We walked (hobbled in Chris’ case) over to the Union Café for breakfast, drank most of a pot of coffee then headed back to the hotel to pack and wait for Jim to show up and shuttle us back to Moab.
The ride back to Moab was quiet and routine, being in the back seat of the suburban with the windows down, allowed me to politely check out of the conversation, close my eyes and take a little nap. When I awoke we were back in Utah and it was raining. As the rain continued, lightning split the sky followed soon after by the resounding drumroll of thunder…..as we climbed over the mountains and started heading back down the other side, Jim had the idea to go look for flash floods and, seizing on any excuse to prolong our trip, we readily agreed.
Eventually though, it was time to get to the hotel, pick up the van and get on the road. Which is just what we did. We made it as far as Salt Lake City before it got too late, Chris was too uncomfortable and I was too tired to continue. Thankfully we had decided to bring Jerry's van instead of my truck. We were able to set up the seating in such a way that Chris was in the back with his leg propped up on the seat in front of him
A good night’s sleep, the complimentary buffet breakfast and we were back on the road. Heading out of Salt Lake City, we entered what is referred to as… The most boring stretch of highway known to man….ok, I made that part up, but it definitely fits.
Eventually, we rolled out of the desert and into Reno where I finally had a cell signal (just a quick FYI – Nextel SUCKS for coverage) and called my sister. I had left her a message earlier that morning letting her know we were coming through town and that we had hoped to crash at their place in Tahoe City. As soon as my cell started receiving signals, I saw I had 3 messages from her, all of which said the same thing, “Absolutely you can stay here” “Come on by and I’ll cook you dinner”…
Her offer wasn’t really a surprise. For most of my childhood and teenage life, I, either by myself or with my friends and cousins, had been dropping in on her, sleeping on her floor, eating her food and generally just hanging out whenever I could. And her, being the coolest older sister in the world, always had the same response…..”absolutely you can stay here” Yep, she’s awesome that way.
As we sat on their deck enjoying a beer, Craig, husband to awesome sister, brother in law and overall really cool guy, grilled us up some burgers, we polished off several of his beers, talked for a couple hours and eventually crashed for the night.
Saturday morning, Craig had to head down to the lake where his niece was entered in a standup wakeboarding competition, so Maureen took us to her friend’s bakery for a breakfast of coffee and amazing baked goods.
Now, when I say amazing it’s not just an adjective. Tahoe House bakery REALLY is amazing. There’s a line out the door and the smell of baked goods alone is enough to drive you insane….if you’re ever in Tahoe City, this is one of those place you HAVE to try….
After saying our good-byes, we got on the road for the last push home. Just under 4 hours later, we pulled into Chris’ driveway where Min had a pizza, beer and brats ready for us for lunch. Unfortunately, Michael, Chris’ son had misunderstood the plan and was waiting for us in my driveway about 40 minutes north.
This was it. The trip was officially over….as I backed Jerry’s van out of Chris’ driveway I could almost feel the pressures of reality seeping back in.
By the time we hit 880 and my exit off the freeway, I could tell the dream had ended. In two days, I’d be back in the office, paying bills, feeding the dogs, whatever…..
If the true measure of an adventure can be felt in the levels of disappointment experienced at its conclusion, this one was definitely an epic!