6:00 p.m. northern california
we're here, essentially.
|NOT the ocean|
today was our shortest drive: 9 and some hours, i think. and it's certainly felt short. honestly, it's felt like a three-hour drive. after three days of driving 12-14 hours, 9 is a breeze. we're just numb to it all now, i think.
i played dj for the morning, spinning (can i say that, even though it's on an ipod?) r.e.m.'s “new adventures in hi-fi” because this guy i knew in college told me it was really good music for driving west on I-80. worked for me. that was followed by arcade fire, the decembrists, and any other hipster fodder i could find on my pod. yesterday jaime consented to let me play kraftwerk's "autobahn" because we're on a road trip and i wanted to.
I-80 goes right past the salt flats and jaime had never been on them before, so this definitely justified a stop. rather than being a white desert, however, it was a lake. whether from rain or snow melt, i dunno, but water doesn't drain quickly (or at all?) out there, and so until it evaporates, it's not going anywhere. so, when life gives you a lake, walk on the water! one gnarly feature of the salt flats is that it's completely level, so the water is three inches deep at the “shore” and three inches deep 50 yards out. i suggested jaime trounce out there for a rad picture and she, being a good sport, took off her shoes, rolled up her jeans, and walked straight out. even watching that was nearly an optical illusion, as it seemed like she should've been getting deeper, but never did.
while she was standing out there, a lady yelled, “you're famous!” as jaime was putting her shoes back on, the lady walked over and said she took her picture and was going to show it to her friends in new hampshire (i instinctively wanted to ask to see her car until i remembered that we had new hampshire). i explained to her that this wasn't the great salt lake and that normally it was a desert.
back on the road, we saw a “hawaii” plate. and got excited.
nevada was prettier and more interesting than i remember (i confess: so was wyoming), we listened to talks by elder maxwell, oaks, uchtdorf, and bednar, and stopped at the in-n-out in reno. as i mentioned a few days ago, one of our rules for this trip was to eat at local places as much as possible; in-n-out counts because a) there isn't one anywhere in the big ol' state of texas and b) it's awesome.
it turned out that the reno in-n-out was actually in sparks, nv. i know sparks because that's where my mom grew up. i've always pictured it as a small little town on the outskirts of the world's biggest little city, but apparently that was then. it's pretty big, boasting casinos and seemingly a part of reno. between new jersey, iowa, and here, it's been nice to drive through a bit of my family history.
excepting the rainstorm in indiana on our first night, we've had good weather this whole trip. until california: snowstorm.
nothing like wrapping up a four-day road trip with a snowstorm on a winding mountain road.
but we're here now, less than two hours from the pacifc.
i'm hoping some families from vermont or rhode island are enjoying that same beach.