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James R. Stout

Day 9 of my 2019 Big Adventure

            Day 9 of my 2019 Big Adventure started with me going to the Sacramento International Airport and picking up my granddaughter Sofia. She flew out of Hobby International in Houston at 6 a.m. CST, made a short stopover in San Diego, and then up to Sacramento. It was her first time to fly by herself and she did great. Southwest Airlines took great care of precious cargo for me. I have to tell you that the ordeal of getting to the arrival gate added another level of gray hairs to my already gray head. I haven’t been to an airport since 2005. Things were considerably different back then. Getting the pass to go to the arrival gate wasn’t so bad, but the TSA part was demeaning and very confusing. The TSA workers were all very rude. “Move in closer. If your body can fit into a space, then do it!” I had to take off my shoes, belt, and hat and put everything from my pockets in a tray. The whole thing reminded me of one of those horrid scenes from the Holocaust where the people are herded into lines and all dignity stripped away. I have no desire to fly again.

            Aside from that negative, the rest wasn’t bad. We had to ride a tram and then a bus to get back to my truck, but it wasn’t too bad. After leaving the airport we set out on our adventure. We drove through the Donner Pass, Truckee, California, Reno, Nevada, and over to Virginia City, Nevada. The scenery was beautiful, and Sofia kept her camera very busy! She wanted to stop and play in the snow, but I explained that getting to it would be a problem.

            We road the Virginia City and Truckee Railroad for a short round trip from Virginia City to Gold City. Again, the scenery was fantastic. I had been to Virginia City once before back in 2005, but it has been greatly improved since then. After the train ride we drove through a fairly harrowing set of switchbacks to Carson City, Nevada. At one point we went down a 15% grade, Yeehaw! Given Sofia’s day started at 2:30 this morning we decided to stop and stay at a hotel in Carson City. She had a chance to swim in the swimming pool and enjoyed it greatly. We ordered some pizza and brownies, pigged out, and now Sofia is sawing logs while I am writing this entry. It was a great day and I am so glad that Sofia is able to be with me for the next week. I must tell you that she is one fantastic girl. In fact, all of my daughter’s kids (three granddaughters) are loving, well-behaved, and all-around a pleasure to be with. You can tell that there is some great parenting going on in their house. I love all of my granddaughters immensely and treasure each moment with them. Sofia is old enough to be able to do this trip with me, but someday if the Lord is willing, I’ll get to do the same for all of my granddaughters. Tomorrow will be mostly a driving day. Getting across Nevada will be via US50, “The Loneliest Road in America”. It appears there will be some mountain passes and vistas to enjoy. Check-in with me tomorrow night and I’ll tell you all about it! Goodnight, dear friends!!

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