Monday, February 19, 2007

You Too Can Be Ponce De Leon

The weekend before last, on my way to San Francisco, I did a stopover in Tahoe to get some skiing in. On my way there, I was a little nervous, because our plane from New York was delayed about an hour and a half, and I was worried my bags wouldn't make my connection in Denver. In Denver, I asked the gate agent, "Are my bags gonna make it?" He assured me, "Don't worry. They'll make it."

Lo and behold, when I got to Reno/Tahoe Airport, my poor bags did not come out on the carousel. I didn't take it too hard. I just filled out my report with United, got my rental car and proceeded to get my rental car. There, I encountered what must have been the sloooowest desk agent, I have ever met. I waited for 30 minutes to get to the head of the line. Finally, I got my car - a cute silver Jeep Liberty - and drove off to Tahoe across the Nevada desert. On my way to Tahoe, I passed through Carson City. I've never had a more impressive first sight of a city before. It was like coming to Shangri-La. All of a sudden, sunken in a valley, Carson City just appears out of nowhere. The stretch of Highway 395 from Reno to Tahoe is pretty flat and desolate, with stretches of 70 mph zones. And driving down it at 10 o'clock at night doesn't make you feel any less lonely.

Anyhow, I was driving along, and I guess I had reached a fairly high altitude, because the bright lights of Carson City (yes, "bright lights" of Carson City, of all places) poked through the mountains and were a welcome sight to me from my automobile perch high above. I was actually looking for an In-N-Out Burger, but I didn't see the reassuring yellow arrow anywhere.

Well, this post is kind of lame and well, kind of boring, and so I'll end it here. But I really did feel like I had discovered a new place--Carson City of all places. I didn't stop in Carson City at all, and so I didn't meet anyone, but I wonder how many explorers like me they get every year.


Eric said...

Is it wrong how much joy I get just saying, "Ponce de Leon"?

Anonymous said...

From Jayne: Carson City is the capital of Nevada.

teahouse said...

I LOVE In 'n Out Burger!! It's my favorite thing about visiting the West Coast (sad but true). I'm sorry you couldn't find one on this trip.