Thursday, October 23, 2014

The scenic route

Over the summer I drove to Tahoe via the Eastern Sierras. I hadn't planned to drive this route but having children means you sometimes take a detour. I spent the first part of the drive, the ugly freeway part, on a conference call. And then it was four lane roads narrowing to two lane roads into the mountains. As the trees got bigger I started to relax. I rolled down my windows and took deep breaths of the pine and earth smell.

After an hour-long stop at a lake where I spent part of my childhood and where I retrieved a child who was in the midst of hers, the two of us continued the adventure. There were no gas stations for the next 100 miles. She was chatty. We drove up and up and up until we hit the pass, and then drove down and down and down into the increasingly arid Nevada desert and where the landscape looks like paintings. We stopped for a late lunch at a dive pancake house. Finally we made a sharp left and after ten more miles of narrow, windy roads, saw Lake Tahoe. It was a relief to see water after so many landlocked miles.

It's not often I travel off the -- off my -- beaten path. This single-day journey was fun because it was unanticipated and because I got to experience it with one of my children. It made me want to take a road trip.

The Safeway in King's Beach had parking spots but inside there was barely any room to maneuver. This was expected at 6pm the night before a holiday. My daughter spotted a classmate's father, one who lives less than a mile from us in our suburb, We shopped and then drove on to Squaw Valley, where I stopped trying to keep my eyes open at 10pm and awoke 11 hours later.

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