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Saturday, June 17, 2000

One of those long days on the road can have so many different parts and pieces that it's like a week or a month wrapped up in a few hours. We were up at six this morning in Rock Springs, Wyoming, but we didn't get on the road until 7:15. Part of the reason is that the shower in my room refused to work, and I had to wait for the boys to finish so that I could use theirs.

Then we were off on our journey across half of Wyoming, all of Utah, and - as it turned out — all of Nevada. We had planned to stay the night in Reno or Sparks, but with the rodeo in town and on a Saturday night at that, there were no rooms available. (Except at the Econo-lodge, and none of us thought it was right for them to soak us $98.00 for one room for one night.)

the guys wrestle with a coke machine at a rest stop in UtahWest Wendover, Nevada

So we moved on up to Truckee, which was also booked up. We considered going on to Auburn, but the plan has always been for us to drop John off tomorrow in Graeagle, where he's working, and for the other five of us to head home to Santa Rosa. Since John knows the area, he made some calls and found us a rental house in Graeagle that was less expensive (and more comfortable) than any motel. He also made dinner reservations at the best restaurant in the area (the Coyote Grill — try the margaritas). So we had a wonderful meal and settled in for the night, up in the high country of the Sierra Nevada range.

Trees! There are trees in California, and we hadn't seen many of those since we left Larimer County, Colorado, yesterday morning. That's a long time between trees.

As we drove across the prairies and salt flats and deserts today, we entertained ourselves and each other, somehow. Eric and I sat in the back of the van and sang along with the radio. Since we are the two worst singers in the family, we had to rely on the indulgence of everyone else. We may be terrible, but we are enthusiastic. We sang along with songs we'd never heard before and probably never will again. Usually David just rolls his eyes at the two of us, but we even made him laugh a few times. It's much easier for us to make Suzanne laugh. John and Mom pretty much tolerate us, mostly by ignoring us.

So this is the last night of my vacation. Some time tomorrow I'll be putting the key into my front door lock and opening the door to my real life once again. I haven't had to think of the problems and crises of my job or the house or anything else so mundane for over a week now. And I don't intend to let any of those things spoil this last night, either.

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