And now the thrilling conclusion to my week in Tahoe.
The hike I did on Thursday to Ellis Peak wiped me out. My knees were very unhappy and so I thought it best to give them a break. So on Friday, I putzed around in the morning, went for a lovely, slow bike ride, and sat by Lake Tahoe reading in the afternoon.
Saturday I went for another hike with Denise. This was a really nice hike from Tahoe City along the valley corridor that is Hwy 89 to Squaw Valley. The day was very hazy and smokey, we assumed from all the fires, so I didn't take many photos. After what I'm guessing now was five miles where we could see right down onto the turn off to Olympic Village, we stopped and had lunch. We were joined by a bunch of big ants and this little guy, who kept watching us.
We had been chit-chatting all the way up and I didn't register how far we'd come. It didn't feel like five miles, but by the time we got back down it sure felt like we had done a good 10mile round trip. The trail was really nice, lots of different vegetation and every so often it would take you to the rim of the valley. You could look down and east to the Lake, or straight down onto the Truckee River.
After our exhausting hike we needed fuel. We stopped at a lovely new-agey health food store and Denise treated us to kale chips, ground cherries, heirloom cherry tomatoes, chocolate and grapefruit sodas. We devoured all of it at the Lake which was gorgeous. Then it was back 'home' to pack all of the stuff and get ready to leave at 6am.
The drive home was another adventure.
It is full of all wonderful examples of huge slab serif fonts and retro stuff like the san serif "casino" above, and a few others in the next few pictures.
Ya just don't see this stuff on east coast establishments.
Then I started the long long drive down 395 back to Los Angeles. I don't think I've mentioned my rental car? It was a Chevy Spark.
If I thought things had been hazy in Tahoe the day before, it was nothing compared to this drive. I've never seen it so murky. I took a side tour to Mammoth Lakes to see Horseshoe lake, then headed down to Tom's Place to do a short hike out of Mosquito Flats. Its one I always do and debated about not doing. But since I was as close as I'd be for a long time, in spite of the bad air quality, I did a little part of it. Then it was off to Bishop, where I arrived around 3pm on a Sunday and had to stand in line at Schatt's Bakery for almost 45 minutes for my sandwich - sheesh! That's how popular this place is.
Now, remember that cute and tiny car? Ahem, I should have gotten gas in Bishop ($4.35/gal). Then I should have gotten gas in Independence, or Lone Pine, or even Olancha! Nope. I did not. I thought I could make it to Mojave.
I was mistaken.
That cute little car has a cute little gas tank that only holds 9 gallons. That is not enough to get you from Carson City NV to Mojave, CA with a few side trips.
At about 6pm on Sunday evening 16 miles of north of Mojave (also where Edward's Air Force Base is - where the space shuttle used to land), my little car ran out of gas. In the middle of nowhere.
Yup - that's it! A paved driveway to a cattle grate, three stop signs and dirt roads from there.
I literally just coasted into this spot. It's kind of amazing that this is exactly where I ran out of gas. Things happen for a reason.
My next worry was cell phone service. And believe it or not, not only did I have service, but my car decided to make the phone call for me because it was still linked to the blue tooth on my phone. Ha! That was a strange experience. Thank goodness for AAA. It took a while for the operator to locate me though. I mean I had nothing at all to give her except that the last sign I had seen said I was 16 miles away from Mojave and I was on Hwy 14. She asked me if I was by the airport - and you know, thank goodness I knew what she was talking about. You can actually see all of the planes from the highway and so I knew I hadn't gotten there yet. After I hung up with her I spotted a call box. I walked over to get the number and called them back and gave it to them. That eased my mind as it would give them an exact location.
While I waited the 45 minutes for AAA to come, I rolled down all the windows, watched the sun set, and sweated. It was really hot.
Looking into the landscape reminded me of Maxfield Parrish.
Maybe this is how he would have painted the California Landscape had he ever had the opportunity.
AAA came earlier than expected (yay!) and while there was a little moment of panic where the guy couldn't find the right spout in order to pour the gas into the tank, it finally all worked out and I was on my way again. Filled up in Mojave and scooted home. Wow. What an adventure. I have never, and I mean never, run out of gas before. I don't think I need to do it again.
I spent a few more days with the family before heading home on Wednesday. This included a trip to urgent care (to look at a really nasty rash on my leg that I have no idea how I got), my favorite art store, Liam time and In-n-Out.
Liam's first In-n-Out:
He was just too wiggly to show off the onesey I made him: "When I grown up I will read books"