It's been worth it, though the distances are pretty vast between towns, the views have been utterly breathtaking and the roads go to the horizon.
One of the 20-somethings at the Lake was reading a book called Bury Me Standing, which is about the Gypsy way of life, starting from the Egyptians all the way through the present day political bind the European nations find themselves in while deal with the Gypsies that travel through their lands and spaces. Racial injustice, grinding poverty, and the usual problems of generational poverty, there's also a gleam of a certain kind of story that only they can tell of a long road which has no destination, no ending, no home to end up at with a welcome. It's interesting, on this long long road trip to think about just what it would mean to have a life where there is no end to the road. It was telling, perhaps, that a few days ago, I think I could have just kept going, but now I really am glad we're heading toward home.
We took a while this morning to just regroup. Having gone to bed after 10, Jet didn't wake up until nearly 9 am, when the hotel's breakfast was about to shut down. I managed to write a little before breakfast, but really got down to it after. John and Jet went into town, in Susanville, and bought sandwiches from Safeway for our lunch, hit the Dollar Tree so that Jet could buy some car toys for a dollar or two, and then John found index cards, 200 for a dollar. I liked that and the LED reading light he found. LJ was still hosed this morning, so I just gave up and posted everything to dreamwidth instead, and managed to get all the pictures up to Flickr without any protest or problems.
While he was waiting on me, John found a place out past Fallon, NV, and not quite as far as Ely (yes, Incandescens and archangelbeth, Faber really perked up at the idea of finding Eli... *laughs*), that had a lovely little motel with two Queen-sized beds in two rooms that were remodeled to be connected together. It ended up being in Austin, NV, which is actually named after the ciy in Texas, but it's tiny, built on a hill overlooking a huge valley and plain, and was a good eight hour drive along I-50, the "Loneliest Road in America". We're heading east as well as we're able, and want to cross the mountains where we can get to Glennwood Springs and take advantage of the hot springs and swimming pool on the way home.
We got to see a lovely shop filled with real Western Wear, boots, leather, and a whole roof filled with hats of all types. There were half a dozen 'olde time picture studios', and plenty of bars, restaurants, and candy/ice cream stores. The post office proved to be a fun little trip, as I bought postage for my post cards, John and Jet really liked seeing the old-style post office boxes, with brass and windows. It was nice to just sit on a public bench, in the shade, and eat our sandwiches instead of going for the high-priced meals there, but we weren't too proud to spend some money at the old fashioned candy shop, that sold it all by the pound. All three of us ended up with various bits of taffy, and I found these amazing ginger bites that were fiery hot with ginger. I now wish I'd bought just a pound of those.
The land out here is nearly all sage brush and low scrub, arid and dry and anywhere a lake was or a stream, all the trees were gathered. We saw one lake where nearly all the trees were underwater because the lake bed was usually dry, but this year, there was enough water to cover the roots and feet of most of the trees!
John had only one via point for the trip today, and it included the ruins of an old Pony Express station, the Rock Creek Station, that was converted to a telegraph office for a while and built in stone. I had one goal, which was to cut some desert sage for a few folks I know that use it on a regular basis. I'd figured out which variety was the stuff that was used in smudges when I went up to Wyoming to pick native grass seeds for restoration and presevation purposes, so I know the really fragrant desert sage used for smudge sticks and cleansing rituals, how it grows and what it looks like. I stopped once by the side of the road and couldn't find any, but when we got closer to the Pony Express station, I was hopeful as I saw a lot of it just by the side of the road.
Sure enough, when we stopped at the station, I hopped out, found the pocket knife that Amy and Karina had given me, and I found lots of big clumps of sage right then and there, by the road-side parking lot. There was lots of other stuff there, too, and I really truly looked for rattlesnakes before I put my feet down anywhere. *laughs*
It proved to be safe enough, and I had a big handful of the stuff very quickly, just taking a few branches from each plant so as to not damage them too much.
From there we headed to Austin. It was just flat driving, with so few trucks and cars that I passed, maybe two other vehicles, and there was no opposing traffic to even worry about. I saw a car passing another down a slope coming toward me, and there might have been ten miles between us when they did it. It was lovely road bed, too, smooth and well maintained.
Dinner was pretty easily determined, as there are only two places open in town, and one of them had A/C and it was over 90 outside. So we hit up the place at the top of the hill, with A/C, and had a lovely diner dinner. John had the fish and chips as he's been used to doing. John got a lovely fried chicken dinner, and I debated between the liver and onions and just a chili dog with cheese and onions. The chili dog won, and it was deliciously gooey with a huge half plate of crisp fries next to it. That was really nice. I enjoyed it greatly and had enough room for a good portion of a blackberry sundae as well. There were even whole blackberries in the syrup, and it was just delicious.
A raptor was up there, hunting, riding the thermals, and watching us as we walked up and took pictures and more sage and walked back down again. The low light was beautiful.
We played a bit of Jet's Munchkin Impossible, and he went quietly to bed while I downloaded pictures and wrote this. *laughs* The rooms being adjoining, but splittable has made it so that I can write with light while he sleeps. That's been very very good, as he's been sleeping a lot more in the mornings when he goes to bed as late as 10.