A Silly Time to Travel


We probably chose the worse possible time to travel….but we’re adventurous…..so, a couple of days ago, we headed from our Portland home to Reno.  We were packed and ready to go when my daughter and Ingrid pulled up to say goodbye to us.  This brought tears to my eyes…their getting out of bed so early to make that drive across town. It was a loving and kind gesture, and frankly, I NEEDED those goodbye hugs!

We left before the sun came out, anticipating a relatively easy 8.5 hour drive that I have made many times, and that John has made at least 3 times.  Even though the weather forecast said the weather would be clear along our route, just as we turned onto Division street, it began to snow.

I love snow, so wasn’t unhappy about it….but….It didn’t stop!  It snowed and snowed and snowed….and soon, the roads were icy.  Fortunately, John is an excellent driver.  I wish I could say the same for everyone else along the way!

Many 18-wheelers skidded and slid all over the road, so we stayed clear of them as much as we could.  I had counted 8 accidents  by the time we reached the California border.

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So…what we thought would be an easy,  fairly straightforward drive ended up being a stressful 14.5 hour drive that seemed boundless.  Fortunately, we saw some breathtaking scenery along the way. The one thing that I love about snow is how it changes as the light shifts from hour to hour.

“Our” song is Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto In A Major: Adagio, and if you can imagine, that was what we played as we drove through this incredibly beautiful stretch of terrain.  This is the song I marched down the isle to when we married, and remains a cherished tune for us both.  Listening to it while in the midst of such natural beauty was almost a religious experience.   (This is a song that John played on his clarinet when he was in school.)


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I know this following photo looks like I put a filter on it, but this was a natural occurrence.  I took this shot as the car was moving, but John pulled over afterward, and we both got out and enjoyed this view for a few minutes as the Mozart played from our car stereo.  Indescribably awesome….the sky…the colors….

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Our first stop in Reno was to drop Beatrix off with a pet sitting service.  We had booked a room in a hotel that accepts pets, but decided she would get more attention and better care in an environment that was specifically designed for dogs, so we left her there for two nights.

The place was recommended by a chihuahua-loving friend who knows the owner, and I was so happy that he recommended it.  Beebles was in doggie heaven!   See how tiny she looks with this regular sized chihuahua?  Such a tiny, sweet baby girl.  Not an aggressive bone in her body.  She had never really been around other dogs much, let alone, allowed to run free outdoors, so she had a fabulous time. The pet sitter checked in with us regularly and sent us lots of pictures, which made us both feel better about leaving her.

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We stayed at the Nugget in Sparks, which is a nice enough hotel, minus the trashy population element that it now has since it was sold by the former owner, John Asquaga I’ve stayed there a few times in the past with no complaints (but I really can’t say much about that here…) (See other blog for select viewers..)

The accommodations were nice, however.   I was really sick by the time we got there, just from the stress of the scary drive, I think…and my husband made me stay in bed all day yesterday.  Mind you, taking naps and lying around is not something that I relish, but I gave in, and today, I feel a lot better….so thank you, John, for taking such good care of me.   He read his poetry to me and brought me soup and put an ice pack on my aching head.  Such a sweet man, he is.   I felt a little better that evening, so we went out to a place called Baldini’s, which generally sucked, but we did so as a favor to a friend whose son works there.  Glad to have THAT out of the way.  yuck.

Got up early today and did one of my jobs on the computer while John picked up some friends and  took them to the airport.  He was trying to do something nice for me, so I didn’t complain when he hired a limo to take me to the beautiful place where we’re staying on Mt. Rose….but I HATE riding in limos!  They never fail to nauseate me.  I’d much rather be driving around in my  tiny little Alfa or, better yet, a SmartCar!

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On the way out the door, I decided to drop a single buck into a slot machine, just for the hell of it.  I walked out the door $100 wealthier!   On the  the ride toward Mt. Rose street,  I saw a man with a trash bag for a blanket under an overpass, so I asked the driver to take me to a local department store where I bought a down filled vest, some warm gloves and a blanket.  We drove back and gave it to the guy who was very grateful.


John loves to eat at Stonehouse, so we unpacked the car, then went there for breakfast.  I’m still a little under the weather, so only took a bite or two of food.  While we were eating, big, wet snowflakes began to fall!

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It wasn’t heavy snow, though it was steady.  Very pretty.  When we got to the place where we’re staying, I slipped into my boots and decided to go for a long walk.  I love this old Mt. Rose neighborhood.  It has a mixed demographic and some beautiful houses.  I think the one we’re staying in is the most beautiful on the street.    I took this picture of the fence that surrounds it, as I was approaching from the opposite side of the street.  As you can see, the snow had already accumulated atop the brick posts that resemble sentries standing straight in a row.

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So now, I am ensconced in the house, fireplace roaring, husband sleeping, with a little dog on my lap.  Big snow storms are due for Tahoe, so we’re not sure if we will be able to make it up there.  Our friends from Santa Cruz are supposed to meet us there for a weekend of skiing, but I’m not sure they will be able to make it up route 80….but either way is ok with me.  Content to stay put or to go, however the cards fall….and I think Beebles is happy no matter where she is!





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