Took a walk with Andrew yesterday to the park across the street to clear my head. It worked, for a little bit at least. Lately I’ve been living a week at a time. Once this week is over I can recenter–catch up on my NaNoWriMo project, finish some books I started reading, watch some movies, make some things I’ve been putting off. I’m looking forward to relaxing.
The first snow day is always exciting. It’s like the whole city takes a deep breath. It’s all quiet, calm, clean, new. To me, winter isn’t winter without snow. I’ve lived in Nevada for ten years so I guess now I’m spoiled.
Right now I have a sleeping kitty on my lap and I’m trying to catch up on my NaNoWriMo book. I’m listening to Sucre and Vanessa Carlton. Andrew got me breakfast. It’s been a nice morning.
It was a cold, blustery day here in Northern Nevada. It seemed like everyone was appreciating the visible change in season. I love when the atmosphere changes. I can feel it in my bones.
I used the coldness as an excuse to wear my favorite scarf, which marks it as the first scarf day of the year–almost as good as the day I get to pull my boots out of the back of my closet. When the sky is grey out, I tend to get up earlier so I can enjoy the cold weather. I also put my hair up in a bun and forgo wearing lots of makeup since I like the way cold air makes my skin feel.
Storms make me feel like change is on the horizon, and not just in the clouds.
We went to Apple Hill this weekend for the third year in a row, which I guess solidifies it as our fall tradition. We like to pick out our pumpkins to carve, as well as some of the famous apples (can’t go to Apple Hill without getting apples, right?) I also picked up some squash to bake sometime in the next few weeks, and we splurged and got some apple donuts, which are delicious! On the way home, we stopped by FiftyFifty, a brewery in Truckee, and picked up a growler of their Imperial Stout. I guess we were feeling like our Skyrim characters. We also went to dinner at the Sasquatch Tavern in Verdi, and got the Sasquatch Coffee, which was similar to Irish coffee. It was a fun and very autumn-themed day!
And now it’s my birthday, so here’s to being 24!
I went out to Golden Valley last week as part of a “waste stream tour,” where I visited different trash and recycling facilities. The Golden Valley stop was intended to showcase illegal dump sites, where people haul their trash out to the middle of nowhere. It’s quite upsetting, really, but in any case, Golden Valley is very pretty. I used to hate sagebrush, but after being a Nevadan for 10 years (wow, already?!) I’ve come to love it. It is our state flower, after all. I guess that speaks for itself.
I won a writing award from the Nevada Press Association (that’s me on the left side!), so Andrew and I hopped in my Fiat and drove down to Las Vegas for the weekend. I’ve been to Vegas a few times before but I’ve never made the drive–I drove once with a friend and her parents when I was a teenager, but I got the flu so I don’t remember the drive at all. There is very little to see on the drive except for a whole lot of desert. I love the desert and find it very beautiful and interesting (given the name of my blog). Rural Nevada is fascinating. If you’ve ever played Fallout: New Vegas, you know what it looks like. I’m not saying that to speak badly of the little towns along the way, but there are so many run down buildings and just plain odd things to see. At times it really does feel like the apocalypse swept through. It’s pretty surreal.
I’ve lived in Reno for six years (already?!) and I have never been to the annual balloon race. I’ve been close–my freshman year of college, a friend and I drove up to a nearby hill and were going to watch the balloons until I promptly fell asleep. Another year, I went to a party with some friends and ended up falling asleep around 4 a.m. But this year, I felt like it was time to just suck up being tired and check it out already.
The Glow Show starts at 5 a.m., so Andrew and I pulled ourselves out of bed at 3 a.m. to make sure we could get there and find parking. We had gotten in at 11 p.m. the night before since we were at a baseball game. Needless to say, we were pretty groggy.
But wow, it was so worth it to go. It’s one of the most whimsical things I’ve ever seen–hot air balloons alight in the dark, floating up into the sky as the sun rises, hovering over mountains. And it was interesting to me that although there were hundreds of people there, the whole thing felt very intimate–people snuggled together in blankets looking up at glowing hot air balloons. It also made me realize how quickly the sun rises. I think early morning is a special time of day but I’m never usually up that early unless I stay up all night.
Can I just say how much I love my Fiat? It’s the best thing I’ve ever owned, ever. I have so much fun driving it, even if it’s just to run errands. Yesterday we drove up to Tahoe to drop my brother off, and even though it was the worst weekend to drive up to Tahoe because of the holiday, I had an awesome time driving it around the twists and turns of the road–especially around Emerald Bay. I couldn’t find a good map to show off how twisty it is, but these pictures show how tight the corners are and how there are essentially no railings.
Driving a blue Fiat around Lake Tahoe is now my favorite hobby. I would live in Tahoe in a heartbeat, but my boyfriend is happier here in Reno. Maybe some day…
But it got me thinking about where else I’d love to drive my Fiat. The car’s Sport mode makes it great for lots of corners, but it’s also fun to amp up the speed and just fly along the highway. I like roads that require me to be an active driver, but also allow me to soak in the scenery.
The Dolomites – Swiss Alps
This photo by David Pasztor is breathtaking! I went to Italy as a teen but would love to return and explore the many amazing routes throughout the Dolomites.
Reno to Vegas – Nevada
In a couple weekends, we’re driving down to Vegas. I’ve made this ride before but never as the driver, and of course, never with a super awesome car. I’m so excited to just drive along the state. It’s a pretty flat and deserted drive but I find it very relaxing and it’s a great opportunity to see a lot of the state, including some of the smaller towns and ghost towns.
Highway 1 Big Sur – California
Driving along the ocean sounds dreamy. This is by far one of the most beautiful places in California.
Denali Highway – Alaska
I’ve never been to Alaska but it’s high on my list of places to visit. Any open, mountainous road sounds appealing to me! This is a gravely road so I would consider taking an off-road car instead.
Pikes Peak Highway – Colorado
This looks like an interesting route, especially with the snow and the unique pattern of the road. This looks like it would also be a good route for an off-road car.
Although this is a Mini ad (and it features my favorite singer Michelle Branch), this video sums up how I feel all the time! I love the ending where she is driving around Milan because that looks so pretty–and it reminds me a lot of the drive in Tahoe.
Under a shroud of the night
the desert rider flies along the highway
It is at night she thinks the most of light and
color–neons always looked best against
the muted shades of sagebrush-infested lands
The night is dark but it is also safe and
silent, punctuated by stars. It serves as a shelter.
The door opens
when the sun rises, inviting in
She removes the sunglasses from
her face, feels the sweat and the creases
on the bridge of her nose,
notices the sun is brighter than she remembered
And hotter, too, so
Maybe they were right about all this
coming to an end. Plenty survived–
the cockroaches and snakes and cactuses,
the whole planet is now brown like Mars,
red like Mars, from blood and dust
Blood was once her sign of love
But Love is deadly, she thinks, as she
picks at a scab and the snakes
circle her ankles, seeking solace in the
shade of her boots, like