Something Unexpected

August, 3, 2019

A very early start had me on the road by 6:40 a.m. 

In planning this trip, I had mapped out the routes and initially bypassing Lake Tahoe had opted to keep East of that lake. However, I decided that this may be the only chance to at least get a glimpse of the place, so I detoured westward up a steep mountain grade with a multitude of curves and switchbacks that made that part of the drive a real wake me up experience. 

After finding a viewing location I scrambled down closer to the water and took in the beautiful views. It was still early and no one else was present. Early morning activity upon the lake, however, included a few motorboats and at least one water skier, but otherwise it was relatively quiet.

At this elevation, it was pleasantly cool as I continued on along the lake’s upper drive and through the pine forest surrounding the entire landscape. Morning light, filtered through the trees, cast long shadows accompanied by the fragrant scent of the pines. 

Another route I was considering dropping was through the old mining towns of Silver City and Virginia City, Nevada, just to shave off some driving time. But, changing my mind, I found myself near the two historic towns in less than another hour, even with more maneuvering on mountain roads . Silver City was pretty much derelict with remnants of mining operations that had ceased years ago.


Virginia City was just a tick up the road, and upon entering, it was obvious that this old western town had prospered with elaborate Victorian houses and buildings that are kept in pristine condition. But the most unexpected part of this day was seen as I crested a hill then looking dead ahead down the town’s main street. Ahead of me I could see both sides of the street were packed with cars. Additionally, hordes of people were all about. Being directed up to a side street to pack, I then could see that this was a car show. Who would have thought that I would stumble upon such a thing?

Those who are familiar with Bisbee, or Jerome, AZ will understand the similarities of those old mining towns being built upon hills. Virginia City is similar to those places. Walking back down to the main street and all the cars I found that they anticipated there were 400 - 600 cars, that number being limited by space available. Typical of most cars shows, like this, the selection ran the gamut from vintage unrestored, to hot rods, modified and nicely restored classics. 

Other than the cars, the town is a real throwback to the old days, with original buildings, albeit stores not offering much more than touristy commodities. Still the old buildings with their elaborate designs and preservation would have anyone feeling they had stepped back over 100 years.

Having spent far too much time wandering up and down the street, I plodded back up to the street where I had parked my 4Runner, and found my way back to the highway on the way to Reno, NV. 

For the remainder of the afternoon, I drove steadily onward toward Oregon. On several occasions, I climbed up and over mountain ranges big and small, curving along the twisting roads, up one side and down the other, with the same nimble manuevering on both sides. 

Finally crossing the state border, I arrived in Oregon, with Klamath Falls only 25 miles ahead.

More tired than usual after this day’s 370 mile jaunt, tomorrow will be a shorter drive of about 280 miles. 

And AMEN to another day.

u © Donald E. Kline 2012