After weeks of planning and evaluations of the various state regulations regarding Covid-19 measures, we finally packed the last items into our car early this morning before we hit the road. Local June gloom soon gave way to bright blue skies and warm temperatures as we climbed into the Sierra foothills.
Our vehicle is? As is customary for us, we try to pick an exciting car at the Presidents Club lot at Hertz. This time the choice was rather limited and we sort of settled for a 3 row highway cruiser as our best option. The available base BMW X3 felt too finicky and the Cadillac XT5 was the underpowered 4-cylinder model which we knew wouldn’t satisfy our petrolhead desires for power. That left us with an Infiniti QX60 with its V6 3.5 liter engine and three rows of seats. So far so good is our verdict after day one.
Several observations right off the bat. Traffic was heavier than expected – all the way to Reno. It finally thinned out across Nevada after our lunch stop at Noble Pie Parlor (thanks Diner, Drive-ins & Dives) in historic downtown Reno.
Paired with fewer cars on the road, gas prices dropped to as low as $2.09. Of course we saw that rate after we filled up in Winnemucca for a good $2.22 – Murphy’s law is never far. This stop was interesting for two reasons. For one, ever since reading Tales of the City, I have wanted to stop here one day. Now I can check it off my “to do list.” Secondly, it was a first opportunity observe mask wearing in a rural area. At this Pilot Travel Plaza, staff wore them but 2/3 of patrons did not. A telling sign of what’s to come I am afraid. No wonder then that Nevada tops the new infections list in the west.
On to the sights of today. Undoubtedly the highlight was a drive to the Bonneville salt flats with Stella having a chance to run on the salt. She loved it even though she figured out quickly how strong the salt tastes. The experience was magical.