Smoke, Smoke, and Rough, Rough, Roads

It was hard, but we finally left Marin and the kids, hung a right, and headed east.

It wasn’t all our choice, our site had been booked and there was no more room at the inn, but it was good not having it be our decision. So, with a very, very fond farewell and a parting wave to Cara, Skye, and Quinn (Noah was at work), we headed north on 101 and FindingOurWay was back on the road. Thanks for everything, love you all!

(We have several San Francisco blog entries in the works and will sprinkle them in periodically as time and computers permit. Hope you don’t mind the non-linear entries.)

The wildfire smoke has gotten worse each day. The fire count when we left was topping 1,000 making it difficult to breathe at times. We knew we would have to drive through worse smoke no matter which direction we chose. There were, and still are, fires to the north, south, and east of San Francisco from Big Sur to the Oregon border.

The sooner we could make it up into the Sierras on the other side of the fires, we figured, the better, so our first stop was Truckee, CA north of Lake Tahoe at about 5,000’. The drive was bad. Windows up, A/C on, air recirculation and still the smoke got in, the temperatures were approaching 100, and the very rough Route 80 was terrible.

The Truckee campground was OK when we arrived, we finally saw blue sky, but in the late afternoon the wind would shift bringing the smoke haze along with it. Plus, we had the added attraction of very heavy pollen from the Douglas Fir trees which cover the mountains. It wasn’t long before the truck and Airstream were turning yellow.

Léna had left Marin with a cough. By the time we got to Truckee with the added irritation of the pollen, she was one sick puppy. We had planned to explore parts of the Lake Tahoe area we had not see when Noah and Cara were married there, but we only managed lunch at the Truckee Diner and visit the Safeway before the wall of smoke began to move down Main Street.

We headed back to the rig and turned on the A/C! We’ll have to revisit Lake Tahoe, but for now, getting out of the smoke was more important.

Today we continued on our escape route driving through Reno, across the desolate areas of Northern Nevada, thankfully on very smooth roads, and landed for the night in Elko, NV, a small city about halfway between Reno and Salt Lake City.

We left the smoke and pollen behind but not the heat, 99 today and forecast for days to come. This is casino country. We’re camped at the Double Dice campground just a short stroll from the one-armed bandits.

Léna’s asleep, she developed a fever today that’s back to normal this evening, but she’s still has a hacking cough. We’ll see what the morning brings.

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