Monday, November 15, 2004

SF Bay Area to Winnemuca

Having a laptop sure is nice.  I’m typing this whilst drinking semi-decent coffee courtesy of Java Joe’s in Lovelock (we had to drive through town TWICE to find the place) and Jamie is driving.  The girls are playing "Catie and Becca" (these are two of their cousins from Fremont CA).  The boys are alternately listening to books on tape and irritating the girls.  We left Fremont at about 1pm yesterday; headed to Jamie’s shop (The Missing Link in Berkeley) to say the last goodbyes and then hit the storage unitl  We got the crap we needed out of the storage unit and dropped off more crap - making the crap load in the van about even.  We’re stuffed to the gills with crap in the van. 

We left the Bay Area about 4:45 and really thought we wouldn’t get much past Sacto before the kids led a mutiny and made us abort for the night.  We hoped to get to Reno and when we got as far as Grass Valley I checked the AAA guide and picked the Atlantis Casino for our destination as they had an indoor pool and looked reasonable.  We got a room for $44/night and the place was an incredibnle lugsury.  Sissy (Felicity) fell in LOVE with Reno - the bright neon everywhere and she was loathe to leave.  The room was gigantic - usually there is no walking space with the 2 queens and the boys on the floor, but there was a LOT of space in the room.  The bathroom was gigantic also and after the kids had a soak in the outdoor hottub and the indoor pool, the girls decided to take a bath.. Needless
to say, we didn’t get anyone to bed before 11pm. 

Once the girls were down, Jamie woke the boys and took them down to the casino.  They came back to the room at about 1am wideeyed and excited by their trip to the bright lights and noise (and smoke, I might add; it is a shock to be confronted with so much smoke after coming from CA).  Jamie and I got up at 5am, packed up the room and kids and were out of the hotel by 6am.  We learned a lot - to pack everything up before we go to bed; to grind coffee before we go to bed and to know where the freeway is.  We got turned around in the predawn lack of light and ended very south of Reno before turning around and getting back to the freeway.  Kids took about 30 min for all 4 to go back to sleep, but everyone was up by 7:30.  Stopped in Loveluck for coffee (for me and jamie) and bagels for the kids.  We’re heading to Winnemucka now (9:15am) for breakfast and phone calls.  We’re hoping to hit Utah by the end of the day, but since hitting the road at 6:30am, we’ve stopped for coffee, bagels and now a potty break.

Snow is lovely on the surrounding mountains, but it is FLAT FLAT FLAT in this desert and as we’re still high up (after passing through the Sierras last night) it is cold.  There is ice on the grill of the van
that has not yet thawed.  No more typing for me `- my hand is full of ellen’s banana recection…
We’re surrounded by high snow capped mountains as we travel through this valley.  Peaks in the 800-10000 ft range.  Thank goodness for the mountains because the landscape is absolutely bleak.  Flat brush; few cars and hazy sky.  We’re at Winnemucca now…

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