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  • Writer's picturestephanieraffelock

More From The Oregon or Bust Chronicles

Car and luggage

Some drives are just not all that thought-provoking.  This was one such day where I swam in the useless and the mundane to occupy my time for 8 hours. Whereas Denver to Salt Lake was filled with memory and fondness, even some beautiful scenery– today’s drive from Salt Lake to Reno was fraught with things like:  did I really just see a sign that said “Beverly Hills, ½ mile?” How many kinds of burritos are there in the world? Does Nevada have anything in it besides desert and scrub? (Apologies to anyone from Nevada reading this). In short, today’s drive seemed longer and less kind than yesterdays.

I tried putting on the radio for a while, something I rarely do in my car. I found NPR. Honestly, NPR has never been the same for me since I saw Alex Baldwin on Saturday Night Live, playing “Peter Schwetty” in a spoof of an NPR Christmas show in which he shares about his special baked goods that he calls “schwetty balls.” And the jokes about little sacks of nuts and schwetty balls pretty much goes into gut splitting laughter from there–that is if you have a sophomoric sense of humor, which I do, and fortunately for me my husband does also.

So today’s NPR kept bringing back images of schwetty balls and even though the real NPR was interviewing a musician from Iceland, it was hard for me not to hear the SNL sketch in my head. That took up at least 10 minutes.

Eight hours of desert and truck stops between Salt Lake and Reno did little to inspire. Highlight: the town just across the Nevada border on Interstate 80 had a gorgeous baseball field upon which we had a little lunch and threw a tennis ball for the dog. Low light: everything else until Reno.

It was good to get into Reno, which felt like a little slice of civilization after 8 hours of desert. A salad and a hot bath soothes the weary traveler’s soul and I am looking forward to getting on the road again tomorrow for half the amount of time and rolling into Oregon, our final destination and new home.

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