Thursday, January 04, 2007

After all that trouble with the internet last night, I suddenly had all the bandwidth I wanted, so I proceeded to upload my journal. I noticed this morning, though, that my firewall had been turned off. Hmmph. I don't remember doing that.

It's now about 11 o'clock on the 4th, and we are in the Shamrock RV Park in Reno, Nevada. We slept in until 7:30 this morning, so we didn't leave Yreka until 9:00 a.m. I drove the first part of the day, then we stopped at the Shasta Lake rest stop for our first on-the-road breakfast of this holiday (we ate in a restaurant yesterday morning) - I cooked veggie sausage patties, soft-boiled eggs, potatoes and peas left over from last night, sourdough toast with marmalade, and tea. While we were at the rest stop I went to use the public washroom, and there I met a lovely woman who turned out to be driving the semi parked near us. She told me that she had been awakened by a state trooper in Oregon, who advised her she had better chain up and get moving. She was somewhere the other side of Ashland at the time. Hearing her story, I was very glad we had pushed so hard and made it to Yreka!

At the rest stop there were ravens - huge, glossy blue-black, beautiful ravens strutting around in the parking lot. As we pulled out of the rest stop, I commented to R that I was feeling utterly content. A bit later, I think I saw a couple of jays disappear among the trees, but I wasn't quick enough to identify them properly. We also saw a squirrel and a couple of deer. As we moved southward, the deep green of the Pacific Northwest treescape grew greyer, and the olive tones I associate with California became more common. We even saw a few palm trees.

We didn't want to go all the way to Bakersfield before turning eastward, because that would add a full day to our journey to the Mexican border - so we turned east on Highway 44 near Redding. We stopped at Shingletown for fuel, and I saw that there was a post office - so we stopped to mail F's birthday card, which I had forgotten to drop off as we left home. I put the card down in front of the postmaster and asked for the price of postage to Canada. He told me, but also said I had to readdress the card in block letters. I asked why, but he had no idea. I even had to reprint the name. That is the rule for all mail gong to Canada. I assured him that we can read script up there, in case he had wondered (I think he had), and we both laughed. Who makes up these rules?

We (R and I, not the postmaster and I) climbed up to nearly 6,000 feet before descending toward Susansville where, we thought, we would be at a more comfortable elevation. Unfortunately, that was not the case. When we got to Susansville, having encountered some snow but nothing too worrisome, we found that we were still up well over 4,000 feet, and it was still snowing. Determined, we kept driving towards Reno, but it soon became apparent that we were driving into a blizzard. At 3:00 o'clock we stopped at yet another rest stop, this one on Hwy. 395. We pulled in between two tractor-trailers, one of them full of hay. I figured it would be warmer in there than out in the open. I made curried chicken and rice, and used the oven (our furnace du jour) to bake apples with raisins and brown sugar. We whiled away the hours playing rummy, reading, writing, and wondering what the night held in store. I made custard to serve over the baked apples. We resigned ourselves to spending the night there, running the oven to keep warm.

Well, that seemed to be the plan until we actually tried to go to sleep. Both our truckish neighbours abandoned us at some point, more trucks came and went, and traffic seemed to be moving okay on the highway, so instead of going to sleep, we set out again at 9:00 p.m. and drove on what had become clear roads, all the way to Reno. Suddenly there was no sand or salt on the road, the temperature was well below freezing, and a huge pile-up had occurred on the freeway, so we were diverted onto Exit 71. We had been planning to go to the KOA at the Hilton, but there was something called Shamrock RV Park a mile down the road on which we now found ourselves, so here we are. The office was closed, so we followed the instructions and parked in Slot F3. There was no sign informing us of the price, but our camping book lists the park as $28/night at this time of year. It's only a year out of date, so the charge shouldn't be too much of a shock. I'm voting to stay here an extra day to let the weather resolve itself and to give us a chance to rest, but I have a feeling we will be heading out before noon.

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