Location: Lassen National Forest to Reno, NV
Our path was paved with the evening sun as we left Eugene, entering back into “The Golden State.” It was highway five all the way through until after Redding, when we decided to alter our course around Red Bluff and head down highway forty-four. According to our physical map this seemed the shortest path to 395 and onward to Reno.
We entered Lassen National Forest, the red fir trees looming over the skies allowing for partial moonlight night to guide us. The lights from the golden prius cast shadows on some of the winding roads, at times tricking us into thinking there were deer.
“Keep watch!” Arizona had instructed as we entered the forest, “There are deer among us!”
I nodded sleepily, opening another can of Guayaki tea. We were both very tired and it was nearing midnight. However, we needed each other to stay awake.
We slowed on our speed, attempting to admire the dark scenery. Seeing only signs for deer and cattle, there was little to admire except for the dark forms of the trees and the penetrating, crisp and wild scent that nature provided us. She was enticing us to pull over and take in her beauty. However, Arizona and I were on a mission. A “we need to make it to Travertine Hot Springs by dawn” mission.
“Deer Watch 2016. That is what this is.”I said with a slight yawn, my eyes set forth in the trenches of the front passenger seat.
“Sloooowww!” I saw movement ahead of us, my hand lightly touching her shoulder.
Taking her foot off the gas she slowed Lady, the prius, to a crawl. On the right hand side of the road two deer peered into our head lights.
“Stay there. Go on! Back into the woods for you!” Arizona looked at them intensely.
Almost as if they heard her through the sounds of our goth metal symphony they disappeared back into the reserve. We laughed as we kept on our route. My sights on the road as we saw more deer approaching the road, I would notify Arizona. Each time with a growl she would command them back into the forest and they would obey.
Arizona and I finally ventured onto 395 and arrived in Reno at 1:30 am. Passing through the cascading lights of the Reno Arch, we drove down the main drag. The glistening lights of the Silver Legacy and the Nugget Express begging us to come gamble for our chances of a big pay off or the thrill of the $9.99 all you can eat buffet.
We passed up their sultry light show and savory buffets in favour of a childhood favourite of Arizona’s. The Sands Regency on North Arlington. Really it is just a convenient stop next to Original Mel’s to pee and rest a while. After a quick jaunt in to relieve ourselves and laugh at the oddly named slot machines we knew we needed to rest. Our mission would be diverted to a later time, but soon we would be back on the road to Travertine Hot Springs.