Kevin Standlee (kevin_standlee) wrote,
Kevin Standlee

Through the Smoke to Sacramento

This morning, I packed my overnight bag and set off for Sacramento.

The Hat Man

I was wearing my new Jacaru Aussie hat. I know it probably doesn't look much different from the old one, but the old one was wearing out. Someone suggested it looked on top like I'd been struck by lightning. I of course would rather that the hat take the wear than my head. As a birthday present (slightly early), Lisa bought me two new hats of almost the same style because shipping costs from Australia are almost as much as the hat itself and marginal shipping costs for the second hat are negligible. Note, by the way, how much clearer it was behind me than it was most of last week.

The (mostly) clear skies at Fernley were not to last.

Reno Through the Haze

Shifting winds may have cleared much of the smoke from Fernley, but in West Reno, haze still blanketed the city.

It got worse as I drove into the mountains.

Valley of Smoke

If you've ever driven over I-80 through Donner Summit, you have seen the view of Donner Lake and the mountains across the lake. If you've taken the train over the pass, you've seen the opposite view across to the freeway. This shot is from the vista point just below Donner Summit. The whole valley is full of smoke drifting in from the wildfires in California and Northern Nevada. The lake and the mountains were invisible in the haze.

Heading down the other side didn't get much better.

Smoke at Nyack

This is the Nyack vista point. The Bear River valley is visible through the smoke.

For most of the trip, my eyes burned and I could taste the smoke, even with the RV air conditioning going full blast. Of course it's vastly harder for those people fighting the fires. I have plenty of respect for them. My mild asthma was more noticeable with all this smoke in the air.

I got to Sacramento and went to the nursing home and spent several hours with my sister, who celebrated her 50th birthday today. I gave her a card from me, Kelli, and Kuma Bear, and also four boxes of the chocolates she likes. We also got some business done that really needed to be done today. I would have stayed longer, but there was Worldcon business to do.

My hotel for this trip is the Crowne Plaza, which (despite being nominally higher in the chain than a Holiday Inn Express) cost less than an Express room, is closer to the skilled nursing facility, and besides, the Express was sold out, even for a Platinum member like me. My status did get me upgraded from one of their "economy" rooms (undersized rooms with small beds) to a king room. I wish I'd remembered my swimsuit, though, because this hotel, unlike the nearby Express, has a hot tub, and I could use something to deal with some muscle aches.

This afternoon was the final pre-con meeting of the San Jose Worldcon 76 division managers. We're only a few days away from the convention. My current plans have us leaving Fernley a week from Monday after work and getting to San Jose on Tuesday. I just hope that I'll have the Astro, because it has the best cargo-carrying capacity. Fingers crossed that the shop gets the repairs done in time.

The meeting went pretty well. In the scheduled two hours, we went through the remaining issues to discuss at the divisional level. Now we go in to the final turn before the convention itself. Although we've had some rough spots, it does seem like the plan is coming together.

I'm happy to be spending the night in a heavily air-conditioned hotel room and that I don't have to be up too early tomorrow morning for the drive home.
Tags: astro, family, fire, mininvan, rolling stone, rv, smoke, worldcon

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