time for the drive to considerably more than seven hours (including the truck fire delay and a stop at In-N-Out Burger…meh). Today’s plan is to drive about 560 miles in roughly eight hours. Obviously, I do not expect the scenery to be as captivating on the entire distance on I-80. In an ideal world, one without obligations and time constraints, we might dilly-dally about and see the sights along the way, which would dramatically extend our time on the road. Alas, we do not live in the ideal world. Maybe next trip.
Tomorrow, we plan to drive another 500 miles, stopping somewhere in or around Denver, Colorado for the night. From there, our plan is either to go due South to Santa Rosa, New Mexico or head south and east to Shamrock, Texas. The rest of the trip home will depend on decisions yet to be made.
No, in an ideal world we would not dilly-dally about. In an ideal world I would summon a private, luxurious, incredibly comfortable train car which would take us directly home. Dilly-dallying is for times when one feels especially chipper and healthy.
Enough of this. I need to shower and then eat breakfast. Or vice versa. And, then, hit the road.