Sunday, May 14, 2023

Road trip home, Day 3

I apologize for the blog silence of the last few days. I got plunged into a morass of work, writing deadlines, and dear friends visiting from our old neighborhood and haven't had a chance to poke my head above the water until today. So without further ado, let me show you the rest of our trip home.

We spent the night, if you recall, in Reno. The very early morning light shone golden, appropriately enough, on the El Dorado Casino kitty-corner across the street from us.

Below our room was a swimming pool, and perched on the wall around that level was a Canada goose and a couple of pigeons.

Younger Daughter and I were eager to get on the road. We left early and promised ourselves we wouldn't stop for food until we hit Winnemucca.

While I wouldn't swap our home in Idaho, I've always liked Nevada. There's something soul-cleansing about the vast stretches and clean lines of the state, especially in the early mornings when the distant mountains shine blue.

The road was vast, but we were refreshed, armed with chai tea, and singing at the top of our lungs to various show tunes.

In such a landscape, the snow-capped mountains were gorgeous.

We passed a passenger train.

We also passed this dramatic wreck of a building, which I remember seeing on the way down. Is it a home? A mining facility? No idea.

We were heading straight for these mountains (I think it was the Stillwater Range, but don't quote me on that), which meant the only option was for the highway to skirt around them. This meant the road curved until we were running parallel to the range.

We passed a vast prison, along with highway signs warning us not to pick up hitchhikers.

Scattered at the base of these hills was a fair number of houses. We wondered how or where they got their water. Wells?

Perhaps, but more likely it was snow runoff. The snow fields were vast...

...and it seemed a lot of buildings were located in logical runoff locations. I wouldn't be surprised if there were reservoirs tucked in those crevices.

This looked like a mining operation of some kind.

A lonely house all by itself.

More views:

The trouble with Nevada, of course, is it's vast. By afternoon we were ready for a change, but more road lay before us.

We crossed into the southeast corner of Oregon and saw the splendid Steen Mountains from a distance.

Younger Daughter petitioned to stop in the small Idaho town of Weiser for a break to stretch our legs and (ahem) to investigate a used book store. By this stage of the journey, I wasn't about to argue.

Weiser was a surprisingly charming little town, caught in a 1950s timewarp.

The bookstore, which we hit just before closing, was splendid. I even found a modern English version of Chaucer, something I've always wanted.

It was going on toward evening by the time we hit the mountains. I made sure to show Younger Daughter the stunning Whitebird Pass vista that had so impressed me on the way down.

It was pretty much full dark by the time we traversed the Camas Prairie, then the Palouse, then climbed into the mountains, and then pulled up – exhausted – to home sweet home. What a trip! Now we can enjoy Younger Daughter's stay for the next couple of weeks.


  1. I'm glad you're home. Thank you for taking us on the trip with you. It was fun.

  2. I'll bet it's very exciting to have your whole flock finally home together and in your new ( to you ) nest. YD is sure to leave a lasting mark on this time of completion.
    I hope that you get some rest, and that OD has recovered and can come out of quarantine.

  3. You almost passed me, but not quite...

    That abandoned facility is (was) a mill that processed what came out of the mines, separating gold from dirt and rock.
    And yes, most of rural Nevada has wells for water - and often it isn't very good water.
    Many of the ranches and old houses were located along the rare streams and in wind breaks, so you see them against the base of the mountains. It also gives them access to what little wood is in the area.

  4. Thanks for sharing Patrice. Sometimes it is hard to grasp how truly large this country is.

  5. I haven't been to Nevada for YEARS. The tackiness of Las Vegas (and Reno) did not appeal to me AT ALL. The wide open spaces were my version of heaven.