How do you follow one of the most chaotic road trip days of all-time? With free breakfast, of course. If you’re ever in SuzyTown and in need of a hotel, make sure you pick the Best Western on Main, which is nestled beside a cozy little diner called Lumberjacks and offers complimentary vouchers for the joint to anyone who stays the night. Ironically, lumberjack just so happens to be Amanda’s handle on Instagram. But after spending the night listening to her saw logs like Paul Bunyan in her sleep, she will be forever referred to as Slumberjack. After stuffing our faces with greasy morning comfort food, we only needed to stop at Wal-Mart for an assortment of bungee cords and ratchet straps for cargo carrier reinforcement purposes before taking off for The Biggest Little City in the World, Reno Nevada.
The beginning of the ride was consumed with phone calls between the Chevy Tahoe driver from yesterday, my insurance company and back again. I was just about to start feeling sorry for myself for the stress of it all when we crested a hill and came across a major traffic jam in the desert. When we finally made our way to the cause of the backup — a rolled semi trailer blown over by gale force winds that had picked up as soon as we’d set out — it served as a good reminder that my situation could be considerably worse and I instantly adjusted my attitude. We pulled into Reno a little late but grateful to not have had a repeat of yesterday’s nonsense and ready to enjoy some good food and even better company.
We spent the evening with my mom’s baby sister Mary, her gourmet sous chef fiancé Barry, my cousin Lynsey and a lively group of their extended family. The delicious tri-tip roast and grilled vegetables were a welcome departure from yesterday’s diet of hollow carbs and gut bomb treats, but we still managed to sneak some birthday cake to celebrate Lynsey’s upcoming 29th birthday and my pending 35th. The mellow evening of family and fun brought some well needed balance for day two, and we would have escaped without the slightest bit of drama, but Claire and I got booted from the casino at our hotel for playing cards illegally. Who knew you couldn’t play cribbage in the casino lobby?