As I expected, once we got the camper loaded the afternoon of March 26th, Bob decided we should just get going, instead of waiting until the next morning as we originally planned. It was a cold, rainy evening...I was in my sweats, my old flannel shirt and heavy socks...my cold, rainy day outfit. I had not planned to take them, but was later very glad I had them with me. I also grabbed an extra blanket on my way out the door...another good decision. So a little after 7pm we pulled out of my driveway, drove a few blocks up the street and got onto the southbound entrance of the I-5 freeway. We drove until about 10:30pm, when we reached Albany, Oregon. We found a K-Mart parking lot where there were other RV's parked for the night and settled in. The next morning we continued down I-5 thru Oregon. It rained off and on all day and once we reached the Medford, Ashland area we ran into snow for the first time. When we crossed Siskiyou Pass, the road was bare and wet but it was snowing. Anyone who travels this route, awaits that first glimpse of Mt Shasta (northern California)...in fact there's a popular vista site where you can pull over and take pictures and drink in the view of this beautiful mountain. Well, for us...that was not to be. The mountain was covered in clouds and was hiding from us. So, the next goal is crossing beautiful Shasta Lake and getting to Redding for that first In-N-Out burger (I even offered to buy lunch that day). Oh my it was so good !!!!
From there we headed east to Lincoln, California to my cousin Susie's house. She's been to my house several times but this is the first time I have ever been able to visit her. She lives in a beautiful 2 bedroom house (she picked out the floor plan, etc) in a large 55 Plus community. She had chocolate cake and ice cream ready for our late arrival and the three of us (whoops I forgot about her 2 dogs) sat up very late laughing and talking. Bob choose to sleep in the camper parked out in front of her house and I took the beautiful guest bedroom. The next morning we spent some time over breakfast, took showers and then said our goodbyes.
From there we headed over the famous Donner Pass. It was cold and very windy when we stopped at the Summit, but very beautiful. I've read enough "pioneer" type books the last few years, to know some of the horror stories of our early settlers who crossed this pass over 100 years ago. I thought about those dear souls that afternoon and it caused me to be very grateful for the nice warm truck and camper that I had at my disposal, as opposed to a covered wagon or even less that were available to those early travelers.
Later that afternoon we arrived in the town of Truckee, California. It's one of those great little historic towns, that's full of fun little shops, restaurants and close to the Northstar Ski resort. Which was Bob's intended destination. With his season pass here in Washington at the Snoqualmie Ski Resort, he also had 2 free days of skiing at Northstar. He's gone there every year in the past but of course I was always working so he always went alone. The altitude in the Northstar parking lot is 6,330 feet above sea level...and let me tell you...this fat old lady was really huffing & puffing (well Bob was too, especially when he was all dressed up in his ski gear) when walking from the parking lot into the village. The first morning he skied, I walked up with him and it was really tough going. But, the second day..it didn't seem so bad. This ski resort is so beautiful. There's even an ice skating rink surrounded by cabana's, shops, condo's and hotel rooms. I discovered a Starbucks right across from the rink, so grabbed my book, got me a grande, non-fat, decaf, white mocha and settled down on one of the couches in the cabana's and just kicked back. It was cold, but I was bundled up and the sun was shining...ahhhh I could have gotten used to that real easy. After he finished skiing the second day, he called me (we were in contact via our cell phones) and told me to meet him down where the gondola's take the skiers & snowboarders up to the first level. He had arranged for me to take a ride on the gondola. I was excited and terrified at the same time. Being in one of those little gondola's dangling above the ground from a cable....oh my !! I was amazed when we reached the Day Lodge when we got off the gondola. There was a big restaurant plus hot dog stands, etc there. There were literally hundreds of skiers/snowboarders eating & relaxing in the sun. We sat and watched the snowboarders coming down thru their half pipe and just enjoyed all the activity. Of course from that point there are several chair lifts that take the skiers, up even higher on the mountain (elevation is 8,610 at the top.) I think the ride down on the gondola was a little more scary than the ride up...but it was fun and I'm glad I got to have the experience.
So that's the first installment....until next time, Linda