On my way to Lake Tahoe I got my first ticket ever, for "not stopping completely at a stop sign." The cop had several scribbled on my ticket and gave me the wrong phone number to call. But the guy who answered the phone told me this anyway: "Every moving violation is a fine of $235," or something like that. I got sick immediately after getting the ticket. There are so many dumb things that people sue over, why shouldn't I sue over that?
But anyway. I made it to Lake Tahoe and drove around the lake.
I saw some pretty neat shops, like this one--it sold crystals and hippy-dresses and new agey- items. I was strongly reminded of Martha's Vineyard--lots of shops along the water, each unique, no real chains or whatever. But a bunch of places were closing up, and there wasn't a single used bookstore. I went into an antique store where one of the sellers told me they were selling out because they just couldn't afford the overhead anymore. I visited a lot of thrift stores, and those seem to be doing all right. My favorite was the "Pass it on Thrift Shop," where the owner sold items at an all-time low, and even lowered the price on some books I bought because one seemed in bad condition. I got Tom Wolfe's "The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test," (my former professor's first delve into literary Journalism) and Barbara Kingsolver's "Prodigal Summer."
I stayed with a friend of Cecilia's, Erik. He's a very smart guy who worked for Apple for eight and a half years. His house is overflowing with organized piles of stuff: books, CDs, DVDs, wires, computers, candy...on every floor. He is a fan of Kurt Vonnegut, duh, so I had some good reading while there. He even took me and a friend of his out to dinner. Don't tell anyone at the ranch, but this dinner was better than anything I'd had in Idaho. And there were paintings on the walls for $1,200.
It was raining when I left Tahoe, and the lake was as fierce as the ocean. But it was beautiful too.
On my way west, I took a detour and found the old Donner route. I followed it.
In peoples' yards and on the side of the road there was snow more than a foot deep on this old road I took. I think the road was 44, although I'm not sure. It said it was an old road.