This morning, we dawdled over breakfast until Caltrans lifted chain restrictions over Donner Summit, then set out in a convoy, Lisa in the Small Orange Pickup and me in the minivan. We were in constant contact by radio (we're both licensed amateurs), even though my 2m rig is shot and has a range of only a few hundred meters). We stopped at Fry's Sacramento to look for some things Lisa wanted (and to buy a new holster for my mobile phone, as the old one not only is broken, but broke in such a way that it chipped a hole in the screen of the smartphone, darn it). Then it was up the hill with a rest stop at Colfax for coffee and on to Reno where we got groceries.
After buying groceries, it was late enough that we were hungry, so we went to the Nugget in Sparks and had a rather late lunch at Rosie's diner. On the way out to the parking lot, we discovered that Orozko's Restaurant (a Basque-influenced restaurant inspired by John Ascuaga being of Basque ancestry), which we liked, has been closed permanently. This follows the permanent closure of the Polynesian-themed Trader Dick's, which is being turned into a franchise of Gilley's barbecue, and of the Casino Cabaret (today was its final day), which will become a new home for the William Hill Sports Book currently located in the basement. Sigh. And we're concerned that announced plans for a new bingo hall may spell the end for the Oyster Bar, whose shrimp pan roast is our all-time-favorite meal in all of Reno. We're sad that we didn't get to go to Orozko one last time before it closed. Sadly mourning the loss of things we liked about the Nugget, we saddled up and turned for home.
As we neared Fernley, I finally noticed that the gas gauge on the minivan was on E. If I'd been able to get a full tank at Lodi Junction, or if we hadn't gone to Yuba City yesterday, or if I hadn't had a full load of heavy boxes, it wouldn't have been as much of an issue. I hoped that we'd be able to make it home, but as the van started to climb the final hill before Exit 46, it sputtered and died. At Lisa's instruction, I put the van in neutral to coast as far as I could, and she rushed ahead to go home and get the 2-gallon gas can in the garage. It turns out that I had enough momentum to crest the hill and therefore started rolling down the exit, and indeed it's not impossible that I might have had just enough to make it all the way to the pumps at the Pilot station; however, a big rig came bearing down on me as I made the turn from the off-ramp, and it is enough of a slight slope up and into the Pilot that I didn't want to risk getting stalled in the access road and tying up all traffic, so I pulled onto the dirt shoulder right in front of the station and let the big rig by.
A few minutes later, Lisa arrived and we put enough gas in the van to get me the few meters to the pumps. (We refueled Lisa's pickup and refilled the gas can as well.) If one did have to run out of gas, there were far worse places to have done so.
Now I'm home again but only for this week, as I'm in a series of home-and-away weeks for personal schedule reasons. The more I do this, the less I like doing only one-week stints.