After a very quiet Winnemucca night, we stowed our worldly belongings in the teardrop one last time and, after brief stops at two strategically placed thrift shops, were wending our way westward.
We continued across wide expanses of desert, sometimes brownish but mostly greenish like yesterday. The skies were blue and the headwind we had encountered yesterday was absent.
In Lovelock we took a break and Diana did find one small thrift shop which she said had a lot of what appeared to be close-out merchandise from failed stores, but no unique treasures.
We got back on I-80, and after a few miles I caught sight of a red light in my mirror. Soon afterward a Nevada Highway Patrol unit flashed by us like we were standing still. Then an ambulance passed us. Then another. We were both expecting to see a nasty collision ahead, but as we kept driving we didn’t see anything.
Then ahead and to the southwest we began seeing a column of smoke, dark at first, then lighter, but continuing to to rise. There were railroad tracks running parallel to us and a few miles to the south. In the distance we began to see what looked like a stopped train surrounded by flashing lights. As we approached the turn-off for I-95, we saw signs warning that I-95 was closed to the south. The rest stop at the turnoff was filled with emergency vehicles — it looked like a staging area.
Diana tried to see what was happening with our binoculars, but it was far enough away that it was difficult to tell because of the distance. It wasn’t until much later that we saw the news reports and realized that we had witnessed the aftermath of the truck/passenger train collision which resulted in at least six fatalities. We’re sad that our final day on this trip would have us encounter such a tragedy.
In due time we we reached Reno. We stopped for gas at Costco (the first time we had done that since Frederick, MD) and Diana made the now obligatory pilgrimages to a couple of antique stores.
Then we jumped back on the highway, climbed up the Sierras, gave a nod to Donner Summit, and zoomed down the other side to Citrus Heights and our home.
After stashing the teardrop and our Subaru in the garage, we walked into our house and discovered that Corrine, our wonderful next-door-neighbor had filled our fridge with fresh veggies and ranch dressing to dip them in along with a supply of her patented can’t-be-beat deviled eggs, and a lovely bowl of fresh fruit salad as well.
We did a good job of making all that delicious food disappear. Thanks Corrine!
According to our GPS, we covered 10,188 miles exactly since we started driving in April. We started this trip hoping to see new parts of America (to us) and we did. We hoped for adventure, we had that. We were looking to connect with ancestors and learn more about them, we have. We hoped to enjoy the company of family along the way, our hopes were fulfilled. We wanted to make new friends and they were out there waiting for us. And we promised to put some of those places, adventures, and people in this blog for you to enjoy. We hope you did.
We celebrated or 43rd anniversary on this trip, and the last three months have enriched our relationship and given us many wonderful new memories to savor. That’s what traveling is all about, and that is the best part of all!