Tonopah quickly became a fading memory as we lined California up in our sights. There was never a more impatient pair than we, as 'Lake Tahoe' showed up on the GPS, provoking a quick round of the happy dance and some California type sound track, probably the Chili Peppers. Phantom Planet. The Beach Boys.
The GPS looked confident, but we threw our eggs in a different basket with our choice of route towards the stateline. Sporting an attitude of nonchalance that usually spells disaster (but today with a stroke of luck)- we found ourselves approaching Tahoe along some gravelly mountain road that really wouldn't be advisable if you have ambitions for keeping a clean car. Since we'd already put dear Walt (yes, we named our truck) through the wringer twice and thrice, we figured a final coat of dust wouldn't be such an inconvenience.
We wound through the mountains with almost my entire torso balancing and swishing outside of the window. A sunny breeze is not something you will under rate if you've spent the past 3 months melting in a Southern Summer as we have. Lucky Boy Pass was like a discovered secret as we meandered through the mountains with the sun and shadows playing colorfully in the valleys. There were some questionable navigational decisions, mini river-crossings and cocking of eyebrows but California is like a magnet and eventually the Welcome sign appeared before us to rapturous applause from Forrest and myself. From there we could pretty much smell Lake Tahoe, with Forrest winding down all the windows shouting 'pine! pine! pine!' and me rubbing my hands together in anticipation of Papagayos, the most delicious little Mexican Grill in- quite probably- the whole world.
Of course we were flagged down at the visitors station to assure those serious looking fellows that no, we did not have a cargo of bananas or insects or tigers or foreign dirt ( though driving a truck that looks like it has been wrestling in a sand pit probably didn't help our case....). Eventually though, fueled up on burritos and tacos, we wasted no time in shooting through Tahoe and on to the Capital City. Our home from home, Sacra-tomato.