Isabella’s (she’s 10) USAIGC/IAGC World Championship gymnastics competition tournament takes us this year to Reno, Nevada.
Reno. Exotic (enough). Beautiful. Legendary.
Isabella is something of an odds-on favorite. No pressure, though.
For my Los Angeles friends, if you are going to make the drive to Reno, please do yourself the absolute favor and go the Inland route (LA speak: the 5 to the E-14 to the N-395 forever to the N-580) instead of the Central Valley (I-5 to Sacramento, then E-80) route. Your eyes and heart will thank you. (Because, who needs to drive through another Stockton? No offense intended, Stockton.) 20 minutes longer to drive, but absolutely worth it. The drive is part of the show.
Make sure you have enough gas though. Don’t do the Mojave with a 1/4 tank.
The total drive to Reno is 8-ish hours, either way. Gas-fills, bathrooms, McDonalds…
On the 395 tour, you will drive through an ancient river bed for a hundred miles with 5.000 foot mountains on either side. [Site-see at Fossil Falls.] Then, once you get through the town of Bishop, the road turns left, ominously, to the west.
And you will drive toward 13,000 foot mountain peaks (2 miles high). Black rock. Sheer cliffs. Unbelievable. Gorgeous. Towering. Snow capped even at the end on June.
The Eastern Sierra Nevada Mountain Range.
Then, eventually, you will start to climb those mountains. Gradually. But even a Prius can easily handle it. (I think we made it up to 8,036 feet.) Ears popping, jaws gaping. 43 MPG. Summer conditions, mind you. And it takes a couple of hours.
And, then you skirt Yosemite and go through Toiyabe National Forest. You’ll race the raging river down the mountains. [For my East Coasts friends, a West Coast forest is not just a symphony of deep green; there’s no kudzu here. You can actually see each tree trunk. Millions and millions and millions.]
Hopefully you will get stuck behind a slow-moving pickup truck, on a two-lane stretch down the incline. Because, it’s not about getting there, it’s about the getting there.
These are things my daughters will remember about this even without photos. Even though we had a camera handy, I wanted them to see it through their own eyes.
And, we haven’t even gotten to Reno yet.