Friday, October 27, 2000

The Further Adventures of Thelma and Louise

Peggy and Bev have had one last escapade and what fun it was. I really did feel like Thelma and Louise as we drove down the freeway with Peggy trying to take a picture of the two of us, holding the camera out in front of her, and leaning her head practically into my lap to get the angle right. The look on my face is a combination of giddiness and terror at the thought of trying to hold that pose while trucks were whizzing by next to me on the freeway!

We left yesterday morning and did a transport for Breaking Barriers, then stopped in Old Sacramento to do some last minute gift buying. We made the mistake of going to a cafe for some food--we'd had to leave the house so early Peggy had not had breakfast--but the cafe coffee was weak and the toast cold and the cheese unmelted and the meal was pretty much a disaster. However, once we left Old Sacramento, our drive up to Lake Tahoe was very nice. Quite a change from our previous trip, when things were still green and the sun was out. It was a grey, wet day and the trees had turned color, so the riot of color we had experienced in Seattle followed us into the Sierras.

We stopped for food on the way up at a Raley's supermarket in Auburn. I've heard wonderful things about Raley's. I hope this was just an off location. We bought a "chook" (cooked chicken) that was supposedly barbecued, but wasn't. Peggy bought some eccinacea for her cold, but it had expired, she discovered too late, and the "chewable" Vitamin-C tablets were so vile I suspect they've been tossed.

We arrived at the condo somewhat late, and had a relaxed afternoon (we both took naps, in fact), had a leisurely dinner, watched the World Series, and went to sleep early. We awoke to snow. Not a lot, but enough to dust the rooftops with powdered sugar and leave the air crisp, clear, and sparkling. We had a leisurely breakfast, showered, cleaned up, packed the car, and headed off to the Ponderosa Ranch.

This is where you can tour the Cartwright house, see a lot of the paraphernalia left over from filming the Bonanza series, and also see some spectacular views of the lake. It is after the peak season, so a lot of things were closed, but Peggy was able to buy some gifts, we toured the ranch house, hiked the trail to the lake overlook to take pictures (I resisted the temptation to take a picture of "the little outhouse on the prairie," as I nicknamed the restrooms), and wandered through the old western town. Then, foregoing a "world famous Hoss Burger," we went back to the car, turned on the heat, opened up the chicken left over from dinner, and sat there eating a "picnic" lunch and talking. One of the things I will miss most about Peggy when she leaves on Sunday is our long conversations. We have found that we are quite compatible and have discussed just about everything you can possibly imagine in the past six weeks. We've laughed and cried and bared our souls. I will miss that sorely.

I decided to take Highway 50 home, since we were closer to it than to I-80, which we had come on originally. It proved to be a fantastic decision. First, however, we had our real Thelma and Louise adventure. At least we were certainly laughing a lot. There is a tunnel that you pass through which brings you out to a great view of Lake Tahoe and the surrounding mountains. We had gone through it in the other direction a few weeks before, so we knew it was coming up. It was also raining. Peggy wanted to get a photo coming through the tunnel, but it had to be with a clear windshield, so there weren't any rain spots on the picture. It took us four tries, with me making u-turns on the highway (thank god we avoided the CHP) before she finally got what she wanted--but I think that ultimately it was worth it. Maybe.

After we passed through South Lake Tahoe and its casinos and wedding chapels, we started up toward Echo Summit. The radio was warning us of snow flurries and telling us to stay tuned for updated information. We finally turned off the radio and turned on John Denver--the perfect "driving through the mountains" music--and headed into the snow storm. There were snow flurries coming down heavier and heavier as we approached the summit. Peggy had never seen it snowing before and got out of the car to take pictures. I greatly regret not getting out to take her picture in the snow because she was glowing just like a little kid. It was the perfect end to the perfect trip.

The ride down the mountain continued to be gorgeous most of the way, until we started to reach civilization again. We returned to Davis while it was still inning one of the World Series. The perfect end to the perfect day would have been for the Mets to have won the game, but alas our luck had run out, and the Yankees won the series. Owell--there's always next year.

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