On our way home again

Sunday morning we packed up and checked out of our lovely hotel room and went back to the con for one last morning of panels.  Mine were mostly on self-publishing and how to market one’s books.  We met back at the car at one in the afternoon, then went to get lunch and do a little laundry and shopping (for things like ice for the cooler and milk) before we headed west out of Reno towards Lake Tahoe.

Lake Tahoe was gorgeous, but you’ll just have to take my word for it.  There wasn’t really any place to stop and take photos, and the one place I’d counted on to stop and walk along the lakeshore was crowded with a street fair, so we couldn’t even find a place to park.  We drove on to somewhere I’d wanted to visit for a long time instead.

When I was a teenager, I had a rather morbid fascination with the Donner Party.  I read enough books about that horrible incident in California’s history to give myself nightmares.  Even though that was thirty-five years ago, when I realized I was going to have the chance to stop by Donner Memorial State Park  and visit its museum, well, I couldn’t resist.  Mary politely went along for the ride.

It was an interesting stop, I thought, even though the park was in the process of being renovated and there wasn’t as much to see as I’d hoped.  We did see the monument itself.

The base of the monument is how deep the snow got the winter the Donner Party was marooned here.

 The museum was a bit antiquated (part of the renovation is that they’re getting a new museum), but still interesting.  Here’s an example of one of the exhibits, a wagon like the one the Donners and company would have traveled in:

Boy, am I glad I live here and now

 After we left the memorial, we headed west, first down I-80, then on U.S. 20.  We stopped at a viewpoint on U.S. 20, out over the foothills of the Sierra Nevadas.  We were back in the gold country.

Beautiful, rolling countryside.  It seemed as if we could see forever.

We also saw some gilia at the viewpoint.  We saw a lot of this particular flower on our trip.

 We gradually made our way down into the Central Valley again, but since we were headed for the coast we did not head up I-5 when we crossed it.  We spent the night in a little town called Williams, which was on I-5, though.  And when I say little, I mean little.  Three motels, a couple of gas stations, a few fast food places, and probably a grocery store somewhere.  And that was it.