Friday, March 16, 2007

A High Desert Travelogue

Hubby and I took a day to ourselves on Wednesday. We didn't go to Redding to visit our son Sam. We didn't take William or Rosie with us. Nope. We just got in the car and headed somewhere All By Ourselves. It was lovely. It's about a 100 mile trip to Reno and it's usually about getting there as fast as one can. This time we took our time, stopping to take photos and wander near the highway several times. I mean wander in a good way. A touristy, artist way. Not in a drunk, amnesia victim way. Or a psychopath ghost hitchhiker way. Or a bag lady way... never mind. Moving on...

These acrobatic rocks are stacked up near the entrance to someone's ranch. As you can see, it's a beautiful warm spring day.

Here are some less talented rocks just laying about. But I still thought it looked picturesque.

There used to be an antique store out in the middle of nowhere. Well, the folks who live in Doyle won't like me saying they live nowhere but trust me on this one - it's the middle of nowhere. Anyway, this ol' clunker sits near the dirt road that led to that antique shop at one time. They painted it up all kitschy and added a sign to catch the attention of traffic passing by. The shop is long gone, but this cool road art is left for us to enjoy.

We stopped and wandered around an old cemetery. Part frontier graves, part more recent graves. We recognized a lot of the family names from our community.

Talking about kitsch, there were a lot of well tended graves but I'm not sure about the abundance of plastic flowers and whirligigs. I mean, is this tacky or just folk art and cool? It's certainly colorful, I'll give it that! I guess it's better to be loved and remembered than abandoned and forgotten, no matter how tasteful (or not) the gesture.

This old church sits just off the highway. It's been in the process of being renovated for at least eleven years now. I wonder if it's owned by a church denomination or just someone local trying to maintain a historical building.

A long drive but eventually we arrived in Reno. Somewhere along the road the decision was made to go to the Nevada Museum of Art. It was nice. They were having an Andy Warhol exhibit which was interesting although somehow this manages to be the third time I've seen it. That's sort of weird since I get to go to museums only once in a blue moon. I think I saw it in London and San Diego. Don't I sound like a world traveler!

Speaking blue moons, you couldn't take photos inside the museum, but you could take them up on the roof, where they have a few sculpture pieces. I liked how this sun sculpture held a crescent moon inside it. I uploaded another photo of it on Laumes Studio, showing the shadow moon a bit better. I was just messing around with putting my shadow inside it here. I just realized it makes me look somewhat like a "drawing down the moon" goddess. Or maybe a spider.

The museum tuckered out the hubby. Turns out he was starving. He didn't mention this. There are these wonderful tools for communicating. They are called "words". It didn't occur to him to use these "words" to let me know he was faint with hunger. Men! We did go eat directly after this, more on that later.

Here's me messing with reflections. I think this photo is a good visual representation of what you'd see if you looked inside me recently. I'm split down the middle. Which reflects the real me? And it's all sort of blurry, not to mention all those distractions down in the bottom right hand corner.

It took everything in me to stand, nay, lean on this glass railing. I'm a bit acrophobic. Not enough to stop me from enjoying the view from up high, but enough that I may make whimpering noises in the effort. And no, I do NOT scream. Usually. My kids are lying!
Do NOT listen to them.

This roof was four stories up. I kept confusing Jeff by telling him we were on the 2nd floor when we were on the 3rd or the 1st floor when we were on the 2nd. Because what us Americans call the 1st floor, Europeans call the Ground floor, what we call the 2nd floor, they call the first floor. And so on. I spent so much time climbing up and down stairs in the UK that I guess being in a museum, by association (since we went to so many museums while we were over there), made me revert back to the European way of counting floors.

See the mountains in the background? This isn't a very flattering photo of them, they're much more majestic in real life, but I point them out to say if you were really high up, just the other side of those peaks is Lake Tahoe. It's really neat to see from a plane because the lake is higher in elevation than the valley on this side and it's easy to imagine if there was ever a crack in the mountain ridge, all that water pouring out onto the city. Well, easy to imagine if you have an odd imagination like mine.

Along with the Warhol exhibit they had a Latino exhibit which was lovely but way too small of a selection, a student art exhibit, and of course their permanent collection, which had changed a bit since our last visit. The best thing we saw at the exhibit though wasn't art, it was a puppy. A real live Neapolitan Mastiff puppy that was the size of a pony! You know the dog that plays Fang in the Harry Potter movies? It was like that, only this one was a brindle. Just one of it's paws was the size of my Rosie.

After the museum I put away my camera. We were headed for a Thai restaurant when we passed by an Indian Curry and Kabob place and stopped there instead. It was spicy but yummy, and since it was midafternoon, the place was empty except for us and one other couple (and two workmen fixing the front door) and they had a Bollywood movie playing on two large flat screen televisions. Sort of like an ethnic "sports bar"?

We also went to Trader Joe's and Wild Oats for specialty groceries, a bead shop, World Market for my lime margarita popcorn salt (but they were still out of stock - wah!) and TWO bookstores. I had a mental list of books to look for and found all of them plus a few more. That was a real treat! Hubby got two books full of shiny photos of cars. Yawwwwn. Other then groceries and books, I didn't buy a lot else. I got five tiny heart charms at the museum gift shop. A half dozen beads and some silk cord at the bead shop, some dental floss, and the perfect yellow butterfly for last year's Yule tree. Ever since Joshua has died I have added one yellow butterfly a year and last year I couldn't find one that seemed right. So yah for me, I waited and it eventually appeared. Oh, and I bought two new CD's - a compilation called Celtic Crossing (traditional Celtic music down in a contemporary music style) and The Pogues. So we had new music for the long drive home in the dark.

It was a lovely spring getaway. The only "bad" thing that happened is that I chose to wear sandals for the first time this season and by the end of the day my feet were not thanking me for it. I woke up yesterday and when I tried to get out of bed I realized my calves were even more unhappy. I decided a good way to deal with it was to walk two miles to pick up the car at the repair shop to "stretch them out". Today I am hobbling around the house whispering "ow, ow, ow, ow...". Maybe I should take another walk. Or maybe just hang out on the computer. I haven't decided if I'm up for any more pain or not yet.


Anonymous Deirdre said...

Which one?

Just one of it's paws was the size of my Rosie

:-P eirdre

5:58 PM  
Blogger catsmum said...

I would guess that the 'tacky' section is the children's graves ... I've seen the same thing at quite a few cemeteries over here. Maybe the pinwheels and stuff are the only sort of decorations that will stand up to the elements and still be kind of bright and cheerful and childlike.

12:44 AM  
Anonymous Jay said...


I wish if i can share my findings on 100+ mostly visited and popular travelogues websites and portals here.


10:09 AM  
Blogger Keziah Garrett said...

I saw that you are waiting for Cost Plus to get the Margarita salt back in stock. I too have been waiting... You can find it on this site though :O)


11:13 PM  

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