The Road to Reno Day 3: Glorious heights and awesome sights

Day three saw me wake up at a much more reasonable 5:45am.  The sunrise was even more breathtaking as it crowned Mt. Shasta, blinding at some points as I took the well marked exit for HWY 89 that heads East and leads to Reno.

Unlike the day before when I traveled the heavily trafficked I-5, this was a serene and solitary road.   There was smoke from forest fires here and there, and a few times I was worried I was going to run into fire, I couldn’t find any radio stations with news to tell me if I was running into dangerous territory or not. Each time a car came toward me from the opposite direction I sighed in relief, no one flashed their lights and no one warned me off the road so I just relaxed and kept going ever forward.

I stopped at a Vista Point and was wondering what the heck they thought was so pretty until I looked behind me. WOW, Mt. Shasta framed by the pines was just glorious!

I continued unhindered for many miles and came to a place called Hat Creek, the name echoing faintly in my mind. That’s because they had a really powerful wild fire back in 2009. The trees dark and bent in stark relief to the cornflower blue sky. The underbrush is back to being established and I marveled at the trees that did survive the fire. People always speak of the devestation of wild fires, but that’s because we now build in places that have fires rather commonly in dry weather.  Fires are really just part of nature like floods and wind, and nature uses them to the best advantage.

From the lower part of the Hat Creek area, the road wound upwards and I saw a sign for another Vista Point. Lesson learned I took the road to my left and drove to one of  the most amazing sites I’ve had the pleasure of seeing.


I was only 50 miles away from Susanville, who must of been one heck of a girl…well her and Jane, because I saw a road sign for Janesville too. Who knew? Who were these women? I took a lunch break in Susansville, checked in at home, everyone was fine. My daughter is in full packing mode for her move to Corvallis, I didn’t cry this time, so it’s all good. She’s fine, I’m fine.


Reno is only about 80 miles from Susanville and it was interesting to watch the terrain change from the Ponderosa pine to the scrub and sage of the desert. Really cool rock formations abounded and of course the “valley” floor was framed by mountains and ridges.

I had the radio off for a lot of this and I pondered the pioneers who would have braved this arid landscape. Some of those were my ancestors, maybe that’s where I get my adventurous spirit.  My folk came out to Oregon and California long before the average settler, they were fur traders on one side and came with the Spanish expedition that made it to what is now San Francisco respectively. I wondered what they would they would think of the landscape now. What looks the same? Does any of it? I wonder at the kind of spirit that would make you leave all that’s safe behind in order to see something new. Believe it or not, greed isn’t enough of a motivator. Desperation, perhaps. What did they hope for? What did they want? What made them seek out the unknown, what were their dreams and aspirations?

If I inherited anything from those ancestors, it was the adventurous spirit. I have to say, when I hit the road, I wasn’t hoping for anything in particular. My destination was set because the CLF is representing our Professional Members and it’s a great excuse to meet up with old friends and completely geek out over crochet.  As for the journey? I guess I hoped for wonderment, I hoped for serenity, I hoped for peace in my heart and soul, and I hoped for inspiration; my hope was well placed. I got all of that and so much more…

I arrived in the early afternoon in Reno outside this massive hotel/resort. I haven’t seen anything like this in years, since I lived in the Middle East. A little less marble, but grandiose none the less. I can’t wait until we start setting up tomorrow. You’ll get to see all of that too!


About Laurie A. Wheeler

Laurie A. Wheeler is a blogger, crochet addict, yarn designer and champion for independant artisans and crafters. She is also known as Fearless Leader of the Crochet Liberation Front.

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