Having crossed into Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, Idaho, and Oregon, we took the plunge on an entirely different route home. We did have a GPS - more of a backpacking model than driving model, which served us well, until we stopped at an information center/rest stop in California that passed out free maps. We acquired a California and Arizona map, neglecting Nevada in between.
Tuesday morning came too quickly. I wasn't ready to leave yet, especially not knowing when our next reason to visit would be. Thomas got the car loaded, and I got teary-eyed with my mom. She found out on the 22nd that she has breast cancer, and the mastectomy isn't until the 5th. It sucks not to be there, but it made leaving that much harder. I drove us out of town via a Hyundai dealership where we could finally get a spare key cut. Unfortunately, it was nearly an hour delay, almost as long as it took to get four new tires mounted the morning before, and they aren't even a fancy key! As soon as we could, we hit the road and headed south. The daylight took us to Mt. Shasta and a little beyond, but soon we were driving down a heavily wooded two lane road toward Nevada that got darker and darker.
My sister marveled that we would drive to Oregon, but the beauty of the drive is that I didn't have to share my husband with anyone or anything. We talked and talked and talked. And despite twenty four hours in the car on the way to Portland, we didn't run out of things to talk about on the way out. We listened to a few CDs, but in relation to the hours driving - a small fraction. We also listened to some talk radio - not much, I am picky, and to NPR news a bunch. The news usually spurred on other conversations, and the distances between big cities often meant we couldn't help but turn off the static.
Tuesday night we pulled into Carson City for a night of sleep (after nearly running out of gas, but I guess we'll never know how close we were because, gratefully, we didn't - no, I wasn't nervous about watching the gas light come on and then driving miles and miles until the little thing is flashing - again and again...where'd you get that idea?).
Carson City Tuesday night meant we could do a quick drive by of Lake Tahoe, a mythic place of movies and Dad's college summers, which I had never seen in person. It is a magnificent lake, but since I didn't realize the camera was close at hand - no pics. Heavenly ski area, which seemed to have attracted quite the ski crowd walking through town, had a pittance of white stuff on a mountain of green and brown. Not sure where the skiers were going!?!
When I discovered the camera, I snapped an ever changing topography of mountains to our west. We followed it in and out of California on our way to Death Valley.